Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bachelorette Party

No pre-wedding celebrations would be complete without a bachelorette party, and I was one lucky girl to have so many girlfriends fly out early to help me celebrate my last "single" days! Lacey, my sister and MOH, planned an amazing wine tasting tour around Sedona. 

The day started out early, with all of us girls meeting at Starbucks before getting chauffeured by my family to Sedona. After a couple hours and a few wrong turns we found our way to the meeting point. We all piled out of the cars and into a limo party bus.

Starting the morning off right...that may or may not be champagne in my glitter cup!
The first part of the trip I was able to sit next to some kiwi friends (who are now transplants in CA and Australia, respectively)! It was great fun catching up with girls I never get to see!

Hope is not at all impressed by my jokes!

Okay I finally managed to make her smile!
A quick toast to my final days and off we went to our first winery.  


First stop - Page Springs Vineyards. 

Our server thought I was a total weirdo drinking out of my glittery chalice, but I swear it made the wine taste better!

After sampling some of the wines we took a stroll around the beautiful grounds. 

A beautiful canopied staircase between the vines

On a stroll around the garden

Annie and I (she's a soon-to-be bride too!)

Christa and I

Group shot
Some girls were far more adventurous than others...hiking down to the river below. 

3 Kiwis - none of which live in NZ at the moment!
I was not one of those adventurers and decided to hang back and practice my picture pose!

Christa, Michelle, and I with our driver Calvin

We snuck Lacey into the shot too!
Finally we all made it back to the bus, and Calvin gave us an explanation of the next winery.  

An odd grouping but I love them all!
Somehow as the course of the day continued everyone stopped taking pictures! After the second winery we stopped for an incredible boxed lunch and of course drank some of the bottles previously bought! After our short pause we all boarded the bus again and Calvin whisked us off to our third and final winery. 

There we learned about the wine making process and how the grapes are chosen at just the right time. It was a really interesting lesson on the complexities of wine. 

Oh...and the wife of the owner tricked me and stamped my back with this classy stamp! Too bad sitting on the bus rubbed it off!

Classy and sassy all rolled up into one stamp!
Finally we all boarded the bus for the last time and there we played around with some fun props and made our way home!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pre-Wedding & Awesome Friends

Whoever started this whole trend of organizing a wedding is absolutely crazy. Now that it's over I'm looking back and almost wished we had eloped like Andrew wanted. The only thing that made this whole thing worthwhile was to hang out with friends and family I hardly get to see!

The biggest highlights were getting to spend time with all my kiwis that I haven't seen in years. However, the most special shining star was my friend Liz, who flew over 2 weeks prior to the wedding and helped us with absolutely everything. 

Liz - She's going to kill me for posting this pic!

She was literally one of the only reasons half the stuff on my to do list actually got done in time! And...she brought over some of my favorite NZ foods!!

V and Vogels...you can't go wrong!

She forced me to workout...

First time doing CrossFit and crushed it!

And scheduled a time for us to get our nails done...

Oh so sexy

Showing off her new tallons

And she helped clean our house - not an easy task! She couldn't have been a more perfect house guest, so thank you, Liz, for being an awesome friend and helping us get through one of the most stressful times of our lives!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

July Fourth

Once again we made the trek to the cabin to celebrate July 4th. Luckily this year some friends cancelled, so last minute we were able to invite our friends Stevie and Travis! Stevie's birthday happens to be on July 5th so we get to celebrate both occasions in one glorious weekend! 

Filling up the tank

Filling up the tank in Prescott before heading out on the open road. This beautiful mural was painted after the Hotshots died last year and is a stunning reminder of those who put their lives on the line everyday. 

Andrew being silly behind the wheel

Road trip selfie

And of course no road trip would be complete without acting completely ridiculous! 

We found this gem of a license plate about halfway into our trip. It turns out the driver was a rather large white woman which confused both of us!

We made it to the cabin just in time for dinner and margaritas! Andrew and I drank one too many and then passed out! Stevie and Travis had a terribly long trip from Nor Cal and ended up arriving well past 1am. 

The following morning we were all in high spirits and excited to get out on the boat. 

Stevie and me

No July 4th is complete without at least one article of clothing that has the US flag on it! I found this beaut at a store in Prescott a few months ago and new I had to have it! 

What's the point of friends if you can't be silly together!?

It's so fun to spend time with friends that allow you to be yourself! Stevie and I met our sophmore year in high school and have been pretty inseparable every since! 

Stevie and her bf Travis

Stevie and Travis getting comfortable in the boat. Stevie's hat wasn't very welcomed by Andrew's family, since they are die hard Dodger fans! The hat even took a plunge in the water and A was nice enough to turn the boat around to retrieve it. He must really love Stevie because he wouldn't have turned around for anyone! 

A and me

The only picture I got of A and myself! At least it's a good one of the two of us. After taking a loop around the lake we dropped anchor and played around in the water. 

Caught Stevie applying suncreen

Sunscreen is a must at the lake! Unfortunately she didn't reapply on her back and got a pretty bad sunburn! 

A had to save his beer and the football

Someone (*cough Stevie) overthrew the football to Andrew and here he is gracefully swimming with beer in hand to try and retrieve it! 

After the water

After an hour or so the clouds started rolling in, so while the boys were trying to bring up the anchor Stevie and I took a few more pics together! 

Distracted or striking a pose?

Although this may look like a posed shot we were both looking at the rope that A's brother almost hit us with! 

Unfortunately the boys couldn't pull up the anchor (we all figured it got trapped on the bottom covered in sediment) so we cut it loose and docked the boat back in the slip. Just in time too because the clouds rolled in and the rain came down. 

We drove back to the cabin, played a fun board game, and ate dinner with our friends and neighbors. We quickly had to change and headed back down to the boat to watch the fireworks from the lake. 

Perfect nighttime attire 

I had to wear the shirt again...there aren't many days of the year that one can wear an overt American flag shirt without looking like an idiot! Also jackets are mandatory because it gets pretty cold when the wind picks up on the lake. 

Christina and Theo

Bridget, Daniel, and Christina brought the dogs down to watch the fireworks. The dogs aren't allowed on the boat and the girls get sea sick, so they stayed on docks to watch the fireworks. Lucky thing too because Cooper almost jumped in the water when the fireworks started! 

Stevie getting comfy on the boat

There's that smile

Stevie getting ready for the fireworks! We took the boat out to the middle of the lake and tied up to one of the buoys. This year was ALAs 40th year celebration so the fireworks were bigger and better than any year prior. 

The display was much better than years previous, however, the music they played was all over the map! Overall it was a fun day spent with good friends and family!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Jenny's Top Hits - Hiking Edition

This is my friend Jenny. Last night she took me on one of her favorite hikes. Even though I had been there before, it was still incredible to see such lush landscapes in the middle of the desert. 

There were these awesome signs towards the beginning of the trail. The arrows pointed in the direction of certain cities. Was kinda fun!

Finally we got to the dam. It's a pretty easy hike to get here and worthwhile too! It's one of the only green places in the desert. With the sound of rushing water we felt like we were transported to a tropical island! Haha!

Jenny told me that sometimes she brings a picnic and has lunch at this spot. It's surrounded by water and you have to leap across a few rocks to get here. 

After posing for a few pics we headed back to the car. The total hike only took us 45 mins but well worth it. You should check it out next time you're in Prescott. The trail is pretty easy so just about anyone can get to these "secret" spots!