Come sail away...

Last week we went on vacation! In celebration of our anniversary and paying off our student loans recently, we decided to get away and explore for a week. We went on a cruise, and had a great time together, here are some pictures!

The first day, we stopped in St. Thomas and took a taxi to a local beach. We snorkeled off the the beach and were able to see some pretty cool fish.  The water was so clear and as warm as bath water.  I seriously floated around and played in the water for hours like a little kid.

On day number two, we stopped in Dominica, which was Ryan's favorite island. We hiked with a small group to a waterfall that was about 300 ft tall and swam in the pool at the bottom. It was gorgeous, and I loved seeing all of the different flowers and plants.  Once we reached the waterfall, we had to climb down to the pool at the bottom where Ryan then climbed up the other side and jumped off into the pool.  I was perfectly content watching the action from the water, but what I cool experience.

That night we had one of our formal nights. It was fun to be out all day in the jungle, and then clean up and head to a nice dinner. And I also enjoy any opportunity to see Ryan in a handsome suit :)
On day three we went to Barbados.  We took a taxi to the Malibu rum factory for a tour and relaxed on their beach all day.  I think we were the only visitors actually interested in the tour, but I am a manufacturing nerd, and couldn’t resist.  Being the nerd that I am, I thought it was photo worthy that we had to wear hard hats for safety, but my flip-flops were perfectly fine?
Day four we stopped in St. Lucia. We took an hour or so car ride around the island to get to a volcano!  It seemed that every place we stopped along the way had a fantastic view. I loved seeing all the mountains mixed with the beaches. Once we reached the volcano, we dove right in to the mud-baths. Apparently the mud from the volcano contains a lot of sulfur (which smells great…), and is good for your skin.  My skin did feel smoother, but I was also finding mud everywhere the rest of the day!  But I can now say I’ve had an official volcano sulfur mud bath.

I think I am up to day five now, with was in St. Kitts.  Honestly, I had never heard of this island before we booked the cruise, so I was very curious.  We decided to take it easy and took a self-guided tour of downtown Basseterre.  All of the islands have so much culture from being “owned” by so many different European counties throughout history.  Anyway, it was fun to explore a little, but it was very hot and the pool on the boat was calling our name…



Day six, our last day on the boat, we rented a jeep and drove around the island of St. Maarten/St. Martin.  The island is half French and half Dutch, so we wanted to see both sides.  We visited several beaches, walked through a large market, snorkeled, and discovered an old French fort.



And this, sadly, brings me to our final day of vacation.  After we left the boat, our flight home didn’t leave for a while…so we did some more exploring!  Our cruise started and ended in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which is a really cool place!  One of my favorites of the whole trip actually.  There was a ton of Spanish architecture, and the town of San Juan is so colorful.  And, we visited another fort!  The fort is huge, and pretty much encircles all of San Juan.  This was a very educational day, and we were definitely worn out and ready to be home by the end of it!



If you made it all the way to the bottom of this, thank you for reading!  We had a great time, and had so much fun just the two of us :)


Try a sip, it's delicious!

For Christmas, our gift to Ryan’s parents was a trip down to Oliver Winery for some wine tasting and a picnic.  We were waiting for the weather to warm up a bit, so we had Christmas in May!  It was a rainy day, but we had a great time.  They have some very pretty gardens at the entrance, and I had some fun taking pictures.  I love these purple ball flowers (if you can’t tell by all of the pictures)!



 DSC_0926 After I was able to move on from the gardens, we went inside to the testing counter.  They have all kinds of wine, from California grapes as well as local grapes.



After the testing and the tour, we purchased a bottle and headed out to the patio to enjoy lunch with our wine.  The winery has really nice picnic areas and a pond.  It was raining, so we were trying to stay up top under the awning, but it was still a great afternoon.  Ryan packed a delicious lunch!

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And of course on the way out I had to take a few more pictures :)



So, come to find out, the owner of our house planted several peony bushes in the backyard and they are starting to bloom!  They are gorgeous and put a smile on my face every time I go outside.  Good choice Mr. Landlord!

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And a few roses too :)


We finished!

Well, we survived the race.  It was a very chilly and windy morning, but, we finished!  Here is one of my only pictures of the race…Kathy (Ryan’s mom) and I are about to finish. 





