Thursday, December 30, 2010

December in Pictures

 On the beach in Miami.
 The happy couple.
 Macy with the Freedom of the Seas in St. Maarten.
 Magan's Bay, St. Thomas.
 From Left: Sheri, Macy, Ashley, Mike, Katy, Curtis, Frank, Betsy, and Sarah at the Schooner Bar in matching PJs on Christmas Eve.
Our last night on the cruise, wouldn't be complete without a bunny :) 
Merry Christmas, and Happy Early Easter.

For additional pictures and information about the Smith/Engelbrecht family cruise, please visit

Love, SES

December in Words

December has been a month to remember.  It began with a few days in San Antonio to learn about title and to visit my favorite San Antonians, Maggie, Rusty, and the little Bug, Carter Grace.  Immediately following, I made an 18 hour run to Oklahoma for a baby shower for the soon to grace our presence Lottie White, which was cut short by a tire blow out in my rented Chevy Malibu.  Lucky for me, cute Officer Kennedy from the OKCPD was there to save the day and a Sooner fan at Firestone rushed my repair right on through so that I could make it back in time for the game.  After tea, cake, hugs, and kisses with some of my favorite people at the shower, I was back on the road to Dallas to make it to Jerry World by 5:30 pm just in time for a beer and some Sooner Magic against Nebraska, one last time.  Fast forward to the following to Miami for the wedding of two of the most wonderful people I know, Lauren Gibson and Matias Bilbao.  A lovely rehearsal dinner was capped off with a late night in South Beach and the best cocktail I have ever had - some thyme and lemon concoction that I just could not get enough of.  The next day brought room service for breakfast with Ninny and Pina Colodas in the sun with the girls and the boys, followed by what has to be one of the most memorable weddings, and receptions, I have ever been to.  Can anyone top a full blown dance circle before the main course was served?  I don't think so.  The next morning, back to the airport with Kendall, Ninny, and Lindsey.  Chaos almost killed me, but Paul was waiting for me back in Dallas so I made it through.  Fast forward again to the following Friday...SFCP madness ensued.  The next day, off to Orlando to meet my favorite people in the world - Curtis, Ashley, Mike, Sheri, Frank, Betsy, Katy, and Macy, for what amounted to the best Christmas on record...

7 nights on the Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas

I danced on the promenade, in the piano bar, in my room, on the dance floor, at the casino, and on a catamaran.  Played put put, played in the kiddie pool, decorated gingerbread houses, played blackjack, craps, roulette, and trivia, went to the library, dove into the book return, ate steak, ate more steak, ate lobster, ate fish, ate johnny rockets, ate pizza, ate more pizza, and ate a crepe.  Drank wine/pina colodas/beer/vodka in our room, in the dining room, at the top of the ship, at the front of the ship, at the casino, at the piano bar, in st. maarten, in st. thomas, and in the library. Went to Midnight Mass, saw an ice skating show, did the bunny hop, sang Oklahoma AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS, met a very nice blackjack dealer from South Africa, accepted a marriage proposal from said dealer, arranged my dowry with my dad, and took a yoga class.  Got a tan, got a sunburn, got a hangover.  Slept like a baby.  Slept like a kid on Christmas Eve (oh wait, that was on Christmas Eve).  Played, and fell, in the waves at St. Thomas and St. Maarten, and rocked, and fell, with the waves on the ship.  Bought presents, received presents, gave presents, decorated stockings, Christmas trees, our state room, and braided Santa's beard.  Sang carols, sang the Beatles, sang Frank Sinatra, sang Elton John, and sang Oklahoma (see above).  Lost money, won money, lost more money, didn't care because I was flirting with aforementioned blackjack dealer.  Gambled with my dad, partied with Uncle Mike, speculated about the fuel consumption of the ship with Curtis, made the rounds with Ashley, shopped with my mom (and for her), laughed with Aunt Sheri (and at her), played with Macy, danced with Katy, took pictures, made memories, and really and truly Joyrode for Jesus...and had the very best time of my life just spending time with my family, enjoying the Christmas spirit, and celebrating the true reason for the season :)

I returned home on Sunday to sea legs and the flu.  But, I'm back in business, and I still have one day left to make merry in December.  Off to Austin tomorrow for NYE 2010.  As evidenced by the last thirty days, it should be, no doubt, quite an eventful affair.

