Birthdays, Anniversaries, and a trip to the U.S.!

Well Jamie and I just got back from 3 weeks in the U.S. to visit family.  It was a whirlwind trip, as those trips usually are, but it was nice to see friends and family.  But before that, we both had our birthdays and our 1 year anniversary!

My birthday was first in March.  Fortunately and unfortunately I was in the middle of a clean eating challenge with my bootcamp group.  My birthday was my “cheat day” (which we don’t get, but I did it anyway) and we went to our favorite little Italian hideout.  It was delicious.  I, of course, got their molten lava cake because it is divine.  I was a bit sick the next day.  Ok, a lot sick, but I think it was worth it!  I still finished the clean eating challenge down a few pounds and percent body fat!  Win, win.

In April it was Jamie’s birthday.  He traveled back to the U.S. as well as several other places for work right up until his birthday.  We went to our new, favorite little steak restaurant by our house.  It’s not your typical steak place – it’s Argentinian and they cook your choice cut of meat on an open flame, simply cooked.  It is wonderful!  We always get a table at the bar that overlooks the kitchen, which is cool.

Then it was time to head back to the U.S. on our bi-annual family visit.  Luckily this time Jamie didn’t have to go in to work like he normally does.  Usually he will work from the Houston office while we are in town, but this time was all vacation.  We first went to his dad’s lake house outside of Huntsville, TX.  It was really nice just relaxing and visiting with them.  Jamie’s siblings came, too, so we were all together!  We got some Southern fried favorites while we were there, too – chicken fried steak at the local diner and one night they fried catfish, hushpuppies and pickles!  It was amazing.  I gained all my lost weight back on this trip for sure.  We also sold our yellow Jeep while we were home.  Kind of sad. We kept it thinking it would be nice to have when we go back to The States, but ended up just sitting there and costing us money.  Bummer, but it’s OK.

After that we flew to New Orleans for our anniversary!  We love this city.  The weirdness, the food, the weirdness.  Great place to people watch.  We always stay at the beautiful Hotel Monteleone!  It was built in the 1880’s and the rooms and hotel are still decorated that way.  It’s in the French Quarter, too, so you can walk to all the good restaurants and stuff.  We had our anniversary dinner at G.W. Finns which is rated the best restaurant in New Orleans.  It.  Was.  The.  Best.  We had a little bit of everything, but the highlight was the salted caramel ice cream pie.  Enough said.  It was honestly and truly the best dessert I have ever had, and that’s saying a lot!

 

After that we rented a car and drove to Seaside, Florida.  When we lived in The States we used to go there every May for the last several years with Jamie’s mom and step-dad.  It is also where Jamie proposed!  We met his parents as well as our friends there and stayed for several days.  Seaside is a quaint, well designed little beachside city.  It’s small and has every intention of staying “small town”, however my friend, Anne and I overheard in the coffee shop that a “big name hotel chain” was coming in to the disgust of the locals.  We’ll see if that happens, but if it does, it will ruin the vibe of the place.  Nonetheless, we had a good time.  We got to eat at our favorite spots – fried grouper sandwiches at George’s, gumbo and crawfish pie at Stinkey’s, breakfast at Great Southern Kitchen where I got crab cake eggs benedict on a biscuit!  Yumm!  (You can see how the pounds keep getting added the further into this trip we get!)

AFTER THAT we went back to Houston where my mom picked us up and we headed to her beach house in Galveston to hang out with my side of the family.  My grandparents came over for the day Saturday, so I am glad we got to see them this trip.  We had some good beach time, played games, and when we went into downtown Galveston for dinner, we first had one of those silly, old time photos taken!  Haha!  It was hilarious.  My mom also ordered an anniversary cake from the place that did our wedding cake!  It looked just like our wedding cake, but smaller and tasted divine!  Jamie and I didn’t get a good taste of it at the wedding.  Very happy my mom got this for us!  Jamie had to fly back to Singapore after that, but I went back to my parents’ house and spent the next week with them.

While in my hometown I luckily got to go to both my nephews’ awards assemblies at their schools, and accompanied my youngest nephew on a field trip with his Gifted and Talented class!  Earlier in the year they pitched a community garden idea to the city council and a consultant to the Dallas city planning committee was there.  He offered his services to get the garden up and going, so on this field trip we went to his office and got to watch them brainstorm how to get it started.  It was really neat! I also got to help my mom and sister around their houses, which I enjoy doing, and then Saturday we had a birthday party for my youngest nephew.  My aunt, uncles and cousin came over for the day, as well, so it was really good to get to see them.  It’s always nice to get to spend some time at home with no agenda.  My mom, sister and I spent one day at Six Flags, just the 3 of us!  I love Six Flags and all it’s nostalgia, and I have to say it did not disappoint!  We spent the entire day there, open to close (10-6, thank goodness, we were beat!) and had a blast!  Of course, I kept my Southern food eating frenzy alive while in and around my hometown.  Had to hit all my favorite spots!  I’ll be paying for this trip in the next couple of months by working out harder and eating bird food, but that’s OK.  All worth it!

Well that’s what we have been up to the last couple of months.  Jamie is traveling a lot these next few weeks for work, so nothing too exciting will be happening for us.  HOWEVER, my friend, Emily and I bought tickets to see none other than MS. BRITNEY SPEARS herself here in Singapore at the end of the month!!!  SO.  EXCITED.  I have been listening to her albums while tootling around the house this week and watched the Britney episode of “Glee” the other day to get psyched up!

 

Oh, here is the photo we took at the old-time-photo-takin’-place in Galveston.  You’re welcome.

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