Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Weather Blues

So this might now makes sense to a lot of you but if you live in NJ you know what I mean (and if you don't then I hope you never have to)! While all of you in sunny Cali are enjoying the nice weather, sunshine, blossoming trees and the first fruits of the spring (i can barely type that without getting down)...here in New Jersey we are in this constant cycle of warm/cold weather. For example, last week we started monday off with about 6-10 inches of snow (I will remind you that I had just gotten back from Florida so this cold weather was even harder to stomach) and then on Saturday we hit a near record high of 72 degrees and now we are back in the 40's. I have so many different types of jackets tossed in my car right now because when I leave to go anywhere I never know if it is going to get warm, rain, snow, or just stay cold!!! This is madness I tell you...MADNESS!!!
During all of the moves that I have undertaken these last five years or so I have started to learn something about myself...I get depressed when it is cold. I am not just talking a little depressed, its like seriously I hate my life right now and I want to curl up in a ball and never leave. However, as soon as the sun comes out or it starts to get warm my mood suddenly changes and I feel like I can take on the world. So with that in mind you can only imagine what these weird weather spring months are like for me and my poor unsuspecting husband. I don't know if this is normal but it is seriously annoying!!
I have to admit that I think it was almost harder to go to Florida because this whole last week and have the hardest time adjusting back to nj weather. I probably think that my obsession with "The Hills" lately and other shows taped in sunny climates adds to my depression...but still why can't I snap out of it?! I am working really hard and trying to lean on God during the times that I get really down (don't worry it's not like suicidal or anything..just upset) but it is still a big struggle! Maybe I should be investing my time in more productive things other than living vicariously through the tv and at least it would take my mind off the depressing weather! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Come Away with Me...part dos

Hi all!
I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to you with the second part of our adventure. With the impending move coming up (hopefully this weekend) things have been pretty crazy!!!

I am going to continue with a slightly move abbreviated version since I don't want to ramble on and I should have done this while all the details we fresh in my mind because now I have forgotten some :(

We had such an amazing time while at the Ritz! According to the locals (and they could clearly tell that we were not among them) it was rather cold for this time of year. However, coming from the wonderful NJ where sunny and warm weather is rare during March and well most of the year...we thought the weather felt wonderful and said so often :) It was sunny the whole time we were there and the temp ranged from high 60's to mid 70's...the sun though was very strong and made for perfect layout weather! Let me first explain that the hotel is located about 3.5 miles from the beach (basically over the bridge) but they have an amazing beach club that you get access too and shuttles or valet parking so you can head over there whenever you want. They also had a pool and hot tub at the hotel and let me tell you....it was soo nice to be able to relax in the hot tub every night. Josh and I would usually go down for about 15 minutes in our spiffy ritz robes and slippers (provided in our rooms) and have a nice relaxing dip in the hot tub. we were always the only ones there, which we didn't mind but did wonder about, until we saw that the hot tub actually closed at 6pm (we were there around 8-9pm) ...oops...well no one ever said anything to us! We would then head back up to the room and order cookies and coffee from the room service .... can i say pampering oh yeah! it was the best feeling ever to be all warm and then enjoy cookies and coffee in bed :)

