Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy CNY!!!

CNY = Chinese New Year. It's the year of the Ox. Last year at this time we were in Singapore w/ the Starks celebrating Chinese CNY. The Starks loved some of the traditions, so they helped us bring back them back to Big D in 2009. Thanks to our Dallas friends for coming over and sharing in the fun. We did the traditional "steam boat" dinner where there is one big pot of broth and a ton of meat, veggies, and noodles. Everyone gathers around the table and cooks their own meal to their liking. We had chicken, beef, shrimp, fish balls, tofu, dumplings, napa cabbage, bok choy, mushrooms, scallions, bean sprouts, bihoon noodles, chili peppers and a range of sauces. Everyone was a little timid at first, but by the end of the night they all looked fat and happy. The Bimmerles get the award for "most improved steam boaters". Early on, they looked very scared, but were steam boatin' pros when it was all said and done. Baby steps, next year, we'll teach them how to use chopsticks - without stabbing the food! It's a toss up between Sean and Jason for who ate the most. For dessert we had green tea ice cream mochi balls and red bean ice cream sandwiches. There was also lots of little chinese snacks and pastries - including "fish chips". Travis and I liked them…Sean equated it to sticking a bass in your mouth. Turner didn’t eat any of the goodies, but he sure looked cute in the rice hat! Everyone got their prosperity oranges - or prosperity orange drink mix (thanks to Mike and Sara). Tiff H. looked hottie in her china dress (it's actually called a cheongsam).

Last but not least, the Callahans announced the purchase of their new house and a little Cali on the way. Happy CNY everyone! We can't wait to do it again in 2010.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Playa del Carmen

We just got back from a trip w/ the Hannas to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It was so much fun. We left on Thursday (1/8) and came back on Sunday (1/11). Here's a recap.

Thursday. We left DFW at 9:15, arrived in Cancun and caught our private transfer to the
Riu Palace Riviera Maya. Cat & Travis started the trip with gifts for us...Bubba Kegs to always keep our drinks cold! On the way, we had the shuttle driver stop at a gas station so we could get the party started. The hotel was very nice and reminded me of a typical hotel in New Orleans (only by a beach). After checking in, we threw on our suits, ate lunch at the buffet and checked the place out. We spent the rest of the day chilling by the pool. Travis played water polo (tried to anyway), Tiff and I tried our scuba gear out in the pool. For dinner we went to the hotel's Brazilian restaraunt and then went to the sports bar to watch the NCAA Football National Championship Game (OU vs. FL). Travis bet me a t-shirt that OU would win. He lost. Travis spent a good portion of the evening talking to a group of older men from St. Louis and kept telling them they all looked 30 years younger than they really were. What a flirt.

Friday. We woke up early to be at the Fantasea Dive Shop for a couple dives in the morning. Our dive guide looked and acted like a Matthew McConaughey knock-off. The Hannas were going to snorkel while we dove. Catherine snorkeled for our first dive, while Travis fed the fish. Travis got really sea sick so the boat dropped them off at the beach while we did the 2nd dive. The dives were pretty good, but at the bottom of the list compared to some of the other places we've been. We saw a really big hawksbill, plenty of eels, huge schools of snapper, lobsters, a few monster crabs, and the anemones were huge for some reason. After diving, we went back to the hotel to let Travis recover. Tiff, Cat and I went to the beach to lay out and people watch. Travis showed up eventually. We ended up playing beach volleyball where Travis ended the game by slamming the ball into some guy's face. For dinner, we went to the hotel's steak house which was decent, but the dessert was best because it came with flaming liquor! We hung out in the lobby bar afterwords and taught the Hanna's to play Joker. Girls won! Funny thing of the night is that we would order a drink and get something completely different (ex: ordered a mudslide and got a mai tai.) Guess the bartender was lost in translation.

Saturday. We had the breakfast buffet and then went shopping and bar hopping in town. Good times. Travis got into heated negotiations with a lady who was trying to charge him a higher price than was on the price tag. Some attorney lady from Dallas translated and got it all worked out. Some of the bars we went to were the Beer Bucket (owned by Big Al from 106.1), and a bar that had a swings for chairs. We ate lunch at La Brisa which was hands down the best meal of the trip. We had shrimp tacos, ceviche, shrimp soup, fried fish and guacamole. It was delish. Finished the day at the hotel. We all played beach volleyball and soccer. There was an angry Russian guy who took the game way too seriously and inexplicably had a bandana wrapped around his knee as a brace...can't see how that helped. We finished our last full day in the infinity pool and a last drinkie drink from the pool bar. For dinner, we went to the Sushi restaraunt. Just Ok. We went out bar hopping that night. We went to a a bar on the beach (where we saw our dive guide), a swankie lounge bar on a roof, and then back to the bar w/ swings. That was the last bar, because Brock ended up taking 2 tequila shots w/ a guy from Austria. Not a good decision. Brock out for the count. Back to the hotel...

Sunday. Brock slept and tried to deal w/ the worst hangover of his life. Cat, Tiff, and Travis hung out at the pool and ate a quick lunch. Travel was fine. Brock spent the whole rest of the day recovering from Saturday's shenangans.

Memories. Bubba Kegs; good mojitos; Brock's squeeky flip flops; having drinks in the sports bar w/ the old guys; Dive shop guide from Bama; Cat snorkeling overhead while we were diving; dive guide ran out of air before we did and left us to finish the dive, but Brock got us lost; Travis getting sea sick and getting to go to his own private beach w/ Cat; Travis spiking a volleyball into some guy's face; topless sunbathers; playing joker - guys v. girls; ordering drinks in the hotel lobby and getting something different; Big Al's bar (good bloody mary's); donkey balls shot concocted by the girls - 2 cherries, kaluha and vodka; Travis fighting w/ the lady in the store; that really good restaurant we went to (La Brisa); Angry Russian playing soccer; guac, guac and more guac; the rooms had free liquor and beer; nice room; Brock's 2 tequila shots of death and a long day of travel afterwards.

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