The weather outside was frightful...

The weather outside was frightful....but my run was so delightful!

I ran my first half marathon on Sunday - in twenty-degree temps, to boot. Like 13.1 miles wasn't hard enough as is, Mother Nature had to intervene and make it miserably cold. I would be lying if I said I didn't think about chickening out pre-race....BUT, I showed up, I gave it my all, and I'm so glad that I did.

The start line at the Route 66 was by far the worst part of the entire race. It was freezing, I was hella-nervous, I was shaking (from the cold and the nerves), and I was considering jumping the corral fence and heading back to the car. But once that gun sounded and people started moving, all my fears went out the window. As Cole and I crossed the start line together, we were showered in confetti and a smile spread across my face. We started running, and within half a mile I was [almost] warmed up...with the exception of my face and fingers. By mile 3, I was feeling good. I found my rhythm, I found a nice man with chicken legs to pace myself off of, and I reached a comfortable body temperature. I considered taking off a layer of clothes, but decided to keep going (and I was glad I did....I needed that layer around mile 10). 

Mile 6 was my favorite mile. As we ran through the streets of a very fancy neighborhood, I heard a dog barking. When I turned to look, I saw not one but TWO Bernese Mountain Dogs playing with each other. Its safe to say I was smiling for a good ten minutes. I was still feeling strong here, like I wasn't even tired. I thought back to how I felt after the Remember the Ten 10k in April, and was incredibly proud of the progress I had made since. Hello, confidence boost.

Mile 7 - My shoe came untied and I lost my pacer friend when I bent down to tie it. I hope you finished strong, Mister. I had to pee pretty bad by this point, but I didn't want to wait in line. Good thing I have a bladder of champions.

Mile 8 - I tried my first GU. It was weird and sticky, but surprisingly tasty. 

Mile 10 - I hit a wall. The course had turned north and we were running up the Arkansas River with nothing to block the wind. It was cold, my face was stinging, and I was tired. I was real glad I still had on my extra layer of clothes and gloves. My knees were aching and I got my first calf cramp (not sure how I remained cramp-less for so long, but I'll take it!). Lots of walking. I ate my second GU and tried to soak up the energy. 

Mile 12 - Holy crap. I knew I was almost done, but I also knew I was exhausted. At this point, I didn't care what my time was, I was just ready for the finish line to come into sight. It was nice to have several big hills at the end of a long race...said no one ever

Mile 13 was surreal. As I turned the corner and saw the finish line, I heard a man yell, "Finishing is winning!" That statement hit me like a sack of bricks and I suddenly became very proud of myself. Even though my time was slower than I had hoped for, I was about to cross the finish line of a half marathon. Wow. I started running a little faster and passed a few people as a smile spreading across my wind-burnt face. I heard them call my name as I crossed the finish line. I got a lot of high fives, a heat sheet put around my shoulders, and a surprisingly heavy medal around my neck. I felt like an Olympian. OK, not really, but I was really proud. 

My lips hurt real bad!

In a way, the cold weather was a blessing. It kept me from sweating and getting too thirsty or over heated, it kept me from thinking about any aches and pains, and it kept me going when I wanted to stop. The thought of being done and out of the cold was far more important than the thought of stopping to pee. So for that, Mother Nature, I thank you. Now, I feel like its my duty to myself to do another half marathon in less frigid conditions.....the OKC Memorial, maybe?! 

After the race, it took me a few hours to warm up. Taking off my sweaty clothes and putting on dry sweats and UGG boots was a game changer. Warm soup and a blanket didn't hurt much either. The day after the race, I was a little sore in my hips and knees, but over all felt great....besides my lips. My lips were incredibly wind burnt and chapped.....

My thoughts during the half:
  • Pre-race visits to the bathroom are majorly important.
  • So many pig tails. How can anyone run in pig tails?! Bounce bounce swish swish - ugh!
  • I love dogs (I already knew this). Dogs on the sidelines make me smile. Thank you, onlookers with dogs, for making my run so much more enjoyable.
  • GU is my new best friend and something to look forward to.
  • I heart hand warmers. 
  • People who run shirtless in sub-freezing temps are mega-crazy.
  • Gotta pee gotta pee gotta pee. 
  • Someone should hand out some Kleenex. My nose is like a fire hydrant right now. 
  • Run a little faster. Don't use up your energy. Push yourself! Don't wear yourself out too early.
  • Take in your surroundings - don't be so zoned in that you miss what the course has to offer.
  • So glad I'm not running in a tutu today.
  • I'm thankful for those Kentucky runs where I got a little hill action.
  • I'm also thankful I inherited my Dad's long stride. When I'm too tired to run, I at least have a uber-fast power walk. 
  • Did I just get botox? My face is frozen.
  • Hot soup. Hot yoga. Hot chocolate. Hot summer days. Hot fireplace. 
  • Finishing is winning. 

