Embarking on our Grown-Up vacation to Cancun, Mexico, we had to say goodbye to the cold, wet weather and also to our sweet girlies: NeeNee, Pipes, and Lulu.
It's always a great trip because we get to catch up with our friends from across the country--oh and EVERYTHING is free (which makes it pretty nice too!).
Here are Simone and I "warming up" at the pool on Day 1:
Angela and I had to express our love for one another at first sight. It is so challenging when some of the best people you know live in Texas! I think this pictures was taken in the hotel bar where I misplaced my sobriety on the first night.
The drinks poolside, "Welcome Reception" and hotel bar were not enough to kick the vacation off... so we ventured out to a dance club (Where the theme is: "Please, don't act your age!") before calling it a night.
Reason #122 that I love Rachelle Cainey:
Our recovery on Day 2 began with room service breakfast; then a trip to the pool for "mellow" drinking; followed by a nap and finally, gearing up for the second night.
Dinner out: Cambalache. Great steak. Terrific wine. Funny people still drunk from our afternoon at the resort pool/beach. Only thing missing: Todd and Heather Mohr (just wasn't the same without you).
Day 3: Much like day two... only we got sand on our feet.
Oh wait, no...
Day three I spent mainly in bed. I woke up for our breakfast delivery at 9am and then got dressed to go to the gym. Greg asked me to wait 15 for him to get up. I sat back on the bed and woke up at 11:45 when he got up to use the bathroom. I changed out of my gym clothes and into my bathing suit. We hit the pool/beach. I drank 4 margaritas and ate some shrimp ceviche in the span of 2 hours then headed back to our room for a quick nap. I woke up at 5:45pm and started getting ready for our dinner/night out.
It was a great day.
Night 3: Portland Office Dinner
The Women: Amy P., Nikki, Lauren, Me, Steph, Dani, and Amy C.
Such and amazing dining experience at Harry's. This restaurant was not finished being built last year--it was so worth the wait.
This would be "cotton-candy tug-o-war" between my handsome husband and Mrs. Juhala. They bring cotton candy to each table at the end of dinner. I'll spare you the pictures of what we (Savage) sculpted our candy into after this photo was taken... place your mind in the gutter before trying to guess.
At Harry's even the bathrooms are exceptional.
Reason #89 that I enjoy Amy so much: She'll pose for a picture with me IN the bathroom.
Obviously, we couldn't just end the perfect meal with a quiet ride back to our hotel when we could instead tag-along with "VIP's Dan and Sara Staggs" to Coco Bongo. While the video you will see if you link to the YouTube footage is not mine, it very well could have been... I think it's like that every night of the week!
Yes, those people are on trapeze:
Day 4: Much like the others... throw in a massage here, a facial there, a round of golf for Greg, many, many cocktails, visiting, sunshine, and too much food (though I can make a pretty solid argument that there is never too much tortilla soup) and you've got a handle on our week.
I had the best time getting to know Sarah "Savage" Owens. Trust me that she might as well hang onto her maiden name forever!
The best "added excitement" to my week was finding out that Dave and Amy are expecting! I love, love, love to hear when great people are going to procreate! Now, if I could just talk Dave into waiting to find out the sex of Baby Pearson until the delivery...
Dinner #4: The Aqua Hotel's very own "mb" restaurant.
I was told that mb stood for Mario Batali... (of the food network's--Iron Chef...) After doing my own research (I can't stop drooling thinking about the meal I ate there) I learned it actually stands for Michelle Bernstein, a famous chef in her own right (If you're a fan of Bravo's Top Chef where she was a guest judge or After Hours with Daniel when Chef Boulud visits her at Michy's you'll recognize her from her picture).
This was the most amazing dinner (though the service left a lot to be desired).
Here's my crispy snapper with fresh ginger and mango:
When all was said and done, there was a head and a tail on my plate. If you're on facebook, you might see a pic of me smooching this fish's head if you start poking around a bit.
The drinks were damn good too!
A few of the Portland Crew:
Jones, Pearson, Savage-Owens, and Cleveland
Senator Jones oversees a little game of "Golf" on beach.
From the front left: Hinton, Givens, Norman, Burroughs, Pearson, and Juhala
For those of you who are here to see the scenery...
Here's a photo of one of the pools overlooking the ocean.
The lifeguards, like many "official" staff we encountered, were a bit lax on the "rules." They let me climb the tower to take this photo. It's really shocking to see how little of the "beach" there is left at the JW Marriott this year. I should go back to our pictures from the first year we stayed at the resort and compare--but it might be unpleasant... so much erosion in only 9 years!
I wish I could tell you that this was a picture of Greg and I:
You were just what I needed.
I hope to see you again next year!