Costa Rica

December started with a trip we had been planning forever and then POOF it was here. We went to Tamarindo, Costa Rica for my college friend Taamy’s wedding to her perfect match Dave. It all started with the card enclosed in our goody bag and ended with some of the best memories I’ll take to the grave.

We flew from Tampa to Atlanta, Atlanta to Liberia, Costa Rica. From there, we took a shuttle about an hour away to Tamarindo, a little surfer town right on the Pacific, close to the Nicaragua-side of Costa Rica. It was so cute and really hopping, with tons of shops, restaurants, and surfer hang-outs. We got to Hotel Pasatiempo, and tried to get a quick nap in before walking around and exploring the place.

Taamy is that friend (we all have one) who can’t wait to start planning her next exotic vacation, who will try anything once and more times if she likes it, who is fearless, beautiful, and fun fun fun. We were so honored to be invited to this intimate shin-dig and we were incredibly emotional to see their love and gratitude for their wedding weekend. Timmy actually had a moment during the ceremony where he couldn’t stop crying, it was really that overwhelmingly touching.

The first night we got there was the joint Bachelor-Bachelorette party at Casa Alang-Alang, the house that Taamy and Dave rented for the week. There was a moment where I was dancing on the side of one of their many infinity pools at the house they were staying at. All of the sudden, I got pushed into the pool, fully clothed. Now, I’m not one for drama, but if there’s ever a reason to get pissed off beyond belief, it would be when a grown ass adult pushes another grown ass adult into a pool fully clothed in a pretty dress.

Well, I did nothing because it was a wedding celebration party for Dave and Taamy and I will NEVER be THAT person who starts fights and takes attention away from the couple. I went upstairs, asked Taamy for a change of clothes, and obviously had to explain what happened, but I left it at that. Taamy and Dave were PISSED. I kept trying to diffuse the situation, but at this point, Taamy had had a few, and you could see the drunk spiral happen a mile away.

The next day, Taamy said she got so mad not because of the alcohol but because she hates when men think they can behave however they want around women because they’ve been drinking. I still think the spiral contributed to how upset she got, but either way, it was unfortunate and I wish it hadn’t happened. The guy who pushed me in however sent me and Timmy a nice bottle of sparking wine with a very classy apology note attached over the holidays, so it’s all good.

It was actually all good the first time he apologized, but I guess Taamy and Dave really let him have it later.

Their wedding was drop-dead gorgeous, their house was UNREAL (I mean it. It was like 10 bedrooms, owned by the guy who started Billabong and who owns Au Bon Pain, 3 infinity pools, and a cliffside view of the Pacific), their wedding vows were real and deep, and we couldn’t be happier that the two of these crazy people found each other in this world. Any opportunity to hang out with my college peeps is the best time ever.

Timmy learned from his Panama mishaps and decided to pack every undershirt he owns and also brought sweat towels. He DID NOT stop getting compliments from everyone on his suit choices and his towel decisions. He was so proud of himself. ūüôā

There was a crazy, “This world is so small” moment we had while getting breakfast at a small place across the street from our hotel. We sat down and Timmy saw that the people next to us had an Oakland hat on. Taamy and Dave currently live in Oakland so it wasn’t a complete jump to assume they were there for the wedding. When we asked, they said no, they were actually on their honeymoon. This was the conversation.

Timmy: “Are y’all here for the wedding?”

Guy: “No, actually we’re here on our honeymoon.”

Timmy: “Oh cool, I thought you were since the bride and groom live in Oakland.”

Guy: “Nope, we live in Florida. We just got married in Orlando.”

Me: “Really?! I live in St. Pete and he lives in Orlando.”

Guy and Girl: “Where?”

Timmy: “Lake Mary.”

Guy: “Dude, I live in Sanford.”

After discussing the streets, they realized that they live 1.2 miles away from each other. WTF.

Then the owner of the cafe came out and said he was from Marietta and went to college at Georgia Southern. I mean, really.

So I’ll leave you with pictures, even though they don’t do any justice to the beauty and fun we had there. These college peeps of mine, god, I love them so much my heart wants to burst. Taamy and Dave, we love the hell out of you.

