Thursday, February 26, 2015

I'm in an UpTown Funk

Do you ever have those moments where you feel completely defeated, but for no reason? There's nothing bad going on in my life. It's actually going quite well. I have a full time job with regular pay checks, I have a cute apartment in the city, I have a rather swell guy I enjoy spending time with, I just got back from a wonderful trip to Mexico. So why am I so down?

Last night I had a great little night in. I tell myself that if I don't go to the gym after work, I can't just go home and drink wine in front of the tv all night. I lit my new lavender candle, found a good country Pandora station and got to work organizing my desk and throwing out mail that had piled up. Next I moved to my closet. I have three bags of clothes that will be going to Goodwill this weekend of winter clothes I haven't worn once this season.

Once that was done, I poured another glass of wine, put on The Devil Wears Prada and congratulated myself on a job well done. I was able to go to bed nice and early only to be woken up by my upstairs neighbors who were either fighting or having a very exciting conversation while having a 'lets run in place as fast as we can' competition (I've heard them fight, I've heard them make up, I hear their music and what they are watching on tv). This went on for a solid 30 minutes. I don't know these neighbors, it was late at night and I'm living alone, so I made the choice to not go knocking on their door to ask them to quiet down. This happens almost every night and I finally got the courage to let my landlord know. Apparently my building has a very strict noise ordinance and if someone complains then the owner gets fined. Two to three complaints and the renter gets evicted. Let's hope this first complaint is enough to have them quiet down.

Another on going issue is the time of day the garbage men come to empty the dozen dumpsters in the back alley that I back up to. Monday, the first one came at 3:30 am. Today, the first one came at 4:55 am. The other night, that swell guy I've been spending time with, looked up the noise ordinance for garbage trucks and it's from 6:00 am - 10:00 pm. I finally put in a formal complaint to the city, so please keep your fingers crossed that the city of Minneapolis cares about me getting a restful 8 hours of sleep at night as much as I do.

Finally, last night I hung a cute little coat rack and lost a screw. After dumping out all my shoes and not finding the screw, I assumed it rolled under the couch and I'd find it the next time I felt like washing my baseboards.

I got a lovely surprise while walking to the bus station today. Barefoot in my winter boots. I found the screw.

I adore my little apartment, but if I can't get any sleep, it might be time to say goodbye when my lease is up this summer. I'm putting all the blame for my Debbie Downer, down and out mood on my lack of sleep this week.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Cabo 2015 Part 4 - Our final days

On our last full day in Cabo, we dedicated it 100% to the beach and getting maximum sun. We might have been a bit ambitious with our tender Minnesota skin, but we sure got plenty of sun.

It was valentine's day and the resort was setting up for a wedding so there were less beach chairs. It was also incredibly windy, so they put down all the umbrellas so there was no cover from the sun what-so-ever.

I found 6 chairs and plopped down with my vodka lemonade, Nicholas Sparks book and tanning oil, SPF 4. Silly girl.

As the day went on, I slowly began to cover my burning skin and adding sun tan lotion to any part of my body that hurt from the touch of the wind. It eventually became too much and we headed up to the kiddie pool that was warm, fully shaded, and kid free.

St. Valentine came to the resort which was way more creepy than romantic.

By late afternoon we were all officially sunned out. We spent some time searching restaurants and trying to plan where we should go on our last night. No one wanted to have to actually look presentable or have to go anywhere so we just headed down to the sports bar restaurant at the resort. 5/6 ordered the over salted cheese burger and watched the dunk contest on a big screen tv. It was the most romantic valentine I've ever had (insert sarcasm).

After dinner we walked down to the beach to check out the valentine dinner set up. They had tables spread out on the beach, with a hear drawn around them in the sand and each table had it's own little fire ring. It looked quite romantic.

We stalked the wedding reception that was going on poolside. As much as we all talked crap about the wedding while it was being set up and its location, the final product was quite beautiful and everyone seemed to be having a great time. If I wasn't walking around in a mustard stained dress, I would have tried to sneak in a dance.

Our final day we worked on finishing off the alcohol we had left over. I had a rum and coke with my bacon and eggs and then moved on to wine while packing. We mixed together some margaritas, packed up some vodka tonics and beer and hung out by the pool after we checked out.

