Thursday, February 21, 2013

Certified

We are officially certified. Scuba Certified.

In May, we took a trip to Puerto Vallarta. It was amazing (besides my incredibly awful sunburn. Blistered shoulders and swollen calves.)
Picture taken while on the bus. I tried to take this picture about 10 times.
This one is compliments of Paul's photography skills. 

The first night we stayed in PV and explored the marina area. We had delicious ceviche and guacamole for dinner and then walked home in the rain. (Thankfully the weather cleared up, Tropical Storm Bob left, and the rest of the trip we had fabulous weather...hence Severely Burnt Brittany).

Our hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Ceviche and Guac

For the rest of our trip, we got a great deal on Groupon to stay at an incredible resort in Nuevo Vallarta. And then spent a whole morning being coerced talked into buying a timeshare and saying NO about 50 times... I was almost sold, but Paul convinced me otherwise. He's a smarty! We got 2 free massages out of the lengthy experience, so that almost made up for the wasted morning.
Resort in Nuevo Vallarta

Although we didn't spend a ton of time during the day at the resort, it was fun to be in such a nice place. And they had these incredible drinks... a swirl of both a virgin strawberry daquiri and a virgin pina colada. It was divine and we definitely drank a ton! Our room was quite wonderful. We had a suite with a kitchen and living room, a balcony with our own little pool on it and a huge bathtub in our bedroom. It was AMAZING!

Nuevo Vallarta is about 20 mins away from anything. It's a resort town with just a ton of resorts along the water. We didn't realize that before we went, so we ended up taking the bus to the city most days.They have two different kinds of buses there. The buses that stay in the Puerto Vallarta area are essentially a box with very thin metal for the sides. They are super rickety and the bus drivers drive so close to each other that you can reach out and touch the bus next to you. The other kind of bus, the one that leaves Puerto Vallarta, is like a charter bus with cushion seats and air conditioning (working only half the time).

On the rickety bus.
This cute kid came on and played the drums and then kept starring at us. 

And in typical style, I have a really hard time finishing a blog post so in an effort to finally finish the rest is just pictures. We spent the remainder of our trip getting scuba certified, exploring the little towns by local bus and scooter and lounging at the beach and resort.


We took the bus to Bucerias, checked out the little town and then walked home on the beach. 


Our scuba instructor Davy

Boat ride out to the diving location at Las Marietas.


View from the boat on the way to dive at Las Caletas. 

Worst sunburn of my life... both my shoulders blistered
(try putting on a wetsuit, vest and oxygen tank over the top of blisters. Ouch!)
Rented a scooter for a day and explored the area.  We went to the botanical gardens, the zoo, a movie set, all over Puerto Vallarta and into the hills, and checked out a few little towns up the coast. My favorite day of the whole trip. 
One of the stops on our scooter ride
Misamaloya. Beautiful little town we explored on our scooter.  The town was setting up for a celebration, so we sat and ate chips and guacamole and watched the action. 
Mismaloya
We spent a lot of time walking El Malecón and checking out all the shops, eateries and flying men.


Rainbow Sherbet, my fav

 We had an amazing time and can't wait to go back... hopefully soon!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

We've had a very busy last two months.

We went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium to see the beautiful jellyfish. I've been telling Paul we need one as a pet, but he's not convinced (yet).


Went camping in Cloverdale and floated down the Russian River with friends. Amazing. We want to go back every weekend. 

Went whale watching in Monterey with the Robarge's. We had a blast and saw two killer whales. We explored Pebble Beach and went to dinner at amazing Roy's where we celebrated Erika and Jensen's fake birthdays. 

Spent Labor Day up in Portland visiting Paul's family. We loved spending time with Paul's parents, Angelina and Lilly, Tim and Megan, Heather and Jared and their cute kids. We definitely miss them! 

And I miss my hair being so soft...I spent many hours having my hair brushed and playing hair salon with clips and crowns (headbands) being put in my hair and then pulled out. My niece even said "Your hair is so cuddly and soft I wish I was a mouse so I could crawl up in it!" We love those kids!

We spent time with family, met up with friends, enjoyed lovely beach time on Sauvie Island with our cute nieces and nephew and ate lots and lots of donuts. 








Summer has been good to us this year and we're looking forward to the next couple months of San Francisco summer!

**Lots of photos courtesy of Erika. 


Monday, August 13, 2012

Our Spain Trip (long overdue!)

Note: This post has been in my drafts for over a year. I'm an awful blogger. Mainly posting so we remember what we did. 

Paul and I went to Spain at the end of May 2011. It was an amazing trip. We flew into Madrid with a layover in Paris. When we landed in Paris, we could actually see the Eiffel Tower way out in the distance from the plane window. We landed in Madrid at about 4pm and headed to our hotel. We didn't need to wait for baggage because we only brought...

 backpacks. Yup. School size backpacks. 10 days and we fit everything in there. It was kind of amazing! So, we landed in Madrid and headed to our hotel. We dropped off our backpacks and left to get food and explore the area.
Random side note: we had forgotten a converter so we went in search of one and happened upon a store where the people only spoke Chinese

The weather was incredible the entire time we were there. It was about 80°F everyday and stayed light outside until almost 10pm.

On Tuesday, we went to ALL the tourist places. We literally walked from one end of the city, back to the other and then back again. 
Plaza Mayor





Templo de Debod

Templo de Debod (isn't it cool??)


The most AMAZING things we ate (and we ate them at least once a day....maybe twice!) These little meringue cupcakes were delicious...a little crunchy on the outside, but chewy and marshmallowy on the inside. 
Yum!
Our Wednesday adventure included flying to Mallorca, an island off the east coast of Spain. The plane flight was quick and the tickets were CHEAP! 



Our "Full English Breakfast"
"Full English Breakfast" is probably not what I imagine when thinking about breakfast, but Paul wanted to try it (i think b/c "Full English Breakfast" was mentioned in a song he likes!). I probably wouldn't go back for seconds!


And this was lunch.../dinner/snack/dessert. The lines were long and everyone was eating HUGE German sausage/hot dog thing. Mallorca is a popular resort island for Germans even though it is a Spanish island. Most things in Mallorca are in German and Spanish.

And since this post has been in my drafts for over a year, it is now going to be mostly pictures...

We went to a nature preserve which sounded really cool, but the only animal we saw was this little turtle.



We rented a car and drove to Alcúdia on Mallorca and explored the old town area. The old town area is really well preserved with houses dating back to the 13th century and an old medieval wall surrounding it.





Spent a little time in Palma, the main city in Mallorca.
Palma Cathedral

Up at Bellver Castle

Bellver Castle

The video below is the view from Bellver Castle. The city of Palma is huge. 
video

The little car we rented on Mallorca

The hostel we stayed at in Mallorca. Only 2 blocks from the beach and $20 a night with our own bathroom. 

Classic beach picture in Mallorca

Back to Madrid. 

Delicious sandwiches in Madrid. The line was out the door and everywhere you looked outside people were eating these sandwiches. So good!

Another Meringue. LOVE

The coolest market. It had a bunch of little shops inside that specialized in certain things. An olive shop, a meat shop, fruit shop, potato chip shop. We spent a lot of time in here!

From the olive shop

The meat shop. Those little cones of meat were about $45 each.

Museo del Jamon with great bocadillos

Sol Station was completely taken over by Occupy-like people.



We went to a bar one night to listen to som really good Jazz. 

Shopping by Sol station in Madrid. 

Leaving. We were sad to go home!

I love Spain and can't wait to go back. Maybe I'll convince Paul to move there someday.