Tuesday, January 29, 2013

3rd Yr Tree

Back to real life after vacations.. I must say vacations in November are tough... especially when you eat a lot on those vacations. We went from eating out breakfast lunch and dinner, more like stuffing our faces- then came home to Thanksgiving and then the holidays. I could not believe it when I got on the scale after the holidays. In fact...I may have even shed a tear. I have surely become a statistic- that person that comes to the gym for a month or two after the holidays and then never comes back. After we got back from the trip and celebrated my birthday, Thanksgiving and our annual Desert Day, we headed up to Idaho to cut down our Christmas Tree and stay with my brother. This was the 3rd year we have gone up to Idaho to cut down our tree. Its such a fun tradition and we hope to carry it on the rest of our lives...well, I was surely thinking an artificial tree would be nice after we always argue when we put on the lights, and then we swept up lbs of pine needles off the hardwood floor. We drove up to Kelly Canyon in Idaho with my brother and two of his kids while Kami stayed home with their youngest.
We had been hiking for maybe 10 min when the kids were begging to go sledding. Russ however, loves to find the perfect tree and could hike in snow for HOURS.
So, Russ and my bro Cody headed off into the woods while I stayed and went sledding with the kids!
It was SO cold. I stayed on the mountain and watched the kids, until my sweet niece Kin offered her sled to me. She has the sweetest heart and is so good to share. So, I am definitely heavier than a 5 year old and a 8 year old, so by the time I got half way down their trail I had a big pile up of snow as I was going backwards and the next thing I know I am pretty much on my head with my legs in the air. It was SO cute to hear nothing but those kids laughing their heads off at me. I forgot how much fun sledding is. We went down that hill I bet 50 times and the boys still hadnt come back.
I heard the boys wistle and down they came dragging our Christmas Tree.
My brother and his cute kids
Our tree! A little tall for our little house but we will make it fit!
And here it is! Without a tree skirt, but it was perfect for our holiday. It smelled so great, and fit perfectly.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


While I was looking for a vacation for us to go on for our anniversary, I saw there were really inexpensive cruises going to the Bahamas going out of Florida where we would be flying in and out of for the Dominican Republic. So we decided to go on a marathon anniversary trip. By the time we left the D.R. we were both really sick from the water or food we ate on Saona Island. Russ unfortunately was a lot more sick than I was at this point. To protect him from being too embarrassed, I will leave out two very funny stories on our way back to Florida. Lets just say one of us was doing a role play to the non English speaking driver, for the other who needed to immediately be pulled over, in a van full of strangers. When flew back to Florida and got to spend time with my dear friend Britt!
We love the Rhodes, and they live such a fantastic life in Florida. Its always a good time with Britt, but with both of us being sick, especially Russ, we werent too much fun for them. But thank you guys so much for having us, and showing us a good time while we were there!!
We had been eating so much crap at the resort and was about to get on a cruise ship where we knew we would shove our faces with food so Britt cooked us healthy meals which we greatly appreciated. Britt took us to Miami where we were going to hop on the cruise ship. We went to a yummy restaurant and walked around Miami. Love ya Britt!
(Side note: Dont you think she looks JUST like the actress Amanda Peet)
Once we were out in Miami, Russ was super under the weather, so we ended up just going straight to the ship to relax. Audios Miami!
He may not have been feeling well, but he pulled it together for Lobster dinner.
We are big picture takers. So instead of me making a few post of the cruise and since I am so far behind on blogging, here is a highlight: One of the Days:
We laid low on the beach since we werent 100% but we still had fun! Russ always wants to walk a million miles down the beach so there is no one around and Im always bugged until we get to the spot where no one is!
Since we were already just laying around, I asked Russ if I could bury him. He was a good sport. Everyone had been posting online that it was snowing back home, so I made a snow man!...out of Sand. And the best part, he just got to lay there and be covered in cool sand.
Dont let the water fool you, it was surprisingly cold.
Heading back to the ship
Every day when we got back on the ship, we would get a Sudoku game out of the game room and watch the sunset as we raced to see who would finish first. I won every time, which is total bragging rights because he is 10x smarter than I am.
Check out the sunset that night!
Another Day:
One year Anniversary pic
I was on my towel reading a book when Russ says, "Hey Chels? Do I have buck teeth?" I looked away from my book to see this:
Only Russ would find these funky looking seashells and be able to make me laugh like he does. He is pretty awesome.
Another beautiful sunset
While on the cruise, the cruise director kept getting us so excited about their "private" island. We were pretty excited to finish off the trip on a private island! Taking the tender out to the island
The cruise lines private island was probably the least private place we have EVER been. It was almost comical.
Russ immediately wanted away from all these people and wanted to go snorkeling, so we went for a walk to find less people!
The island had been hammered by the last hurricane. It was sad to see all the palm trees dead, and all the beaches washed away. But we found a perfect place to sit, think, and enjoy the last part of our trip.
Everyone says the first year of marriage is the hardest. If that is the case, we are fixin to have to mighty fine life because its been awesome!