We didn't finish everything that we purchased, but we did a good job. Since our ride wasn't coming until 4 to take us to the airport, we went to Mariscos Las Tres Islas where I had my first bite of seafood for the trip.

It was just how I remembered it from last year.

Next thing we knew it was time to go back to the resort and head off to the airport.

The Cabo airport is quite small, and with a late flight there wasn't much open. We had a short delay, but landed in MN around midnight to a whopping 9 degrees.

As I sit here, reflecting on this vacation, we hit a record low for the season. It was -12 without windchill today. Needless to say, I'm questioning why I came home, and when I can get out again.

To top off my coming home, I went to pick up my little lady from my cousins. It was snowing and cold. My tire blew. I called AAA and sat in my car with my fur baby on my lap and totally broke down. It was pathetic.

Cabo 2015 Part 3 - Whale watching

After a couple days of laying in the sun on the amazing beach, we took a day off and headed in to town to explore some local food and markets.

The only thing we wanted to accomplish for the day was to book a whale watching tour. There are people around every corner that want you to book with them. As we approached a corner, there was a young man sitting in his booth and he just asked if there was anything he could help us with. It just so happened that he works for the group that my parents time share is through.

I asked about whale watching and that turned in to us booking a zodiac excursion and learning all about A-Rods life. This young man has quite the story but was so helpful and personable. He was born in Mexico and when he was young his family made it to Arizona. He finished high school there and was working in a car wash when immigration busted the store and he was taken to jail before being deported back to Mexico.

His sisters are still in Arizona and his parents are in Mexico City and he is in Cabo, working away, selling excursions. He told us some of his favorite places to go for good local food and we were able to try some of them such as Pollo de oro and Mariscos Las Tres Islas, which I went to last year.

Whale watching day came and it was cloudy and the waters were choppy. Perfect conditions for whale watching! Excuse the over load of pictures.

After whale watching, Erin and I went our own way while the parents ventured out on their own. We walked some more of the marina and came across some locals cleaning and filleting fresh fish! It was so cool to watch!

Anyone could buy any amount of fish that they wanted. I couldn't believe how they used every inch of those fish and anything left over went to the pelicans.

We could feel some light rain so we headed back to where we started and found cover at a restaurant where we shared a bucket of beers and a quesadilla.

We were supposed to meet up with the parents, but since the day was young and we had such a fun time at Cabo Wabo, we thought we'd go one more time for happy hour! The clouds started to part and our server kept giving us happy hour prices so we hunkered down for a couple buckets and enjoyed the people watching.

We had one more restaurant on our list of restaurants to try during this trip, so we headed back to the resort to clean up and head out to Maria Jimenez. I was so tired during this meal from all those buckets of beers earlier in the day, but I remember liking my food. 

There was the cutest little boy, Fabrizio (sp?) who helped serve our table. I think they said he was only 10 years old. When we wrapped up dinner, we each gave him a tip and he went around the table and gave us each a hug.  It was a cute little restaurant and I would go back there again.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cabo 2015 Part 2

I left off my last Cabo recap by letting you know we tried to stay out of the tourist areas/marina for our dinners. Since my aunt, uncle and cousin had never been to Cabo before, I suggested we head to the marina to walk around, read some menus and see if there's anything that tickles our fancies.

We walked around for a bit before a young man really tried selling his restaurant/menu to us. We said we were just walking around for a bit and would be back. We made it all the way around the Marina and nothing really stood out to us, so we headed back to the eager young man at Pochos.

After my mom went around to all 5 tables in this restaurant and asked the people dining if their food and experience was good and they all replied with enthusiastic yes's, we agreed to stay and eat.

We started the meal with table side caesar salad. The dressing was great but we needed more lettuce for the amount of dressing they served. As we moved on to our entrees 4 out of 6 ordered the surf and turf special. 4 out of 6 people disliked the surf and turf special. My dad ordered kabobs which he barely touched and I ordered chicken alfredo. The sauce was good, especially for a restaurant sauce, but I had to swim around and find the noodles and chicken.

The look of someone who sort of enjoyed their meal, and someone who did not
No one was happy with how the meal turned out. Whenever you are looking for a good restaurant in a tourist area, look for the ones that are busy but they aren't trying to sell you on their menu. When you have someone giving you a hard sale, walk away.

