Wednesday, July 30, 2014

2-1/2 months of waiting and....

We are finally first time home buyers!! Officially July 29, 2014 we closed escrow. We couldn't be more excited. A long sale and escrow process (2.5 months to be exact), but I'm glad we were patient enough to wait!! Now for our big project! Renovations, restoration and making it our very own. 


Excitedly,
The Lady

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Wundabar Pilates = Stress Reliever/Awesome Exercise!

Sorry for the lack of posting. Lately, the new house stuff has been stressing the Lady out. We are in escrow currently, and it could not be any more confusing. They should just rename the escrow phase to "the pile of paperwork" phase. No fun, not one bit.

So naturally, the Lady gets stressed about every little thing. This big hump in our lives has really stressed me out. Why wouldn't it right, it is the biggest purchase we will probably make in our lifetime (minus the yacht and helicopter we're going to buy one day......lol). What has helped me out tremendously over the last 6 months, in times of stress, in times of busy-ness, in times of just down-right-crazy, what calms me and centers me is Pilates. Some people swear by Yoga or Spin, I swear by Wundabar Pilates.

Not only is it a great workout, it stretches me, pushes me, makes me sweat, makes me wanna cry, makes me quiver and shake, and makes me focus on myself. It betters me, physically and spiritually. I could be having a crappy day and when I go to Wundabar, you just forget about it. You kind of have to, you focus so much on your body, your position, your core, that you just forget all your problem. If there's one thing the Lady hates, it's exercising. Running in particular. Running and the Lady are arch enemies. So any exercise that I can mindlessly yet mindfully do, I'm all for it. It's become very zen for me, I just basically plug out and detach myself from the world, and for that 45 minutes session I just focus on myself and the exercise. It's very comforting and calming, if you know what I mean. Almost like being in the water, diving.......almost :)


(looks like a scary contraption but it's the uniquely patented 
Wundabar Pilates reformer, this thing is amazing. 
Picture courtesy of Wundabar Pilates)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Having Diving Withdrawls....

Okay....Lady here. Having scuba diving withdraws today. I was thinking about all the things I miss and don't miss (well kinda miss) about diving.

Miss:
1. The exhilarating feeling of first descending down from the surface
2. The sound of your own breath in a regulator 
3. Swimming through someone's bubbles. Just gorgeous 
4. The feeling of floating. It's like you're flying with no gravity. 
5. The wind in your hair as the boat flies over the waves 
6.  Looking up to the surface from a deep dive and seeing a light blue surface glimmering and moving rhythmically
7. Hearing the DMs say "Pool's Open!".....I just love that :)


Don't really miss:
1. The unforgettable, repulsive smell of fuel from the boat when trying to grab onto the boats ladder and rope (nauseating)
2. How funny water taste after you've surfaced from a dive (it just tasted so strange)
3. Nervousness of first falling backward from a boat to get into the water
4. Putting on a wet wetsuit (ugh!)
5. A stinky wetsuit

video


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Disappointing Playa Del Carmen

Here's the last travel post for our most recent Mexico trip.

The Lady especially hates unpredictable weather. Hate, hate, hate.The last two days of our recent trip was spent in Playa Del Carmen. The last two days in one word: Sucked. It rained and poured cats and dogs. Not a peek of beautiful sunshine. Sad was what it was. After months of waiting for our sunny, hot beach trip, it ended with a whole bunch of rain. I hate being disappointed.

When we were making our way to Cozumel from Tulum, we obviously had to stop through the Playa to get to the ferry terminal. The day we were just passing through was excruciatingly hot and unbearable. It was hot! We were actually looking forward to some of that heat, just laying out on the beach, tanning and reading. We hadn't really had any of that this whole trip (unlike Maui, which is all we do there). So leaving Cozumel, we were sad but looking forward to that. We got downpoured. Good thing it was the last days of our trip, I would have been so disappointed if it was our whole trip.

On the flip side, I guess food was pretty decent in Playa. Fifth Avenue was pretty interesting as well to take a stroll. Touristy, but busy with plenty to do. Playa is supposed to be the subdue version of Cancun, being about 40 miles south of Cancun. Not really the case. There were many parties at clubs, many bars open late, lots of rowdiness and partying going on on Fifth Avenue. Not really our thing honestly......we wanted to enjoy the Playa for it's glorious white sanded beaches. But because we couldn't, we pretty much stayed in and ate out.

