Friday, July 27, 2012

I'm Proud to be An American

You have that song stuck in your head now, don't you? I don't know about you, but every time I hear that song, I get the goosebumps.

Today is the opening ceremony of the Olympics. I don't think words can express how excited I am for this.

I love the Olympics. I love watching the best of the best compete in their sports. I love that for 2 or so weeks the world puts the BS on hold to celebrate their best. Wouldn't the world be a better place if the Olympics happened more then every 4 years? If we could forget that the terrorists are trying to blow us up, Iran has nuclear weapons that could destroy us all, North Korea is still being run by a crazy dude (albeit less crazy than his father), China lets the communism live on, and America is still in hard economic times? For 2 .5 weeks, representatives from all these countries come together, play nice, play fair and represent their country with pride. The world should try to live up to Olympic standards every day.

Let's Go Team USA!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


We decided to start our honeymoon the Monday after the wedding. It was cheaper and it gave us a day to recooperate. Which we definitely needed.

Our flight for Miami left at 6AM, so we were at the airport by 4AM. I am NOT a morning person, but we got upgraded to first that made it a tad better. We had a little layover in Miami, along with the rest of the couples that got married on June 9th. I think our plane to Antigua was 90% honeymooners. It was definitely interesting to see all the different types of honeymooners. People in their dressed down travel clothes, dressed up travel clothes, their "Just Married" attire.
First class to Miami.
After arriving in Antigua, we had to go through customs...which only took about 45 minutes. So compared to Miami, was relatively fast. Then a bag carrier guy took our suitcase from the belt, and walked the 50 feet to the Sandals cab station. And definitely expected his tip for that. Thanks jerk, I could've done that myself. But, we tipped him and got into the Sandals shuttle.

The shuttle took us around the coast of the island so we could see all the pretty scenery. I didn't get any pictures of this because 1. I get carsick and was attempting to not vomit everywhere 2. I was so flustered from the trip, I plain forgot.

Once we arrived at Sandals, we sat in the concierge lounge where they brought us a hot towel, some water and some cookies. They came by, checked us in and had us make Spa appointments (if we wanted them). After waiting there for a few moments, we were given our room key, a little tour of the area and escorted to our room where our bags were waiting.
View from our balcony
The bedroom/sitting room/balcony
The other side of the bedroom, looking towards the front door
Our bathroom
After getting settled for a little bit, we decided to take a walk around the grounds to get the lay of the land, and figure out where we were going to eat that night.
1st day of the trip
After walking around for a little bit, we went back to the room and got ready for dinner. The first dinner was at the Italian place called "Mario's." It was one of the only places you didn't need a reservation. And as with most of the places there, it wasn't all that crowded so we got in right away. The food was pretty good (I had Chicken Alfredo and Kenny Chicken Parmesan) and the service was even better.
Dinner the first night
After dinner, we walked down to the beach bar and got a few drinks/people watched. It was an early night that night though cause we were both exhausted from traveling.
Their famous drink, the Banana Sip Sop. It was really good!
The next morning we woke up and make our way to one of the restaurants that served breakfast. It was buffet style, and you sat on the beach. Not a bad way to start your morning.
Breakfast view.
That day was spent at the pool. There was a main, large pool and then a smaller pool that was off to the side. We didn't discover that smaller pool until a few days in. So the first day we managed to find a few chairs and hang out there for awhile. We then went and had lunch at the pizzeria and went to take naps before getting ready for dinner. Dinner was at their "Steak house." It had a Tex Mex feel. Kenny got the steak and I got fish tacos. Both were really good. The restaurant overlooked a huge courtyard where they were having entertainment. We got to watch people play the "newlywed" game and listen to the band as we ate.
Dinner the second night.
Wednesday was our Spa Day. So we went to one of the smaller pools (that didn't have a swim up bar) and hung there for a little while and then went to the Spa. We got a couples massage, and I was actually kind of surprised I was able to talk Kenny into it. He's kind of a shy/modest guy when it comes to stuff like that, but I managed to convince him he would love it. And he actually did really like it.
The birds that were in the lobby
 After the Spa, we went back to the room, showered and took a nap. Then it was time to get ready for dinner. This night was at a Japanese Steak House with the Hibachi grill. We ended up sitting next to a nice couple who were in the Air Force, and talked to them throughout dinner.
The heart made out of fried rice
Dinner on Wednesday
Thursday was Zip lining day. I have to admit, I was a little anxious about this. I don't do well with heights. At all. But I'm not one to let my fears stand in the way, and our friends Richie & Christy and Charlie & Heather had done it on their honeymoon, and loved it. So I figured, what the heck.
The Rain Forest
Us, before zip lining.
So, they give you all the equipment, helmet, gloves, harness, etc, you get strapped in, they do a little safety run through and then you go. Kenny had a really good time. I never really got into it. I was freaking out about the heights...I couldn't figure out how to stop without jerking my arm out of the socket, so eventually I said screw it and ran into the pillow they had on the tree to stop myself. And to top it all off, I got a nasty nasty rash on my wrists/arms from where the gloves hit my skin. So all in all, an experience I'll put in the books but not going again. I told Kenny it would be a daddy job if our kids wanted to go.

