Speaking Jose…


Jaime visited us this week
July 6, 2009, 4:03 am
Filed under: Family, Pictures | Tags: , ,
me and my brother.

me and my brother.,
originally uploaded by jaimephoto.

Jaime and his friend Vale visited us this week for a couple of nights while driving from San Francisco to Philadelphia. While they were visiting I asked Jaime if he could take a couple of pictures of us, and next thing you know he and Vale have a photo studio setup outside the house. We had a great time with them and hope to catch up with Jaime soon.



Day 5 in the Bahamas: Still Cold but with a surprise twist!
March 6, 2009, 3:31 am
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Cold. That is the best way to describe our day today. Although the weather reports made it sound like it was going to be a partly cloudy day in the low-70’s, they neglected to mention the 20 mph winds and the solid cloud layer blocking out our friend the sun.  We made a brave effort to walk around and wait out the clouds by visiting the Marina area, but it was just too cold. 

The surprise occurred on the way back to our room before lunch. As we are nearing the elevator area we almost run into three people, two carrying large cases and one a woman trying to put on a sash or something as she walked. Now you would think that you could identify Miss Universe just on the basis of looks and the entourage, but the sash really helps nail it down. It was one of those weird moments where the brain and the rest of body took a couple of minutes to catch up with what was going on around me. After Kristen picked up my jaw off the floor we went upstairs to drop off our stuff. Apparently Miss Universe was in town to do interviews about the 2009 Miss Universe pageant being held at the Atlantis.  

After that bit of excitement we returned to our room and relaxed for the afternoon, the excitement of the previous few days had caught up with us and I ended up taking a three hour nap.  For dinner we returned to Mesa after the delicious dinner we had our first night in Atlantis. Tomorrow is our last full day in the Bahamas and hopefully the weather will cooperate!

 

Kristen is Cold

Kristen is Cold!



Day 4 in the Bahamas : I’m not as young as I used to be
March 4, 2009, 2:08 pm
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This morning our original plan was to go to the One and Only Resort (see Casino Royale for an example) to tour the resort and see their gardens. Unfortunately, it turns out that the resort isn’t exactly open to those who aren’t staying there. So Plan B was to head to Nassau and take a look at the downtown area and maybe grab lunch.  Now there are three ways to get to Nassau from Paradise Island (where Atlantis is located) without having your own ride; walk there (which would take forever), catch a ride there on a bus or taxi and, lastly, take a water taxi. So being the reasonable people we are, we of course took the trip on the water taxi.

Nassau was a fun town, it’s a pretty much a town setup for the cruise ships coming in with some high end shops, some shops more for tourist and the world famous Straw Market. We didnt hit the Straw Market, though that seemed to be the place to get an imitation Coach bag. When it came to lunch time we figured we could hit either the Hard Rock or Senor Frogs. Normally we would have gone to Hard Rock, but somehow we ended up at Senor Frogs (neither one of us can remember who suggested it or why).  We sat inside and then realized that a group of Spring Breakers from NC State had taken it over.  One hour, some chicken tacos, a quesadilla and two really really strong margaritas later, we walked/stumbled out and realized that the safest way for us to return to the hotel was via a taxi.

We wrapped up the afternoon grabbing some sun at the pools. I took a could of laps on the Lazy River and then decided to try one of the Intertube rides. This is where the title of the post comes (well that and surviving Senor Frogs). After climbing up four or five stories to get the top of the Power Tower, the ride down took about 10 seconds and possibly lead me to bruising a few body parts and swearing I wouldn’t go on it again.

For dinner we went to Nobu to get our fill of good sushi. The meal was excellent and we had a great relaxing time. By the end of the meal we were ready to crash for the night after a long exciting day.



Day 3 in the Bahamas: It’s Cold and Kristen makes out with a Dolphin
March 3, 2009, 4:19 am
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This morning we woke up to a cold, cloudy, windy day at Atlantis. The breeze was coming in off shore and the temperatures were in the 60’s. After breakfast we walked out to see some more of the resort (apparently we missed an entire tower from yesterday).  We also checked out the Harborside area, which has nice shops and apartment complexes. It kind of sucked because once the clouds moved out and the sun started shining, the wind stayed and continued to freeze us. Actually wished I had brought a windbreaker to help deal with the frigid winds. 