(What should have been a beautifully sunny beach is a stormy, grey and cloudy desolation)


(Cute place mat at Chez Celine)


(Probably the most delicious almond/chocolate croissant I have ever had!
The Man had a ham and cheese croissant, and I had the tuna)



(Our first dinner at the Playa, caesar salad with camarons and steak tacos w/ guac!)

(Lobster's a big thing down here in Riviera Maya. This is my plate,
the Lobster fettuccine with tomato cream sauce, delicious and simple)

(The Man got the Carbonara pasta, which is also another one
of my favorites, and it was deliciously decadent and rich with
 a nice touch of bacon)

(After all that pasta, we went to get dessert at a chocolate cafe
where we got a brownie, hot chocolate and sipping chocolate [not pictured].
The chocolate was good but I think I've had better, deeper,
richer chocolate in San Francisco)


Thursday, June 26, 2014

WE GOT THE HOUSE!!!

After a year long treacherous search, we finally closed on a house yesterday, June 25th (half Christmas!) The Man and I could not be happier. We are thrilled and excited for this new adventure!! As an interior architect myself and the Man being an engineer, we plan on using our knowledge to the best magnitude! Can't wait to see how it comes out!

(Our first home!)


Beyond excited,
The Lady

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What's eating the Lady up this week!

The big thing that's been eating me up lately is our newest venture, buying a freakin' house. It's more like what's been bugging the heck out of the Lady lately. Buying a new house. Seems easy enough. Nope, not in California and certainly not in Los Angeles. This market's a fighter, and we have been losing badly. So far, Market +4, the Lady & the Man 0.....

Recently, we came upon a beautiful Victorian home marvelously preserved since 1900. It took our breath away and we knew right away that we wanted this house. Fast forward a few weeks, we won the bid!!! It was a big deal since we've never won any bids and always lost against cash offers or investors. We were ecstatic. The only problem is, we haven't won it completely. It's a probate sale home, which means by law it has to be publicly auction after a bid has been accepted. If no one bids on the house, it's ours.

This seems like nonsense to me. If we won the bid, we won the bid. Apparently it doesn't work like that. And it's been making me crazy and on-edge for about a month as we wait for this auction date. Now with the auction date being tomorrow, I am a nerve-racking, exhausted, antsy mess. I WANT the house! We have searched for a year now, isn't that enough real estate gods?! Give us a break and let us win this house! Pleaseeee.

Irritated but hopeful,
The Lady


Thursday, June 19, 2014

My Furry Babies

Taking a little break from the travel posts. Here's a post dear to my heart. Some people might think I'm crazy. Sometimes the Man thinks I'm crazy because I love my Roborovski hamsters so much. But I really do, they are the cutest darnest little pets. I love my baby boys so much. Ever since I was a kid, I've had pets (bunnies mostly) so I have a warm place in my heart for cute little creatures. They bring me such joy in my life with their cute little smiles and round bums as they eat their food or run around their cage.

Before these two boys, there was Hamilton. Our very first Roborovski, who we loved and sadly had to put down last October. He had such a funny personality, it was infectious. In fact, these Punas have such different personalities from Hamilton, it's kind of interesting. Little puna is the sweetest little critter, he'll melt your heart. Every morning, he'll pop his little head out of the house, and with the cutest look on his face, runs right to the glass edge, his face begging for banana chips or dried cranberries (two of his favs). Fat puna, which we call out of love and affection (because he's bigger and plumper), is my shy boy. He'll only come out of his house when no one's around or when I'm giving treats. Sneaky little guy he is.


(The Punas first day home)



(Little Puna)
(Fat Puna)


(Little Puna eating his favorite banana chips)

(Little Puna excitedly jumping around)


Hamster Mama,
The Lady

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dos Ojos Cenote

We almost didn't make it to Dos Ojos, mostly due to transportation and the confusion of how to get there. Thank goodness the Man convinced me! He's more of the "go with the flow" kind of guy. I'm glad he's my partner in life because if it weren't for him, I don't think I would be as adventurous. The Man loved this place. In fact, he probably wanted to come here again. Actually, what he really wanted to do was go diving in the Cenotes. We only got to snorkel at Dos Ojos, but next time I think the Man's going full blown Cenote Diving!