*A huge thank you to Cole for putting up with my running complaints, encouraging me, making me go on long runs when I didn't want to, helping me even when I didn't want your help, reminding me of how far I've come, and running this race and so many more with me. I'm so glad you ran the first part of the race with me even if it made your time slower...and I'm still impressed with your time, even if you got beat by Katie Kramer. 

In an Instant: Color Breed Congress

Hi, I'm Amanda and I'm addicted to Instagram.

I'm a junkie, I'll admit it. I'm a hashtag queen, picture obsessed, start and end my day with the 'gram, junkie. What of it? 

Here is a little glimpse of my trip to Tulsa for the Color Breed Congress, in an instant. 

1. Lookout, Tulsa, here I come.
2. The view from my hotel room. Not too shabby, Double Tree. If only I got back to the room before 11 p.m. and could actually enjoy it....
3. Bridget. My minion. I could not survive a horse show without this girl by my side.
4. Fall colors give me premature ventricular contractions.
5. I tend to get chummy with the vendors and may or may not spend more money than I make. 
6. Man Crush Monday. I missed him quite a bit. 
7. Hula Hoop Hoedown. Its a Color Breed Congress tradition. I've got mad skillz.
8. Throwback Thursday. Back in my glory days!
9. Ignore the fact that the dude who took this picture gives me the heebie jeebies.... But this is what happens when a group of twenty-something girls on caffeine highs work 17-hour days. Hysteria, I tell ya. 
10. The last day! The sun is shining, the tank is clean, and we are getting out of here!
11. Ryan got me welcome home flowers. Friendship is the best ship.
12. My first day back and I had to run 10 miles to catch up with my half marathon training plan. Somehow, after taking a week off, being absolutely exhausted and having a terrible headache, I survived and did better than I anticipated. 

Thoughts on half marathon training

My thoughts while training for a half marathon in the form of GIFS.

Before I started running on the reg:

Trying to decide if I should do a half marathon:

When I signed up for the half:

How I imagined training for a half would be:

How it really is:

When I try to run with Cole:

Thinking of my non-run workouts as "easy days":

When I have a really great run:

When I have a really bad run:

When its time for my weekend long run:

In the middle of said long run:

Around mile 8: 

When I finally finish my weekend long run:

Telling people about my training:

Trying to train while working 15+hour days on the road (ie: Color Breed Congress horse show):

How Cole runs [insert heart eyes emoticon]:

How I run:

 Me, dealing with leg cramps:

Cole, dealing with chafing:

Dealing with soreness & recovery:

When people try to give me advice on running:

When I cross the finish line:

Talking about my accomplishment, probably for the rest of my life:

My advice to everyone:

Just Peachy.

I love halloween. I spend a good 352 days dreaming up my costume each year and look forward to the big day for months. When I realized the annual halloween party fell during the two weeks I had to be out of town for work, I was crushed. In all seriousness, I almost cried. It was like taking candy away from a two-year-old. Thankfully, the Ghost Runner's 5k Dog Run, which Chloe and I were already signed up for, was having a costume contest. Clearly I had to dress up; Princess Peach couldn't wait another year to make her debut. I had to tweak the outfit a little and come up with something for Chloe, but I was so in.

Playing dress up never gets old, but contrary to popular belief, running in a tutu is not all its cracked up to be.... read as: running in a tutu causes extreme chafing on your inner thighs leading to lots and lots of pain, sometimes even bleeding. Thank goodness for Gold Bond. I'm sure I looked super cool when I kept reaching down my tutu to pull down my compression shorts mid-run.

You might remember last year's dog run when Chloe was well behaved and kicked butt.....this year was slightly different. The second the race started, she thought she needed to run like a sled dog. She pulled and yanked and tugged the entire 3.1 miles (I guess I'm too slow for her) until we approached the finish line.... It must have looked scary because she planted her butt and refused to cross. How embarrassing, Chloe. Everyone was watching......

