Monday, October 14, 2013

Bora Bora

September 25- October 2
Our 10 Year Anniversary is coming up in December, so we decided to celebrate early by going on vacation to Bora Bora. (Ricky works retail and can't get time off right before Christmas.) It was AMAZING!!!!! It will probably be the best vacation of my life, it was that good! Here is the view from the airplane.
 We left on Wednesday while the kids were at school, and took Ethan over to Grandma's for the day. It was nice to have the grandmas and grandpas watch the kids while we were gone. They stayed at our house, to keep the kids on somewhat of a schedule with school and all. We had free internet in our hut, thanks to Ricky's gold membership, so we Skyped with the kids as much as possible. The 6 hour time difference made it a little challenging some days, but we made it work. Our trip there included a 2 hour drive to Chicago, a 4 1/2 hour plane ride to Los Angeles, an overnight flight of 8 1/2 hours to Tahiti, a 1 hour flight to Bora Bora, a water taxi to Viatape (the main city in Bora Bora), and then another boat to the island where the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort was located. With layovers, we left at 12pm on Wednesday and arrived at 11am at the resort (plus the time difference) which ended up being about 30 hours of traveling. When we got there, I didn't even care about how long it took. It was breathtaking! The water was gorgeous! (Pictures are in no particular order, just enjoy!)
 We got lei-ed when we got to Bora Bora, how cool is that?!?!
  We got there too early to check into our room, so we changed into our swim suits and just hung out on the beach while we waited. Not too bad of a way to wait for your room. We got checked in and they took us on a golf cart to our hut for the week. We knew it was a hike, so we clocked it on my gps one day, and it was a quarter of a mile walk from our hut to the restaurant! I guess we got our exercise in for the week by walking to breakfast and dinner each day. 
Relaxing in the hammock! It was so relaxing the whole time, no worries, nothing to do, and just plain beautiful everywhere you look! They had hammocks all over the resort, along with lounge chairs and umbrellas set up on the beach. When we checked in, they told us they were fully booked, but we barely ever saw people around. That was one of the perks of being on an island with water access from our room.
 We saw the black rocks from the volcano. The rocks were hot to touch, but beautiful. They do weddings on the top of the hill overlooking the black rocks. 
 We went to the main city to explore and enjoy dinner. They only had a few shops and everything was soooo expensive. T-shirts were $31! Crazy!  We picked out souvenirs for the kids and grandparents (for watching the kids).  Dylan got  a ukulele, Lauren got a tropical flower skirt, and Ethan got a stuffed turtle with Bora Bora embroidered on the belly. They didn't have too much to choose from.  Ricky got a hat (because he forgot his and his head burnt the first few hours we were outside), and I got a black pearl necklace. It is beautiful and I love it!
 The view as we walked along the path each day, just stunning.
 We went to some of the little shows they put on at the resort, and this one was how to open a coconut. The pool boy, Tapu, showed us how to open the coconut and then let Ricky try it. I feel good knowing that Ricky can open a coconut if we ever get stranded on a deserted island!
 Speaking of deserted islands, we spent one day on the private island of Motu Tapu, the Hilton owns the island and took us there. We were there with one other couple and the 2 workers. It was so peaceful and a great way to spend our last full day in paradise! It was so cool to know that we were on the same island where the TV show Amazing Race had a challenge.
 They made a picnic for us to enjoy. It was AWESOME!
 Right before we were leaving the island, Ricky and the other guy saw a sting ray in the water. Ricky went after it to see how close he could get. It was really cool and now he can say that he's swam with the sting rays in the ocean. I was content watching from the beach, but it was really cool!
 The view from our breakfast table everyday, Beautiful!!!!
 One of the hostesses. They remember your room number and just put everything on your tab. (When there are only 3 restaurants on the island, and 2 of them only serve dinner with reservations, you get to know the staff pretty well!)
 Another stunning view of paradise. 
 Our room was one of the few that could see the sunset every day. It was magical! I loved how the sun would disappear, but you could still see the light in the sky. It just shows you that the world is round! (one of our discoveries while we were in Bora Bora!)
  I set the camera on timer to get a shot of us jumping in the ocean. Fun times!
 The day we left, we had to check out of our room by 11 and didn't need to leave the resort until 4, so we hung out by the pool. One of the workers came over to ask if we could help vote on the Mr. Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort for 2013. It was fun to see their culture, since we missed the Polynesian dancing night. Some of the men were totally into it, which made it fun for everyone! (The guy holding me was the winner!)  
We hiked up to the chapel and the top of the resort to see the amazing views of the island. Such a great place and I really hope we can go back there sometime!
 The fish in the ocean were so colorful. They would swim right up to you! Ricky had a great time snorkeling, and I tried to get into it a couple of times. I had a hard time with all of the bigger fish coming right up to you. They were beautiful!
 The resort also had free rides on the Hobbie Cat (Catamaran). I thought it was cool, but it was very scary in the middle of the ocean when one side of this little thing was up in the air. My fingers were purple from holding on so tight and I don't think I have heard Ricky laugh so hard in my life. He was loving it, and I just wanted to be back on land. I'm pretty sure I can say that I will not ever get on a small Catamaran again.
 I was much better when we got in the pool and I could relax again! The pool was a double infinity pool with 2 levels. It was another one of the amazing perks about this resort!
 This was by far the best vacation of my life! I am so grateful for my loving husband who has a great hobby of collecting miles to get us to amazing places like Bora Bora. (He got us free flights, a free upgrade at the resort, 5 free nights, free internet, and free breakfast everyday!) We had the best, most relaxing week of our lives. Maybe we can go back for our 20 year!

