If we were friends in real life, we could meet up over coffee and catch up about what is going on in our lives.  But like me, you are probably busy with work, kids, and a house to manage. Meeting for coffee is just another thing we don’t have time to fit in our schedules. So I created a monthly series of virtual coffee dates.  I’ll fill you in on what’s happened in my life since we last met, then you can share something with me in the comments.

If we were catching up over coffee, this is what I would tell you…

Family Cruise

At the end of July, we took a 7 day cruise to the Bahamas. With 30 family members. Yep, I know that sounds crazy but it ended up being a lot of fun.

We cruised on the Carnival Dream out of New Orleans, with stops at Key West, Freeport and Nassau, Bahamas. The kids LOVED being on the beach at every port and I loved that the water in the Bahamas was turquoise blue and crystal clear.  On the boat, they enjoyed the pool, water slides and room service for breakfast each day.

My favorite parts of the cruise included dinner together each night (we took up three large tables in the dining room), taking naps every afternoon and reading on the balcony so I could look out at the calm water.   At night, we found a cool bar where we would meet up after dinner. Then we would go to a comedy show or the nightly shows in the theater. I plan to do a full recap of the cruise next week, so check back for all the details!

Aunt Camp

After we returned from the cruise, my mom , niece and my sister’s niece came to Dallas to visit us for a week.  I called it “Aunt Camp” and was so excited to plan fun things for them to experience during their visit.  The girls are 13 and 14, so they are a little older than my kids, but still little girls at heart.

Living in a big city like Dallas means there is NEVER a shortage of activities or things to do.  The Perot Museum of Nature and Science was a big hit, along with Ultimate Escape Game Dallas.  We made it out with about 5 minutes left on the clock but needed all 3 of our hints to escape.

At Grapevine Lake, we went Stand Up Paddle-boarding (SUP).  Of course they also wanted to go shopping, so we hit up Stonebriar and the Galleria.  I hoped that Altitude Trampoline Park in Grapevine would wear them out, but they still stayed up past my bedtime each night watching Disney movies!

At home,  went swimming, played on the swings, and jumped on the neighbor’s trampoline.  I also asked them to help me make dinner one night.  On their last full day, we spent the afternoon painting at the tables. I called it “Painting with a Twist”, but the twist was I gave them some painting ideas and we did not pay $30+ per person!

We also went out to dinner at Twisted Root, Cane Rosso, In and Out Burger and Cadillac Pizza. For dessert, we visited Tappy’s, Cow Tipping Creamery, Sprinkles Cupcakes, and Bahama Bucks.

Running Again

I have no idea how long its been since I laced up my running shoes for a race.  I’ve enjoyed the OC3 workouts and weigh training as a departure from long distance running.  Only one race could bring me out of semi-retirement from running.

It’s the Tour des Fleurs.

I love everything about this race. The location: Dallas Arboretum/White Rock Lake. The swag: a race shirt, backpack, runner’s hat AND a medal. The distance: Quarter Marathon (6.55 miles) or Half Marathon (13.1 miles).  The after party: Live music by the lake, amazing food (not just bananas and bagels), adult beverages, massage therapists and FREE time in the Arboretum after the race.

So I have Saturday morning training runs planned for the next four weeks to get ready! Totally enough time to train for 6 miles. Since I am starting over from ground zero. Haven’t run in months.  I’m not worried at all.  (eek!)

School Starts

I feel like my kids are the very last kids in the entire country to start school. While everyone else is busy posting pics on Facebook, our first day of school is not until August 28th!

Two weeks ago, I dusted off their summer reading lists and enforced mandatory reading time at 7 PM every night.  Since I bought their school supply packs from the PTO, I had to lie to Sophia and tell her it was mandatory to buy supplies from the school this year. I was trying to save time (and my sanity) from the craziness of visiting every Target and Wal-mart in a 20 mile vicinity and still ordering hard to find items from Amazon Prime.

She didn’t buy it.  She declared me the meanest mom ever.

Whatever, I still win at school shopping.

Work Travel

Last month, I was in Italy for work. Next month,  I will be in Norway for work. So, my job does not suck.

Rest assured, I actually WORK when I travel. Actually, my work days are longer when I travel than when I am in the office in Dallas.  Sitting in meetings while fighting jet lag is always an issue. But experiencing the local culture, trying new foods, and exploring new cities is a huge perk of my job in engineering.

We do have one day during the trip without meetings scheduled.  Since I seem to have trouble making it to the gym when I travel internationally, I am thinking about going hiking or kayaking. It is hard to make plans in advance, in case our meetings change, but I am exploring my options.

Grab a cup of coffee! It's time for our monthly (virtual) coffee date! Click To Tweet

If we were having coffee, what would you tell me is going on in your life?  Did your kids recently go back to school? Did you take any fun vacations this summer? Tell me about it in the comments.  

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