Islands in the stream

We had a fantastic trip to the Bahamas! Short, but sweet... It was such a beautiful place, I cannot wait to go back. This first group of slides is from the resort where we stayed, Atlantis. This resort was on Paradise Island, which is the touristy part of the Bahamas. This resort was absolutely gorgeous and huge. It pretty much took us about a half hour to walk from one end to the other.

Jeff and I decided to go on a sailing and snorkeling adventure while we were down there. For me, this was the highlight of the trip. I have been in the ocean a handful of times, but only a little ways out past the shore or beach. I was psyched that we decided to book this. For $60, we sailed out about 45 min past the dock, and anchored. We pretty much jumped out of the boat into the ocean and got to snorkel for about an hour. It was amazing! I regret not having an underwater camera because I cannot explain how gorgeous it was. We were in about 20-30 feet (maybe), some parts deeper some more shallow near a reef. We saw sea turtles, tons of fish (Maddy was excited that we saw Dory fish), jellyfish, and other fish I am not sure what they were! But it was amazing...for 3 1/2 hrs and 60 bucks.

We enjoyed a nice dinner at Mesa Grille, which is a southwestern style restaurant by Bobby Flay, all my food network pals out there. It was insanely expensive for dinner, as well as every other food item at the resort. For one round of drinks, a glass of wine (a generous one, however) and a T and T was $36, not including tip. Yikes!!!! The entire trip was like this. They really get you in the food and drink department, but what can you do? Jeff had a delicious steak (imagine that), and I had a tuna steak (fresh from the ocean). The food and hospitality on the island was fantastic. I cannot remember a time when someone didn't ask us how we were enjoying our dinner, the trip, etc. The Bahamian culture and people were wonderful. We didn't get a chance to visit the straw market for shopping due to crazy rain on saturday afternoon and night, and again on sunday morning when we left.
We also spent lots of time in the casino, imagine that as well, Jeff and I in a casino???? Lots of blackjack. We did alright, no big wins or losses, but it was lots of fun. Makes me want to go to Vegas again. Oh wait, I am going to Vegas. Early September for a work conference.....no gambling for me, only work, work, work!!!

We had a great time, missed the kids, but I can't wait to go back. Maddy wants to go back next time. We'll see...maybe if we win the lottery...


Bahama Mama

2 days and counting...
Our trip to the Bahama's is upon us. Somehow it crept up really fast! Jeff somehow won another trip from Fidelity, I cannot complain about that. So we are off to Nassau, Bahamas for 3 nights. I am really excited for a little R & R. Jeff and I aren't usually the lay around type people (on vacations that is...not football Sunday's), but I guess that I can force myself to lay on the beach, next to the ocean, sipping some fru fru cocktail concoction...
We are planning on doing some snorkeling, and some other excursions I would presume, but honestly, I am looking forward to the for mentioned. I am exited for some beautiful scenery, warm weather and lots of sun. I hope the weather holds up. Our last trip to the Caribbean, we ran into Hurricane Ivan. We had to divert our cruise a bit, still had fun, but the weather was a bit gloomy. This time, no boat, just a visit to Paradise Island, Atlantis Resort. I'll post more when we return. Hopefully I'll get some nice island pictures! See ya later!


tag I'm it

Another blog tag, I do like them though!!

1. What time did you get up this morning? 5:30am...not by my choice, obviously
2. Diamond or Pearls? Diamonds
3. What was the last film you saw? Does Disney's Beauty and the Beast count?
4. Who always supports you? Jeff
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? Shredded wheat on weekdays, eggs toast and bacon on weekends!!
6. What is your middle name? Ann
7. What food do you dislike? Seafood
8. What is your favorite CD? Any George Strait CD
9. What type of car do you drive? Toyota Rav4
10. Favorite sandwich? Any sandwich made by someone else. I am not a big fan of sandwiches, unless they are fancy ones with field greens and chipotle mayo and all that fun stuff
11. What characteristics do you despise? Arrogance
12. Favorite item of clothing? Old comfy jeans
13. If you could go anywhere in the world for a vacation, where would you go? Italy
14. What color is your bathroom? Sky Blue
15. Favorite brand of clothing? I'm not too particular about my clothes
16. Where will you retire? Here
17. What was your most memorable birthday? 21st
18. Favorite sport to watch? Football, please Favre don't ruin this for me
19. Furthest place you are sending this? Not sure about that one...Wisconsin Rapids, I'm real adventurous
20. Who do you expect to send this back to you? Bloggers
21. Person you expect to send it back first? I have only one other friend that blogs, Jason
22. Favorite sayings? Anything where I can stress my "t's"
23. Are you a morning person or a night person? Morning
24. Pets? 2 fish
25. What did you want to be when you were little? A brain surgeon
26. What are you today? Exercise Physiologist
27. What is your favorite candy? Smarties
28. What is your favorite flower? Peoney
29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? July 24th, Jeff and I leave for the Bahamas.....yeah baby
30. What are you listening to right now? TiVo So you think you can dance
31. What was the last thing you ate? Vanilla bean ice cream
32. Do you wish on stars? Yes
33. Do you believe in Angels? Yes, yes, yes
34. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Magenta
35. Pet peeves? Lateness
36. Favorite Television show? LOST
37. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Jeff
38. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Yes
39. Favorite soft drink? Diet Coke
40. Favorite restaurant? Rafters
41. Hair Color? Brown
42. Siblings? 2 brothers
43. What do you like most about yourself? I am easy going
44. What was your favorite toy as a child? PlayDough
45. Summer or Winter? Winter
46. Hugs or kisses? Kisses
47. Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate
48. When was the last time you cried? Sad movie
49. What is under your bed? Dust bunnies
50. What did you do last night for dinner? Chicken on the grill
51. Favorite smell? Cookies fresh out of the oven
52. How many keys on your key ring? 7
53. How many years at your current job? 10
54. Favorite day of the week? Friday
55. Do you make friends easily? Yes


