Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Spring has Sprung

One of the things I was most worried about when we moved into the house (besides the mortgage of course!) was making sure that we didn't kill all of the amazing flowers and fruit trees we inherited. We have (we of course meaning BVZ and the gardener Augustin) have worked really hard all year not to destroy anything and I am so pleased to report that not only is everything alive, but it actually looks BETTER than it did last year!


I thought it would be a great idea if BVZ and I took one last trip just the two of us before baby arrives. BVZ said that since I will only be pregnant 6 or 7 times in my life (ha, ha), I definitely deserved something special. We decided to head down the coast to Carmel and stay at the posh Bernardus Lodge. It is an absolutely gorgeous property and has its own vineyard and winery. Their Chardonnay is named after the owner's wife (Ingrid), as is the name of the vineyard the grapes come from.

The room we stayed in was big and beautiful and came equipped with a full selection of wines and snacks.

Plus, fresh roses every morning...

My favorite part of the whole place was the giant, marble bathroom with a super huge tub.

Plush linens and a feather bed...

All the wine and snacks in the room were 'complimentary'. Now, I know that nothing is really complimentary because you are paying for it in the room rate, but even so, it is brilliant marketing. There is nothing more appealing than propping your feet up on the outside deck and having a great snack and cold drink in the room after a long drive. This should be a mandatory policy for all hotels.

The rest of the property was gorgeous. The outside cafe:

Random fountains:

Bocce ball and croquet lawn:

A very relaxed BVZ....

Saturday morning we got breakfast delivered in bed and then went to the spa for massages. So great. I sometimes wish we were the kind of people who could then just lay around all day, but we aren't, so after our rub downs we headed into Monterey to go to the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.

It is a spectacular place full of interactive exhibits and more marine life than you thought was possible to fit into one building.

He is NOT comparing me to a whale in this picture....

My favorite exhibit by far were the jellyfish. They were truly other-worldly. The exhibit was done up much like an art exhibit, with incredible lighting and simple, silent tanks. It was breathtaking.

One of the most popular exhibits were the sea lions. Everyone oohed and aahed over how cute they were, but they were totally vicious! They would wrestle each other for food (they were NOT playing around), and bang each other up against the glass to get dinner from their roommates. We saw them eat some birds (not sure if that's their diet or the birds just have bad luck), but those poor birdies were getting ripped to shreds. It was awesome.

That night we went into the town of Carmel for dinner and enjoyed the artsy fartsy small town atmosphere. Sunday we spent the morning at the pool. It was all done up Tuscan style and the pool itself was perfectly clear and a balmy 80 degrees.

He's having fun, just anxious for his Heineken (this is at about 10:30 am, mind you)...

It was a perfect weekend away and something I look forward to doing 6 or 7 more times (I kid, I kid).


As much as I was wishing it would have, pregnancy has not made me into a delicate flower. Instead, think walrus. Or maybe manatee. They're cuter. Anyway, a few weeks ago, BVZ threw his back out one Saturday morning, and my god, was he a baby about it. I took care of him for the better part of 12 hours, and that night decided to get in the shower at about 10:00 pm. We have a no-stick mat in the tub that someone (not me) had apparently taken out and put back in recently. Without re-sticking it. I stepped on the mat, it went flying, and so did I. Luckily, my instincts kicked in and I broke my fall by whacking my right arm on the side of the tub. It freaked me out something fierce and so my immediate inclination was to scream for BVZ to come rescue me. And rescue me he did. After about 10 minutes (in his defense it took him that long to get his broken back up off the couch and to the bathroom). I escaped without more serious injury, but was pretty banged up. The next day we moaned and groaned to each other and at some point attempted to take a walk around the block to get some fresh air. It isn't an exaggeration to say that we got lapped several times by Tony, the 98 year old neighbor. And he wasn't even in his scooter.

Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams....

Malibu makes me think of none other than Robin Leach and his Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. It is just that gorgeous. We headed down south in early April for Vanessa's graduation from Pepperdine Business School. Although Pepperdine is smack dab in the middle of Malibu, we slummed it Friday night in West Hollywood. Celebrating Vanessa's new Brazilian heritage, we had dinner at this incredible place I will never remember the name of. It was as traditional as you can get in LA, with waiters walking around non-stop trying to get you to eat their delicious cuts of meat. It was a vegetarian's worst nightmare and I can't wait until we get to go again.

Here is Vanessa with her 'rents:

And a terrible picture of what was the glory that was that meat!

Saturday was the actual graduation, and although very warm, it was a fun family event and a great way to recognize Vanessa's 2 long years of very hard work.

She was hard to spot in the crowd, but I found her name in the program!

After the ceremony we got a tour of the Pepperdine campus. Seriously, who could study in a place this beautiful? I couldn't get over all of the gorgeous views.

We headed to the beach in Malibu for lunch--a place where the calamari is served in giant martini glasses has to be good....

And then we got to walk on the beach....

The next morning, BVZ and I went to the famous Canter's deli for breakfast. I had the pancakes, and BVZ had a pastrami sandwich. At 8:00 am. I also ordered a 'side' of watermelon, and this is what was served....

Awesomeness. All in all it was a fabulous weekend. I wish someone we knew graduated from paradise every week!