javascript:void(0) busy that day...: May 2011

it's not me, it's you.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

catch me if you can.

When life gets overwhelming, my blogging skills are some of the first to go out the window.  Last night as I was getting in bed, I realized it had been a long time since I sat down to write-- and looking at the archive, it's been almost a month!

The last few weeks have been as busy, if not busier, than expected.  The semester ended quietly for me at work, something I am thankful for.  The second weekend in May, Jeremy and I were both able to travel and spend some time apart.  I went home to Virginia for the first time in five months, and J headed west to Reno for a weekend with bowling friends to the USBC Championships.

My time in Virginia was short, as usual, but well-spent.  I got to spend a lot of time with my precious nephew, who is now talking up a storm.  It was such a treat to see the huge developmental leaps and bounds he's made since Christmas, but also bittersweet-- my little buddy is growing up!

Memorial Day weekend was our turn to travel together-- something I always look forward to, because we get along so perfectly when relaxed and experiencing new things together!  As some of you may know, one of Jeremy's lifelong goals is to visit every major league baseball stadium, a dream I fully support, as it allows us to see a lot of the country (and one day, Toronto!) and to enjoy one of America's great past-times.  In early May, I did my best bargain hunting and surprised J with club level seats and VIP passes to see the Detroit Tigers play the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, May 28.  

On Saturday morning, we headed west, stopping early in our trip to spend a little cash at the outlet mall in Michigan City.  We made it to Detroit around 7pm, dropped our bags in the hotel and hopped in the car again, heading across the border into Canada.  No real reason for the adventure, other than to say I've been to Canada and to test our luck at the Caesar's in Windsor.  We came out a little ahead of the gambling game, had a late night dinner, and then went back to our hotel in the US (not without apprehension, as I have an irrational fear that I am going to be stuck in a foreign country for some strange reason).  

Sunday, we headed downtown to Comerica Park around 11am-- Jeremy likes to fully experience every ballpark, and we generally like to make it early enough for batting practice.  We were in the park by 11:30am and watched some warmups before walking around.  The park was pretty awesome-- very family friendly, including a carousel and ferris wheel!  Our seats were on the club level of the upper deck, right above home plate, giving us a great view of the action.  Unfortunately, it was SO HOT on Sunday that we only lasted about 3 innings in our seats before taking a trip to the Tiger Club, the park's private dining room.  I was lucky to grab a pass for $5 from eBay, and it was well worth it!  We got a table right next to the window and enjoyed the glorious air conditioning and great food (priced just the same as the vendors on the concourses, though I was expecting it to be much more expensive) through the eighth inning.  We spent the last inning walking around, exploring more and eventually seat "squatting" on the 100 level through the end of the game.  All in all, it was a great day at the ballpark and we very much enjoyed the Tigers atmosphere.

Sunday after the game, we explored Detroit's casino scene (sidenote: we're not heavy gamblers, we just like to visit and get whatever freebies we can!) and ordered pizza to our hotel for dinner.  We slept a fantastic 11 hours and woke up refreshed on Monday morning.  We left Detroit around 1:30pm on our way back to Chicago, stopping a few times along the way.  

The coming weeks are already jam packed with lots to do-- J's wisdom tooth extraction, I'm throwing a baby shower for my dear friend Ellen, a wedding, Cubs game, pig roast, first birthday party, and then it's the Fourth of July already, whew.  Time sure does fly when you're having fun, y'all!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

the travel bug.

The travel bug is biting again...

Almost immediately upon arriving back from our February trip to the Bahamas, J and I were vacation dreaming of where and when our next adventure would be.  Thoughts of faraway places swirled through my head-- Mexico, Ireland, Italy, Hawaii.  The biggest obstacle we have to traveling is money.  Finding somewhere we are excited about visiting AND that we can afford is always the kicker.  I even tossed in some more affordable locales like New Orleans, Charleston/Savannah and the Grand Canyon.  Problem is, nothing has so far met my criteria:

  • Affordable 
  • Includes one of the following: meals, excursions or airfare
  • Fits within a 5 night period
  • Has exciting things to do, see and explore
We also are limited to traveling the week of October 23-30.  We are traveling to Virginia October 21 for a wedding and would leave on vacation afterwards, since we'll already be out of state and since we have some airline credits we need to use up.

Right now, I think we are leaning towards a cruise to the Bahamas or Mexico.  We're not super sold on the idea of returning to the Bahamas again, only for the fact that we'd like to see a new place.  However, I'm not going to turn my nose up at the idea of a sunny tropical beach if the alternative is nothing!

Has anyone out there ever cruised before?  Carnival seems to have the most reasonable rates and their ships look pretty fun, but the reviews are hit or miss-- a phrase I've seen repeated is " floating trailer park", which is not exactly the vibe I'm seeking.  Royal Caribbean and Norwegian are our other two options.  We'd like to do a 4-5 day trip, but I could be open to a longer trip if affordable.  

Also, if you've cruised before, any tips for those of us who might turn a little green out on the blue sea?  I didn't get sick in the Bahamas, but I mainly closed my eyes and sat very still on our boat trips.  I won't have that option for a straight week, obviously, and don't want to spend the entire trip zapped out on Dramamine, either!