Pool Party!





Who doesn't love a good pool party? With the temperature at a scorching 90+, we opted to take Maddy and Winn over to the Lee's to visit Cooper and Emmitt. Nothing like a dip in the cool water on a hot day. The kids had a fun time, Maddy and Cooper enjoyed dumping buckets of water on Auntie Tracy's lawn the best! Winn took a couple of whole body dives into the deep end (Tracy has a fancy deep and shallow end in her pool, ah the ammenities of Brookfield). Emmitt wasn't all too excited today, though he is much the fish. We had a little lunch after, and were home in time for naps! I hope we wore them out enough to sleep for a few hours...


It's not easy being green

So I have decided to try a little harder to be more environmentally aware. I have bought some reusable bags from Whole Foods for $.99 a piece, and I get something like $.10 per bag off of my bill at Pick N Save and Sendiks. So I guess they have paid for themselves already. My neighbor is a very environmentally friendly person. Maybe that is where I am getting the push from. She is on the "progressive" end of the environmental issues, whereas I am teetering somewhere in la la land. I know that I should be more cognisant of these issues, but it's not easy. Last saturday, my neighbor and I visited the West Allis farmers market, Jeff seems to think that this is funny. Most likely because a) he does not know the difference between a zucchini and an asparagus or b) he does not eat vegetables (only carrots and corn). Perhaps a combination of both. I spent $15 and bought tons of delicious veggies: broccoli, patty pan squash, zucchini, cucumbers, peas, beans, and lettuce. First of all, the grocery store usually has crappy produce, and its always so expensive. Second, there is something great about buying local produce from "your own backyard." I would say that I would like to do this all the time, however, I know realistically this is not going to happen.

Enough of my crazy ranting...


More festivals...

Jeff and I took the kids to St Dominic's festival on Saturday evening. We were looking for something outside to do, and when Jeff mentioned a festival, Maddy was instantly hooked. We brought this up in the morning and she was just beside herself all day. When she woke up from her nap, she shot up and said "Are we ready to go to the festibal??" So we had to find one fast. We were going to attempt Bastille Days, but it's not too kid friendly, no rides or games or anything like that. So we googled church festivals milwaukee and came up with St Dominic's in Brookfield. We got there around 4ish and planned on feeding the kids and getting dinner there. Now Maddy remembers the rides from St Roman's festival a month or so ago. Apparently, it is the same festival group that did Romans's because Jeff recognized the carnies!! Yikes!! So Maddy and Jeff and I went on 5 rides or so, including the Bee's, the cars and teapots. It was a great time, we had a lot of fun and the kids were really good. Last time at the festival, Maddy was not too happy to leave, but this time she was great! However, on the way out, she said "The rides will be here for me when I wake up, right??" Not so much...
Sunday was golf at Kettle Hills in Germantown. We had a scramble as part of Jeff golf "league". We had 16 golfers in 4 teams of 4. On the 4th of July, I was one of four chosen to be captain. I randomly chose my dad, Anne, and Jeff as part of my team, which is pretty funny. I am pretty bad, but I still enjoy playing and being outside, and a break from kiddos is nice too! We were getting 2 strokes for 18 holes, technically the worst team! The front 9 we did really bad, but the back 9 we shot so much better. I think we had 3 birdies, which is more than any of the other teams, however we tied for last. At least we technically weren't last... All in all, it was a great time! I don't get the chance to go out and golf hardly ever, but when I get the opportunity I will jump at it. I know it's a lifelong sport, so I have lots of time to perfect my game (or at least attempt to break 120?????)
Afterwards, Jeff and I and the kids went to watch Steve Serbiak play little league. He happened to be playing at a park a few miles away from our house. We had a little picnic dinner and attempted to watch the game. Maddy had fun watching the kids play baseball. I wonder if she will be interested in playing soon, maybe next summer! Jeff would be in heaven...


