Thursday, September 29, 2011

Only in Rio

We tossed around a lot of spots when we were talking about vacation.  Drew had a kabillion frequent flier and hotel points so we talked about Europe, South America, even China!  We're both beach people so Greece came up, as did Fiji, as well as my first choice, always and forever, France.  As in, the south of.

However, there were just as many restrictions as there were options.  If we could get the flight, we couldn't get the hotel for the same days, or vice versa, or we couldn't get on the same flight, or we'd have to make a ton of stops which was unacceptable with a baby.  In the end, out of all our destination possibilities, Rio won.  I'm dramatically shortening this because it was a straight-up nightmare trying to coordinate flights, hotels, dates and right in the middle of the planning, Drew started getting blown up with interviews so we actually had to push the vacation from August to September, basically starting the whole process over again.  It was so much hassle we almost gave up and had another staycation.  Then we had to get a passport for the baby and visas for all of us and that about made me vomit with how expensive it was.  So much for our free vacation.  And oh yeah, we went ahead and put the house on the market because things weren't hectic enough.

BUT, we prevailed and soon enough it was time to go!
Crossing everything hoping we get first class.
It didn't work.
Please baby Jesus don't let the baby scream her face
off the whole way there.
I look so tired because we were running around last minute 
trying not to forget stuff, which I totally did.
Who forgets swim diapers when you're going to the BEACH??

The baby did wonderfully on the flight.  It was a night flight, thank God so she wasn't too disoriented.  However, she sleeps in complete darkness and that was not happening with the commotion of the meal service, lights, movies and she wasn't sure if she was supposed to be up or asleep or scream so she did all three.  It was only after Drew built a mini-tent over her seat that blocked out light and sound that she finally slept and once she was down, she stayed asleep.  I didn't sleep much because I was constantly peeking under the blankets to make sure she didn't roll off the seat and every time I dozed I jerked awake expecting to find the baby on the floor.  Thankfully, she didn't and after ten hours we arrived in Rio.

It's always so cool to hear the welcome message in a foreign language when you travel.  That first time you hear the language is so wonderfully disorienting and I love it!  For the record, Portuguese is nowhere near similar to Spanish so I was way out of my element.  I could sort of read things but I couldn't make heads or tails of the spoken language.  At one point, I was near tears because I was so frustrated at my inability to communicate because that has never happened to me.  Speaking Spanish and French, I have always been able to get around and be understood so this was all new for me.

I resorted to the point-and-smile when communicating with the driver taking us to the hotel.  Thank God he had a sign with my name on it and he knew where he was going but I felt really helpless and kind of rude when I wasn't able to make small talk with him on the way there.  We sat in silence and checked out the scenery.  It was very industrial and not pretty at all.  I remember thinking I hope our hotel is prettier than this.

Which it totally was!  Palm trees, pretty lobby, friendly staff and I was happy!  It doesn't hurt that Drew is Platinum Executive Admiral Gold Star Professional Traveler with the hotels because we got to use the extra special people line and we got to go straight to the room - with a bottle of wine and plate of cheese as a welcome gift!  Now that's what I'm talkin about!

We slept most of the first day but the second we went straight to the beach.

The hotel had its own beach for the guests and there was a particularly colorful one joining us.  Apparently, the Miss Universe pageant was in Sao Paulo the night before and he was a photographer for it.  They came to Brazil for the pageant but spent a few days in Rio before heading back to the States.  I didn't pay him too much mind until he put on the wig.  I sat up when he put on the sash.  When he put the crown on and started jumping around and posing, I got out my camera.  
Hanging out with Cal, I mean Miss USA

Turns out, Miss USA wasn't very nice.  Let that be a lesson:  don't piss people off or they'll make fun of of you on the beach in Rio.

Not bad for a first day of vacation, right?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It feels so good to be back!

We're home!  We made it!  Sofia survived two ten hour plane rides!  Her parents survived them too!

Rio was amazing and wonderful and I've been sorting and fixing and uploading pictures and videos and I'm laughing because we have a couple hundred pictures and about 20 videos and I'd say 80% of them are of the baby.  

For instance, check out the view from our room.
By that I mean, look at my baby.

