Monthly Archives

July 2015

Family Golf Travel

LAKE TAHOE TRAVEL TALES

July 28, 2015

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We have returned from yet another amazing family trip from Lake Tahoe. It is perhaps one of our all-time favorite places to visit. Not only does it have stunning views of one of the largest and most beautiful lakes in the world with its breathtaking mountain backdrop, but it is also the place where Alfonso asked me to marry him. Thus, it is a special place that we will always hold near and dear to our hearts. (Fun facts for you geography lovers like myself: Lake Tahoe is one of the clearest bodies of water in the world. It is the second deepest lake in North America, and if the lake were tipped, its contents would cover the entire state of California in 14.5 inches of water!)

The reason we make the trek to Tahoe each year is for the prestigious American Century Celebrity Golf Championship. It’s widely known as the ‘superbowl’ of celebrity golf. It involves PGA rules, competitive scoring format, prize money, head-to-head competition, no carts, and five days of golf (three of which count towards their overall score). There are also countless tournament dinners, parties, and concerts. Needless to say, it’s an exhausting yet incredibly fun week!

Considering golf is one of my husband’s greatest passions, I enjoy supporting it. For four of the five days, I packed up my BOB jogger stroller (Revolution Flex – the BEST stroller for hilly terrain) with my diaper bag and 2-month old, Anders. We set out for the 6-mile a day course to support and cheer on Daddy and his buddies. (24 miles total for the week… not bad for some good post-baby work outs!) In case any of you caught the coverage on NBC, you may have seen that my husband was not high up on the leader board. Unfortunately, he had a couple of rough rounds, but he still had fun and made his wife proud with some amazing shots, nonetheless. In addition, he was able to play all three days with one of his golf buddies, Justin Timberlake. They had a great time amusing the crowd and beach-goers on the 17th hole, which lines one of the beaches of Lake Tahoe – always the most entertaining hole on the course. To provide some highlights, here’s a video of Alfonso, Justin, and Jerry Rice dancing on the tee during the final day: Alfonso & Justin Doing The Carlton

The kids also had a great time, per usual. Anders enjoyed his daily naps in the stroller on the golf course, which offered some fresh, clean Lake Tahoe breathing air. (A far cry from the smoggy and contaminated LA air.) AJ had a blast with my parents, who came to help baby-sit. (My brother also came, as he caddies for Alfonso in the tournament every year.) My parents and AJ did plenty of the activities offered in downtown Lake Tahoe, ranging from the miniature golf course, Marriott pool, kids center, gondola, beach, etc. Sienna enjoyed hanging with her friends – fellow children of other players in the tournament – who she looks forward to seeing annually on this occasion. They partook in their typical ‘tween’ activities… jet-skiing, going to the movie theater, winning candy at the arcade, and staying up way too late during multiple sleepovers. As you can see, it’s impossible to be bored in Tahoe… there’s never a shortage of things to do, no matter the age!

Traveling this time was relatively easy. For starters, it’s a quick flight (about an hour). We were also fortunate enough to ride with a friend on their chartered private jet, which made the experience ten times easier with AJ and Anders. To be able to bypass the stress and strains of LAX and of flying with an infant and toddler on the airlines is such a hallelujah moment (let alone just riding on a private jet!). After working as a private jet flight attendant for nine years, I made sure to apologize profusely for the constant call-button pushing by my son. (That noise can drive a flight attendant mad in the galley. I remember going home from trips when I had kids constantly pressing the call-button. I would hear the ding sound in my head for days!)

Despite the golf not being as good as my husband would have hoped, overall, it was a wonderful trip. We were able to see some great friends, spend quality time together in one of our favorite places, and create some unforgettable family memories. What’s better than that? As one of my favorite quotes goes: “The best things in life are the people you love, the places you’ve been, and the memories you’ve made along the way.” Amen to that.

Family

CALLING ALL DWTS FANS!

July 12, 2015

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I remember hearing the news like it was yesterday. I was feeding AJ dinner in his high chair when my husband walked in the front door after a Dancing With The Stars Season 19 rehearsal. (Technically, he ‘hobbled’ through the front door, a common sight late in the season.)