4th of July...and the 3rd and 5th and 6th

What a busy past few days! This is one of my favorite holiday's of the year, next to Halloween of course. I like our simple tradition that consists of marching in the Wilson Park parade, the Ehrhardt 4th of July party, and of course fireworks! This year, we added a few random commitments, but all in all, it was a pretty good weekend. Unfortunately, the week started out with Winn getting the dreaded hand, foot and mouth disease, which simply is a nasty virus with a high fever and rash. Great, lots of fun there! Poor little boy, he did pretty good considering how he was feeling.
Thursday the 3rd, Jeff and I went out to dinner with Mary Jo and Scott at Ristorante Bartolotta in downtown Tosa. It was a nice night out without the kids. It was great to enjoy a delicious dinner and not have to eat food cold, or cut food up, or convince someone to eat playing silly games the entire time! Imagine! We had reservations at 5:30, Jeff's parents were watching all 4 kids while we sat and enjoyed a relaxing dinner (does that seem fair????). After dinner and a few drinks later, we decided that we should splurge and have dessert, which is usually skipped at these "nice dinners". Mary Jo and myself had tirimasu, while Jeff opted for the banana chocolate cake. Scott went a bit off the board and chose some grapefruit shaved ice...with some kind of liquor shot poured on top. In west allis terms, this is considered a Snow Cone, but in Tosa, we step it up a bit. After dinner, in our nice getup, we headed over to the Club Tap for a post dinner drink. Now, at dinner, Jeff was talking about Schlitz beer, re-brewing their old classic Schlitz recipe. Apparently, it is extremely hard to get your hands on cases of this product. Once and a while, I enjoy the taste of a cold beer (????) (once and a while???). Sometimes even the old school one's. We walk into Club Tap, and see signs posted all over for the new (old) Schlitz beer. So we decided to have 1, or 2, and they were great! Nothing like an ice cold brew on a hot summer night!
The next day, we woke early for the parade. We march in the Wilson Park parade every year, I joined in when I met Jeff, but he has been doing this since as long as he can remember! Now, this parade is like no other. You ask, why? Are there floats...no, are there marching bands...maybe, but a really small one, are there horses or other animals...definitely not. What there is at this parade is a lot of people marching with flags and decorated bikes, strollers, scooters, headed towards one common goal...ice cream. We march about 6 blocks or so up 20th and down 16th street to Wilson Park. I joke, but it really is pretty fun! It is a time where I get to catch up with some of the girls, have a beer from Mr G at 10:00am, and have a mini cup of ice cream at the end. Maddy really enjoyst he parade, but especially the ice cream after too. Winn got his first taste, and he thought that was pretty great. I will get some pictures in a slide show soon too!

After parade time, we seem to have out own little traditions. The boys go and get the keg of beer and ice (somehow we always end up with the perfect amount), and the girls run to Kohls for some clothes. I always seem to dress wrong. We plan to spend the entire day at the Ehrhardt's party, and I never seem to pack enough for temperature changes, etc. So every year, I am either buying pants or shorts because it got too cold or too hot. The party was lots of fun. The kids had a pretty good time, again, despite being a little under the weather. We watch the fireworks at 9:30or so down by the creek. We are a bit far from where they light them off, but its nice not to have to leave home to see them! I love fireworks! Maddy, once again, did not make it to the fireworks. She had quite a fever, and went to bed pretty early. Next year I hope!!!
Saturday was my friend Tara's wedding day! What a gorgeous day for a wedding, couldn't have been better. The ceremony was held at Elmbrook Church followed by a reception at Bristlecone Pines Country Club. Fancy schmancy place! A night of dancing, and friends. Cheers to Tara and Justin!

Sunday Jeff and I played in a poker play-in tournament. I was first knocked out (my goodness) and Jeff took 4th, no cash and no entrance to the Tournament of Champions. Maybe it wasn't meant to be, all weekends through mid August seemed to be booked up.
I am glad to get back to some sort of normalcy around here, if there is such thing.
Our holiday weekend was great, hectic, fun, and tiring, but I still love it!!