Isn't the ocean beautiful?
Or you could look at my baby.
We hung out by the pool.
Look at my baby.
We dug our toes in the sand.
Look at my baby.
We even had some great meals!
Sofia's first solid from Desiree on Vimeo.

I'm kidding I'm kidding!  We did lots of other things, we got some great pictures and I have fun stories to tell!  However, I'm dealing with the hell fun that is re-establishing a schedule so for now I have to run.  

It's good to be home!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Maya remix

I have a love-hate relationship with my dog.  This was one of those times.

I should have left her in the crate from the start

In light of my new status as a 'Desperate Housewife', Sunday afternoon I decided to tackle the the projects on my list - namely my mirror so I only have one project on my list.  Thanks to y'all, I have some other ideas about what to do with my time so I'll keep you posted on that.  But I do want to say to my lovely Gem - Girl is you CRAZY?!  Dog-sitting!!  Come on now, for real though.  You still my girl, but another suggestion like that'll tell you you're crazy again?  I suck at threatening people I know, even if it's just on the internet.

I wanted to be smart about it and I knew that I would have to occupy the dog and she would have to be nearby at all times.  It was really windy out so I set up shop in our solarium at the front of the house, which was really quite pleasant.  Until I began priming and the fumes got me high - which was not as pleasant as getting high is supposed to be.  I felt my lungs disintegrating with each breath and got a headache almost instantly.

But back to the dog.  I pulled out all her chewies, a bone and a toy for her to play with and I set her up on the sofa.

You see me with this bone?  You see how FEROCIOUS I am?

I SMOTHER the bone!  I SMOTHER it!
I even set up some music to soothe the savage beast.

Naively confident that the music and the bones would keep her occupied while I painted, I set up my stuff.

Originally, I intended to paint on the floor of the solarium but quickly realized that Maya was not going to stay put.  Duh.  Ridiculous animals never follow the RULES.

I pulled my mirror out of the front bedroom with a circus announcer's voice in my head narrating. "Watch as our heroine braves the IMPOSSIBLE.  In just a FEW moments, she will brave this EXCEEDINGLY dangerous task for your enjoyment!  Watch now as she attempts to PAINT A MIRROR with a TEN-MONTH OLD DOG running free!  Will she make it?  Will the dog make everything ten times more difficult?  Watch and see!"  Okay, so maybe it was a 1940s radio announcer, but you get the idea.

Big giant mirror, courtesy of the neighbor's garage sale.  $20.
Beading detail.

After moving the mirror to the top of the table? workbench? island thingy? I got started.  I taped off the mirror part and THEN realized that I would have to sand it outside unless I wanted the dog to come in and get sawdust footprints all over the rest of the house.  But I'd have to open the door.  With a giant heavy mirror in my hands.  And no way to restrain the dog.  Put her in her crate, you say.  Well that's too much like right and then I wouldn't have a story!  Plus, I'm lazy.

I successfully took the mirror outside to sand it and it was upon coming back in the house that the dog made her narrow escape through my legs and under the mirror.

She was already loose, might as well take a picture.

Thank God she didn't get far.  She ran across the street and was sniffing around when I was able to distract her with a bone and her leash.  We got back inside and I gave her a stern talking-to.  SIT on the sofa and CHEW YOUR BONE!  DAMN!  I'm going to be an awesome mother - I plan to use those exact words on my children.  Of course, this may be why I don't have children yet.  Who really knows.

With the mirror successfully sanded and painted with the first coat of primer, I took the dog for a walk while it dried.
Maya is doing much better on her walks these days.  I still keep her on a very short leash, she stays at my left and there is no funny business.  She seems to know this and is not nearly as psychotic as she has been.  And THEN the dog gods heard me.

We were rounding the corner, coming back to the house.  The home stretch, if you will.  We'd had a lovely walk, I even jogged a little (a very little) and we were both ready to get back.  Out of NOWHERE this boy dog comes running up, no collar, no leash and no person running behind him yelling for him to come back.  Isn't that how it always is?  There were no neighbors out watering their lawns, no couples jogging by, no CARS even!  And this boy dog with no leash running up on us.  SHIT.

He was fixed thank God.  Intact boy dogs are PSYCHO.  He didn't seem aggressive but dogfights happen in the blink of an eye and I was terrified.  Mostly because Drew would KILL me if anything happened to his dog. 