After the race, the costume contest took place. Sadly, Princess Peach and Toad did not place :( We were beat by an OU football player and cheerleader. I was extremely disappointed that I ran in a tutu and underwent extreme chafing for nothing. And I especially hate to lose to a sooner. I hate OU. Go Pokes. The silver lining is that I still got to dress up for halloween; the chafing was totally worth it. The other silver lining? Cole got second place. He's so dang fast, what a stud.

If you ever want to make your own tutu, follow this tutorial. Its super easy and makes you feel like a princess fairy. Notice: glitter goes everywhere.


I'm only half crazy.

I've run a lot of 5ks in my life. I also ran that one 10k. What I've never done is run further than 6.2 miles....until recently. 

Running a half marathon has been on my bucket list for a while. I've attempted to train for one a few times before but have never gotten very far. Its a big commitment and life is hella-busy. Training is tough, its discouraging, the weather doesn't always cooperate and its easy to give up. But this time around, I'm sticking with it. That feeling of accomplishment I had after my 10k is something I want to feel again, and I'm ready to push myself to get there. 

Sunday morning, Nov. 24, I'll be in this crowd of Route 66 Half Marathon Participants, lining the streets of Tulsa, Okla. Can you feel the butterflies? 'Cause I sure can. Some people might say 13.1 miles is crazy......but its only half crazy.

One would assume that being on the upward side of 5'9" with an athletic build that I would be a fast runner. Those people are wrong. I'm not a fast. Heck, I run slower than AOL in '99. I blame my Ronald McDonald sized feet for being too large to pick up properly. I run like a weirdo (seriously, my form is all jacked up), I struggle with Sports Induced Asthma, and my knee likes to pop out of place on the reg. I am also very good at coming up with 1,000 reasons why I shouldn't run. But, I have the guts to get out there and try, to overcome my fears and struggles, to push myself and to be a better me. Regardless of what my time is, it will be a new personal record because it will be the furthest I've ever ran. And that, my friends, is a huge accomplishment.

"Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she can conquer the world."
Now that its in writing, I can't turn back....and that is a tad bit scary. Luckily I have a fancy new pair of Brooks running shoes, courtesy of Keep It Local and Red Coyote. I also have a large selection of running headbands and a cute, cold weather zip up for those brisk fall runs in the near future. In the right shoes and outfit, I am invincible - Carrie Bradshaw would back me up on that. Here's to 13.1, ya'll.....wish me luck!

***Big shout out to Cole for encouraging me on the reg. For re-talking me into this half every weekend when its time for my long runs. I'm sorry for the million complaints from, "I just suck at running" and, "I don't feel like it today," to the always popular, "My feet hurt, I'm so sore." I'm also sorry for being the world's worst running buddy. You're a champ for putting up with me, trying to help me even when I don't want to want to listen, and signing up for this race and many more with me. Thank you!***

Foodie Friday | Apple Spice Cookies

I'm sure your Pinterest boards are covered in every kind of pumpkin spice thing you can imagine. Girls are walking around in UGGs and scarves with PSLs in hand, pretending its cold outside when really its 82 degrees. I'm guilty, I'll admit it. I will never stop wearing UGGS with shorts or scarves with tanks. I'm ready for fall temps, but here in Okla., 82 is about as "fally" as it gets, so you have to trick your self into believing sweatpants and hot chocolate are OK.

So, if you're like me and longing for the toasty warmth of a wooly blanket and crackling fire but don't have the luxury of real-life fall weather, try these cookies. They'll at least have your taste buds thinking its crisp outside.

Apple Spice Cookies
I ate them too fast to take a picture. Sorry.

2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 cup chopped apple (or a little more)
1/4 cup apple cider (the good stuff w/the spices at the bottom of the jug - shake it up, shake it up

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a bowl and gradually add to the butter-sugar-egg mixture until combined. Then add in chopped apples and apple cider to combine. 

Drop by large (and I mean large) spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake for 18-22 minutes. 

Eat. Probably all in one sitting. Because they're that good. 

Now I'm off to spend the weekend at the cabin, laying in a hammock and trying to convince myself that its sweater weather. I'll probably break a sweat, but who cares. Its principle.

Run with the Pack

For months I've been using the hash tag #thechloediaries. You probably get tired of seeing Chloe's face all over your TL, but I don't care. She is my dog child and I love her. However, I hate when people make social media profiles for their dogs. Sorry, but its stupid.... Until now.

