Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cancun part 4

Ok, so HERE'S the picture of the sinkhole. (I forgot to include it on my last set.)
So, that brings us to Friday night. On Friday night, we had a special cocktail hour and then the big Gala reception. A fancy plated dinner, desert and big "surprise" entertainment. Here's a picture for all the foodies of our desert. Cute huh? The pryamid was a chocolate mousse with Mexican spices, the sign and crescent moon were made out of chocolate, the sauce was a mango puree, fresh berries and a "mini cheesecake". (We had to laugh because the cheesecake was no more than a tablespoon. It was tasty though. The suprise entertainment was the band "LIFEHOUSE" and they were absolutely incredible. (They sing "Hangin' by a Moment" and several other pop/rock songs that you would know if you heard them.) I have video that I shot on my camera, but since we were right in front of some speakers and so close to them it's distorted :( Oh and "yes" that is gum in the lead singer's mouth (Jason Wade") the blonde guy in the white tee. After they finished and did a great encore, we were treated to a band called "Boogie Nights" (lots of 70s/some early 80s) music. We didn't stay for that as we were completley exhausted.

Here's a picture of the clocks in the lobby. I always like to see the different time zones. (Cancun, MX is an hour behind Virginia.) I didn't even think about shooting any other pix of the HUGE lobby. It was pretty incredible though.

The next picture is the view when you walk out of our room. (All of the rooms open up with balcony's looking at the ocean and then when you leave your room, you get a similar great view.) We stayed at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach. (There are pictures of the outside of the hotel online if you want to search for them.) They say that they have the best part of the beach of Cancun...who knows...we really liked it though, so no complaints for us. We did find out that all of the beaches in Cancun are public, so the locals and people from other hotels could come to "your" area of beach. We didn't have any kind of "influx" of people and in general when looking at the other hotels (while on the jetski) none of them seemed overly crowded on the shore. There was ample room for everyone. One thing we discovered after talking with our tablemates at dinner one evening was that the next hotel over from us had a large pool with their own personal dolphins in it and you could actually go swimming with the dolphins there! We never made it over to the hotel to check it out up close, but I did take a photo from one of the balcony's in our hotel. (It's too blurry to see though, so I am not sharing it.)

Ok, so now it's Saturday and it's our FREE day. We stayed out on the beach ALL day. With complimentary drinks all day. We ate our lunch under our tiki hut umbrella, went on a jetski and basically just relaxed. It actually worked out perfectly because Saturday was the BEST day weather wise too. We had toyed with the idea of going on another excursion to an underwater cave/tour/river thingy, but decided we needed some sun. Unfortunatley DH got burned in several places, I only got burned on 1 side of my leg. (Not exactly sure how that happened since I put lotion on.) Anyhow, we never made it into the pool...can you believe that? And we never got to enjoy drinks at the swim up bar either. That evening we had dinner at one of the local places called El Sombrero and it was very tasty. One thing I was worried about was that things in general would be overly spicy. I didn't have to worry at all. Things were regular and almost mild at all of the events and restaurants. They did have several different sauces so you could "kick it up a notch" and DH learned quickly that he liked their green sauce (made from Habanero's), but he would break out into a sweat if he overdid it. Saturday night, they had one final get together. It was a private party for us at the Hard Rock Cafe, but we ended up not going. It didn't start until 9 and we were sunburned and we had to be up at 2am to check out and catch our shuttle bus back to the airport for an incredibly early flight.

Which reminds me. Our shuttle was supposed to depart the hotel at never showed up! We ended up sharing a taxi with another guy and heading back on a very WILD ride. The guy was driving so fast - it was insane. DH caught a look at the speedometer and told me not to look. I can tell you this though...when we caught the shuttle bus from the airport to the hotel, the ride took a good hour. Our taxi ride to the airport from the hotel (mind you it was about 4:15am and no traffic) took 15 minutes. We caught a quick bite of breakfast at Bubba Gump's and then caught our plane and headed back to the states (through Miami - what a strange airport!) and then back to Dulles. It was a fantastic trip.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cancun Part 3

On Thursday evening, we were treated to a large dinner reception at the Cancun convention center. The blue fellow was one of many that were dancing, playing instruments and burning incense and doing all things "tribal" to showcase the Mayan culture. Our entertainment for the evening was the group Cheap Trick. Yes, the REAL Cheap Trick. The guys are in their 60's, but let me tell you...they can definitely still sing and hit the right notes. It was a phenomenal concert! The next day we had an AM business meeting where DH was recognized along with several other people in his organization. The meeting broke up about lunch time and afterwards DH and I took a strole along the beach and later headed into town to scout out stores & shops. Check out the bed on the beach! The hotel has several of these that are available for rent for the whole day....pretty cool! And when I say pretty cool, it WAS very cool. In fact, it was overcast & very breezy/windy on Wed., Thurs., and Friday with an occasional light/brief shower. It was too cool to even be in the water. The water felt warmer than the air and when we took our walk and put our feet in the water, it was chilly when we brought them out (notice how NO ONE is in the water behind me in that was just too cold!)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cancun Part 2

These pictures were from the excursion we took to Chichen Itza. It was 2 1/2 hours by bus from our hotel. Chichen Itza is one of the NEW 7 Wonders of the World, so that was pretty cool. Up until 3-5 years ago you could actually walk all the way up to the top of the El Castillo (The Castle) pyramid and most of the other Mayan ruins. Now it is roped off preventing access. They do have one ruin we were allowed to walk up several steps and poke around, but I can't recall the name...sorry! The steps are really unique...taller than a normal step and not as long so you really can't walk straight up. Our guide told us to walk at an angle going up/down so we don't fall.