Thankfully, Maya is very submissive and playful and didn't get all crazy with the boy dog, who was about the size of a full-grown boxer.  Maybe 80 pounds - actually around the same weight as Maya but taller and leaner.  He seemed playful and was posturing like he wanted to play, but I didn't want to take any chances so I tried to pull Maya away from the dog.  However, with no leash the damn thing just followed us, jumping and hopping around us practically begging Maya to play.  She, meanwhile, was pulling on the leash like mad and I alternated between giving her the leash and tightening up.  I didn't want her to feel trapped by the leash if the dog suddenly started fighting her but I didn't want her to get away either.  I kept scanning the sidewalks for the owner to come running, but of course there was no one.

I gave Maya the full six feet of the leash so she wouldn't get agitated and she rolled over on her back in a show of submission to the other dog.  The boy dog started LICKING HER PRIVATES!  What the FUG!  I was happy he wasn't trying to fight her, but, um..... Cesar Millan did NOT talk about this in his books!  She's only ten months old!  She's a baby!  Or something....

I'd had enough of that nonsense - it just ain't right, I tell ya.  I gave a quick tug on the leash and started walking toward the house.  She tugged back and the leash slipped out of my hand.  AW FUCK!  

She took off running after the boy dog and disappeared around the corner.  I stood on the sidewalk for a second before I took off running and screaming "MAYA NO!!!"  

Yeah, so I'm in no way whatsoever a runner and got winded after about twenty feet.  I was all gasping for air, bent over going "*GASP* shit! *GASP* whatamIgonnado *GASP* drew'sgonnaKILLme! *GASP* shit!"

Thank the baby Jesus in his manger in Heaven, she came back!  She came tearing towards me and I braced myself like a quarterback linebacker football player preparing to catch her leash and pray she didn't pull my shoulder out of socket.  85 pounds of puppy came crashing into me, knocking me off my feet.  At least I was on somebody's lawn - which by the way, could they have COME OUTSIDE OR SOMETHING?  I sincerely hope they were gone - how do you not come outside to at least give moral support?

I got hold of her leash, righted myself and marched her back to the house, yelling at her the whole way. Really?  You couldn't just behave?  Why do you have to act like a lunatic when there's another dog?  You're not deprived, you have plenty of socialization, what the hell?  So you just don't care if your daddy kills me huh.  I see how you are, I see where your priorities are.  You'd rather slut it up with that other dog than behave, that's cool.  See if you get a treat EVER AGAIN.

This time I put her in her crate, although it wasn't really a punishment and yes, she got a treat for going in there.  I hate the dog, but I'm not CRUEL.  I put her in there because the fumes were killing me and I had to keep the front door open for the rest of the time I painted.  I figured even if I tied her out, she'd still break free and I didn't need to tempt fate twice in one day.  Or is that three times?

About six hours later, I finished painting my mirror and now I just have to detail the beading part.  My brush was too big for the silver detail so it got on the white part so I have to go back over it to clean it up.
Once that's done, it will live in the breakfast nook where I'll take a true after photo.  Which I probably would have been able to do that same day had I not had to deal with my slut-tastic dog.  She does NOT get that from me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Party remix

One of our more epic nights out!

The Ugly Dress party

Saturday morning we got up early.  Rather, Drew got up early and I dragged ass for an hour after I got out of bed.  We were going to Galveston for the weekend for Steve's 40th birthday party and we were taking the dog.  We've traveled with her before, but I just didn't remember it being this hectic!  I forgot everything and of course blamed Drew.  That didn't make for a pleasant drive down but once I let out all the cranky, I was able to enjoy myself.
I'm so thankful she does well on car rides!
I'm so thankful he does well on car rides!

Drew and Steve have been friends for several years and I just love him!  Steve is such a genuine person and I was really looking forward to the getaway.  And you can never go wrong with an Ugly Dress party!