I think they made Pack Dog with me in mind. Dog obsessed, Instagram junkie, social medialite. I've seen every episode of Dogs 101 and can't look at a puppy without going "awwww." Typical white girl? Maybe. Regardless, to say the Pack is the greatest thing since Beggin' Strips would be an understatement. Its basically Instagram for dogs - my dream come true.

Chloe: fighting crime one tick at a time.
You know you want to "track" Chloe. I mean, she's a hoot, seriously, guys. Go ahead.... Follow this link. While you're there, make your own pack profile and we can all be pack pals. If nothing else, you can at least look at cute pictures of puppies for hours on end. It doesn't get better than that, trust me.

Beers, brats and bourbon w/the Bradleys

As you might remember, my parents up and moved to Kentucky a few months back. I figured it was due-time I, Cole and I packed our bags, made some rockin' playlists (its Britney, b*tch), loaded up the car and headed east. Its a good thing I enjoy his company; I can't spend 24+ hours in a car with just anybody. Between my road rage, Cole leaving his wallet on the roof of the car, the highway being closed for construction, getting lost in Tulsa and an entirely-too-long-and-frustrating lunch break in St. Louis, I'm lucky he didn't leave me. I'd like to thank Parks and Rec and The Hunger Games for passing the time, since no one would play road trip games with me.

Once we arrived in Ky., we headed up to Newport on the Levee, a spot overlooking the Ohio River and Downtown Cincinnati. The weather was gorgeous, the sunset was spectacular and there was a trashy, pregnant lady taking bare-belly pictures on the riverfront. I cropped her out of the picture, sorry guys.

We walked across the Purple People Bridge, which connects Newport, Ky, to downtown Cinci, then stopped in for some deluxe grilled cheeses at Tom and Chee, which was featured on Man v. Food. Basically, I love cheese. I was once dared to not eat cheese for a week (I went through withdrawals). My college roommates often questioned how my digestive system didn't get clogged up from all the cheese I ate. To this day, I order a kid's grilled cheese at Chili's. So, naturally, when my mom told me about a gourmet grilled cheese restaurant, I knew I had to give a try. Grilled cheese filled with BBQ chips? Clever. Grilled cheese on a donut? Sweet. Desert grilled cheese? You know the way to my heart. Consider me a fan, Tom & Chee. 

The rest of our weekend was filled with spirits. A trip to the Buffalo Trace Distillery where we got to tour the facilities and sample whiskeys and bourbon filled candies (yum) and an afternoon at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati (the largest Oktoberfest in America, mind you). Beers, brats and bourbon. It was a party in the streets, to say the least. I had to suppress the urge to burst out in song every time a saw a sign for schnitzel. Schnitzel with noodles is one of my favorite things (see what I did there?). After searching the entire festival for a Sam Adam's fedora, waiting in line for a good 45-minutes (during which time I was about to pee my pants) and winning a beer tasting, I scored the last hat in all of Zinzinnati. Boom. It looks real good on me, too. I walked away from Oktoberfest being really glad that I have the thigh strength to squat in a porta-potty. I broke the seal way too early.

Ky., (and Cinci), you are beautiful. My cankles salute your rolling hills (they're still feelin' that 5-mile run) and your actual, real life fall weather is a wonderful thing to behold. The added bonus of seeing my family is the cherry on top. Keep it reel, Ky. Until next time! 

Foodie Friday | "Healthy" Chocolate Mug Cake

Something about combining the words "healthy" and "cake" just doesn't seem right. Lets get this straight: by healthy, I mean Paleo. It makes me feel a little less guilty about stuffing my face with cake like a ruffle clad, icing-covered baby at their first birthday party. Whether its "healthy" or not could be debatable, but I feel like its at least better than the Molten Chocolate Lava cake alternative...right? Totally. AND, its a single-serving size. Win.

Paleo Chocolate Mug Cake

1 banana
1 egg
2 Tbls cocoa
2-3 Tbls almond butter
A drizzle of honey
A little coconut, if desired

Grease a large mug. In a bowl, mash banana. Mix in egg, cocoa, almond butter, honey and coconut. Stir until blended (banana will have some chunks). Poor into mug. Microwave on high 2-3 minutes, or until set. Eat, duh.

You can thank me later.