‚ô•,

VB

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VicTim Bach Bash

Bachelor/bachelorette parties are a funny thing. Sometimes they are just the most incredible, most memorable experiences where the groom/bride are surrounded by their best friends who turn the world over to make it all about them for one night/weekend.

Labor Day weekend was Timmy and my joint bachelor-bachelorette parties. They were joint in the sense that we both had them in St. Pete and planned a Sunday beach field day, but other than that, they were separate.

My weekend was amazing. My friends who I invited that are either in my bridal party or are my best friends in the world couldn’t have made that weekend any more incredibly relaxing, chill, and overall exactly what I wanted. We hung out at the beach which was no joke, about 50 yards away from our Treasure Island house. Or what we called it, the 80s Porn Palace.

Yeah. It’s exactly what you would picture in your mind. In fact, a few of us thought we recognized it from somewhere…:)

My maid of honor Lyndsay, my past roommate of 5 years and one of my best friends in this world, went ABOVE and BEYOND. She shopped, she cooked, she prepared, she planned, she had anxiety, but she did the damn thing. I kept telling her that I didn’t expect her to plan it like how I would plan it, because really, that’s crazy, but man I can’t believe what an awesome job she did. If anyone’s in the market¬†(she may cut me for offering her maid of honor services), she left no stone unturned. I couldn’t have asked for anything better than what she did.

And all my friends! AHHHHHH, they were the best! I had two surprise guests show up who I thought weren’t coming, and my other friends were there for me all weekend. No one complained, no one was dramatic, no one was bitchy, and everyone stayed by my side the whole time. Sure, we were kinda boring, taking naps, and reading books, and laying out, and getting in the water, but we’re in our 30s now. My days of clubbing are over because that’s pretty much all I did in my 20s. No need to re-live the good old days because I’m still having lots of good days now.

We did have a few incidents with someone, but other than that, the rest of us were no-drama, sun-loving, relaxing fools. I love you all, there’s a reason you’re in my life — you make my life happier and brighter, you celebrate with me and you grieve with me, you’re there when I need you and I’m there whenever you need me. Thank you for being you.

Two of my bridesmen (my 3rd couldn’t get on a flight unfortunately) stayed at Timmy’s place and spent the weekend going back and forth between our house, our Saturday night dinner, and their house. I planned a private dining room dinner at Station House Saturday night ¬†in downtown St. Pete where we stuffed ourselves silly and just really really really enjoyed ourselves, went to one bar, then went home to get into our pjs. Sleep was such a necessity that weekend, I’m really glad all my friends are now in the same “I kinda love sleep more than people” space that I am in.

I was so sad to say goodbye to everyone, it was just enough time to get comfortable with my friends, but not enough time to feel like we had all really caught up with each other. Seriously you guys, you made the trip, you took the time and $$ to celebrate my life with Timmy, I’m so humbled and honored and blown away that you would put me first like that. Thank you thank you thank you thank you.

It’s true, the time went by too fast. The weekend shot by like a bullet. And at certain times, I wish that it had been a real bullet directed at a few people who attended the parties that weekend. Timmy’s experience…well, let’s just say, it wasn’t the same as mine. But that’s his story to tell, not mine.

But to end this post on a happy note (because by nature, I’m not a negative person), I love all of you who made our parties a place to celebrate not only our love, but our friendships with you, our bonds, our connections. You spent money on us, you blocked off time for us, you came because you love us. Without y’all’s support, Timmy and I definitely wouldn’t be the people we are today.

‚ô•, VB

Laughs at Theme Parks

It should come as no surprise to you that Orlando is a BITCH of a commute, namely because of the traffic from theme parks. Everywhere you look, theme park, ride, slide, fun thing! And tourists make I-4 a living hell.

Of course, that’s the only way to drive directly through Orlando on the way to St. Pete and to get to Timmy’s place, so that’s always super fun. Thankfully, in order to get my head and spirit out of the funk it was in the last month or so, we’ve been taking a few field trips.

Disney offers FL resident ticket packages regularly, but the most recent deal was just too good to pass up. 3 day-tickets that don’t have to be used consecutively for only $129/person. ARE YOU KIDDING?!?! And even better, we can add on an extra day for $20/person. Unreal.

