Mauruuru French Polynesia!!!

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I seriously think I have enough pictures and stories to share that I could spend the rest of the year blogging ONLY about our honeymoon to the French Polynesian Islands!!!  It was magical for soo many reasons.  Number 1 is obvious…spending almost 2 straight weeks with your newish husband who also happens to be your best friend is unreal!  And then together being able to be completely selfish with your time, doing only what makes the two of you happy…priceless!  Now throw in…beautiful beaches, friendly people, amazing weather, exciting culture, and mouth watering food…and you’ve got one happy couple!

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Here’s a quick overview of our trip.  We visited three islands…Moorea, Tahaa, and Bora Bora (in that order).  I know, your next question is which was our favorite?  We thought about this too and honestly can’t pick just one.  Each island had it’s own personality and charm and I would have hated to miss any one of them.

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What to do…

So, if like me you thought that the islands were all about relaxation and laying about, you were only half right.  The relaxation is guaranteed!  The staff is so incredible that our entire trip was effortless!  And you can lay around if you want to (trust me…I read 3 1/2 books!), but you can also kayak, SUP, snorkel, swim, paddleboat, and explore.

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We spent a huge amount of time in the water, by the water, and on the water!  There are also plenty of excursions to choose from (jet skiing, hiking, boating, ATVs, etc.) that you can do on your own or in groups.  We did a super cool jet ski tour along the north coast of Moorea, exploring the bays before stopping for a dip with the sting rays and sharks and then lemonade at the Motu.

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Eats and Drinks…

To rehydrate and refuel, there were plenty of options.  The French influence on cuisine was apparent from the start of the day with crepes, croissants, and jams.  Not to mention fresh eggs cooked how you like them and plenty of other options.  And always served with fresh juice…the pineapple was incredible!  Even the restaurant views were amazing!

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Lunch was a mix of options, usually delicious sandwiches and a glass of wine : )

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And sometimes a second…or a festive, local bevvie!

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For dinner, there was plenty of freshly caught fish and French specialties.

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It was some of the best food I’ve EVER had!!!

And to Relax…

We read, did yoga, swam in our plunge pool and the big pools, hit up happy hour (sometimes in the pool), napped in the sun, took boat rides, fed the fish, laid in the hammock, played cards, took a million selfies, met new friends, got a couples massage, and enjoyed all the Polynesian culture.  I told you there was a lot of relaxation options!

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And the views…

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…Were breathtaking!!!

Fingers crossed, we get to visit these incredible islands again one day!  We were lucky to have friends who helped us plan our trip, so if you are thinking of visiting the area or want to know any details from our trip, reach out and let me know!

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Our tans may be fading, but our memories are not…

Mauruuru! (Thank you!)

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Ia Orana!!!

Ia Orana (pronounced yo-rah-nah)

Which must be said in an adorable sing songy voice!

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This post was supposed to be done and ready to go while we were gone, but I just wasn’t that pulled together and organized.  Now that we are back and working through some serious jet lag (3 flights in a 24 hours…or something like that), I have a few minutes to update the pictures and finish the post.  And tell you that our trip was absolutely incredible.  It exceeded all our expectations and we loved EVERY minute!

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Leaving our last island, Bora Bora…

January Goals

Exercise Often– Goal Met!  Prior to vacation, I hit the weights and got my runs in.  Best part was having the hubs by my side!

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And we had tons of opportunities to exercise in the Ocean!  I finally got to try stand up paddle boarding!

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Keep my Eating On Pointe– Once we got past the fry party on the first day of the year, I did a good job of keeping my meals clean!

Get Organized (for our trip and 2016)- So I was totes organized for our trip, or at least as organized as one can be when heading half way around the world to a place they’ve never been.  As for 2016…well, that’s another story.  2016 bucket list to come…

Create and Appreciate Expected and Unexpected Adventures- We made every day memorable and amazing on our trip!  We enjoyed the views and relaxation, the food, and all the cultural experiences.  Believe it or not, our trip went slowly, which was fantastic!