Monday, October 7, 2013

September in a nutshell

We have been keeping really busy around here. With the 2 boys before school, one after school and other various babysitting jobs during the day, we are filling up our spare time. It has been a lot quieter around the day here, with just Ethan home. He has Joy-school once a week, playgroup (for church that I'm in charge of) once a week, and then we have daily activities and grocery shopping, etc. that fill up our time. He also has weekly play dates with friends and then I help out at the school in Dylan and Lauren's classrooms. It has been really nice to help their teachers out with some of the daily tasks that need done. Plus, Lauren enjoys seeing me in her classroom.

 My mom has been helping out with the kids a lot lately, Thanks mom! I really love living close to my family. She took them to the Celery Bog and they had a blast.
Jared and Lenell (Ricky's brother and wife) had their twin girls on September 1st. We were at my parent's house for the weekend helping them paint, so we stopped by to see them on the 2nd. We couldn't see the girls, because they were 6 weeks premature and in the NICU at the hospital.  They were 3 and 4 pounds when born. I've never seen such a tiny little baby, but they sure are cute! I've been able to go back 2 times without the kids to give the girls some love and snuggles. (Thanks to my mom and friend.) They are adorable and getting better by the day. Hopefully they will be going home soon.

Dylan started soccer this month, with practices on Monday and Wednesday nights and games mostly on Saturdays. He is doing so much better this year. He headed the ball at the game the other day and then the boys are passing the ball more each game. It has been so much fun seeing the improvements he has made over the past couple of years. Last week, he even scored a goal! We are so proud of his improvements.  

Lauren started dance class again in September. She wanted to do Ballet, until she found out that her old teacher was teaching Jazz this year. It has been fun for her to learn more dance moves this year. 
 We had dentist appointments for Lauren and me, and Lauren did great this time. We talked about it a lot more this time (and I bribed her with nail polish) and she did so much better than last time! The next day, she had to get her kindergarten shots. (I had taken her to the specialist in Indy, but forgot to take her to her yearly exam!) She was not too happy about these and hobbled around for 2 days after getting the shots. Girls! She is doing fine, now. Luckily, the flu shot can now be given through the nasal mist. 

September 14th, Ricky called me and said his boss had 2 free tickets to the Purdue game. I found a sitter and we got to go to the game for free! Awesome! We had never been to a game together, so it was really fun. Then, the people standing next to us gave us a $10 coupon for concessions. Doesn't get any better than that! We were in row 16, and the stadium was packed. It was an 8pm game and it was televised, so it was an intense game. Everyone in the stadium was standing the entire game. We played Notre Dame, and it was really close until the end of the game when we lost. On the way home, traffic was horrible and then a car in front of us died. We helped them out and jump started their car at 12:30 in the morning! Overall, it was a great date night with the hubby!

September 20th, we headed to my sister's house for Landen's birthday party/dinner. We left the house by 5pm to pick Ricky up on our way, and didn't get there until 7:30pm! That was the longest drive ever, since it normally only takes an hour and 20 mins. to get there! Crazy, but we had a great time visiting with family. On the way home, we picked up our nephew, Keegan, for the weekend. Ethan was so excited to see him and play with him, but ended up getting sick Saturday morning. Poor little guy had the 24 hour bug. Luckily no one else ended up getting it this time around. We'll just have to get together with Keegan again soon so Ethan can play with him. Everyone, but me, fell asleep on the way there.

For Christmas, my mom gave each of the kids a ticket for a one-on-one day with each kid. Lauren chose to go horseback riding and to Chuck E Cheese. She didn't care for the horseback riding this time because she had to sit on the back of the horse. She still had a great time with grandma! 
 Ethan got his special day with grandma while Ricky and I were on vacation. They went to Chuck E Cheese, the zoo with a train ride, and Purdue for the Boilermaker train ride. Apparently, the Purdue train is too loud for him.
 That's all I can think of right now, so I guess this is September from my memory! Enjoy!