From Toronto, with Love

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Just because we didn’t spend St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago this year doesn’t mean we didn’t celebrate. There are few cities that really know how to do it right! Toronto did not disappoint, thanks to some great newspaper articles we had a good idea of where to go and what to do. The “do” was especially easy. A few pubs were broadcasting the England vs. Ireland rugby match. Even thought the only place we could get into was a little subdued it was still fun and they had all of the essentials. Guinness, Jameson and green beer.

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One of the lovely gals from our recent trip to Mexico just happens to live right in Toronto and had some free time to come hang out. This being Josh’s first trip I really wanted to hit one of the cool neighborhoods. We decided that the pedestrian only area know as the Distillery District would be a great place to spend the afternoon. Thankfully the weather also agreed. It was a lovely day with just a little chill in the shade. Josh and I got there early and stopped into one of the local micro-breweries for a pint and a snack. The entire area was filled with families having Sunday brunch together. Lots of little kids in their Sunday best.

The buildings are all renovated into shops, lofts and restaurants while keeping original structures. Very hip and fun, a few historical marked tossed in for effect.

We really had a blast with my friends Rhonda and as always it’s wonderful to see friends. We treasure these days.

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More Than Diving

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We did do more than go diving in Cozumel, we also shared some good cheer with friends. Part of the reason for the trip was to celebrate my 30th birthday and the 50th of our close friend Scott. We were the only ones going out to dive during the day, of an evening we sat around sharing stories and jokes. Plus the food was amazing. I’m not sure that I mentioned it before but we rented a house instead of going to a resort, Josh and I aren’t huge fans of resorts. There was also a cook that would come in twice a day to prepare delicious meals for us. Having the table filled each morning with fresh fruit, eggs and all kinds of other goodies is what I call a breakfast! Dinner was even more scrumptious, they prepared a wide variety of Mayan and Spanish dishes for us. Nearly every meal contained a flavor unfamiliar but divine.

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The house had a lovely pool and amazing views. Our room was on the third floor with a small balcony. Even our bathroom had a great ocean view.

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Josh keeps saying that this was the best trip he has ever taken 🙂

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All My Rowdy Friends

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Josh posing in front of our Marina's booth

There are two other teams that we work with we consider to be family. The team that helped get us hired, Lynn and Lloyd, and the team with own our boat with, Nathan and Traci. It is rare that all six of us all together let alone with the amazing timing of an event life a Boat Show. Lynn and Lloyd are to blame for getting the rest us into sailing, our boat was owned by them first. They now live aboard a gorgeous vessel in Florida. After seeing each other at the office on Friday, plans were made too all meet up for the Detroit Boat Show on Saturday. Not that any of us really need a new boat but it is still fun to look and even more fun to do it together.

This was just too cute to not try out

Now I did mention that we are all sailing fans and unfortunately this time there was not a single sailboat at the show. Not even vendors that sold things for sailboats. It was just rows and rows of pontoon boats. Very disappointing, so after a couple of hours we all decided that lunch might be a better place to catch up. We really haven’t seen anyone for a year and so much has happened. Houses were bought and sold, relatives engaged and had babies. I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend in Detroit then with these fine folks.

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Enjoying a Delicious meal at Bistro 24

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waterskiing Roo

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There are actually kids inside those balls, this was about the only exciting thing going on

A Very Special New Years Day

We like to spend our New Years in Chicago, close to so many dear friends. This year was no exception. However we had some very special guests join in on the celebrations. Rockmad and Sweetums swung by on their wild cross-country road trip to welcome 2012.

Me and Rockmad

They started a week before in Los Angeles and headed north, thankfully only running into snow once. This was the first time we had met in real life, although I consider Ree to be one of my closest friends and we do talk every day. After a few hugs and a drink it was right down to fun. Hitting some of the great bars in Chicago to count down to Midnight. I feel so fortunate that they made us a part of their trip and that it was not just a quick visit.

We got to see them for three days!!! What better way to start the new year than to visit the tallest building in Chicago. I have to say it was fun; it was a bit striking to step out into the glass boxes.

We also hit up a few other Chicago landmarks including Millennium Park. You’re not a tourist unless you hit this gem. Ree let me strap on a few of her lenses, to Josh’s protest. Poor guy now has a long list of gear I want.

Lens Magic

This was the perfect way to celebrate and we truly loved the time we spent with Ree and Chris.  Dear friends and wonderful people.

Chris and Josh

Special Guests

Earlier this week I hinted about having a Scottie meet-up and the awesome time we had.  Well not only did we get to finally meet the handsome Stuart and him mom but there was a very special guest all the way from Australia.  So Kendra, Bella and Daisy can be rest assured that their mom is doing good, Pippi kept her lap warm for a while.  Last year we missed meeting Tobi by less than an hour on the National Mall is Washington, DC.  Not taking a chance of that happening again, we planned an event with easier logistics.  Well I thought so until she got caught in traffic.  The rains did keep some people from coming out to meet us but all in all it was amazing.

What a looker!!! Hubba Hubba

Let me tell you what that little Stuart has the most luxurious coat, I just wanted to squeeze him to pieces.

Giving some Scottie Snuggles

We had a blast hanging out and chatting about what else but life with Scotties.  I can’t wait until we can make it happen again.

Scottie Sandwich, the best kind

Gotta Have Friends

We would never be able to have stayed with this career for three years without the support of loving families and giving friends. During our most recent visit to Virginia those amazing Campbells let us borrow a car! Yeah drove to meet up and lent us a car. I recall that one of Josh’s buddies traveled an hour to have lunch with us and take me to the Verizon store. The other couple we own a boat with has picked through a suitcase and mailed me summer clothes.

I would never claim to be alone out here, we have an army behind us. And someday we’ll pay back every single favor, mile and letter.

***This is part of a series of posts called “Travel Tuesday“, each covering topics unique to our lifestyle***