“Well, it’s confirmed,” he said. “We’re going on tour. We’ll be on a tour bus for two months.”

Alfonso had previously hinted that going on tour was a possibility. However, for whatever reason, I thought of the DWTS Tour as a 10-15 city tour involving flying as the mode of transportation. I had no idea it was upwards of 40 cities on a tour bus! (Or if my husband mentioned this, my pregnancy brain must have kicked in at the time because I had no recollection.) Needless to say, I was overcome with a mix of emotions. I felt happy for Alfonso that he would be able to continue his newfound love of dancing with his partner Witney. I felt excited for our family as it would allow for us to spend a great deal of quality time together while traveling the country. Predominantly, however, I felt complete and utter terror. How would I manage being six months pregnant with an active toddler in the tight quarters of a tour bus for two months? How does one prepare for that?

As it would turn out, the tour was an absolute blast! Though it was often challenging to keep a toddler contained/entertained on a tour bus, it proved to be manageable and fun. (It helped to have a second bus of ten dancers always willing – and begging – to babysit AJ.) The best part was the bond we formed with the other dancers. It truly felt like one big family. (In fact, among AJ’s first words – after “mom,” “dad,” and “dog,” – were “Emma” and “Keo.” He probably spent the most time with and shared the strongest bond with Witney, but her name is probably more linguistically-challenging for a toddler.)

Thus, when Alfonso was asked to join the current summer tour for a couple of stops while Peta, Rumer, and Val would be away, we were super excited to have a DWTS Tour ‘reunion’ of sorts. It was great seeing everyone, as it truly felt like ‘old times’ again. Naturally, AJ loved the attention he received in the ladies dressing room, his favorite place to hang during the last tour. (This was also the location where AJ mysteriously learned how to apply blush. The likely culprits: Witney Carson and Brittany Cherry.)

The show itself was absolutely fantastic! The pro dancers never cease to amaze me. Not only are they some of the most lovely people ever, but they are truly some of the best dancers in the world. I don’t want to give too much away, but some of the show highlights include:

  • An entertaining Broadway musical salute with dances to songs from Grease, Hairspray and Flashdance – (where Jenna starts with an awesome solo rendition to “Maniac” in her 80’s style leg warmers and workout leotard).
  • A fun Country Western routine. (It was great to see my hubby in a cowboy hat for the very first time. This, of course, warranted a couple of snapshots.)
  • Witney and Artem’s Rumba to “Hold On We’re Going Home.” Simply beautiful!
  • Sasha and Emma’s “Jump, Jive an’ Wail” Jive. Their Jives are always a big crowd-pleaser. (I personally love Sasha’s flips and Emma’s speedy turns. She spins on the floor as fast as ice skaters can spin on ice… truly remarkable.)
  • Melissa did an amazing job as hostess. Her fun and endearing personality shines in the show format. Despite suffering a knee injury, she has some wonderful dancing throughout the show as well.
  • Brittany and Alan’s Contemporary dance is STUNNING! I wouldn’t expect anything less from Ed Sheeran’s dance partner in his “Thinking Out Loud” music video. (Which, I must add, has received over 600 million views on YouTube! Go Britt!)
  • The show finale to “Clap Your Hands” was immensely entertaining… AJ and Sienna’s personal favorite.

Even though my husband only did the two shows, it was great to see him back on stage performing with Witney again. They seemed to easily pick up where they left off from the last tour. Their “It’s Not Unusual” routine appeared to be the crowd favorite between the three they performed together. I was bummed not to see Peta, Rumer, or “Shirtless Val,” but I’ve only heard amazing things about their tour performances.

Overall, it was wonderful to see our tour family again. If you are lucky enough to have the tour come to a city near you, I would HIGHLY recommend seeing it. I know I’m biased because I love these people, but I swear it’s an amazing show. You can check out the remainder dates and cities at dwtstour.com. You will not be disappointed! If you’ve already been to one of their shows, please share your thoughts and reviews!

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