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Saturday, February 24, 2018

Date Night Away

A couple weekends ago I was going into my Saturday and Sunday with a huge meeting weighing on me.  I mentioned to Hendrik Friday night that if my meeting on Saturday morning went well and we were plan and duty free for the weekend if he wanted to skip off to Dallas late Saturday afternoon.  The new Fifty Shades movie had hit theaters and we could go to a fancy big city movie theater and grab an artsy hotel for the night before heading home Sunday.  I made the stipulation that I ONLY wanted to go if my meeting went in my favor because otherwise I just wouldn't be able to enjoy myself.

To my huge relief and to my sanity my meeting went AMAZING and as soon as I got in my car I called Hendrik to give him the news and confirm that he still wanted to head to Dallas that evening.  I was planning on leaving around 6 and that would give us plenty of time to get to a hotel and a late show of the steamy new movie.

Hendrik's work schedule was really slow on Saturday due to weather so he was home early and we were able to head out around 4:30.  I found us an awesome room at the Lorenzo, a really modern artsy hotel in downtown Dallas.  I had driven by this hotel many times and couldn't wait to see it.  We got all checked in and up to our room by 6:45 pm.  I took some pictures and booked us an Uber to the movie theater.

this was on the ceiling
We headed downstairs to wait on our Uber...this was my first time using Uber and it worked out perfectly.  I panicked a bit in the beginning trying to figure out the app as neither of us had ever used it.
Hanging out in the lobby.

This entire weekend was full of firsts...our first time staying at the Lorenzo, our first time using Uber, and also our first time seeing a movie at a Studio Movie Grill.  

The drinks were really tasty but the food was bland.  I could see the allure if we lived around Studio Movie Grills and we really wanted to see a movie but were short on time.  Seeing we don't live near any we would actually have to make plans to visit one and I wouldn't do it again....I don't think.  It maybe fun for a girls night but I think I would rather eat and enjoy conversation at a regular restaurant and see a movie at a normal theater.  I didn't find it was disruptive just not great food.  

As far as the movie its self...omg it was perfect.  It makes me want to re-read the books for the THIRD time.  After the movie we Ubered our way back to the hotel and crashed.  

Sunday morning we woke up from a not so great sleep.  Our hotel room was super hot and we both tossed and turned a lot trying to get comfortable.  We had a birthday party Sunday afternoon early so we were packed up and sitting at a cozy table at Jonathan's in the Oak Cliff neighborhood in Dallas.  I found this place online and OMG...it was perfect.  It was packed, only allowed you a party no larger than 4 due to space, and the food looked amazing.

Hendrik got the peppered biscuit and chicken with breakfast potatoes.  

I got the all in one waffle which is a waffle loaded down with gravy, sausage, eggs, green chilies and hot sauce and probably more stuff I just can't remember.  I would definitely go back and try other items on this menu!

It was quirky, quaint, hipster, and a little Sunday morning adventure that topped off our night out on the town.  After our breakfast we headed home and just in time as the weather was getting pretty bad in Dallas and we would have been stranded there most of the day otherwise.  I'm so glad we acted spontaneous and enjoyed a night out trying new things!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Insta Dump #46

January instagram was pretty sparse or so I thought before putting this little collage together... I was really busy with work all month long but we did manage to get in some good activities.

Happy New Year// recapping Mexico trip// killer mode// new hair// Bas Rutten MMA // nothing better than clean house// workout done at 6am// booked El Salvador vacation// new rash guard// stuck at work with my face mask on// nighttime working all month long// Kid Rock concert

Friday, February 16, 2018

6 Podcasts You MUST to Listen to

Over the past six months to year I've spent a lot of time in my car running errands for the businesses and also going to Dallas for repairs and appointments.  In that time I have come to really love podcasts.  Below are 6 podcasts that I'm completely in love with or just trying out but so far they have me intrigued so I'm still listening. 

I've only listened to one episode of this podcast but it was the episode that Sophia interviewed Sarah Jessica Parker and I LOVED it.  So much so that I went ahead and subscribed so I can listen to a few more to decide if I really want to invest fully. LOL  I found this podcast from a recommendation from another blog post and decided to give it a listen as I read Sophia's book Girl Boss and really enjoyed it.  She is an inspiration to all women and very empowering.  

I've been listening to Young House Love since the beginning so like almost 2 years now as they are on like episode 84!  I started listening to their podcast because I loved and followed their blog for years and love the advice they give on renovating and decorating.  They are DIY king and queen plus always have interesting tid bits that aren't all about home stuff on their podcast.  If you are into decorating and DIY you should try them.  

