Saturday, August 20, 2011

Make a wish...

Happy Birthday to the man that was put on this Earth just for me.  Happy 31st Birthday to the man that makes me smile every day even if I don't get to talk to him or be physically close to him.  Happy Birthday to the man that married me and makes me that happiest girl in the whole world. 

Happy Birthday Jay!  You are the most generous, funniest, kindest person that I know and I am so lucky to have spent two years of your life with you....and you are stuck with me for at least a hundred more!

Happy birthday to this guy:
at the shooting range with the gun he bought me!

Hatin' on the Beib.

Getting a pedi with me...

Modeling in San Antonio, TX

Posing on a deer stand with my daddy and bro in law

Eating. :) I love you.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Trip Four: Orange Beach, AL

Because of Jay's job, our vacations are usually hurried and back to back.  Our trip to Orange Beach is an example.  A week after returning from San Antonio, Jay and I went (with Maggie and Kris) on a beach trip/shopping at the Foley outlets. :)  Kris and Jay both work for the same company and since schedules rotate, they are hardly ever home at the same time...So Maggie and I took advantage of this opportunity by planning the trip.  This vaca was at the perfect time.  Work was about to when I came home and got in the Hynum-mobile. ha.

Back seat drivers.  And a watermelon Four Loco.
We arrived at the hotel a little late that night, but thankfully, our crew understands how much food means to me and they all were willing to try The TIn Top Restaurant and Oyster Bar, which was a great decision.  The food was fantastic and we ate outside on their patio!

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Orange Beach...and that is where I met my first pancake making machine.  I was so impressed.  It's a machine.  You press a button, and in like sixty seconds out rolls two pancakes that are perfectly cooked just like my dad's!  (Mom's were always irregularly shaped and a variety of shades of black and brown ha ha)  And that just started my day off right.
Right after pancakes, the Hynums and the Jordan's went to the beach for a perfect morning of tanning and relaxing.  We followed that up with lunch at the Hangout.
The girls

The guys
We had a little too much fun in the souvenir shop...But all we took home were t-shirts. :)

While we were on the beach and the guys were on their hunt for boogie boards or beverages, Maggie and I discussed parasailing.  Maggie does NOT fly.  And at first the thought of it scared her.  But after some reassurance of safety and a little convincing, she seemed ready to go. The real pusher was that right after we talked about it, one of those advertising planes flew by with a phone number and a special deal on parasailing.  We were in.  After lunch, we made our way to our parasailing vessel appropriately named "Up Yours":
My fav parasailing pic!  They were both laughing and smiling so big!

A day of shopping at the Foley outlet malls led us to a wonderful pair of "Jay-size" flip flops.

So cute. :)
Dinner that night at Lulu's of course!

 Lunch on our way home at Lambert's Cafe where they throw the rolls and even the salads aren't healthy... :(

And stopping by the Watermelon Patch on the way home for a photo opportunity in a very hot metal watermelon!

For such a short vaca, we had a great time.  Thanks to Maggie and Kris for driving us, and for playing games in the car with us. (A is for....B is for.....C is for... ha ha I loved it!) 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Trip three: San Antonio, TX

The week that Jay returned from work in June, it was time to try out a road trip in the new car!  And it definitely turned out to be an adventure.  I took off work on a Thursday and a Friday, so the fun began on Wednesday night when we drove to Meadville and dropped off the child...

Lilly had a great time and gained a few pounds eating Beggin' Strips for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
We set out early Thursday morning for the great state of Texas.  Thursday night was spent in Humble, TX at the residence of Allan and Lori Ross with a fabulous dinner at the Melting Pot..(Jay and I were Melting Pot virgins and we thoroughly enjoyed the excitement of being our own chefs.
The host and hostess
On the other side of the FUN-do bowl

 Also, we went to my brother Allan's new job, (CONGRATS!!) and we learned that Jay is awesome at Mexican Train Dominoes...

Friday morning we headed for San Antonio.  When we arrived at our destination, I fell even more in love with :)  I had purchased an "Escape" from the website to stay at a bed and breakfast called The Oge' House.  Our room had a sitting room, a kingsize bed, a private patio, and a two-person bathtub complete with massaging jets on the bottom and sides...(clearly I was impressed with the bathtub...I wrote down the model number.) 
The Oge' House during the day (Jay on his BB)
The Oge' House at night

THE bathtub.  Oh, and our package came with a bottle of chilled champagne, two glasses etched with the Inn's name, a box of Godiva chocolates, 6 battery operated tea light candles and one of the Inn's embroidered robes!
 After we arrived, we wanted lunch and we were directed to the Gunther House which is the home of Pioneer Flour etc.  The biscuits were fab.

That night, we had planned a wonderful dinner at The Little Rhein House (a steak place!!) Amazingly, our package deal came with a ride to our dinner, cheuffered by the Inn's owner in his antique Rolls Royce. 

Baked Alaska for dessert at The Fig Tree
The next day after a three-course breakfast at the Oge' House, we ventured off to the Stinson Airport to use a Groupon that I had bought.

Our helicopter ride!  Debbie, our pilot, flew us over downtown San much fun.
The rest of the day was spent touring.  It was SO HOT.   While perusing some events calendars at the airport, Jay and I came across an article on the San Jose' Mission.  I am so glad that Jay wanted to go as bad as I did.  The San Jose' Mission is the size of six football fields and is surrounded by a hand-built stone wall.  Everything there is original and still in tact.  You can walk around the grounds freely and take pictures or just enjoy the walk.  This is it from our helicopter ride:

At the entrance

The church inside of the mission

Propping this camera on a rock and using the timer, I took this picture twice by running back and forth!  Finally, some girl felt sorry for me and came and took our pic.
The rest of the day consisted of a visit to the Alamo, the Emily Morgan Hotel (haunted and great story), the Menger Hotel, the Riverwalk and a horse carriage ride, we started getting ready for dinner.

Prior to going to San Antonio, Jay was checking out restaurants that we might want to plan on for dinner.  We decided on a restaurant called Restaurant Gwendolyn (More info here).  At this restaurant, Chef Michael Sohocki and his staff prepare your meals using nothing that has a motor or that requires a plug.  They also only use ingredients brought in fresh daily from less than 150 miles away.  We were pumped to try it...but we didn't make a reservation!  When we called that night to try and reserve a table, we were told that they had been booked for two weeks.  We put our name on a waiting list, and then took turns calling every hour. :) At a quarter til seven, they called us and said if we could make it in thirty minutes that they had a table open!  It was luck.  We raced getting ready.  The restaurant was only one room.  The kitchen was enclosed by windows, so the customers could watch their food be prepared.  Jay and I got the 5-course tasting menu, of course, and we ordered one of each option.  We also opted for the wine pairings, which is something we have been doing at quite a few restaurants--and loving it. 

This was some kind of buttermilk and grass soup. :)
Jay got a little warm after the fourth course (and glass of wine), so I had to drink his. :)

From start to finish, this trip was a success.  Even the long drive back was a blast.  We stopped at Bucky's gas station/tourist attraction and picked up two bags of "Beaver Nuts" that kept us busy the whole way. 
*As a side note, I would like to mention that whenever Jay and I move to a new house, we will be installing this two person whirlpool tub.  I do believe I have never been cleaner than I was on this trip.  It was SO relaxing! Unforgettable.