We took the collectivo (a van that locals take, which is really cheap ($30 pesos) and runs along Hwy 370) from Tulum to Dos Ojos. We were pretty nervous about the collectivo, but it worked out just fine and dropped us off at the entrance. We didn't have a car so we needed transportation to the Cenotes. Admission plus transportation cost $400 Pesos ($300 for both of us, $50 one way transportation). I expected a car to take us to the Cenotes. Nope, this is Mexico. Basically a piece of crap bicycle/motorcycle/rickshaw/whoknows took us to the Cenotes (about 4km/2miles) and let me just tell you, it was a scary, bumpy (when I say bumpy, I mean hold on to dear life!) ride!!!


(Entrance to Dos Ojos off Hwy 370, about 20 minutes from Tulum)

(a rusty makeshift rickshaw-looking ride, super ghetto!!)

Once we got to the first Ojo, we were mesmerized and forgot all about the ride in. Crystal clear blue fresh water. A natural cave, full of clean cool water! Gorgeous! Go early because it really does get crowded quick. It's not a very big pool, we spent maybe an hour to hour and half there. The Man wished he went scuba diving there. It was awesome to see the divers descend into the water then make their way into the caves with their flashlights. Really awesome. It was almost like they were explorers going into a dark abyss. Pretty amazing stuff here.

The second Ojo is much bigger and longer, but a little darker. Not as much sunlight in this cave, due to it's smaller opening. Lots of people here too. Because the second Ojo is in a round formation, there's a nice little courtyard area, which is kind of jungly. The Man spent a lot of time in this one, went far into the darker back areas, went all the way to the end, which is the Seco (dry) Ojo. The formations of the limestone underwater are the most amazing thing ever. They are all sorts of shapes and sizes, some smooth, some bumpy, some sharp. There were numerous stalactites growing from the cave ceiling, some hung low, some were huge! You kind of had to be careful when you surfaced from a snorkel to make sure not to hit a stalactite because that could do some real damage to your head.

Being underwater in a Cenote and look at all the limestone formations and stalacitite made me realize, what we see with our eyes is only a small percentage of what is really available to see. There is a whole different world, whole different scenery and experience down below the caves than what is up above the water. It truly was mystifying and sort of spiritual and spooky at the same time.

(First Ojo)


(First Ojo, clear blue water)


(First Ojo, cool fresh water, gets crowded quickly!)


(First Ojo)

(The Man freediving in the Cenote)
(Sign underwater that states "forbidden to cross with snorkeling, diving only. 80 minutes long cave")


(Scuba divers getting ready to go into the caves)

We realized it was about close to 5pm when we were done with the 2nd Ojo. We walked back to the entrance gate of the Cenotes to find that the guy at the station/kiosk was gone already!!! We were supposed to call for a ride back to the entrance entrance. Now we were stuck!! And I sure as hell was not going to walk that dirt road, 2 miles back in wet clothes!!

Thankfully, a nice lady who rented out snorkel gear was still there, and she manage to call the front desk for pick up.....she then tells us in broken English (but very nice), they will be here in 10 minutes in a white car.........10 minutes rolls by, 20 minutes rolls by, 30 minutes rolls by, 40 minutes rolls by. Now she is even getting anxious, packing up her stuff to leave for the day. Thankfully, she calls the front desk again and probably ask what the heck?! They said they'll be there soon....she kept saying "andale" which means hurry, which is all I caught. She then leaves us to go home for the day. Now we are really abandoned with no phone or transportation.......fantastic!!!We waited for another 10 minutes, no one came for us. Thankfully, a taxi happened to show up!!! We didn't risk it, paid 50 pesos and got the hell out of there! We didn't care about getting a refund for our transportation, not that anyone was there anyway.....

Other than the customer service hiccup with transportation, all in all, this was a fantastic day and experience. I would highly recommend the Cenotes to anyone adventurous. 

Adventurously, 
The Lady

(The Man and the Lady, a funny selfie of us where you can't even tell we're underwater)