Saturday, October 29, 2011

Winter Relief - Bora Bora

This past year, Dave and I have gotten to take some really special trips for just the two of us. We have long talked about how important it was for us to get to travel before we start a family and we were so fortunate this year to have been able to do so. Some trips were planned to see friends get married, some were planned to sightsee somewhere new and some were a total surprise.

Our year started with a surprise trip through work. For those of you that were around us last Fall and Winter, you know Dave and I were inundated with more work than either of us had ever experienced. We spent multiple nights at work trying to keep up and meet deadlines. It was not a pretty sight. Around January when it started to slow down, our board gave Dave and I and another guy who works with us trips to Bora Bora. We were in shock and could not believe how generous our company was. In fact, as I type this, I am still overwhelmed with appreciation towards them. So literally, 3 weeks later, we boarded a plane to Papeete, Tahiti where we would spend 1 night and then on to spend the rest of the week in Bora Bora. Our other friend from work went a month later.

After a brief layover in LAX, we boarded an 8 hour flight headed south!

This is where we spent the day in Tahiti. We stayed by the water for the majority of the time...trying to ease into the sun as we were SO pale from the winter in Pittsburgh.

We took a small puddle jumper over to Bora Bora later that day. The airport was so neat because the only way to get picked up is by boat.

I love this guy!

Here are the pretty grounds of our hotel. However, I must admit, we never went to the pool! The water under our bungalow was about 3-4 feet deep. So we just swam out there the whole time. I have never seen anything so clear and beautiful!

Here is Dave out off the deck of our room. You can see where it drops off way out there!

Our little bungalow!

There were awesome colorful fish and coral nurseries.


So brief story...Bloody Mary's is apparently a very famous restaurant on the main island. So we stopped by for a bloody mary (a favorite of ours!). But we were quickly reminded that it was in fact an island town when this little guy jumped in my seat with me and no one seemed to care...

YUCK! This guy had crazy red eyes and scabs - gross!

We did try a few more adventurous activities...

The highlight of the trip for Dave was getting to see a shark around our bungalow the first night - YIKES! We looked for him the rest of the trip and never saw him...then on the last night, a stingray floated on up. Can you see the excitement here?

We did not want to leave at all. It was so cute, the last morning, they brought us breakfast by boat. It was delicious! Lots of yummy fruits.

Time to head home...with a little more sun. :) Thank you very, very much LD!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Must get back!

I am SO far behind on blogging - yikes! I realized I am literally 1 year out. So I am going to try and pick it back up (yes, I know I have said this before).

So I will start out of my favorite pics from last year. Miss Addison and Dave...two kids clowning around.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

DC with the Roommates

I am trying out this blogpress application to see if I can be a little better about blogging. By that, I mean at least staying within 1 month of the events blogged about. :)

As usual, I will do a little catch up...starting with our trip in June to DC. Our neighbors, Mark and Meaghan, who live downstairs (whom we affectionately refer to as our roommates) and us took off on a little road trip to our nation's capital. They both worked in the Bush White House and so Dave and I were pumped about a visit from their perspective.

Here we are in front of the White House

Meaghan, Dana (Mark's sister) and Mark. Dana's husband, Tom, works for Nancy Pelosi. Tom and Dana were so kind to give us a tour of the Capital.

Here is Tom and Dave - Tom was attending a World Cup party later that afternoon and was supporting Team USA all day.

So pretty!

Solway Friends minus their munchkin. This was taken on the Speaker's Balcony at the Capital. Such a fun view of the city!

So since I don't know how to work this app very well, my pictures are a little out of order. On our way to DC, we stopped to pick up Mark at their chocolate factory. Mark's family has owned this chocolate business for 4 generations. It is delicious! They specialize in chocolates and milkshakes (my favorite). I had never been to a chocolate factory before then, but it was just as awesome as I had imagined!

I literally wanted to get in this!

We obeyed all health department protocol.

It was such a fun trip! DC is such a cool city and it was such a treat to go with these veterans.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Block Party 2010

A few weekends ago, we had the pleasure of getting to meet several new neighbors through a block party! I remember having these on our street growing up ~ but I have yet to attend one since I have reached adulthood. I have definitely been missing out!