Monday, January 14, 2013


I have wanted to swim with dolphins for a long time. We somewhat swam with them in the Caribbean a couple years ago, but that's not what I had in mind. I wanted to swim and hang out with them in the water. We decided to cross this off the bucket list and Im so so glad we did. We went a couple hours away from our resort and SWAM WITH DOLPHINS!! It was such a great experience. It was out in the ocean, instead of some little pen these poor animals are cooped in. I think the people that ran the show must have known how excited I was because they were building the anticipation by making me watch birds ride bikes.
And then took us over to a show and had this guy give us a kiss. But that was actually really fun.
On our way out to the dolphins!!!!
It was so cool because the dolphin trainer was from Australia, so she spoke English! It was awesome. I was obsessed with those animals. I could have stayed out there all day. It was a fantastic experience. I learned so much about them and had a permanent smile out there. It was somewhat intimidating being in the dark ocean not seeing anything around you and not being able to touch. The instructor would say, K start swimming and I will tell you when to stop. So you are in the ocean just swimming and all the sudden there are 2 dolphins next to you. SO scary and SO incredible!!! We did lots of fun things with them, but Russ put his foot down on buying on the pictures so this is what we have captured!
On our way back. I wish I could have stayed there all day. Cody my brother and his family know what a killer dolphin impression Russ does in water. It will make you cry you will laugh so hard. We didn't have the thought until after we were out of the water, but this will do. Kemp family...you know what Im talking about.
One of the best days ever :) It was on the bus ride back to our resort where we started feeling sick..uh oh.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Saona Island

We had heard about a little island an hour boat ride away from our hotel so we decided one day to head out there. So glad we did, it was beautiful! The morning we were going, we woke up really early to have breakfast and had a little bit before we were going to be picked up so we went and hung out by the pool
Waiting in the lobby for our ride
There was a really cute older couple with us from Chile and they were so nice! Even though we had a huge language barrier we still had each others backs and took pictures of each other the whole day. The man tried his best to help us understand things since he spoke Spanish. They drove us down a little rocky road and tried to sell us cigars and finally left us at the beach waiting for our boat. It was So hot.
Just before we reached the island, the boat stopped in the most beautiful water ever. the water was so clear and there were Star Fish everywhere! You could swim 15 feet and there were new ones. Big ones, small ones...it was so awesome! Ive never held live star fish.
What better place to kick back and sip on some Coke?
It was so cool to be so far out in the ocean and far from shore, but still be in waste deep clear water.
Call Me Maybe?
We made it to the island and went exploring!
Russ saw this weird sea shell sticking out of the ground and dug it up to find a Conch!
They told us that on the island we would have free drinks. What they didn't tell us, was that it was alcohol. Since we don't drink, we had some water that was supposed to be safe, but we are pretty sure, this very water in our hands is what made us sick for the next 2 weeks after this picture was taken.
It was either the water we drank, or this food that made us both really sick. Sometimes a picnic and strangers in swimming suites just don't mix.
After unknowingly poisoning ourselves with bad food/water, we went for a dip here:
A month before we left on this trip, I had a work trip in Florida and my hotel was right on the beach. Before or after work, depending on my work schedule, I would lay out or swim by the pool. I learned a very good lesson on the importance of applying sunscreen evenly. So, if you are wondering why my armpits are so nicely tanned, its leftovers from this:
Lesson learned. What is a vacation and trip to the beach without an appearance from the famous red speedo? That's right, Dominican Republic is no different.
We are pretty sure after this trip that that famous red Speedo just might be a pair of underwear, and not swim wear. We aren't sure (Im almost certain that thing wasn't made for swimming). Soaking in the last few minutes before we had to leave.
We rode a big colorful catamaran back to the main island and it was such a nice ride. I didn't get sea sick, the sea breeze was perfect and it was so nice to sit and relax and watch a bunch of drunk people dance and walk around a moving boat.
As we were in the middle of the ocean, the captain came and tied these little dew rags on our heads. He walked away and I thought...hey! Finally after spending a lot of money on this boat trip they give you a souvenir! Then like 20 min he came back and said we could only keep them if we paid him $5 each. Ahh, I should have known!
After we gave our dew rags back to him, we laid on the very front of the boat with our heads hanging over the front watching the water pass. We found these flying fish that would jump out of the water and fly forever! We started timing them and did this the whole way back. Good way to end the day.(Our nice friend from Chile came and tapped on our shoulder and asked for our camera to take this picture. I thought that was so thoughtful).