The first day that we arrived we headed over to the beach club to check it out and catch a glimpse of the amazing and famous sunsets experienced at the the club! I can't even put into words how excited i was to step onto the beach, feel the sand on my feet and the sun on my face, and smell the wonderful aroma of salt in the air! As we were looking around the amazing scenery we were taken aback by how lucky we were to be standing here admiring God's creation as we wrapped up our second year of marriage and embarked on our third year with the excitement of two mischievous children ready to explore the adventures ahead.
All of the staff at the beach club were at our beck and call to provide us with anything we wanted and show us around the establishment. We found a swanky place to eat on the island before we headed back to the hotel. This is where I discovered that as much as I enjoy the life of the rich and famous (well a least the rich) I am not as into the upscale dining environment where you have to pay exorbitant prices for minuscule portions. Anyways, one of my favorite parts of staying at the Ritz is the turn down service each night. As we enter the room soft music is playing and the bed is turned down with two yummy chocolates and water bottles that say Ritz Carlton on it. The first night we were greeted with an extra treat, in celebration of our anniversary the staff left a nice card signed by some and a small replica of the Ritz made out of chocolate (it was so cute)! That night I informed Josh for about the millionth time that since we only have one full day in this piece of heaven I was heading to the beach club armed with books, after breakfast in bed, on a mission to spend the whole day laying out and enjoying the sun and peaceful moments of reading bliss (it doesn't happen often)! It was so neat to escape from all the stresses of everyday life and be able to dive fully into God's word and a special book from my mom which had been long neglected. I left with such a feeling of refreshment and hope for what lies ahead. I really don't know why I have to wait to get away from life to fully let God into my head and life (I am still trying to work on having that as my daily mindset as opposed to letting my crazy self stress myself out all hours of the day and night)!

Now back to more vain aspects of my life :) When we arrived at the club for a full day of laziness and sun Josh headed out for a run and I set out to the quest to acquire the best spot to layout and soak up the sun. Once I locked eyes with the lounge chair that would become my tanning bed for the day I was immediately greeted by one of the attendants and I stood there shocked as he "set up my chair" by laying out the towels, including a head rest, and supplying me with a menu and glass of iced water. I have to admit that a life of pampering is really easy to get sucked into, with no objections from myself! We relaxed and enjoyed all the the club had to offer as well as each other's company for the rest of our wonderful stay!

It was such a wonderful trip and a great start to third year (well almost third year) of marriage. It was such a bitter sweet moment as we left...such a great memory yet I didn't want to admit that it was over yet and we had to leave this wonderful warm and inviting place. It did help that I was really tired and sore as we left, I let my husband talk me into running with him that morning..something I haven't done for almost a year and boy were my legs feeling it! I don't believe in running since it tends to bulk up my legs (don't argue .. it's true) and I informed my husband of that right after the run! i am perfectly content to stick with my workout dvds thank you!

We continued our trip back to the Reno rents for a nice relaxing visit and a couple stops to our absolute favorite restaurant (shout our to Coastal Flats and it's amazing white chocolate bread pudding that I could live on)!

We had such an amazing time ... i have to say that we are really enjoying having one set of parents so close. My mother-in-law has been such and encouragement to me these last few months. I feel that every time I start getting overwhelmed or discouraged with being an air force wife, her words and precious personal experiences that she shares with me are able to refresh and renew my love for my husband and the new life that we are forming together. I defiantly helps the whole home-sickness factor having them near by, although I do find that I miss my parents and family even more after we leave. I really believe that I am blessed with wonderful in-laws that have the same life convictions, loves and beliefs that I was blessed with growing up!

Thank you all for taking part in the enjoyment of our adventure and I hope I didn't ramble on too much!

PS we both believe that at one time in life every one needs to experience the Ritz Carlton...be warned though, once you do you will never want to go back!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Come Away With Me...Part Uno

(the entry to our room)

(the bathroom with beautiful white marble and the coolest heated mirrors)


(view from the bed)

(More of the room)

(view from our balcony)

(more views from our balcony)

(one more view)

Okay so first I have to apologize for my brief absence from this portal of my life...it has been a busy few weeks and honestly I haven't had the energy or brain power to actually form my life events into words and out of my finger tips on to this computer screen!! Well because of that, my faithful readers (the few and far between) here goes what I hope to be a recap of these somewhat eventful last few weeks :)

Don't worry though I will try not to bombard you will all the details at one time....

..so lets start with my favorite part...drum roll please.....Our Anniversary/Valentines trip!!

Location: Reno Rents Washington DC; The Inn at Mulberry Grove Savannah, GA; Hampton Inn Tampa Bay, FL; Ritz Carlton Sarasota, FL; Hampton Inn (not sure the city) GA; and back to Reno Rents Washington DC.

