Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The end to a fun and eventful summer...

I am sad to say summer has officially come to an end for me. I started back to work Monday and hit the ground running with meetings and trainings all week. This is a much different pace that I am used to since I spent my summer getting up when I wanted to with no agenda for the day. I spent much of my time at the beach being serenaded by none other than Jimmy Buffett. When I wasn't soaking up sun, I was visiting family and friends. The summer started with the most amazing vacation ever thanks to my adventurous sister, Sheryl. She and her new husband, Ryan, decided to get married on the beautiful island of Maui on a cliff overlooking the crystal clear water. It was the most beautiful place on earth! While we were there, not only did we enjoy the wedding, but we also took some time to hike on the road to Hana, watch the sunrise on Haleakala, learn to surf, hula dance and snorkel the reefs. The pictures don't do any justice to the beautiful scenery there. We took one day and island hopped to Oahu to pay our respects at Pearl Harbor. This was a very eerie and sad memorial. You can still see oil where the USS Arizona remains today. To lighten things up a little bit, we decided to hit Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville at Waikiki Beach. I was able to check off the Maragaritaville in Honolulu on my list of places to visit. For those of you that don't know me very well, Whit and I are huge Parrot Heads! One of my goals is to visit every Margaritaville that there is. I am only 1/3 of the way there. I have been to most of them in the U.S., but now it's time to venture to the Caribbean to visit the more exotic locations. I am anxious for those trips. Anyways, after our day adventure to Oahu, it was time to head back to Maui for one last night of fun before reality struck.
Once we got home and back into the swing of things, my mom came down and helped me spring clean my house. We went through all of the cabinets, drawers, closets, etc to organize and de-junk. We gathered a few boxes of stuff for the neighborhood yard sale and other things which we donated to Good Will. What a relief to have all of that done and my mom to help. Thanks Mom! After cleaning my house, I offered to help my brother and sister-in-law, Gary and Mandy, to prepare the house for the arrival of their twin girls, Macy & Makayla. I really enjoyed helping prepare the twins' nursery for their arrival in August.
The week before the 4th of July, I went to Disney World with Whit's family, Dennis, Suzanne, Beth and Wes. I was so excited to be able to see Wes and Beth enjoy Disney World for the first time. We all had a great time! Wes even rode the Tower of Terror! Of course we visited Margaritaville while we were in Orlando. I can't go to a city that has a Margaritaville without stopping to enjoy a cheesburger in paradise.
After that, my mom, dad, aunt and uncle, Art & Linda from St. Louis, came to visit Savannah! While they were here, we rode bikes around Cumberland Island. It was a neat place but I would definitely recommend that you wait until a cooler month to visit rather than in the heat of the summer! I am so glad that they finally had a chance to see the beautiful city of Savannah!
To end the summer with a bang, Whit and I went to Ft. Walton beach to spend time with Whit's extended family. It was great to be able to spend some quality time catching up with everyone. Whit's grandmother was so kind to rent the condos for the family. We spent our days relaxing on the beach and sipping drinks while we watched the sun set over the beautiful Gulf Coast! Whit and I joined some of the cousins at the local dueling piano bar. It has become a tradition for the family beach trips. Of course you can't go to the beach with out playing putt-putt. Whit has been itching to go to the Flora-Bama bar for a few years now so he, his cousin Reese, and I took an afternoon to drive to the Florida-Alabama border to see what the hype was all about. It was more of a hole in the wall than we thought. Regardless, it was great! We had burgers and beer and of course Whit had to pick up a coozie as he does everywhere we go! One last stop on our way back home was to Panama City, Fl to visit none other than Margaritaville!
Not by coincidence, my summer seems to have a common theme... Jimmy Buffett's MARGARITAVILLE!