Galveston is a really cute beach town.  I loved the houses and architecture and was really bummed that we didn't have the chance to drive around and take pictures.  But this was a party weekend and we came to party!  We arrived with a few hours to spare before the evening got started.  After a quick spat(when I'm cranky there's no avoiding a fight - it's best to just get it over with and move on), we were ready to get the party started.  We each donned our ugly dresses for the evening and I started snapping pictures!
The three of us
My ugly dress, courtesy of Thrift World!  
Because when your best friend asks you to put on a dress,
you put on a dress!
These dresses were so fantastically bad y'all!
I mean really bad!
Yikes to the wow!
Steve has only been in Galveston about nine months, yet his apartment was packed with really nice people in really bad dresses!  The whole community there is really close and I was so impressed that they went all out for him.  When it was time to go, we went outside to the pink trolley that was going to take us bar-hopping.
All aboard!
We need one of these in Dallas!

We hit all the fun bars in Galveston - can you imagine a gang of people storming your bar, all in ugly dresses?  We were a sight to behold!
Showing some leg!
Singing happy birthday to Steve
Trying to look sexy on the way to the next spot
I wish I knew what was so funny!
The boys doing their best Romy and Michelle impression
The humidity taking its toll on my hair -
good thing I'm tipsy and I don't care!
As the night wore on, we were picking up everybody!
You didn't even have to wear an ugly dress by then.
Yeah, so that happened.

Unfortunately, I don't remember anything else after this point.  I'm such a lightweight and my cocktails hit me all at once and like a ton of bricks.  Apparently, I passed out laid down on the sofa at the last place and Drew and Patrick took me home.

The next morning, I woke up with a nasty hangover and did a frantic check for my ID, credit card and camera.  I couldn't carry a purse so my cards were in my bra and my camera had been around my wrist.  Thanks to my awesome hubster, I had all three!  He's the greatest!
Now that's a good night!

The next morning, we dragged ourselves to brunch.  We got there early (I have no idea how) and Patrick and I amused ourselves while we waited.
  He wanted to steal this and 'shoot' people ahead of him 
in the brunch line.
Brunch at the Hotel Galvez
Patrick's eggs benedict with chocolate sprinkles.
I almost threw up at the table.

After brunch, we loaded the cars once again and headed to the beach.  It was so much fun to hang out with Drew in the ocean and it was really heartwarming to see how much he enjoyed himself.  He really needed this down-time.  Even though the traveling doesn't really bother him, it's hard nonetheless.  He and Maya had a blast rolling around in the surf.

Right after I took this, I yelled at Drew "You're out too far!"
I don't think she minded - too much.

We all slept like logs when we came home.  We got up for dinner and came right home and went back to bed!  Monday morning I drove Drew to Houston Hobby airport since he had to fly to a meeting in San Antonio before coming back to Dallas.  Poor baby - I need to do something nice for him, he travels so much.

As for me - when I arrived home I had fifty thousand loads of laundry to do, errands to run and get readjusted to home life again.  There were dishes to do, bills to pay, appointments to make and a doggie who needed her shots.  We did that yesterday and that poor animal hates needles almost as much as I do!

We have nothing planned for this weekend - I'm curious to see how long that lasts!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vacation remix

While we're traveling, I thought it might be fun to revisit some past vacations we've taken.  This is the very first vacation Drew and I went on.  We look so young!  It's also kind of fun to see how far I've come as a blogger - I hope you enjoy!

Santa Fe and Curly Hair

First off, let me say I am not pleased because something is wrong with my page. I've posted three times and it doesn't show up on other pages! I don't know what to do and I'm quite vexed (saw Gladiator the other night). Any-who, we went to Santa Fe for the weekend and it was a perfect weekend getaway. We went with another couple and had a wonderful time. It was such a great time that I didn't take a ton of pictures but as promised I went curly and got some great shots. Enjoy!

Drew and Milton

The spa where Drew booked us a couples day - it was heavenly!
It was a Japanese style bath - we had a private room although I'm not sure you can call it a room since it was outside. Super-hot bath, super-cold outside; it was wonderful!

Out and about with curly hair - Drew gets sleepy-eyed when he's had some liquid fun!

Milton's friend Susie - super cool chick!

We also went to Acoma. It's called a Sky City because it's entirely on top of a mesa. They have no running water or electricity, using generators and lanterns for warmth and light. A lot of the adobe structures were the originals! I took lots of pictures here because the view was gorgeous but I won't bore you with them. Drew and I look like such tourists. 
We went to a grotto in the middle of nowhere and someone had built a shrine. The energy there was really intense.
We also went to the Loretto Chapel with the Floating Staircase. Drew wasn't that impressed.
And then we went home!


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