After lunch, we changed into swim  suits and headed down to the Dolphin Cay area for our Shallow Water Interaction. This was an opportunity for us to play with dolphins and learn more about them and conversation efforts to protect them.  We had a great time interacting with the dolphins and how the trainers cared for them and interacted with them to perform tricks. Below are some pictures of our adventures, hopefully tomorrow the weather will be a little better!



Day 2 in the Bahamas – Cain and Rapids
March 1, 2009, 11:25 pm
Filed under: Pictures, Travel | Tags: , , , ,

Day 2 at the Atlantis Resort started out a little early, too early. My body clock was still set for my workday in Michigan, so I was up and at’em at 6 AM. On top of this the sun was shining through a small gap in the blackout curtains and hit us dead on (I think our bodies were more surprised that the sun was actually out for a second day in a row!).  After grabbing some breakfast upstairs in the Cove’s Club Lounge we went down to the Cain pool. This is an adults-only pool, so no little ones running around snapping towels.  Below is a great picture of the Cain pool, it was really nice for sunbathing and very relaxing (the DJ poolside spins some great tunes).  

After lunch we went down to Atlantis’ “Lazy” River. The word “Lazy” is in quotation marks because unlike other hotel’s river rides, this one had some rapids built in. The first time around, Kristen and I took separate tubes and then we rode around again in a tube that could hold two people.  A little bit more swimming in the pools and some more sun tanning, and it was time to head in and get cleaned up for going to Bobby Flay’s MESA grill. Loving the Bahamas so far!



Greetings from Atlantis
March 1, 2009, 2:09 am
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Finally got tired of the Michigan winter and decided to head to the Bahamas for a few days on my Winter Break from the MBA program.  We flew in from Detroit earlier today and are staying at the Cove Atlantis, which is one of the side hotels on the Atlantis property. We spent most of the afternoon walking around, getting our bearings for things to do over the next few days.  The hotel is really nice and the weather is awesome!  Below is a picture of Kristen in the area of the Royal Towers by where the Bridge Suite is (if you were one of the five people who saw After the Sunset you’ll recognize it). The goal for tomorrow is to enjoy the rays before going to try Mesa, Bobby Flay’s restaurant at the Atlantis.

 

Kristen at the Atlantis Resort

Kristen at the Atlantis Resort

Just one more note, even though its a Saturday and all, we saw 3(!) couples getting married. Two on the way to the hotel and one couple just after the ceremony at the Atlantis. Hopefully the good luck extends to the casino!



Time to do some reading – Two Book Picks
February 24, 2009, 4:18 am
Filed under: Books | Tags: , , ,

Finally hit Spring Break from the MBA classes! It’s been kind of a rough semester so far, papers due every week for Service Marketing class and a huge report for Strategy class. Now that I have a couple of weeks off, I’m going to catch up with some good books that my sister-in-law, Amie, recommended over the Holidays.

The Lightning Thief is the first book in a series by Rick Riordan that follows the adventure of Percy Jackson and his friends in a world were Gods (the old school types – Poseidon, Zeus, etc) and Magic are real. It’s fun,light reading with a good pace, which is perfect for when you want to entertain yourself with a good story without having to follow complicated story-lines or plot developments (except you may have to recall some of the Greek or Roman mythology you learned in school). I will pass on the same warning that Amie gave me, the first book has story elements very similar to Harry Potter and you may find that a little distracting or off-putting. The good news is that this becomes less the case as you work through the rest of the books in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and the character development from one book to the next is well done. I am through the third book in the series so far (The Titans Curse) and hope to get through book five by the time break is over!

Additionally, I wanted to recommend another book in case you were looking for a heavy duty, involved book to help past the time as you wait for Spring to actually show up (hey it snowed in Detroit this past Saturday, so Spring can’t get here soon enough). Coincidentally enough, it also has a tie to mythology, but is not about a young boy and quests for glory. It’s a story about a world where people and the government have given up the drive to better themselves and have instead chosen to wallow in mediocrity. A world where achievement is not applauded, but is scorned as a being unfair. A world where the empire one builds can be taken away and redistributed to others in the name of “fairness”. What happens when the driving force behind the the economic and creative engine of our country disappear? What happens if Atlas Shrugged? I read this book last year and it has truly left an impression on the way I look at my life and the world around us. Now, fair warning, this is not an easy read and it will take some time to go through the story. Still, as you follow the story and find the answer to the infamous question “Who is John Galt?” I hope that you will see the same thing I saw in this story; that mankind was meant to struggle and fight for its achievements, for that is what makes us unique. It is a timeless story by Ayn Rand and one that I think is very important to read considering the current political and economical climate.