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February Goals

Change my name…Ugh!  I just have to change 2 letters and I know it will be a HUGE headache!

Cook some new recipes…we loved the Polynesian cuisine and can’t wait to try to replicate some recipes at home.

Create a budget and bucket list!

Maintain my vacation Zen!

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Honeymoon updates coming…if you want them (or haven’t seen my Insta pics). 

How was your first month of 2016?  What are you goals for this month?

Jetsetter

I’m Baaack!

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But I’m leaving again…

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Off to Nashville on Friday for a girl’s weekend!  Can’t wait!

In between – It’s super busy! 

Let’s see…there’s unpacking, Cooper loving, laundry, a 5 mile run (yesterday), paperwork, tea drinking, wine drinking, free latte drinking, cleaning, repacking, hot yoga (this morning), and OH YEA, celebrating my #34thBirthday TODAY!

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I can’t believe it’s been one year since I wrote my 33 Things to do While I’m 33 post.  Rereading it now, it does seem rather ambitious, but it warms my heart to see all that I’ve done this year that’s on the list.  What an incredible 365 days!  I’m looking forward to another exciting and special year ahead!

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Until then…enjoy an early #tbt pic from my quick cruise to CocoCay this past weekend!

See you next week!

Florida Weekend Photo Dump

I’ve been to Florida a bunch of times since I started blogging.  Each trip has some of the same and always adds something new and exciting.  Like bumping into one of my readers at the airport before 6am…ha ha!

 

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Hope you enjoy these pictures of family fun in the sunshine (aka photo dump)!

 

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I already miss that sunshine!

 

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Hope your weekend involves mojitos and sand between your toes!

Tag Along in Tel Aviv

We only had about 24 hours in this city, voted the 3rd most interesting by Lonely Planet in 2011, but we packed in some history lessons, current events, beach time, and night life.   Tag along for the highlights…

 

The Beach

 

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Independence Hall

 

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Rabin Square

 

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Lunch at Hippo

Serving Sabich on Lafa or Pita (YUM!)

 

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Best lunch EVER!

 

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Next Stop…Jerusalem!

 

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Friday and Florida

Ah, Friday!  Finally an evening to be home before 8pm, have dinner with the BOY, and sit my exhausted butt on the couch to watch Pitch Perfect.  Oh, and blog about our weekend trip to SarasotaOne week ago, the BOY and I boarded a plane for the sunshine state.  We had a slight complication as the BOY got a flat tire on the way to the airport.  Luckily, we were close enough to swing back home to switch cars.

 

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However, my car (having spent the night of the snow storm outside) was buried under thick, heavy snow.  We hurried to clean off my car and move our luggage.  I hate feeling late for the airport, so I definitely had a knot in my stomach as I drove us to O’hare.

 

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We made it no problem and a 20 minute delay seemed like nothing compared to all of the cancelled fights throughout the country so I felt thankful to be boarding the plane.  I alternated between reading and snoozing while sipping on my Starbucks.  We landed, caught a cab to our hotel which was only 10 minutes away, and checked in. 

 

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As we walked into the hotel, we were greeted by two of my close high school friends.  I love how life works out that way!  They were heading out to the beach as we were heading up to our room to change out of boots and winter gear and into shorts, tshirts, and sunglasses.  We walked a few blocks into downtown Sarasota which had plenty of options for lunch.  It wasn’t until we were seated outside at a little café ordering lunch and a cocktail that I finally exhaled and FELT like we were on vacation.  I knew it was going to be a relaxing few days!

 

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We had a nice mix of down time and wedding festivities ahead of us.  I spent Friday afternoon catching up with friends by the pool at our hotel.

 

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By 5pm, I was eager to get in a run before sunset.  I laced up my tennies and headed for town.  Last minute I decided to turn onto a large, steep bridge over to Bird Key making my way all the way to St. Armand’s Circle.