Mother’s Day 2010

I stayed in Cincinnati for Mother’s Day to spend some time with my fabulous mom!  Molly made a delicious breakfast, we played some games, and then headed to Alms Park.  The park is in the middle of the Tusculum neighborhood just outside downtown (which I am currently in love with, but more on that later).  Even though it was another chilly and cloudy day, the park was beautiful.  It reminded me a lot of Ault Park, but anyway, it was very pretty and had a killer slide on the playground (sorry, no pics of that).


Image05092010135354 Me and Miss Molly


We thought a jumping photo would be fun…


and another (I can not make my face not do that when I jump)…

Image05092010135613 and Dad wanted in on the fun :)

So I mentioned that I really loved the Columbia-Tusculum neighborhood…  It has a bunch of old Victorian style houses that are starting to be brought back to life, and with some crazy colors!

Columbia Tusculum Cincinnati

And being only a couple miles from downtown would be fun as well.  I should also mention there is a local coffee shop right at the bottom of this hill…making it just about perfect.


What a great day to celebrate Mom!



Ryan and I are running the 500 Festival half marathon tomorrow, yikes!!  I’m a little nervous, but lets hope the rain this evening moves quickly so we can have a nice dry run tomorrow!  (and if you aren’t running, I would avoid the downtown area like the plague tomorrow :)  )

Happy Hour at the Symphony

Last night we went to see the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, which was a first for both of us.  Ryan had tickets through work, and it really was a blast (once I actually arrived after fighting a ton of traffic).  Beforehand they have happy hour with free drinks and appetizers, followed by a show which was very entertaining!  They were featuring a group called “Time for Three”, who describe themselves as a garage band with a little classical training.  They were a ton of fun, and I’m hoping to catch them again at the Symphony on the Prairie.  My goal is to actually make it to a performance this summer!


(“Time for Three” from the ISO website)


LEAP Symposium

So, this past week was our annual LEAP (my rotational development program at work) Symposium!  Symposium is a fancy word for putting us all in a conference room for a week to learn about leadership skills and change management.  We also had some pretty great opportunities to meet senior leaders in the company and ask them a million questions.  Oh, and I think I gained 10 lbs because we ate...a lot…  Anyway, I am thankful for the experiences and I think I learned a lot about being a good leader and adapting to change, which can apply both to my job as well as life.
We spend a lot of time in this conference room…

Out at dinner one night, I actually learned how to play darts!


We did get out of the office one day to do a ropes course, where we actually had to climb to the top of a 30ft pole and jump off.


The group.

At the end of the week we had to present to the president of our sector what we have learned over the past two years in the program.  A little stressful, but I think it went well.  But I survived, and I’m really thankful for the opportunities I’ve had through this program so far!


Mom, don’t look!

looking for Mother’s Day gifts?  Just an idea…

If you want to hear more about them, check out Katie’s blog



Last week we headed to Earthhouse for the OKGO concert. Remember the guys with the treadmill video? Was I the only one with friends that watched this over and over again?

Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and Ryan and Dan ended up participating with some tambourines!


Adios Amigos!

Saturday night we also celebrated with our friends Parke and Quinn and their trip to the Czech Republic for the next month and a half.  They will be working with local missionaries there to continue English lessons and building relationships with people in the city of Prague.  We are sad that they are leaving for the summer, but so excited for the adventure God has prepared for them!  It has been so fun talking with them over the past few months about what God is teaching each of us in the world of missions.  Parke actually has a blog if you are interested in following their trip.  Thanks guys for being such an encouragement to us as well!


Children’s Museum

This morning Ryan and I were up pretty early and headed to one of my favorite places…the Children’s Museum!  They were giving free admission to the first 1,300 people, so we made sure to be there!  I’ve been wanting to go see the Barbie exhibit, and it was pretty great!  They had all sorts of activities to design outfits for Barbie, and Ryan was a good sport.



Did you know Barbie has had like 175 careers? I thought this was pretty funny, Computer Engineer Barbie with her pink laptop!



Working the Barbie reception desk…


And we finished off the day with the classic boat building station.  You can build a boat and watch it sail.  Mine actually sank, but only after a little girl stole my sails!