Uhhhmmm, I just signed up for a Half-Marathon

What am I thinking?!?! 

I understand impulse shopping and grabbing a candy bar while you are waiting in the check-out line, but impulsively registering to run 13.1 miles?!?!

Welp, guess it's a good way to end 2011 and a good way to start 2012.  I suppose I'm off to the gym after work tonight.  At least if I'm going to get through this course in 4 months. 


Christmas 2011

We had a relaxing Christmas day.  Not a lot of hub-bub, just the two of us.  We actually didn't open presents until almost midnight if that's any gauge for how little we ended up doing in the day.  

Our beautiful tree and stockings to hide the still not framed french doors

 This year, rather than one traditional Christmas puzzle, we had two.  This was not intentional, but when we got back from Kansas City, there was a package on our front doorstep from Terry's mom.  Since she knows how I do a Christmas puzzle every year (she got to be part of the tradition the Christmas they were with us in Texas), she picked one out and shipped it for us. 
I was really excited for her puzzle, but I already had a Christmas themed puzzle purchased, so we started with that it.  Also, I got the feeling that Mom's puzzle was going to be a bit more challenging, and I needed an easy puzzle to start the day.

 Turns out I was right about Moms Christmas puzzle.  We just finished it last night (Wednesday)!!  What a great gift!!

After all the phone calls and puzzling and napping, we got ourselves together to make dinner.  Terry wanted to try his hand at making the Steak Au Poivre sauce from the night before, so we got our first "purposeful fire" in the kitchen action with lighting a little Brandy in the saucepan. 
 Standing Rib Roast

Christmas Dinner was amazing.  Steamed Brussel Sprouts with Pearl Onions, Shredded Potato Hash (his with Maytag Bleu cheese that smelled like sweaty feet but tasted amazing....you know it's good bleu cheese when it smells putrid, and mine with Parmesan Cheese) made in Ramekins, and Rib Roast with mushrooms and Au Poivre sauce. 

The aftermath of Christmas.  We went light with gifting, but we stuffed this year full of wonderful memories.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas.


Kansas City to see the Raiders

Terry's big Christmas present this year was a trip over to see the Raiders beat the Kansas City Chiefs.  I had talked it over with Santa before the game, and so MY Christmas present was that the Raiders would win so that I would have a happy boyfriend.  Woohoo!

We drove the 4 hours over to Kansas City after work on Friday and got into our hotel just around when the sun was setting. 
We unloaded our bags and were getting ready to go out to dinner when we started hearing a lot of police sirens.  I was thinking that I guess we weren't in a nice area of town, but Terry started pacing and then said, "Lindsey! I think the Raiders are pulling into the front of the hotel!!"  Sure enough as we went running for the elevators, so were 15 other Raider fans.  We piled in, and we stopped a floor above the Lobby.......to the doors opening to THE RAIDERS!! 
We saw the entire team, but these were just some of the few pictures I took.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chaz Shilens, and Jon Condo
 Aaron Curry
 I don't remember who Terry told me this was....oops
 Janikowski. "The Polish Cannon"

When we got off our Raiders high, we headed out to 801 Chophouse for dinner.  We were one of MAYBE 6 couples in the entire place, so to say we had our own personal waitstaff is an understatement.  This dinner easily made my top 10 dinner experiences list (out-to-dinner experiences, Terry's meals still take the cake).  I had filet Au Poivre which is a Frenchy name for steak covered with peppercorn in a mind-blowing sauce....seriously, I licked the plate clean and asked for more.  Thunder thighs be damned, that sauce was worth it.  We also shared gnocchi and green beans.  A LOT of food, but lots of leftovers.
Terry had a Surf and Turf dinner with Steak and Lobster with a crab topping.  We each equally liked our meals (I still think mine won though with the sauce), even though we didn't come close to finishing them.  Was more than ok though with having leftovers for tailgating the next day.

Post amazing dinner nightlife. Went to a Bar that Daniel Boones grandson used to own as the last trading post for travelers on the Oregon Trail.  It's a historical national landmark, yet it's also a bar, pretty crazy.

Game day mornings, specifically Christmas Eve Mornings are made for tailgating!  We picked up Jack Stack BBQ right when we got into town Friday knowing we were going to chow down the next day. 
The Setup
 The preparation.

Drooling!  Kansas City BBQ.  Specifically "Burnt Ends".

We missed the very start of the game because we were still eating.  Please reflect to previous photos and you can understand that we were all right with this decision.
 My Handsome.

Pretty Amazing Club Level Seats.  Long story short, Billy is awesome and got us the hook up when he ordered his and Jordans tickets for the Thanksgiving game against Pittsburgh and our tickets for Christmas Eve.  What an experience!

Inside the club level during halftime.  Surprisingly we were not the only Raiders fans, although we may have been the only ones who were being civilized.  Shocking.
 This was as it was approaching nail biter phase, just before it went to overtime.
But THEY WON!!!!  Yah Raiders!  Awesome game and amazing experience together!  PS: Santa, you rock!!