Since the night was young and we needed to boost our spirits, Erin and I had a plan to continue the night with drinks. Cabo is an easy city to walk around in and with this being my third time there, I felt like I knew the place pretty well.

I led the group to Cabo Wabo where we thought we'd stay for a drink, listen to their live band and then head back to the resort. We were so wrong. One drink led to another, then another followed by our parents telling us to grab a table inside where the band was moving to!

After closing out the tab approx 3 times, the parents left and Erin and I stayed and danced to a few more songs.

It was refreshing to hear the parents say they were glad we took them there and that they had a good time. I had only been to Cabo Wabo once before and it was for a quick lunch. This place is huge and, even though it's the definition of 'touristy' I will absolutely be back!

Coming up, a whale of a good time on a not so sunny day.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cabo 2015 Pt. 1

Just over a week ago my parents picked me up at my apartment and we headed for the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport. After a swift check in at Sun Country and a short line through security, vacation was officially underway.

We lunched at Surdyks where the bubbles went down very smooth before we boarded our flight.

When we arrived in Cabo San Lucas there was a car waiting for us. Nothing makes you feel like VIP more than a driver waiting with a sign with your name on it with some cold beers and a black Escalade.

On the way to the resort we stopped at the store to get some essentials like beer and breakfast fixings. I love that most car services in Mexico now include that as part of their service so you don't have to leave the resort again unless it's to replenish.

Night one I forgot a camera but it was probably one of my most favorite nights of the trip. We walked the beach to find a restaurant that was still open and came across Moxito. We all ordered margarits and the Mexican sampler that was loaded with quesadillas, chili relleno, steak, rice, beans and a few other items I'm sure I'm missing.

As we left dinner, we walked the beach back to the hotel and the moon was just starting to rise. It was so big and orange. On top of that the beach was covered in bioluminescent. I really wish I had captured this somehow. It was truly a magical night.

Our first couple of days were dedicated to the beach. We took full advantage of being on vacation and started the day's with beers on the beach, swimming in the ocean, making friends with the wait staff and finally enjoying the sunshine and warm weather!

We were on the quiet side of the building which meant waking up to the sun rising over the ocean every morning. My cousin and I shared the pullout couch in the living room so we were able to sleep with the sliding door open and fall asleep and wake up to the waves crashing.

After our first full day on the beach we went to Maria Corona for dinner. It's a cute little restaurant out of the tourist area/marina and we sat in a little courtyard and enjoyed our dinner. We tried to go off the beaten path for most of our meals, and those were our best meals of the trip.

To be continued...

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Weekend Review 43: At least we're consistent

This weekend really wasn't one for the history books so I'll keep it brief. Friday night I met my cousin who is going to Cabo with us for happy hour before meeting the Mr. at my apartment for dinner at Salsa A La Salsa and some music at Old Chicago. The band was pretty good but we didn't get to listen to them much. Once we arrived, they played one song and then took like, an hour break so we skidaddled.

90% of the rest of my weekend was consumed with volleyball. We had a two day tournament that started at Macalester College where we played ok, but just barely won our first match before being completely dominated 25-1 during our second match. by the third match on Saturday, the girls gave up.

Sunday took us further East to Stillwater High School. Our first match was great! The girls played really well and it was a close match through both games, but unfortunately we just couldn't pull out a win. The same trend as Saturday followed where we just went down hill drastically the rest of the day. It was very emotionally draining for me and the other coach.

After the tournament I was able to make it to the Mr.'s friends to watch the Superbowl and get my mind off the last day and a half. I think I was the only person cheering for the Seahawks, please don't hate me.

I'm so glad that when I was playing volleyball there was no text messaging or email at the tip of your fingers like there is today. If there's one thing that will lead me to not coach again, it's the parents. When I got home from the Superbowl party, I checked my email and had several from parents and several from the same parents. It left me tossing and turning all night.

We have a tournament on Saturday so hopefully the girls have checked their attitudes and we can pull out a win or two.

And that my friends was my weekend. I leave for Cabo in 2 days and my excitement level is through the roof. Ya know how when you get so cold you start to feel hot? I feel like I'm so excited for this trip that my excitement isn't quite showing. Make sense? Probably not. Welcome to my brain.