 

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I made it home super sweaty (when was the last time I ran in the heat?) and with enough time to shower and watch the sun set from our balcony.

 

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The BOY made us a dinner reservation at a place on the Marina overlooking some ginormous yachts.  We both love seafood and Sarasota is definitely the place for fresh fish.  Afterwards, we attended a cocktail hour hosted by the bride and groom.  It was wonderful to catch up with some old friends, and we were home and in bed early after a long day.  Saturday night was the wedding, but we had the day to spend at the beach.  We hitched a ride to Siesta Key to bury our toes in the white sand.

 

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We found the perfect sand bar to wade in the crisp water looking for seashells.  After which, we lounged in the sun under a clear blue sky enjoying the warm weather and eclectic mix of company.

 

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It was amazing to see people biking on the beach, and I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t jealous!

 

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After the most enjoyable day, we had just enough time to fight the crowds back into town, grab a quick bite to eat (fish tacos and truffle fries), and shower before the wedding.

 

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When you combine a beautiful evening, with a stunning hotel, and an amazing couple, it can only be described as magical.  The wedding was personal and sincere, and I was so happy to be part of this special event!

 

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Cocktail hour took place in the garden at sunset.  A truly breath taking scene!

 

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The BOY and I enjoyed the entire evening and were actually the last to leave the wedding : )  After midnight, as the wedding guests retreated to the bar, a few of us made our way to the hotel pool and hot tub.  Needless to say, I awoke the next morning with frizzy hair and wreaking of an over-chlorinated pool.  The BOY and I had no plans for Sunday, so we took a taxi out to Lido Beach.

 

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We took a long stroll down to the end of the beach overlooking Long Boat Key enjoying another spectacular day!

 

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From the beach, we walked a few blocks to St. Armand’s Circle.  After Friday’s run, I was eager to get back.  Per our taxi driver’s recommendation, we ate lunch at Columbia Restaurant.  The Spanish food was incredible and possibly the best meal we had all weekend!  With an afternoon Indiana game ahead, the BOY suggested cocktails and basketball.

 

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He didn’t have to ask me twice to spend Sunday Funday with a Mojito in the sun!  We got back to our hotel with enough time for a dip in the pool and nap before one last seafood dinner with the bride and groom and a few of their friends who had also stayed the extra night in Florida.

 

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Monday morning came way to quickly.  I pulled out my running shoes for one last 70 degree winter run.  This time, I stayed along the bay.  There is just something about running along the waterfront that I love!  By the time I came bounding back into the hotel room, the BOY was starving and ready for breakfast.

 

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We had a fresh and filling breakfast at the Toasted Mango leaving more than enough time for one last swim.

 

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Do I even need to tell you how hard it was to leave all of this and pack up for the airport???

 

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But sadly we did!  Our weekend was so bright and wonderful.  The BOY and I had some time to relax, and we returned feeling rejuvenated and already talking about our next vacation!  I’m hoping that just looking at these pictures will keep me warm through the last few weeks/months of winter.

Good Bye Sunshine State

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So, I’m sure you can tell by the title of this post that we are back in town after an absolutely incredible weekend in Sarasota, Florida.  I so appreciate everyone’s travel wishes!!!  We easily made it down to Florida and then spent 4 days exploring the city (despite all of my trips to Florida, I rarely make it to the gulf coast) and catching up with old friends.

 

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We buried our feet in the sand…

 

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Kept cocktails in in hand…

 

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Splashed around in the pool…

 

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Drank green smoothies to stay cool…

 

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Walked around town…

 

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And dressed up to boogie down…

 

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We admired the setting sun…

 

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But way too soon, our trip was done!

 

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Isn’t that always the case?!  We’ve got a busy week ahead, but hopefully I’ll find some time to drop in and share a few more photos and stories.

 

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Sending warm wishes from the sunshine state your way!