And, we are back!

Happy New Year! And Happy January! I am hoping this year I will blog more often than the previous one, but I’m making no promises. I did go back and re-read the previous post about goals for 2014, and edited it a bit. I apologize for the mistakes. I wrote that from the iPad, and sometimes it’s hard to edit there.

Our trip to Miami was a success. As you know, we headed down by car, with the two dogs in tow. So I was a bit apprehensive as to how that would go. But it was good. On our way down we encountered a storm, mainly rain because it wasn’t all that cold, in the 30s F. We did 12 hours to Georgia, where we stayed over night and then 12 more hours to Miami, arriving Sunday the 22nd around 7ish pm.

A friend of mine was surprised it took us so long to get there. We stopped quite a few times, for food, bathroom breaks, and to walk the dogs as a bit. They were troopers though, really well behaved for two very active pups being cooped up for so long in the car. We gave them a little something to soothe them and help them sleep the first day. But then decided they looked too doped and like they weren’t having any fun, so we skipped the pill on day two. On the way back we didn’t give them anything either and they did well.

Miami was great. It went too fast though. We were there from Sunday 12/22 night to Tuesday 1/2 morning, so 10 full days, but it still felt too short. My sister and her family were there too for Christmas, so we had a full house for Christmas Eve dinner and presents. They then left for the Bahamas to visit Cas’ family, so we had a smaller group for NYE.

Mike and Jen


Us with Dogs 1

(with the boys)

All of us

(all of us before dinner)

Jen Photo Bomb

(me photo bombing!)


(us four)


(with my mom)


(las hermanitas Mata)


(Mis Pelos)


(with Mi Ni)


(with my mom)


(la Mophie and her mom… and Charlie)


(with the grand-kids)

We ate a ton, but I also exercised quite a bit too, so I want to think I compensated. I was determined to begin on goal one (lose 25 lbs) while there, because I knew that coming back it would be hard to exercise outside, which is what I like to do. So I got as many jogs in as I could. But the food, ah the food! We ate out at Versailles (best Cuban food) and Vellagio (great Italian food), and also went to El Arepazo for some great Venezuelan food. You can find mostly all the Venezuelan goodies in Miami, which is always a sweet treat. But most of our eating was done at home.

Regarding outings, we went once to the movies to see The Hobbit, we went to Dolphin Mall and Dadeland Mall for a bit of shopping, I got a mani/pedi (the best one’s are done in Miami no doubt), Mike played golf to his heart content (5 times total), we watched two movies at home family style (The Lorax, with Soph, and Flight with my parents), we had family come visit on three different occasions, and had tarot and Family Feud game sessions too. We stopped by Target twice for provisions, because what’s a vacation without Target, am I right? And lounged by the pool on every sunny opportunity.

photo 1

(the boys golfed)

photo 3

(this shot was taken by Mike on the course, the first of January)


(a mini extended family reunion)


(the proud parents of the most beautiful baby… cutisimo!)


(second cousins)


(Sophie definitely was the one who enjoyed the pool the most, like always)


(but others enjoyed too)

Pool with Dogs

(we even got Max in once)


(Charlie lived in the pool. Max? Not so much)


(I’m outta here!)


(and here I come!)

We missed going to the Beach and to the Fairchild Botanical Gardens. I wanted Mike to see the butterfly conservatory, but it will have be visited on another trip. We just didn’t have enough time.

New Year’s Eve was a treat. My dad got us tickets to a boat dinner cruise and it was great. It was my parents, my cousin Cory, and Mike and I. We had a great time. the food was delicious, the music was great and the view of the city beautiful. We got to eat, dance, and see the fireworks go off after midnight. Really fun.

Jen and Mike

(all dressed up for New Year’s)


(the New Year’s group)

photo 2(1) photo 3photo 1(1)

(before getting on the boat)

DSC07715 DSC07704 DSC07709 DSC07710photo 4 photo 5DSC07735DSC07718

(on the boat)

On Thursday 1/2 in the morning, we packed up the car again and headed back. This time we stayed the night at Macon, Georgia instead of Dalton, and it only took us 9 hours to get there. The following day, Friday 1/3,  we drove about 8 hours to Louisville, Kentucky, where we were going to stay with Mike’s dad and his wife for a couple days. But as it turns out a snow storm was expected Saturday night, and we feared if we stayed we might get caught in Kentucky and not be able to drive back due to closed roads. So Saturday 1/4 morning, we packed up again and drove back the 5 hours to Illinois.

The snow started falling as we were driving in. And it didn’t stop until almost Sunday night, so it was a good thing we got on the road early and didn’t have to drive under those awful conditions. I was going to spend the night at Mike’s Saturday and head back home on Sunday, so I could get settled in and ready for my Monday class. But we received noticed from the university that classes were cancelled and the entire university (all campuses) would be closed on Monday due to inclement weather. So I stayed, and today Monday, when I should have already been home in the city, I am still out in the suburbs at Mike’s because the amount of snow still on the roads does not make it safe to drive, and it is incredibly cold out there. Hopefully, tomorrow things will clear up a bit more and I will be able to pack my stuff and head home and into work. I don’t teach until Wednesday, but I do have to prep my classes and get everything settled for my early Wednesday morning class. They haven’t said anything yet about tomorrow, I’m thinking everything will resume by then, but I have to go home regardless, because come Wednesday I need to be ready and in the city.

photo 3 photo 4 photo 5 photo 1 photo 2photo 1 photo 2

So there, we came back from Miami to the worst weather possible. It’s so cold in Illinois today that they are saying it’s the coldest high temperature ever registered in Chicago. EVER. Isn’t that crazy? Here’s hoping it gets warmer soon. I hope you are keeping cozy wherever you are, and staying in if you don’t have to absolutely go out. I, will be walking the dogs again soon. The little devils (Charlie mostly) pesters us to take him out, and then when there, wants to come right back in immediately because it’s unbearably cold. Oh well, the perils of the dog human. Anyway, happy 2014 and happy freezing January!


2 responses to “And, we are back!

  1. OMG, I so want snow. We still didn’t get any over here. It’s so sad. 😦
    I hope we will get some.
    Your time off work sounds wonderful. I was home for 17 glorious days and I am back at work since Tuesday.


    • Well, we still have loads of it here! And it has been so freaking cold, I think it’s never going to melt away. I like snow, when it’s falling, so quiet, so pretty. But afterwards it makes for really difficult driving and parking conditions, so I’m ready to see it go away.
      Time off is so needed… the only bad part is when it’s all over 😦


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