Our wonderful friend Chuck turned 40 in January, 2010 - and to commemorate the event, he arranged for 21 of his friends and family to meet and spend a week in a 17,000 square foot villa in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico! (I know, I know; we're LUCKY!) - the weather was AMAZING, views spectacular, and the experience will stay with me the rest of my life as one of the best trips EVER!
Now, in this season of snow and cold across much of the United States, I know some of you will be envious of the 80 degree weather with clear skies... take a gander at some of the photos and just try to remember that winter doesn't last forever; soon it will be spring again and you too will have the sunshine and gorgeous days!
While on the trip we also went on a forest canopy tour, using ziplines hundreds of feet above the forest floor to travel from one mountain to the next, we played with tiny cute monkeys, and even went on a day cruise to a remote beach where we were served a gourmet meal... we snorkled, frolicked in waves, shopped and had more fun than we deserved! It was a memorable birthday celebration and the best vacation EVER.
During the visit the majority of our time was spent lounging at the pool or sitting on the gorgeous patio and visiting with friends. I, of course, was knitting... along with our friend Kenny from Houston and John from San Francisco. I brought my fair isle vest to work on and got a lot accomplished during the flight down, but while at the villa, it seemed difficult to concentrate... maybe it was the friends and fun conversation, or perhaps it was a result of the amazing hand made frozen strawberry margueritas that our bar staff (yes, we had STAFF!) made -
The food was incredible - all made fresh from local fare brought to the villa by Vinny (the house manager) and the cook prepared everything to order - we had an incredible birthday cake on Chuck's birthday and I could have probably eaten the entire thing myself...
In knitting news, I am working on the fair isle vest, and a few other goodies... including knitted boxer shorts which were designed by Brian Kohler of Skacel. I'm quite into the knitting groove as of late; just in time for school to start back up.
This semester offers only two courses for me: Abnormal Psychology and Ceramics (which I guess would be considered an intermediate course this time; I'll be required to make a plate, a pedestal bowl, and 4 pieces of tableware (cups, bowls, butter dishes, whatever) - all themed around the inspiration of an artist which I must still come up with - any ideas?
I decided not to take a 3rd course this semester and instead will dedicate THAT time to my circular sock knitting machine. I must make that thing work! I am hoping to get proficient at it so that I will be able to make socks for others quickly and beautifully... and the only reason I don't do it is because I "don't have time" -- so, I'll make time! - that way, I can spend a few hours a week dedicated to the machine and with any luck that'll get me on my way!
Of course, I'm still running - last week, we ran 20 miles (yes, 20 miles!) - we were up and running at 6AM and I can not begin to tell you how amazing it feels to have accomplished this! Next week I'll be running the Pasadena Half-Marathon - and then on March 21st I'll be running the Los Angeles Marathon!
I am hosting dinner at Marie Callender's on March 3, 2010 in Toluca Lake, CA - if you are in the area, please print out this flyer and present it to the cashier when paying your bill - 15% of the total will be donated to my efforts and in turn to AIDS Project Los Angeles!
There will also be a WONDERFUL raffle held the same evening - raffle tickets are $1 each, and there's a coupon for 2 free tickets when you buy 20 on the flier. Winners need not be present to win, so if you want to buy tickets and place them on an item, feel free to email me and let me know - I will have you donate through my online donation page - once I see the donation there I can mark and place your raffle tickets. The only stipulation is that if you can not pick up your item, I will ask you to cover the cost of shipping.
Please cross post and share this event with your Los Angeles family and friends - the more people who bring these flyers on March 3rd, the more money we can raise to help improve the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles!