At the end of my last "installment", we were getting ready to go to Cozumel with Teri and Jared! Aunt Tammy and the boys also ended up joining us. This was one of my most favorite vacations ever. We weren't even there for a whole week, but we packed so much in to the time we did have, and just had a blast. This was our first time to Cozumel, but Teri's been plenty of times, so she was able to show us the ropes! The highlights:
- Awesome all-inclusive resort with a swim-up bar in the pool area
- We went deep-sea fishing and caught barracuda!
- Took a Jeep down to the south side of the island, to see the more jungly parts and the rocky coastline
- Went snorkeling several times (it was my first time and I fell in love with it!)
- Swam with the dolphins, and I got to pet a MANATEE (life is now complete)
- Our car somehow got mixed up in a parade for some political figure. Loud music playing, tons of people hanging out of cars, this guy's face plastered everywhere. It was pretty bizarre! (but funny)
Birthday Boy and Birthday Girl! (June 29)
Brad and I added a little birthday flourish :)
Max and Wyatt had to pack into the trunk of the Jeep
Ready for our Dolphin Experience! And the MANATEE, but they didn't take any pictures of that! But trust me. I was in a happy place.
Lay flat in the water, and the dolphins come up and support each foot, shooting you out of the water and gliding you across!
Another variation - holding on to their fins. They were so strong!
Early morning fishin'
Anyway, it was pretty much a perfect vacation (thanks Jared for having a birthday and deciding that this was the place to go!) I immediately wanted to go back, on the day we headed home. Still do. Bringing out these pictures makes me miss it again! Who's down for flying to Mexico? Let's go.
July was a busy month...once we got back, it was time for July 4th celebrations. Albany has a big fireworks show downtown, but just like last year, I didn't really want to deal with the crowds. Some of our new friends ended up having a shindig at their house, so we hung out there all day! These friends are also from Texas (they went to TAMU-CC and moved up here for her job, which is being a chemist at the lab where I work!) so of course they're awesome. We sort of saw some fireworks off in the distance at some point, and that's enough for me!
This was while the torch was in the process of getting engulfed in flames because the oil had gotten everywhere...shortly after, Danny had to move it to the driveway to put it out, I didn't get pictures at that point since I was a little terrified of the whole yard catching on fire (everything was ok in the end!)
Also in July was Mega Sports Camp at church. It's kind of like a VBS, but the kids work on their chosen sport with coaches all week and also have singing and Bible study time. I had never done one before, but I decided to sign up for the cheerleading group! (other sports were football, basketball, baseball, and soccer - and I'm bad at any sport with a ball, sooo...) The girls learned cheers and jumps from my fellow coach, then I taught them a dance routine throughout the week (right up my alley!) It was great fun...made for long days since I worked 7-4:30 then went straight to camp, but it was worth it! At the "closing ceremonies" at church that Sunday, the girls performed the dance I had taught. We tied bows in their hair and they were so excited. Here's our group pic! (of course, we had to make a formation)
And July continued on with fun events...I wanted to go hiking, since there are so many pretty places up here. We thought about going all the way up to Lake Placid, but ended up going with a more local place - Plotter Kill. It was nice and peaceful, although it had just rained the day before so the mosquitoes were really intense! I ended up deciding that we should turn back early after I was to the point of spraying Off all over my ears to keep the mosquitoes from buzzing in them :-/ But still, pretty waterfalls!
But wait...there's more July! Teri and Jared had not yet been up here, and with Brad's school schedule, etc. they decided the end of July would be a good time to come up. I had to go to some training at work, so the three of them hung out mostly, but on Friday we got to go to Niagara Falls! So, Mexico and Canada in one summer :) None of us had been before, and we had a blast. We rode the Maid of the Mist and took plenty of photos.
Breakfast with an amazing view of the Falls
One of my favorite pics.
Stopped for original Buffalo wings in Buffalo on the way home
Okay, I think that finally brings us to the end of July!
Now I'm basically relying on my iPhone photos to remind me of what happened in August...
At work we have the "NERD games", where different departments compete against each other in things like running, softball, etc. Some friends formed a group for the putt-putt competition...we didn't do so great for our department, but we had fun!
Not on purpose.
Random photo from a friend's party...I work with all of these ladies and we like to have "girls night" every once in awhile...
Up next, a Sunday night get-together with our church, Trinity Baptist. There are plenty of farms and apple orchards up here, with ample opportunities for apple picking in the fall, corn mazes, etc. Bowman Orchards is a popular one, and several of the Bowmans go to our church. So they graciously had all of us out for fun, fellowship, and s'mores!
Alpaca Alpaca Alpaca
Brad and Pastor Lyndrell go for a race
Our friend Danny (one of the aforementioned Texans) has started doing music full-time. Here, some friends enjoying his show at the Old English Pub.
Last August event of note -- we found Shiner Bock! Well, my friend Jenna has some other friends in the area who are also from Texas, and THEY found Shiner, so we just reap the benefits. A liquor store in Troy sells it, which is great because I go to the Troy farmer's market every weekend ;) Brad can now watch the Baylor games (thanks to Brother Dave's slingbox) in true Texas fashion.
More fun happenings with friends!
The first Dave & Buster's to hit the Albany area recently opened up, so we went on Labor Day. Fun times.
We had Ashley and Matt over to our apartment one night, and we had drinks and did yoga poses. Makes perfect sense right? They're leaving for Virginia soon, sad face! But they're cool kids.
So, long ago when I was planning our wedding, I downloaded the Instagram app on my phone and friended lots of other brides all over the country so we could share photos of decorations, dresses, etc. and give feedback! When I got to Albany, we realized we had a little "community" of a few of those brides who all live here in the same area. So we decided to meet up! We went to Art on Tap in Clifton Park, where you can sip on wine or beer and paint as guided by an artist.
Here's my creation:
Loved meeting these ladies! They're all awesome
The artist had painted an Instagram logo, so of course we got a pic! Perfect.
Alright...I've squeezed a lot of events and photos into one post, and it's late and I am le tired, so I'mma finish this catchup post tomorrow! Stay tuned for the rest of September (including an amazing quick trip to Texas!) and October :)