The large sinkhole is called "The Sacred Cenote" where they performed human sacrifices. We walked down and around it to get closer, so you can't really see how deep it is from the limestone walls...but it's deep. In another photo, you can see DH pointing at the rings hanging off the walls. For those of you with kids, you have probably seen the cartoon movie "El Dorado"...these rings are for one of their games where the players move a small ball around to try to get it up through the center hole...just like in the movie! (No touching the ball with your hands.) The captain of the winning team was honored by being decapitated and immortalized in limestone along the skull wall.

Stay tuned for more...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

No Stamp Camp for Feb. - I am back from Cancun!

Just a quick update...I had been trying to get things together for a stamp camp in February, but there just isn't enough time right now. The next camp will be in March. I will have a date finalized hopefully in the next few days (lots of stuff still going.)

Now for a little bit of tropical paradise for all of my friends still looking at snow in their yards! My DH and I just got back on Sunday in the late afternoon from a part business/part personal trip to Cancun, MX. We enjoyed several days of relaxing and incredible food and superb entertainment and accomodations. These are just a few of the pictures I took. (The next several posts will be all about the trip and not feature stamping.)

The first are the view from our hotel relaxing. See those Jetski's? DH took me out on them and scared the heebeejeebee's out of me (and he was only going 1/2 speed.) After about 20 mins. he brought me back (I was screaming and begging to come back to the shore the whole time....continuously saying "OH $&@!" and "TAKE ME BACK...TAKE ME BACK." (For those that don't know, I don't know how to swim, so being on the ocean even with a life jacket really freaked me out.) I have ridden a jetski on a lake and been on water skiis before and not had any problems, but the ocean is another story. All I could envision was me flying off the jetski (like the girl in the movie Fools Gold - love that movie by the way) and then I kept thinking my lifejacket would "pop off" since it didn't have the safety trap through the legs. Anyhow, we didn't wreck, but it was very scary! After DH dropped me back on the shore he went back out to go "full speed" and had a great time on it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valentine 2 - Kids Class

Here's another Valentine we did at my kids class...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine 1 - Kids class

Here's one of the Valentine's that we did at a class I teach afterschool for kids only.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Kids class project - pixie stick pouch

Here's a cute little pouch that I came up with on my own. I needed something that the kids could put together fast and would still look cute. It's perfect to be used for any holiday (ie: valentine treats, halloween, Christmas) or even in a "party goody bag". Just change the cardstock colors/stamps/colors etc. and you can totally personalize it. I took 2 picture so you can get a better idea of how "thick" it is etc.

I took the strip of c/s and pre-scored it for the kids, so they just had to fold on the score lines. The sides are held together by 1 staple on each side, then the white c/s was stamped and colored in (to coordinate with the pixie sticks used and c/s colors used) and the c/s was attached over top the staples. I used a large circle punch to punch out the 1/2 circle at the top, inserted the 3 pixie sticks and tied a coordinating ribbon around the whole thing. The kids went nuts for it...(of course they may have just wanted to eat the sticks, but since I wouldn't let them they still seemed to enjoy making the project.)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Kids Class Valentines

Here's the sample of the Valentine the kids did at my kids class.
They could choose between a cute fish or the toucan and they could color it whatever color they wanted. I had some really unique combo's going :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cards for Kids Class

I was recently hired by FCPS to conduct a stamping class for 30 kids in grades K-6. Talk about a variety of skill level!! Plus, I had boys and girls. After discussing ideas with some of my stamp campers and showing what I had planned I thought I was set. I sat down to cut everything and make my prototypes and low and behold, I discovered that I couldn't locate my favorite monkey set :( So, back to the drawing board and my monkey card turned into this bug card. The good news is that it was a huge success. The bad news (or maybe it's good news too?) is that they want me back to teach another class. (The bad news is that I really don't have a lot of time in the upcoming months, so I don't know if it will happen or have to be post-poned to the Fall. Anyhow, this card uses the adorable SU set Bugs and Kisses :)

We also did a valentines card and mini-project which I will show you in my next posts :)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Stamp Camp Card # 5

Here's the final card we did this past Friday at my January Stamp Camp and it is my favorite. I saw a similar design from another stamper and tweaked a few minor things on it.

Sets: Pinch Proof
C/S: Glorious Green, River Rock, Whisper White
Ink: Glorious Green
Accessories: 1 ¼ circle punch, 1 3/8 circle punch, scallop circle punch, foam tape, jeweled shamrocks/clovers

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Stamp Camp Card # 4

Here's stamp camp card # 4. Love that chocolate bunny stamp!!

Sets: Chocolate Bunny, Teeny Tiny Wishes, Jumbo Wheel “It’s Beautiful”
C/S: Pretty in Pink, White, Barely Banana, Close to Cocoa, Orchid Opulence
Ink: Basic Brown, Cameo Coral
Accessories: Sizzix Oval, CB Embossing Folder Swirls, Green Ribbon, SU 3 Flower Punch, SU Ticket Corner Punch, SU Small Oval Punch, SU Modern Label Punch

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Stamp Camp Card # 3

Here's stamp camp card # 3 along with a variation from one of my campers! This card was cased from a fellow demo's swap card. (I got tons of great ideas that will be put to good use at future stamp camps/events!)

I love that this card has soft spring colors and can be used for a variety of things by simply changing the sentiment.

Sets: Vintage Vogue, Whimsical Words
C/S: Pretty in Pink, Barely Banana, White
Ink: Pink Pirouette, So Saffron, Regal Rose
Accessories: Pink grosgrain ribbon, SU Border Scalloped Trim Punch, Wide Oval Punch, Foam tape, Celery brads, green flowers, swiss dots embossing folder, 1/16th hole punch