This podcast is fairly new but I've listened from the beginning.  I have followed and LOVED Celeste for years now.  I started following her when I got into fitness heavily several years back. She's the creator of my awesome booty scrunch leggings that I wear pretty much daily at the gym.  She is unfiltered, un-glamorous, and just awesome.  She's been through some tough times over the past year and holds nothing back. She's going places and I love listening to her transformation and helping empower and educate women on all things entrepreneurship and randomness. Laurin Conlin is her co host and is also in the fitness industry.  She is so smart and has some great opinions that she brings to the podcast.  They talk on a variety of topics so there is something for everyone on this one.  

I was on the hunt months ago when I really started driving a lot for a travel podcast and I can't remember how I found this one...probably from a blog but I found it and gave it a listen.  It was hard for me to get into it at first as both Ryan and Amanda's voices were really like pot heads LOL it was hard for me to sit and listen but I found a few really interesting episodes which made me get sucked all the way in.  Before I knew it I had gone back to the beginning of their podcast and listened to all the episodes.  Right before New Years I got completely caught up to date and it was horrible I felt naked.  LOL Then to make matters "worse" they took a two week recording break for the holidays.  Now it is a weekly release and I save my weekly podcast for the end to really savor the listen and like currently I'm an episode or two behind since I've been test driving a few others which is awesome.  Hopefully next week I can binge my backed up episodes.  The reason I love this podcast is because I can literally follow along for an hour with them and daydream along their adventures.  It is not unknown that I am passionate about travel so any perspective and tips I can get about how to be a better traveler and learn about new locations is something I'm all on board with.  

I stumbled across this podcast around 2 months ago when I was hoping to find a new season of Serial but I wasn't so lucky on that front.  I did find this true crime 6 episode podcast about a real crazy in California that spun a web of lies and trapped so many woman.  It was really interesting and makes you realize that when you think you love someone love is truly blind!!! and DUMB! If you are a fan of Serial then you will for sure enjoy the quick listen.  It does jump around a bit and is a little hard to follow in the beginning but if you stick it out you'll get the flow of things.  

I found this podcast after I got caught up on The World Wanderers and was on the hunt for a travel escape.  She doesn't put out as consistent episodes because I think she travels a lot and blogs and podcasts on the side but I've listened to several episodes and want more.  As a solo female traveler she offers a unique and interesting perspective that I enjoy.  

All of these podcasts can be found on iTunes.  If you have any good podcasts that you love please let me know, I'm always open to try new ones.  Also if you give any of these a listen please let me know what you think. 

Book Review: Origins

I was just cruising Amazon a while back and stumbled onto Dan Brown's new book a week from when it had been released.  I had to grab it up and put all other reading on hold as I knew it was going to be amazing.  I have read all of his other books like the DaVinci Code, Angel's and Demons, and Inferno which are all other Robert Langdon novels as well.  Add the love of those past books with the love I have for the movies and this read was a no brainer!  The reason I love the Robert Langdon series of novels by Dan Brown is because they mix history, art, and travel all together in a realistic way.  They also really make you think about religion and science in a way that can always work together but brings up many questions.  I don't know how many times...but there was several...that while reading this book I stopped reading to head over to the Internet to research some of the artists, history facts, and areas in Spain that were key features in the book. These books are quite long but so worth the read.  Such a good book that I hated to finish...my hope is that there will be a movie adaptation!!!  Check out the Amazon synopsis below then head on over and get your copy..NOW!

Bilbao, Spain
Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.
     As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.
     Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.
Origin is stunningly inventive—Dan Brown's most brilliant and entertaining novel to date.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

After a long day....

Being an adult is hard work and after a long day with emails, deadlines, and all the duties of life I love winding down before it starts all over the next day.  Over the years I have found that a nightly routine of relaxation is key for washing away my stress and no matter how late I get in or what I have going on I always manage to get in these things.  

A cup of tea is perfect especially on those cold nights.  I love a good cup of mint tea!

I love essential oils and over the past few months have become addicted to this Good Sleep blend of essential oils.  I put a little in my bath each night and I can really tell that after breathing in and soaking for 20-30 minutes I sleep so much better.  

Taking a scolding hot bath filled to the brim of the tub is ESSENTIAL!  We have a huge, deep tub that I love.  Give me a good travel magazine and I drift off into a travel dream state!  

I love my nighttime routine and how it is my own few minutes of personal time each night to really unwind and enjoy some quiet.  What do you do after an especially long day...or any day for that matter?

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Mexico: A Long Weekend

Back in 2015 I surprised Hendrik with a birthday getaway to Cabo and I think after our trip this year it will become a tradition of sorts.  As of August of this year I didn't plan on going on any more trips but Hendrik wanted to take one more long weekend away before Winter set in and we got bogged down in 4th quarter and holiday madness.  We decided to go around his birthday to get away for relaxation and celebration purposes so that meant I needed to really get on the ball and renew my passport.  He for sure wanted to go surfing and wanted a short direct flight so we decided on Cabo, even though we had already been there a couple years prior.  

I booked our 4 night getaway through Expedia.  