Trip to the Carribbean: Lindsey and Allison Style

We had a nice vacation for 5 days on the Carnival Destiny to Turks & Caicos, Half Moon Cay, Bahamas, and Nassau, Bahamas.  Nice in that Allison and I got to spend 5 days together seeing new countries in the Carribbean.  A few not so great parts, but I'll get to that.  The bad certainly didn't take away from how great it was to spend time with the bestie.

We met up in Miami on Sunday night, headed for our hotel, then out to eat at Trulucks.  Trulucks was a favorite restaurant while we were living in Austin, so when I saw it was walking distance from the hotel, I foodie geeked out persuaded Allison that it would be amazing.  And it was!!
Crab Cake Sliders, Hot and Crunchy Shrimp, and Salt and Pepper Calamari

We woke up casually and went and got massages.  Then we headed back to the hotel, got all of our things together, and were off for the ship. Seeing as I've done the cruise scene a few times already, I wasn't sure what to expect with embarkation.  I've had good experiences where it all moves fast, and also have had hour waits in line to get checked-in.  Well, this took the cake on easiest boarding process ever.  The whole time I just kept saying to Allison, there's gotta be a line soon, but we strolled onto the boat with not a single person in front or behind us.  We put our stuff in our room and then headed up to the pool deck to watch us sail away.
Leaving Miami

We got to watch Monday Night Football on the pool deck.  Awful game, but still a fun experience.
The first full day on the ship was entirely at sea.  And notice that I don't have many pictures.  Thats because we were seasick for the grand majority of that day.  I'm not going to point any fingers at myself, but someone might have upchucked in the dining room entrance.
Needless to say, we tried to sleep the day away between being on the pool deck and being in our beds.  We debated and debated about going up to dinner because it was the formal night and finally decided to pull ourselves together and go.  Again, this is the only photo we took. 

We woke up Wednesday morning to the sun shining and the boat sitting still as we pulled into Turks and Caicos.  During all of the seasickness we had contemplated a snorkel adventure while we were there, but it turned out we couldn't have gone anyway as every single water excursion was cancelled because of turbulent waters.

We opted to sit on the beach, soak in some sun, swim in the crystal blue waters, and have a fruity beach drink to cheers being on solid ground.

Beautiful.  I want to go back to actually see some of the island.

After reluctantly getting back on the ship, we spent a bit more time at the pool deck relaxing, and had a leisurely afternoon/evening.  I was feeling a little bit better but Allison was still feeling awful by the time we were moving towards our next port, so she went to bed and I explored the ship for the night.  Went to the comedy club, met a few people, but just wasn't nearly as much fun doing things without my partner in crime. :-)
The next morning, we woke up to Half Moon Cay, which is an island owned by Carnival Cruise line.  We set up for a snorkel excursion in the afternoon, so we hung out on the ship for the morning.  Both of us again were feeling sick, but more of a "caught a cold or sinus" sickness.  When you're sick though on a ship, it all feels like seasickness.
Very tropical.

We both got suited up for the stingrays, but Allison was the only one who got all the way in.  I put my feet in the water and I started feeling nauseous again, so I didn't think swimming around breathing through a tube up to my mouth with wild animals swimming around me was such a great idea.  I touched one and that was all I wanted.  The rest of the time, I was a spectator.  Allison didn't last very long either.  It was still pretty amazing watching them though.

Never seen a conch before.  It was gross!
Crystal Blue water

When we got back on the ship, we went and got medicine to make the queasiness subside.  It was helpful and we were able to enjoy the evening on the ship.  They had "snow" in the main rotunda.  It's hard to see in the photo, but it was pretty. 

First dinner that was enjoyable. 

After dinner, we went to the piano bar and had a blast.  The musician was so talented and was playing James Taylor to Billy Joel to Elton John, to Journey's Don't Stop Believin' (fyi, that was Allison's solo in Low Key). Really really fun!

We woke up to being in port at Nassau. There was nothing planned for the day here so a little shopping and sightseeing was really all that was on the agenda.  Allison's aunt had warned her that the port in Nassau was a little shady and dirty, but I still wasn't expecting what we encountered.  

After getting through the main port terminal building to get into the city, this is what we saw:

I was in complete shock.  This is the main street right in downtown Nassau that EVERY tourist walks on.  The cruise didn't tell us anything in advance, so talk about a first impression.  Only after we talked to a few locals did they tell us that their Straw Market had caught on fire two weeks ago, and all the wreckage had been moved to the main street for trash collections to come take it away, but it was a slow tedious process. 

We walked around a little bit downtown, but in my opinion overall Nassau was a complete bummer.  I've heard so many great things about it too, but after walking through the new straw market and Allison grabbing a few souvenirs, we were both ready to be back on the ship.  

I will say it did have one of the most amazing sunsets however. 

Again, overall it wouldn't be the most amazing vacation that I've had.  Had the waters been calmer, I think that entire story would change.  Regardless, it was great time for Allison and I to spend with one another and I hope that we do it again soon!