puerto rico

after exploring old san juan on foot for a little bit,
per the boys request, we started off the day at the san juan fort.
the views were beautiful and it was pretty cool i suppose...

maybe i'm just debbie downer on the fort cuz multiple couples, including daw and i, 
got in "disagreements" while we were there and most of us were a little grumpy.
i'm blaming it on the fact that it was about a million degrees with 1000% humidity.

^ note in the picture above how NONE of us are standing by our spouses,
as we watch some puerto rican man catch crabs on the beach below us.

however we finally made it to a beach (after waiting an hour for the only free bus on the island… 
and you can imagine how that helped everyone's moods).
after everyone cooled off in the water, everyone was able to kiss and make up.

we ended up staying on the beach for a little longer than planned 
because daw and i were in the water having nicole take the above ^ picture, 
and in spite of ryan yelling at the top of his lungs for us ("NICOLE!"), 
we somehow missed the free bus (which as you remember, only comes once an hour).
and it's obvious that the picture isn't that great so it definitely wasn't worth it.

so we stayed and hung out a while longer snapping some pics of course, chatting, 
and waiting… and waiting… and waiting…

soon it was getting close to when we were supposed to be back to the ship,
and there was no bus in sight.
there were some men sitting around in lawn chairs by us and we asked them if they knew anything about the bus.
they said it should be here but they had no idea when, but one of the guys offered to drive all of us for a bargain.

we discussed it as a group… and decided to go for it.
what came next was one of the hilarious 30 minutes of my life.

6 of us (you can't see dawson or winston cuz we are sitting on them), all of our luggage, and edgar.
to say we were back heavy would be an understatement. 
the car was screeching, grinding, and whining the WHOLE drive back.
i was extremely concerned about the car blowing up but dawson assured me it wouldn't.
but i could tell he was a little nervous when ed made the decision to get on a freeway.

nikki tay was speaking her espanole to sweaty edgar the whole way.
"gracias chico ed!" "si si, loco americanos!" "ed, let's fiesta!"
you wouldn't have known that the girl hadn't taken a spanish class in her life.

by some miracle, we made it back to the carnival glory without any parts falling out of the car.
however, i don't know if chico ed's nissan will ever be the same.

gracias chico ed for providing us with one of the funniest experiences of our lives!


^ pre-wedding celebration for cary and gina!

^ easter was amazing weather so we bbq'd at rock canyon park.
p.s. look at how grown up all my baby cousins are!

^ my obsession with rose cafe and my gf ashlyn

^ the best girls night out for elise's birthday!!!


st. thomas

st. thomas might have been my favorite island.
have you ever seen more beautiful water and backdrop?
if you say yes then i don't believe you, because this place was amazing.

we thought we had the transportation on the island figured out, and so we took a taxi van to

emerald bay

^ did you think this was mary-kate and ashley? 

the bay was beautiful and the weather was perfect and we spent a few glorious hours there 
frolicking in the water, palm tree climbing, having a wave diving olympics, boys playing football, etc.

however when we were leaving emerald bay to go get lunch, we almost created a national uprising.
i guess there is an order to what taxi van you can take, and our taxi driver was trying to butt in line (gasp!).
it wasn't our fault (naive americans), but there were a lot of st thomasians yelling and cursing in their island talk, 
as well as comments of our taxi driver getting his "skull bashed in".
we got in and out of 3 different taxi vans before the st. thomas taxi men got it figured out, 
and luckily we didn't witness any murders...

after lunch the group split up, and us and the harris' went exploring!
we took the "99 steps" (really 103, according to winston) up to blackbeards castle and got an amazing view.

and then we decided that since we were there, it would be a crime 
(similar to the one we unknowingly committed with the taxis earlier) to not go to the famous

magen's bay

it really was as beautiful as those national geographic people say.
now i will leave you with a very scandalous picture that shows you just how pretty the water was
(just ignore the inappropriate couple right there in the middle)


the bahamas

the beginning of the "chick pic" era.
since hubbies only have about a 3 picture quota before they start whining,
us girls fulfill our picture taking needs with pics of ourselves.
it's not because we are narcissistic, it's because we love each other.


daw and i tried really hard to eat healthy and work out before the cruise so we could have our best beach bods.
unfortunately we started stress eating from the fact that we are remodeling a house ourselves,
but we still did pretty good compared to our usual twice weekly nielsens frozen custard runs.
however you will notice that we get exponentially fatter as the cruise progresses...
(i am cringing in embarrassment/shame at posting our beach selfies.  dont judge us.  we will never be in good shape again so we had to document)


we rocked the bahamas.
we steered clear of the people trying to make us pay ten times what we should for transportation,
and headed to a bus stop to travel with the locals.
we made friends with a guy on the back of the bus who guided us in the right direction,
and made it to a beach that we had pretty much all to ourselves.

it was the perfect set up with beach chairs, crystal clear water, and 
a volley ball net!!!
(with a free volley ball included).
we spent a few hours playing beach volley ball and having the time of our lives.

sadly, the worst part of a cruise is leaving paradise and having to get back on the ship.
but thankfully we had 3 more islands to go to!


couples cruise

if you haven't noticed already, we love our friends.
so back in november when we were all in depression because of the snowy weather,
someone thought of the idea of a friends cruise.
best. idea. ever.
we knew we had to make it happen and not let it be one of those ideas that people always talk about but never follow through with.

fast forward to april and we were on our way to the caribbean!

it was the worst timing to be in the middle of a total home remodel…
but also the best timing because dawson was on the verge of a mental breakdown.

so seeing as we are back in reality now and dealing with the stresses of life, work, and pretending we belong on HGTV...
don't mind as i re-live those amazing 7 days on my next couple of blog posts.

long live #thisisfriends!


girls trip

kylie had a cheer competition in california and i just happened to have the weekend off work…
so obviously my only option was to head to cali with my bestie (aka my momma) for a girls trip!

it was the best idea ever.

kylie was busy with her cheer team so it was me and my mom hanging out for 4 days.
we got to do anything we wanted at whatever time we wanted, without the boys complaining or bossing us around.  heavenly.

so we…

...bought magazines and starbucks at the airport without criticism from the boys
...went shopping at whatever stores we wanted to for as long as we wanted to
...ate baja fresh and wahoos fish tacos and ate our hearts out
...laid out at the pool reading our frivolous magazines daily
...found the best vietnamese nail salon to relax with manis and pedis
...went to newport and laguna and walked along the boardwalk and the beach for hours
…read books every night as long as we waned until we fell asleep
…cheered kylie on at her cheer competition (where she did amazing and had the best spirit fingers)
…conquered disneyland and their fast passes and went on all our favorite rides
…decided it was necessary to get corn dogs and funnel cake and eat every last crumb
…and last but not least, survived a 5.3 earthquake that hit while we were there
(and hit right as i was getting out of the shower to the yelps of my mom "earthquake, get your clothes on!")
i prepared our room for potential future earthquakes and we now consider ourselves earthquake experts.

the trip was over all too soon.
thank you mother for an AMAZING vacay.
now the only question is, when can we do it again?!