So of course, we got those tickets, added on a day, and have spent most of our last Orlando weekends taking advantage of Disney. I tried to get us in on weekends that bookend spring breaks so that it would be busy (duh, it’s Disney) but not psycho booked with out-of-towners. And my planning so far has pretty much been spot on.

Our first day, we hit up Magic Kingdom. Thank you Fast Pass, for letting me book 3 rides online. No Thank You Fast Pass, for not showing on the website in bright flashing lights that once those 3 were done, I could find a kiosk at the park and get more fast passes. That would’ve been nice in order to avoid the 80 minute line for the Dwarf Mine Train (which was awesome btw).

Of course, I downloaded our candid photos that turned out to not be so candid because we were prepared to be dorks. Enjoy.

buzz lightyear ride space mountain splash mountainMagic Kingdom

The next day, our friend from high school was in town playing with American Authors for Universal Studios’ Mardi Gras. I had no plans to go because they were playing on a Sunday night, a time I usually spend driving 2 hours home from Orlando. Zac¬†was too sweet and not only got us VIP passes to meet everyone after the show, but he also got us free tickets to both parks.

So hell yeah we went.

We met up with one of Timmy’s friends who lives in Sarasota, and proceeded to roam the parks. The Harry Potter section of the park is still just as amazing as it was the last time we were there, but since then, they opened the Hogwarts Express train that takes you from Islands of Adventure to the Studios park and Diagon Alley.

I may or may not have admitted to being more excited to ride the train than planning our wedding.

Diagon Alley was just unbelievable. Truly 100% crazy cool. We were also able to ride the Escape from Gringott’s ride right before the parks closed, which was hella fun. My ride home at 11:30pm? That was not hella fun, but the weekend rocked, so I can’t complain.

I warn you that my pictures include my fanny pack. I unabashedly rock my fanny pack when we hit the parks because I HATE wearing a purse. It always makes my shoulder/back sweat, and my shoulder always gets sore from the weight. I can’t stand it. So fanny packs, we’re BFFs and I have NO SHAME ABOUT IT.

Next up was Hollywood Studios, which is one of my favorites because they have LEGIT rides there. I normally have to wear a¬†motion sickness patch because I’m old as crap, but I decided to forego it for these day trips because they give me cotton mouth like I’ve never experienced before and they make you super sleepy.

I forgot how quickly you can run through Hollywood Studios, so it’s a good thing we got there around 2p. We hit every ride there AND still made the massive show Fantasmic right before the park closed. We also got to do Tower of Terror twice, which might be one of the¬†biggest¬†natural highs we’ve ever had.

I had a slight sad¬†attack when we arrived though because the large Mickey wizard hat is gone, so there were construction gates all around where the hat used to be. This area is in front of my favorite ride, The Great Movie Ride. Don’t ask me why it’s my favorite. Maybe the innocence of it? Maybe because it’s the only thing I could truly stomach as a child? I’m lame, I know.

Anyways, we both thought that the construction was also for the Great Movie Ride, which meant that it was closed. And I was so sad. Until hours later, we walked around the back and saw the line! So yay, panic over (although I did read that they’re also getting rid of this ride soon…boo).

The Tower of Terror, although it starts tummy rumblings for me whenever I think of that scary ass building, is maybe one of the most fun rides ever. I can’t stand freefalls when you can see how high you’re dropping, but there’s something about the Tower of Terror that gets me every time. You have no idea how far you’re falling, you have no idea when you’re going to fall the entire distance, and the random up-and-down drops make me laugh thinking about it, even NOW.

The two of us, giggling non-stop, after both times, god that was fun. Why would anyone want to do drugs when rides like this one exist? Adrenaline rush much?

After the natural high, we still had enough in us to hit up Downtown Disney and House of Blues with a killer blues band to boot.

[I realize that it looks like I’m wearing the exact same blue top two weekends in a row, but I can assure you it is a different top. And maybe I need to branch out on my wardrobe colors.]

Side note: As a follow up to my last post, it’s no secret that I’ve still been struggling with the marriage thing. I’ve been having massive anxiety issues, still having trouble sleeping, and it’s kind of disrupting this wonderful flow that Timmy and I have. Now¬†I’m looking for some professional help in order to work out these mental issues. No shame in this game. If it’s a problem, time to work on it.