How we got there:  We had a direct flight, 3 hour travel time, leaving from DFW to Cabo through American Airlines.

Where we stayed: On short getaways I usually try to get us an all-inclusive hotel so we don't have to waste what few short days we do have hunting down good food.  This time around we stayed on the furthest Western point of Cabo at the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort and Spa.

Thursday September 14, 2017

Although we had a short, direct flight right into Cabo our flight was delayed 1 1/2 hours but we still managed to arrive in Cabo around 3:30 that afternoon instead of 2 like we should have.  I was a little bummed because by the time we got our rental car and drove 45 minutes to the hotel we had spent up most of the daylight.  We had to wait a while to get checked in.  It seemed everyone was checking in/out at the same time probably due to the flight delays.  We got checked into our room and since we had been traveling all day decided to make reservations for an early dinner at 6:30.  

waiting for our flight

Side note: I have decided to start traveling with ONLY carry on baggage.  When we decided on taking this trip I jumped at the chance to get the travel backpack I've had my eye one. The Osprey Farpoint 55 is a 55 liter travel backpack and boy I LOVE it!  I will admit that given its size it will be a challenge to fit everything I need or THINK I need on those longer trips but I'm going to make it work.  

Peace out Dallas see you soon Cabo
Our hotel was beautiful and not crowded at all...the best part of coming to Mexico in the Fall...no one is here! 

We ate dinner at the Peninsula restaurant at the resort that had Baja cuisine.  We started out with a  bread basket, both had the octopus as an appetizer and we also both had white bean soup that was so good with the truffle oil.  For my main dish I got the pesto pasta and salmon and Hendrik got the grilled shrimp and black bean puree. 

bread basket with dipping oil and butter
grilled octopus
white bean soup
pesto past and salmon
grilled shrimp and black bean puree 
What our resort looked like....  We had a little daylight left after dinner so I took this time to take a tour and document.  Also my camera was taking all of its pictures UPSIDE DOWN so getting any picture was a challenge.  Thankfully when I uploaded them they auto corrected themselves.  I had been having the problem on and off for about a year and it made its self permanent on this trip. It was so aggravating but I'm glad that when we got home I was able to get it fixed.  

We ended the day by unpacking and tucking into bed early so we could be well rested for the rest of our trip. I don't know about you but no matter the time frame or how long the flight traveling is exhausting.  

Friday September 15, 2017

One of our main goals on this trip was to find some surfing in Cabo.  I had done my research prior to our trip and found that North of Cabo about an hour is the best surfing during this time of year but our rental car people told us something different.  Hendrik wanted to see what the rental car company's advice was all about so after getting up and ready around 8:30 that morning we had a breakfast buffet and coffee seaside before grabbing our rental car and heading across Cabo to Chileno Bay.  We checked out the surf at the Surf Hotel but Hendrik decided it was too rough. The waves were coming in one after another and just didn't look like something we were ready to conquer or that would be fun trying.  We loaded back up and decided to spend the rest of the day at the hotel by the pool and beach.

To get to our hotel we had to drive a crazy curvy road up and down the backside of the mountain and the views were breathtaking.  On our way back to the hotel from the surf spot we stopped so I could take pictures, which of course don't do it justice at all.  

When we got back to the hotel we sunned, read, and ate by the pool until around 3.  We could feel ourselves getting pretty crispy so decided to go check out the spa facilities and book some appointments.  Something that has become customary on our beach trips is to visit the resort spa at least once for a massage.  It is something we both love and seeing that beach vacations are all about relaxation visiting the spa makes perfect sense.  We booked Swedish massages for ourselves at 5 and then 6 pm.  Before we had them we headed back to the room to rest a little and make dinner reservations as well.  I got my massage first at 5 and while Hendrik was getting his I got ready for dinner and met him back at the spa before heading over to Pescados sushi restaurant for dinner.  

For dinner we both started with the spicy tuna wantons and shared several different rolls.  We got tuna sashimi, salmon raw roll, spicy tuna roll, and a specialty roll called Pacifica.  We went all out and even shared a fried rice ice-cream for dessert before heading back to our room.  

spicy tuna wanton

specialty roll- Pacifica
tuna sashimi
spicy tuna roll
raw salmon rolls

Saturday September 16, 2017

On Saturday I woke up earlier than Hendrik and wanted to enjoy several cups of coffee before breakfast so I got dressed for the day and headed down to the breakfast area to sit out on the beach and have coffee.  Hendrik met me down when he got up and ready and we had breakfast before heading off for our day.  After breakfast we headed to downtown Cabo to explore and the streets.  We window shopped in the mall, I got some new Ray-Bans, and I got a few tops at some market stores.  Hendrik got a coconut ice cream before we drove North to the local surf spot I had researched.

