Monday, June 16, 2008

My Month of June: Parties, Weddings, and Reunions with Friends

Is it really July 7th? I don't know where the summer has gone - but I'm glad that it's moving along swiftly as that means I'm that much closer to being back in Germany and the halfway point of my separation from Jon. Since my family trip to Mexico over Memorial Day, it's been one crazy, busy summer filled with wedding madness and I've loved every minute of it!

The month of June was consumed with two bachelorette parties, showers, Allison's wedding on June 21st and Lucy's wedding on July 5th. It has been so much fun to be a part of both weddings and I've really enjoyed catching up with so many friends. Especially, my long-time friend, Kelly Spencer! She and her husband Nick stayed with me over July 4th weekend while in town for Lucy's wedding and it was such a blast having her around!

We had plenty to catch up on as I hadn't seen her since my wedding last May, and since then she's become pregnant and is the cutest pregnant lady in the world!

The event-filled month of June started out with Allison's bachelorette party in Dallas, complete with an exotic dancing class, lingerie shower at the elegant Magnolia Hotel, dinner at a fun restaurant downtown and a night out at the Ghost Bar. The next weekend, I had a low-key, relaxing reunion at Judy and Claudia's lakehouse with the family before revving things up again for Lucy's bachelorette party in Austin the following weekend. It was biker rally extravaganza that weekend, which provided for that much more hootin' and hollerin' on 6th street. We had a great Austin weekend with plenty of Mexican food and dancing for all.

Allison's elegant wedding was on June 21st and I felt so honored to be THE Matron of Honor. It was absolutely gorgeous and I enjoyed every second of wedding preparation time I got to spend with her. She is such a sweet and awesome friend and I will always treasure those memories.

After taking it easy last weekend with no big plans, other than the Polish Pickle Run 5K, Lucy's week-filled wedding events began last Thursday. It was so much fun participating in all the fun dinners and outings to North Gate for country dancing and the wedding itself was perfect. The ceremony was so special and moving and the reception was an absolute blast! I will miss my sweet neighbor dearly as she heads back to Indiana with her new husband, but have cherished the past month we've gotten to spend together as neighbors again immensely.

It truly is so special to be able to be in these two amazing girls weddings and stand next to them on their happiest of days, as they stood next to me for mine. I am so blessed to have the most wonderful friends anyone could ask for, and I feel so lucky to have had this summer to be able to maximize my time with those who are so important in my life.

Although my wedding obligations are now through for the summer, the fun doesn't stop there. I have an incredible two weeks coming up as one of my best friends from Germany, Michelle, will be coming to visit me in Texas. It will be so much fun to show this Aussie around Texas and we plan to have a jam-packed schedule visiting places such as, Bandera, the ranch, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Baylor University and of course the big, bad, Bryan-College Station. More updates on our Tour de Texas to come!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Acapulco Con Mi Familia

I'm an Aca girl, in an Aca world,
Acapulco.... me gusto mucho,
Tanning in the sun, having lots of fun,
Extravaganza, makes me bonanza!

(Now sing to tune of, "I'm a Barbie Girl" chorus.) Yes, totally ridiculous, but it was the song I made up when I was 16 on my second trip to Acapulco. Now I have been there six times and although the experiences may vary greatly, it never disappoints!

The 'Pack 5' (aka. the Catlin Family) went for four days over Memorial Day for a relaxing vacation. Beyond laying by the pool, walking along the beach, ordering our daily guacamole and pina coladas, we ate at fabulous restaurants and experienced the invigorating nightlife.

Our first night, we ate at one of our favorite restaurants, Su Casa. Flowers cascade over the walls and stairs leading up to the open-air, festively decorated restaurant. Nestled high on a hillside overlooking the bay, the view is breathtaking.

The second night, we ventured to a new restaurant called El Olvide (the forgotten) posted high above the beach with a fantastic view. It was impeccable cuisine and we all decided would be the perfect spot for an Acapulco wedding. Not that there will be one, but if there ever was, that would be the place.

Of course beyond taking part in exceptional eating, we did manage to make it out to the clubs as well. And no clubs in the world can beat the classy Acapulco clubs, Mandera and Palladium, with their floor to ceiling windows next to the dance floor and incredible views of the bay. The first night we left the club at the unbelievably early hour of 3:30 a.m. and the second night we ended up meeting the future mayor of Acapulco (we'll see about that) and were persuaded to stay out until 6:45 a.m. Although we felt like that was quite an accomplishment, I doubt the people still packed in the club when we left thought that was an admirable feat. Either way, we proved that we still got it, Acapulco!

The city may be packed and may not have the prettiest beach with the clearest water, but there's something about Acapulco that has charmed our hearts and will always have a special place in our lives. It's a real city with real people in a gorgeous bay where such culture and vitality collide to create authentic beauty. I can't wait to visit Acapulco again - a city that has truly touched my heart.