We are quite serious with block parties in Pittsburgh. We got a permit from the city, moved all of our cars and shut our street down for the entire day! It actually turned out great for all the kids who got to play in the street without a care in the world.

We even have a band that lives on our they provided the entertainment! Kind of funny...some words had to be modified for this crowd. :)

Here is our favorite neighbor, Mr. A. He was having a ball in the street!

This is Meaghan - my roomie from downstairs. Some girls who live together down the street offered to do crafts for all the kids. So here is Meaghan with her son's visor.

I LOVE this picture. Such sweet ones that live on our street. They were cracking us up the whole evening. In an effort to avoid names on the web, the second from the left was hilarious. She told Dave she wanted his tennis shoes. Her parents and I could barely contain ourselves as Dave shoes are gross boy shoes! She told us she would come to our house and yell, 'Dave! Give me those shoes!' when she was ready.

Cute, young moms on the block...

It was such a fun time and I now realize that I pay more attention to the other houses on our street as I come and go. There is definitely a special peace in knowing those who live around you, especially in a new neighborhood.

Now, I must give all the credit to Meaghan who organized this fantastic evening! You did great and I am already looking forward to our next Block Party!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

St. Thomas ~ 40th Wedding Anniversary

Janie & Van Buchanan
40 years of marriage
St. Thomas

Congratulations! What a wonderful reason to celebrate! We were absolutely blown away that their idea of celebrating this special occasion was to take the entire family down to St. Thomas. It was so incredibly generous and I can't begin to explain how much fun we had!

They decided to rent a house, instead of doing hotel/resort style. This was perfect because we all had a shared living space, our own kitchen, pool, etc. It made for lots of fun hang out time!

Here are some pics:

We had lunch here most days. I love dining outside!

We actually took a ferry to Tortola one day and passed our house on our way out. So this is a fun, different view.

And now I follow with several of my favorite pics from the trip! It was absolutely wonderful!

Brett, Janie and Dave

Dave and Janie

This is so funny to me! Grayson, Jerry and Dave

We LOVED that Aunt Laura (Janie's sister) was able to join us for the vacation! Just being around the two of them cracks me up. They have such a good time and laugh a lot!

Janie made this sweet book for Van. She gave it to him at dinner one night. It went through the many, many reasons why she loves him. I particularly enjoyed this gift as it discussed a lot of their memories from the early years of their marriage ~ many I hadn't heard before. It was so fun to hear about living out on the farm, the pet goat and R&R in Hawaii.

On Wednesday, we took a ferry to Tortola to do a 'swim with the dolphins' excursion. It was really cool - I was shocked at how much they let everyone do. Jerry and I stayed in the bleachers to document the afternoon, but everyone else got to take a ride on the dolphin, dance with the dolphin and as you can see below - kiss the dolphins!

They did lots of cool tricks!

We had lots of good down time just visiting with each other. Because we basically live all over the country, it was great to just catch up on each other's day to day lives.

Brett, Van and Dave down by the pier

I love this of them just talking...

I think I have more pictures of Grayson doing stuff like this from the trip than anything else. It was so fun to try and capture him mid air! He is such a little fish! We had all sorts of games worked out with swimming, jumping, splashing, etc. It was so funny!

This is just cute to we know whose aqua socks those are? Please tell me Jerry's!

Julie, Janie and Aunt Laura coming up from the pier

We visited St. John on Friday via ferry. It was gorgeous!! I so hope to go back one day! We spent a lot of the day at Trunk Bay - which is a beautiful beach. Dave found/stepped on a starfish!

Going back in time, on Thursday - the kids and Aunt Laura took Van and Janie to a fun anniversary dinner at a place called Oceana. The food was delicious and we had a great time! Prior to the vacation, Julie had asked Van and Janie several different questions about each other. So it was hilarious to hear each of them give the 'real' answers over dinner, like what was the address of your first house? Favorite food? What are they scared of? Really funny!

The whole group!

Dave and I

Julie and Grayson

Van and Janie

It was such a special time together with family! We can't thank you two enough for including us in your anniversary celebration! I know we will all look back fondly on this trip with big smiles!

We love you two and once again, Happy Anniversary!