We drove about 45 minutes North up the Baja Peninsula through the mountains.  The drive was so pretty getting glimpses here and there of the ocean as the road twisted and turned.  We drove to a public beach area that was filled with locals called Cerritos.  Once we parked and changed into our swimsuits in the car we talked to a couple surf board rental booths that were set up near the beach.  We worked out a price and lined up a couple instructors to give us refreshers then headed over to the beach side restaurant to grab some lunch. 

I had fish tacos and Hendrik got loaded nachos.  If we had known how much food they were going to bring us we probably would have just shared one dish since we were going to get in the water and surf the rest of the day.  We left STUFFED!

fish tacos
After lunch we headed back to the surf board shack and grabbed some boards and headed out with an instructor for a 1 1/2 hour refresher course.  We both surfed a ton and probably in all reality didn't need a lesson but it had been a year since we had surfed and that was in Bali.  Both of us paddled and did the entire process on our own and surfed a good bit with and without an instructor.  Once the instructors headed off we got set up on the beach and took turns watching the bags and surfing.

There was a really bad storm and hurricane around 10 days prior to us going down to Cabo and the results of the storm were all along the beach.  We surfed our hearts out and packed up around 5 to head back to our hotel.  Not only was the tide coming in and the waves were becoming un-surfable I wanted to be heading back in the daylight so I could get more pictures.  

On our way back to the hotel we saw some kids playing soccer on a dirt field and I had to stop and take pictures I really wanted to stay and watch and go sit with the locals but Hendrik wanted to keep going.  At the top of a big hill/mountain before the crest and the downward spiral to our resort you can see over the entire local community and I thought all the different colored rooftops and just the entire scene was so pretty.  We were wet from surfing and I was barefoot but had to get out and take more pictures.  I must have got a little shard of glass in my foot because later that night and the next day my foot was SO sore.  

When we arrived back at the hotel I wanted to be sure and catch the sunset so we made reservations for a late dinner and changed clothes quickly before heading down to the beach side bar to watch the sunset and also watch a wedding that was going on!  

After our romantic sunset viewing we had dinner at the Baja cuisine restaurant again.  I had the sea bass appetizer and Hendrik had the scallops.  We also both had the white bean soup again and when Hendrik finds something he likes he sticks to it so had the grilled shrimp he had the first night.  I tried something new and ordered the squid risotto which wasn't too great.  

sea bass with relish
white bean soup
squid ink risotto 
After dinner we headed to the room to shower and crash into bed....we were worn out from all the surfing and a day full of adventuring.  Today was my favorite day of our entire trip and I know why...its the reason that the days like today are always my favorite and why I continue to travel and explore.  Today was one of those days that travel is made for...exploring new places, hanging with the locals, eating fresh food, and just seeing Baja for what Baja is.  Don't be afraid to leave the resort, try the new dish at dinner, or take pictures over the city barefoot.  It makes for the best stories and travel experiences and leaves me wanting more of the world.  

Sunday September 17, 2017

Sunday was our last full day before heading home and the resort was pretty much shut down.  The weather reports predicted a huge storm hitting Cabo so for the most of the day the beach chair cushions and anything extra that could be blown about was stowed away for safety.  Although it was overcast and really windy most of the day we never had any bad weather.  We had heard of the bad weather the night before so I went ahead and booked myself a vitamin C spa treatment for Sunday morning.  I got up and went down to breakfast and coffee alone so I could make it to the spa.  After my spa appointment I headed back to the room to find Hendrik and we grabbed some things to enjoy all afternoon by the pool.  We went back and forth between 2 different pools and had snacks poolside.  We headed back to our room around 4 and we both ended up taking a nap.  

rocking my new Ray-Bans that I grabbed in the mall yesterday...Hendrik hated my aviators so he got me these! I love them.

After our nap and sushi dinner we used the rest of the evening packing up and lounging before traveling back to our scheduled programming the next day.  

Monday September 18, 2017

D Day...Departure Day!  We got up around 6:30 Monday morning to be sure we had time to get breakfast before we left.  We had plenty of time, ate breakfast, and checked out of our room before returning our rental car and getting a shuttle to the airport.  We got to the airport waaayyy early which is normally the case when we are heading home.  We were even there in time to catch the earlier flight to Dallas but was going to cost so much money to change flights.  I have no clue why they do that....if they have room and I've purchased a ticket what does it matter what plane we are on...the likely-hood of them selling those seats are slim to none...but whatever!  We made it home safely ready to rock on to work on Tuesday.

All in all a great getaway with my great husband.  Although I'm not big at all on traveling to the same place multiple times I could see myself making Cabo a tradition around Hendrik's birthday for us.  It is always just a long weekend and we can find new things to make the same place interesting.  It is also usually the last time of the year that we are able to get away so I'm ok with it!  As long as he keeps going new places with me I'll allow it ;)!  Onwards to the next adventure.  

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