Foodie Friday | Kitchen No. 324

I love food. And weekends are always devoted to food. Cheat days, date nights, Sunday grocery store trips, brunches, BBQ parties, tail gate snacks.....its pretty great. In preparation for the weekend, I've decided to start a little something I call, "Foodie Friday."

Here's the low down: every Friday, I'll post about food. It could be about a local restaurant I love, it could be my newest cupcake creation, or it could be a to-die-for Paleo recipe. Regardless, its something you will need to try. Sound good? Good. (notice: this may only last three weeks, I have commitment issues.)

This week, I introduce to you, Kitchen No. 324.

The downtown address for fresh. This gem is located in the heart of Oklahoma City, in the ground floor of The Braniff building. When you walk in, it instantly shouts urban class. Clean, white walls, windows galore and employees dressed in trendy, hipster-esque uniforms.... I like to pretend I'm in the Upper East Side.

The menu is fresh, authentic, and 100% delicious. Everything is handcrafted each morning, from coffee  and pastries to hearty breakfast dishes and the best bacon this side of the Mississippi.

Cathead Biscuits w/Chorizo Gravy - half eaten, of course.
My menu item of choice was the Cathead Biscuit w/Chorizo Gravy. My taste buds were dancing like a NorthFace, leggings and Ugg clad Sorostitute after a few-too-many Skinny Girl cocktails. Add on a side of bacon and an iced chai tea latte and the 'buds were straight up doing the Macarena. Just the right amount of spice and flavor combined with the warm, homey, cheesy biscuit to put a new spin on an old classic.

Cole chose the Chicken Pot Pie, their best-known dish (he doesn't care for conventional breakfast food - what would Ron Swanson say?). What makes it unique is the layer of fried chicken baked inside, as well as the fried chicken leg and biscuit on top. It beats the Swanson (not Ron) brand pot pies from 20 Something that I lived off of in college, thats for sure. It also is making my stomach growl as I type....

It was pretty much a requirement that we visit the bakery (have you met me?!). It's hard the beat the Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls, but man, these came close. Warm, flakey and gooey with that not-too-sweet-but-still-sugary icing on top - mmmmm.

You should probably stop by here for breakfast/brunch sometime in the near future- if you like your taste buds to get their groove on, that is. Watch this video for an extra push in the right direction.

Christmas all year round

Picture a warm, cozy living room. The fireplace crackling, hot chocolate (maybe spiked) in hand, wrapped in a blanket and cozied up to your loved one. The Christmas tree, lit in the corner, puts off that dim, magical light. I live for that light, folks. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. It makes my heart flutter like a 12-year-old at a middle school dance. It makes me want to make snow angels for two hours, go ice skating, eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookiedough as fast as I can and then snuggle.

When the lightbulb in my living room burnt out, I decided it would be a lot easier to start a project then to simply buy a new lightbulb. How grown up of me.

I'd been on a manhunt for this ladder for months. Months, I tell you. Garage sale searching and Craigslisting to no avail....I finally stumbled upon it on Ebay. For $25. Where have you been all my life, princessjenna2?! A few days later, it was sitting on my doorstep. I immediately requested the help of my Tall Drink of Water to hang it, made a trip to Home Depot for necessary hanging supplies and snacks, and happily strung the Christmas lights I had obtained at Ryan's garage sale back in early '12. It was perfect. 

My little urban paradise finally has a light in the living room. A Christmas light, to be exact. With the flick of a switch, it can be Christmas in my house, year round. Holy marshmallows, Santa Clause, I'm in love. Cue the music: *Chestnuts roasting on an open fire....*

In other news, I've kept this plant alive for over a year. And now, it has a baby. My mom is really, really proud of me. Maybe even more proud than the time I won that awesome stuffed pumpkin in a drawing contest, circa 1995.

Now, I'm going to start working on my Christmas list....its never too early for that, its called being prepared. Inquiries can be sent to


'Twas the Night Before Kickoff

Its here! Its here! The most wonderful time of the year - its finally here! Tomorrow is the first Oklahoma State football game of the season and I wrote a poem to show my excitement. 

Photo from Stillwater News Press

'Twas the night before kickoff, when all through the house
Every creature was bustling; drinks spilt on my blouse.
Beer cans were all stacked on the table with care,
In hopes that Zac Robinson soon would be there.

The freshman were sporting their new orange threads,
while visions of touchdowns danced in their heads.
And I in my jersey, and Gundy in his cap,
We can't settle down, so let's dance to some rap.