Animal Kingdom and Epcot, we’re coming for you.

‚ô•, VB

The Ending of Summer

That really isn’t an accurate title seeing as how it’s still 85 degrees here in St. Pete every single day. Which probably explains how I had NO CLUE that it was already October, and trips and vacations have completely crept up on me, leaving me a little anxious and overwhelmed. When the seasons don’t change and every day the weather is the same, it’s really difficult to tell that time is passing.

But alas, it’s Fall now, and the only thing different here is that the sun is setting earlier. I can’t complain too much though, I’m still loving the warm weather and the ability to do anything I want outside now that the humidity is starting to slowly (and I mean slooooooowly) fade away. October here always means running around like crazy at work and in life, so I cannot explain how excited I am about our upcoming trip to Italy. A much needed vacation of wine, food, and enjoying our relationship. Coming home fatter is definitely the goal.

The last few weekends have slowed down as far as plans and visiting friends have gone, so it’s time to recap what life has been like lately.

First up, a month ago (good lord), Timmy’s best friends Corey and Magda were in Orlando selling their amazing stand up paddleboards (yes, they were the ones to donate the amazing raffle prize), so we ended up partying the night (almost) away on Friday. It was so fun to feel young again, we hadn’t gone out with friends to drink and watch a band in FOREVER. Was the band my type of band? NOPE. But Corey and Timmy felt 20 years old again, so Magda and I let them have their moment. The rest of the weekend was devoted to online classes for me, super blah.

Next up,¬†Lucie and Mathew, one of Timmy’s best friends, flew down for a quick weekend getaway. I ended up quickly shooing them out of my apartment so we could get to the beach in time to watch a lovely Friday sunset. And man, was it spectacular.

I’m not even sorry that I hurried them out the door. It was necessary to see these views.

We spent a lot of time drinking that weekend as we got out for Local Fresh Brews Beer Fest in downtown St. Pete, which featured only local craft brews. And you know how Timmy and I love our craft beers! We had a great time, until a little snafu with the bouncer and the turning off of a t.v. featuring the UGA football game. We rallied as best we could, but for me, after my first full week with an added self defense class from 8-10pm on Wed. and teaching my class Thurs evening, I was DUNZO.

Full disclaimer: I was not at my best this weekend. I was exhausted and I’m not the best day drinker. Once that sun set, I was pretty much done and couldn’t come up with the proper mature way to express myself. OBVIOUSLY, this started a huge fight between Timmy and I the next morning, which was clearly the last thing you ever want to happen with guests around. We ended up salvaging the day with a really fast beach trip (it started to rain almost an hour after we got there), so again, my apologies to Lucie and Mathew. I hope y’all still had fun, despite my lapse of etiquette.

The following weekend, one of my lifelong best friends came down with her son for a super quick weekend visit. We ended up at another beer fest (duh) which was really family and kid friendly, but Hank was having none of it. Heather ended up taking him back to my place for a little de-stresser, then came back for us in the pouring rain. Poor girl. We were super bummed they didn’t stay, but when momma starts to get stressed because baby is stressed, it’s just better for everyone involved to take a step back.

Timmy and I had a fantastic time at Green Bench Brewery, celebrating their one-year anniversary. We ended up hanging out with the bartender we met the weekend before, and the day culminated with a basketball game in the brewery. That night, the three of us played Cards Against Humanity, and had ourselves a super relaxing, fun night. All in all, not a bad day.

October is in the middle of its annual attempt to break me, so here goes nothing. I don’t plan on resurfacing for a while, not until it’s time for Italy. HOLY COW. ITALY.

‚ô•, VB

Labor Day NAHS Shenanigans

Oh man, this past Labor Day weekend was the freaking best. You know that feeling you get when you and some of your best friends are about to get the fun on? Not every friend or group, but a particular group of friends that you know are going to make you laugh so hard, you may pee a little. Just a little.

Don’t lie. This is exactly how you feel about having fun with a certain group of friends.