Mode of Transportation: Ursula (the Corolla)

Participants: Joshley Reno (no charles)

The Details: In Celebration of our 2 year Anniversary and Valentines Day the hubby and I decided to take a much needed trip out of the dreadful New Jersey weather (and well just the dreadful New Jersey). We have started to make the Ritz Carlton a big part of our annual celebration of our marriage :) I know I know but we are just trying to help the country's stimulus package :)! Well this year, thanks to our generous brother, we were able to continue this tradition and I demanded that this year it would be somewhere warm and tropical! So after researching all the different locations (you know how I never research anything) it was decided that our next location would be Sarasota Florida. We also decided that we were way to burnt out on the whole flying thing and since we love our hair blowing in the wind on the open road (or more like just riding with the windows closed on the open road) we would make the trip in the Ursula. The 20 hour road trip would also be a fun way to get to see areas of the USA that I had never seen before. Josh and I decided to take advantage of the free lodging at the Reno Rents and their refreshing and wonderful company as we left Friday evening heading to their casa.

As we continued on our road trip I was able to feast my eyes on the Carolina's, Georgia, and Virginia (well at least the roads that go through them). We did get to drive around Savannah GA and see all of the marsh lands and attractions the the small city. Now let's all admit that one of the first things we check out when arriving at a new and exciting place is were to eat! And as we all know, one of the famous restaurants in Savannah GA is Paula Dean's "The Lady and Sons". Put the quest for great food and one of Food Network Star's Restaurants together and we had a perfect fit. That perfect fit though lost some of it's appeal later was we drove by at 9am and saw a line out the door waiting for the restaurant to open the pathway to food paradise at 11am. However, as I am not fond of fried southern food and we didn't feel like standing outside for two hours we opted for choice two...a local french bistro cafe for some almost equally yummy food (with less than half the wait).

Now lets fast forward to the part we have all been waiting for....the glorious Ritz Carlton situated in the tropics of Florida!!

For everyone who has never been to the Ritz Carlton it is a completely amazing and unique experience. I will do my best to use this blog to recreate the Ritz experience as best as I can for all of my precious readers :) Just sit back and relax and soak up the sun and glory of the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota Fl.

After 20+ hours on the road we arrive weary and ready for bliss. Our package included valet parking and as soon as we rolled up to the front we were immediately met by several door men and valet drivers. My door was opened as soon as the car stopped moving and I was greeted by a man in the cute bell hop outfit. "Good afternoon Mrs. Reno, how was your trip?" now how he knew my name only the secret service and the Ritz establishment will ever know (but I do think it has something to do with those cool almost clear ear pieces). As I started to get out of the car I was slightly mortified as the man in the cute bell hop suite offered to throw away my trash. I kindly turned down his offer since there was too much trash for one trip and I was trying to hide how hideous our car looked..I guess it hadn't dawned on me yet that he would be the one getting into our car and driving it to the parking lot ;)

We entered a beautiful foyer with marble everywhere. When we first arrived the doorman asked us if we were celebrating anything and the hubby informed them of our anniversary celebration. When I say that the staff at the Ritz was extremely nice it is a total understatement. Everywhere we turn we are greeted by name and each new person that we encounter wishes us a happy anniversary. As we were checking in we were greeted by one of the doormen with a complementary glass of champagne and water. I can't tell you how cool and posh I felt holding the chilled glass of bubbly in one hand and an armful of clothes and shoes in the other, while standing inside the elegantly decorated lobby (I know ...so classy). What do they say....you can take her out of bako but you can never take the bako out of her :) After we got all checked in we were escorted with our bags up to our beautiful room (reference pictures above) and told about all of the good spots to hit while we were here. After the kind bellman left I of course had to perform the customary jump on the bed "I can't believe we are here" ceremony!
We were sooo excited to be here celebrating out lives together in this amazing setting. There were so many things to do and yet we wanted to soak up every minute of this wonderful hotel....
to be continued :)
*in an effort to save your eyes, keep your interest and save my fingers our journey will be continued tomorrow!