When out on the strip there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bar to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the Stillwater lights
gave the lustre of midday to the beautiful night.
When, what to my eyes would start to gleam,
but the entire Oklahoma State football team.

A greek god of a leader, I was coming undone
I knew in a moment it was Zac Robinson.
More rapid than eagles, his coursers they came,
and he whistled and shouted and cheered them on by name:

Go Crabtree! Go Stewart!
Go Chelf and Gilbert!
Go Walsh! Go Gundy!
Go Pokes and Go Pete!
To the top of the field!
To the top of the stadium!
Now run boys, run!
Go cowboys, all!

And then, in a twinkling, I heard at the door
the cheering and yelling, "Pokes to the core!"
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
in the door Zac came with a bound.

He was dressed in all orange, from his head to his foot
and his clothes were all wet, sweat underfoot.
A ton of muscle he had on his back,
he looked like a model, cue my asthma attack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! His smile, how pretty!
His cheeks were so tan, so soft, like a kitty.
He had a broad chest, a six pack for a belly.
I thought I might faint; my legs felt like jelly.

He was toned and tall, so much cuter than Chelf.
I blushed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word but went straight to the bar,
and ordered a water for the football star.
The bartender, in awe, didn't charge him a cent
and giving a nod, out the door he went.

He sprang to his Jeep, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all went like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim as he tossed me a flower,
"Go Pokes Go! Lets bring that Orange Power!"


Take me to the Riviera Maya

I had a countdown on my phone from the day we booked this vacation. It was due time my inner beach babe was released. Months of tanning, dieting and working out in preparation for the beach were about to pay off.

We just had to get there first... It would be an understatement to say that flying is not my thing. I hate airports, I hate airplanes, I hate flying, I hate the stress, the confusion, the ear popping, the sick feeling in my stomach...bleh. I am pretty much Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids. "THERE IS SOMETHING THEY'RE NOT TELLING US!" But enough about that....we made it! 

We walked into our hotel lobby and were greeted with cold hand towels, champagne, and a bell hop to boot. Holy seashells, Batman (but not the Ben Affleck Batman), I felt like royalty! Every single one of the staff members was incredibly friendly and welcoming. Our room was even complete with five liquor bottles (FIVE!), Oreos, M&Ms and a stocked fridge, free of charge. Is this real life?!

View from our room.
We ate...and drank...a lot. Can you blame us? We had to take advantage of everything the All-Inclusive resort had to offer. We ordered room service like some sort of celebrities. We tried smoked grasshoppers and escargot, had some traditional Mexican dishes like flan, ate a pig that was roasted over a campfire, enjoyed plenty of sea food and drank our weight in beachy cocktails....even one straight from a coconut.

Snails, anyone?
This was by far my favorite drink of the trip.... I only took about 5,000 pictures of it.
We spent a lot of time on the was glorious...

...but always cleaned up in time for a fancy dinner.

What a babe.
My absolute favorite part of the trip was swimming with dolphins. It has been at the tip top of my bucket list since Mary Kate and Ashley's Holiday in the Sun came out on VHS. Was it as incredible as I imagined?! Every bit. The dolphins were almost like water dogs - they were so friendly and each had their own personality. They were very strong and muscley, yet silky to the touch. They kissed me, sang to me, let me hug them, held my hands, and even took me for a ride (I held on to their fins). It was incredible, and something I highly recommend doing! My inner-mermaid was dancing with joy. 

Just so that the green monster of jealousy doesn't completely overtake you, I'll tell you a few disappointments. The water was kind of dirty, the service was a little slow at times, and the yoga on the beach class I had been looking forward to was cancelled. It also rained most of our last day, which was the biggest disappointment in my book. But, everything else totally made up for it. The room? Luxurious. The food? Tasty. The drinks? Plentiful. The staff? Attentive to our every need. The beach? Sunny and sandy - what else can you need?! In all honesty, I wished we could have stayed a little longer and gotten more beach time, but my hair couldn't handle much more humidity. Cole told me I looked like Nicky from Orange is the New Black......accurate.

All in all, it was a fantastic trip, and I am now suffering from a bad case of the post-vacation blues. If anyone wants to send cookies, please do so. Now, I'm just sitting here thinking, where should we go next?! 

To see more pictures, check out my Facebook album here: Take me to the Riviera Maya 
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