We have no pictures/videos from the zip lining. The angle they took them at made me look like I was at least 1,000 lbs. And the video, I can be heard screaming some not so nice things that I don't think my mother would appreciate hearing. So, in your head if your picturing me helmeted & harnessed up and screaming profanities as I zip across the rain forest on a line known as the "screamer" - you'll pretty much get the gist.

After we were done with zip lining, we went back to the place, showered up and went to dinner. We went to the Pub there - I had fish and chips and Kenny had steak (again)...and once again, the food was awesome. Afterwards, we took a walk on the beach on our way back to the room.
Friday was a pool day. We had found the small, off to the side pool (that still had a swim up bar) at this point. So that is where we spent most of the day. Well, Kenny was there until lunch. Then he peaced out and went back to the room to nap cause he's not a fan of the sun. I, however, love being in the sun so I stayed and read my book and basked.

It also happened to be "Antigua" day. Think lots of Carribean music and dancing. They walked through the pool area, singing and dancing. And I started dancing with them...yes, I was in the pool but what does that matter?
Hanging by the pool. Love that he didn't tell me I had a huge glob of sunscreen on my face.
Me, and my Antiguan dancer friends.
Living the life.
That night was our "romantic dinner on the beach" night. We had picked from a menu earlier in the week, so we were sat at a table on the beach, served drinks/champagne and our food. It was once again amazing food and awesome service.

At the table.

Our personalized Menu
The next day was snorkeling time. When we went to sign up for it, the lady was all like "have you snorkeled before?" And our answer was yes, in a pool but never in the ocean. And she's all "well, you have to take snorkeling lessons, its different." $50 later and its no different than snorkeling in a pool. So if they ask you in the future, just say yes.

We took our lessons in the pool, learned out to breath through the snorkel (duh), clear water from your mask and to swim without using your hands. They don't want you cutting yourself up on the reef.

We then took the little boat out to the reef and hopped in. The water was blue, but not as clear as I'd hoped. And the reef wasn't nearly as colorful as the screen saver makes it out to be. Every once in awhile a pretty colored fish would swim by, but for the most part it was non pretty colored fishies. There were, however, small jellyfish. They don't affect your palm, so you can just kind of swat them away. But I swear they were after me, cause everytime I'd go up to clear my mask and then come back down BAM there was one in my face. But all in all, an awesome experience that I would love to do again.
On the boat
Kenny, getting ready to jump in.
Me, getting ready to jump in.
After snorkeling we spent some more time at the pool. Went to dinner early and crashed early.

Sunday, our last full day there. Was spent all day at the pool.

You'll probably have noticed (or not) that I don't talk about the beach a lot. We spent a few hours there but didn't enjoy it as much as the pool. While they do have people coming over to you to ask if you want a drink, its not as convenient as the pool. And none of the beaches on Antigua are private, so Sandals doesn't own the beach. Which means you have people coming up to you every 10 minutes wanting to sell you jewelry or a horseback ride. I ended up pretending I was napping, and even when they yelled "HEY!" right in my ear, I continued to "sleep." I don't want your stinking necklace...

Anyways, we ate dinner that night at a restaurant on the beach. It was all you can eat buffet of "steak" night. Kenny's favorite. And they had a dessert favorite.
In front of the Sandals sign
Dinner on the beach.
Monday, we got up, ate breakfast, finished packing and then waited for our bags to be picked up. We took the Shuttle to the airport, waited there for 2 hours and then got on the plane. Customs in Miami is THE WORST. You wait in line forever. And then the line we were in the guy was doing 1 customer per every 3 the other agents were doing. Then the agent next to us had to take a break, so we ended up alternating with his line. Oh, I wanted to rage. But I also didn't want to spend the night in airport prison or get probed, so I just stood there quietly. We finally managed to back it back to Dulles and back to my parent's house around 1 in the morning.