That was 100% Labor Day weekend¬†2014.¬†Some of my girls from NAHS (or Nof Atanta, as we like to call it…the Atanta came about because our soccer sweats were all misspelled, I kid you not. The Nof is just cause we ghetto) came down for the holiday weekend and we really packed it in. I of course planned the itinerary because I’m a major control freak ¬†I knew what they wanted to do, which was mainly to chill out.

Crazily enough, this is now the 3rd Labor Day weekend I’ve spent with NAHS ladies in a row. Lindsey’s bachelorette party in Folly Beach, then Jessica’s bachelorette party in Charleston, and now this one in St. Pete. We apparently like getting married and drinking on the beach. Shocking. Unfortunately, there were no hijinks with a certain lingerie gift shower that involved a full body fishnet stocking or blindfolded “kiss the stud” game like at a certain person’s bachelorette (and NO, those picture will NEVER see the light of day. EVER), or poop talk for an entire weekend at another certain person’s bachelorette.

God, I love these girls. I’ve known them since I was 15, and they seriously rock my world. After an extended absence in each others’ lives, we can always come back to each other without grudges, without envy, and support each other through the good times and bad. I’ve seen these ladies come into their own, and I’m so proud. Fighting for who they want to become, securing lives that make them happy, but continuing to want progress and improvement in themselves. So admirable.

And they are funny as all hell.

We used to spend evenings at Starbucks on West Paces people watching, and getting drunk together after “borrowing” mini bottles from the Buckhead Ritz Carlton (don’t ask). We danced on bars. We spent many an hour talking about partners, extremely bad life choices, and crying over all the things we did wrong after college. We also spent a lot of time supporting each other through bad relationships, career changes, getting married, and making babies.

These are my ride or die chicks.

This past weekend, we spent a lot of time in the sun, paddleboarding, drinking, and especially laughing. It was one of my most favorite weekends I’ve ever had. Saturday, we spent the day at Indian Rocks Beach, and loved how we had no men folk to entertain because they can’t sit still for more than 30 minutes at a time. That night, we hit up my favs, 400 Beach and The Canopy. We took a million pictures that came out looking like we were club kids again, mainly because I still don’t really know how to work my fancy camera.

Sunday, we¬†paddleboarded for 2 hours in Ft. Desoto (which of course made my back hurt so bad I was practically in tears on the way back), and took tons of pictures. At some point, there is extremely shallow water, and it’s just a delightful spot to sit and relax. It was hot as hell that day, so we parked it for a few, and made fun of how white Jessica is compared to me. Being ethnic is fun. After that, we¬†went to Madeira Beach for a hot second and ate snacks like we hadn’t eaten in DAYS. After 2 hours in the sun and working out, we stuffed our faces with homemade pimento cheese dip and chicken salad, courtesy of our resident chef, Lindsey. It was awesome.

Early evening, we met up with Jessica’s sister Nancy and her man Miguel at our favorite brewery, 3 Daughters. We sat out the rainstorm, and took a bunch of ridiculous pictures because we’re just like that.

That night, we had taco night at home and had the MOST FUN EVER playing Heads Up. It was also the MOST FRUSTRATING EVER because Jessica is the absolute worst. I’m dead serious. The Worst. Take for instance this exchange:

The card says “C3PO”. I have to make Jessica guess what I’m acting out, with words as long as they don’t rhyme. (Disclaimer: I did get confused and thought I was supposed to do R2D2, but it really didn’t matter because the response was so crazy ludicrous…sigh.)¬†

I start moving my robot arms and say, “BEEP BOOP BOOP BEEP.”

Jessica’s response: “POLISH!”

Her response was Polish. Fucking Polish. TO A ROBOT MAKING THE NOISE BEEP BOOP BOOP BEEP.

At this point, we all fall to the floor in hysterics. No joke, we literally all fell onto the floor, tears streaming down our faces, because of that response. We couldn’t even finish the round before the timer went off, we were laughing so hard.

She is the WORST at that game. Just an FYI. (love you girl)

After that, we played a little Michael Jackson Wii and Just Dance, and talked until 2 AM. Just like high school.

Monday, we fed our inner fat kids and went to Urban Brew and BBQ (which was DELISH), and justlikethat, the weekend was over. I can’t believe it went by so fast. It’s so unfair.

Ladies, I heart your asses. Don’t ever change.

‚ô•, VB