Enjoy the books and I hope to write more soon!



Fourth Day in LA – From Magic Kingdom to a Magic Castle
January 24, 2009, 2:01 am
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First of all, sorry for the delay in getting this next post out, school and work commitments got in the way after we came back from Los Angeles.

The morning of our fourth day in LA we hit the road early to get to Anaheim to visit Disneyland. So after making the drive down in 40 minutes from Burbank (perfect traffic conditions) we were promptly introduced to the Disney experience by waiting 30 minutes to get a parking spot.  After getting our tickets we made our way to see the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters ride, where Kristen proved that she was a crack shot, then we hit the Finding Nemo ride which was very cute.  From there we went over to tryout the Jungle Cruise and enjoy a couple of Dole Whips, Kristen loved hers!  We also did a run on the Matterhorn, which was so awesome!  About that time we needed to head out to meet up with David and Amie to go to the Magic Castle.

So unfortunately no cameras were allowed inside the Magic Castle itself, but we had a great time. There was a table magician who did some great card tricks up close and a piano that played requests on its own. The highlight of the evening was a teenage magician who had a great act delivered in a deadpan manner that was hilarious! We also did see a celebrity, Dr. Drew was in the audience during our magic acts (didnt see anyone from Celebrity Fit Club in attendance with him though). Overall it was a great day filled with some unique experiences!



Third Day in LA – New Years Day Relaxation
January 6, 2009, 10:34 pm
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We started out 2009 the best way possible, by hitting the snooze button on the hotel alarm clock. After finally deciding it was probably a good thing to get up and moving, we met up with David and Amie to grab lunch at Poquito Mas, a great Mexican fast food restaurant when you want a good inexpensive Mexican meal. Afterwards we headed back to the Gibb’s apartment and spent most of the afternoon snoozing, playing Mario Kart and watching British mini-series (Amie and Kristen are big Jane Austen fans).  Though we didn’t go out and run around the city, it was very nice to relax and reenergize before our foray the next day into Anaheim and Disneyland.



Second Day in LA – Rodeo Drive and New Years
January 6, 2009, 4:44 am
Filed under: Events, Family, Food, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Second day in Los Angeles and after trying to sleep off as much of the jet lag as possible, we went out to Porto’s Bakery in Burbank for breakfast.  Porto’s is a Cuban bakery that offers great breakfast and lunch options, while the bakery puts out amazing pastries and cakes.  We had been there once before with David and Amie, so we had an idea of what we were doing (its a little overwhelming at first, especially if its crowded).  I had a great chorizo omelette on Cuban bread with a cortadito coffee (similar to a cafe au lait but with espresso) and fresh squeezed orange juice.  The absolute best item to get there are the potato balls, imagine a mashed potato ball the size of a tennis ball, but stuffed with some ground beefed and then deep fried! Very delicious, but not exactly breakfast fare. 

After the delicious breakfast we headed out to Rodeo Drive to take a look at the shops and mainly people watch (Kristen) and car watch (Jose). Actually saw a lot of Penn State fans who were in town for the Rose Bowl and Kristen saw Larry King walking along the street talking on his cell phone (“Caller, hello!”). We had lunch at Cheesecake Factory and then headed back to the hotel to rest up before New Years Eve at Amie and David’s apartment.

The party at David and Amie’s was a lot of fun, we got to meet some of Amie’s friends from Yahoo! (including the minds behind the Daemon’s TV blog) and eat some great Italian and Brazilian food. I learned to be very humble after Americ and David both schooled me in Wii Tennis, but I got my revenge when we played Buzz! It was a great party and its becoming a little bit of an annual tradition for us now. Got to see the ball drop in New York (again, we caught the original at 9 PM on the West Coast) and brought the New Years in with family and friends.