It was definitely a fun and relaxing trip, just what we needed after the whirlwind of the wedding. I can't wait for our friend trip back to a Sandals, I vote the Bahamas next time!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Menu Planning

When I was a kid we went to the commissary (military version of the grocery store) once a month. My mom had a cart, I had a cart and it took most of the morning getting everything we might need to consume and/or use in that month. The reason we could do this was because my mom planned the menu a month in advance, she would write down what we were having each day and put it on the fridge. Which was genius cause no one ever asked her "what's for dinner?" we just looked at the sheet.

It's definitely a money saver to go to the commissary once a month rather than going to the grocery store once a week. Also, I'm lazy. I don't want to have to go to the grocery store once a week. Cause then I see that Gelato is on sale, and I end up buying 3 things. And really, I don't need 3 things of Gelato in my house. So it's better for the budget and my waistline to make 1 trip once a month...minus the time in the middle of the month where I will have to go to the store to get things like vegetables and other things that would go brown and yucky before the end of the month.

So since we're getting to the end of the month, a commissary trip is getting planned. I sat down with some of my cookbooks I got for the wedding, and went on to find some recipes. My husband and I (while picky eaters) also like to eat "healthy" and on the lighter side. That website is good for finding dinner recipes that are under 400 calories, and for recipes of traditional really yummy things that they substitute "healthier" things to make it better for you. Using those resources, I came up with a menu.

Our summer menu lineup:
Mondays - Pasta
Tuesday - Mexican
Wednesday - Sandwiches/Paninis
Thursday - Chicken
Friday - Pizza
Saturday & Sunday - leftovers

The pizza will be homemade, I got a recipe for dough and sauce. But Pizza is Kenny's absolute favorite food, and I wanted to have the tradition where Fridays = pizza days. So it'll be a different kind of pizza (pepperoni, pesto with chicken, etc.) depending on what we have.

As far as the leftovers go, most of the recipes make at least 4 servings. There are some that are easy to half down to 2 and some that aren't. So for the ones that aren't, we'll just plan on having leftovers during the weekends when its hectic.

This lineup will change as the weather changes. Once it's not hotter than Hades, we can start adding in soups and more casseroles.

And yes, when I am gone for those 10 days - Kenny chose to have lean cuisines for dinner.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

And you thought we were done...

...with wedding pictures. I promise this will be my last post on the matter, well at least for awhile.

We had a Photobooth at our reception. And it was AH-MAZING! I highly recommend the company ( They were professional, fun and so nice. They ended up sending me a blown up picture from one of these of all my bridesmaids with my Pop. He said he thought it was an awesome picture and wanted to make sure I had a big copy. How awesome is that?

We also had doubles printed of the picture. That way people could take 1 home and put 1 in our guestbook. That's right, we used this as our guestbook. And I really think this was the best decision I made, other than the one to marry Kenny ;) I look at our guestbook regularly, it's sitting on our coffee table. And when people come over that's 1 of the first things they look through and they laugh, and I laugh. And everyone having a wedding should do it, cause it's awesome.

Thanks to Susan for helping out with the Props, they definitely turned out infinitely better than if I had tried to do that!

There are more than what I put here. If you want to see all of them go here ( and the pass code is 060912.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the night:
The Zerras
Sean & Stephanie
The Dasos, Natalie & Baby Avery
Richie & My nephew Ryan
My cousins
My crazy friends, Ali, Susan and Hale

My bridesmaids with Pop, I LOVE these SO much!
Charlie & Heather
Natalie & Ashley
Susan, Corri & Dibert
My Aunt Dee Dee and Uncle George
The Freyvogel clan
My College Roommates and their +1's
Natalie, Ashley & their moms
Cara, Chris and Baby Walczak :)
Jay & Andrea
My Uncle & Aunt (Let's go Nats!)
All my Hokies!
My Mom and Her Aunt (her namesake)
416! My college roommates - Minus Avery
The Provosts
Brad & Kaitlin
I just don't even know, haha.
Kenny's cousins
My coworkers, Cara & Marianne
Me & My Bridesmaids :)
Kenny & I with the bridesmaids
Kenny & I with the groomsmen
Kenny & his groomsmen
BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. this picture makes me laugh EVERYTIME. Oh Richie.
My cousins!
This is Kenny's favorite picture of the night.
The Bevilacqua's, Jay + Andrea, and a photobomb by me.
Me & Kenny <3
All the Groomsmen/Ushers
Riva For Life. My loves from Switzerland.
My Uncle Joe & my dads USNA '78 classmates.
My Aunt Sue & Uncle Joe
My adopt-a and little one. With a cameo from Uncle Joe.