Hope your holidays were as happy as mine, and happy new year to you all!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's Christmas Time in the City...

Here is a glimpse at the real life "hustle/bustle." I can't get this image to move down, but here is the small crowd in Macy's. I get hot just thinking about it. You can't see the line Russ!

Here's my Review:

Trip Advisor! Last weekend, I went to NYC. There is something to be said about that city during Christmas time- it's almost magical. Here is a short recap of my weekend:

I never thought I had a "morning problem," but catching a 6am flight was torture. Yes, it got us to New York earlier, but it took lots of caffeine to keep me going all day. Our day started out at Serendipity. I know, it's a cliche tourist spot, but it's our tradition. We don't even get the Frozen Hot Chocolate! It was well outfitted with Christmas decor and very charming. From here, we hit the streets to shop and sight see. Our adventures lasted throughout the night. Literally. It was about 8pm and we had been walking all day and decided it was time for dinner. With shopping bags in hand, we headed to the Lincoln Center area. I have always wanted to see the Lincoln Center lit up, because this picture is used in so many movies. Well, I finally got my chance. I built it up in my head.

We went to a Mexican restaurant nearby called Rosa Mexicano. It was delicious but reminded me a lot of Dos Caminos. One of them had to rip the other off. Did I mention my mother and I had to change shoes? Yes. She was wearing cute little loafers and I had on uggs. Note to self, leave your cute shoes at home. After dinner, we got a Taste-D-Lite and headed back to the hotel.

Oops I did it again. Friday morning I headed to the Today show to see my friends. They were all there except Al, and the crowd was so large I had no chance of making a TV debut. I stood in the freezing cold for about 30 minutes thinking to myself... WTF am I doing. Tons of Tweens and ME. But I saw my friends Matt & Meredith, so it was well worth it.

Friday day, we shopped all day long. I think I was stuck in a Macy's for 3 hours. Their Macy's has much more to often- everything from Gucci to Chanel! It's crazy how much more high-end their store is. Friday afternoon we took a pit break to eat at DBGB Kitchen. (Lower East Side) It was definitely one of those places that when you leave, you think, I would highly recommend.

We stopped by Eataly, which I had really been looking forward to- but I have 2 4 words: Amazing, but TOTAL CHAOS. It was like Eatzi's on massive steroids.

Our night took us to Broadway to see Buddy the Elf. One of my favorite movies brought to life. It did not disappoint AND they had sippy cups for your wine. After Broadway, we picked up a slice of pizza and called it a night.

Saturday started out just like Friday- on to more shopping. For lunch, we somehow ended up at Rockefellar Center. Well, I know how- we went for me to look to see if they had this J Crew belt and I got all "Hangry" (My new word for when I get hungry and angry) and I needed nourishment fast. We went to a cafe in the building. It fit the bill, and I got to watch the tourist hot spot - the ice skating rink.

I cannot tell a lie- I did make a special stop by "Dash," the Kardashians store. There was a line out the door. I stopped to snap a picture and lost a glove. After I turned the corner, I realized I was Michael Jackson'ing it with my glove attire. Luckily when I went back to Dash- there laid my isotoner on the ground. Whew. It was too cold to go gloveless.

Saturday evening brought us to the Rockettes. I have seen them several times, but they never get old. They are NYC Christmas time. Thankfully, they let you have drinks in the auditorium, so it was a great time. From here, we went to Dos Caminos, because it's just my absolute favorite. Something about their white Sangria.

We had a 1pm flight, so we did not have much time in the city. Our morning was spent trying to snap my Christmas Card pic. Stay tuned!

Did I mention I am still thawing out from the cold? You'll have to forgive my non-exciting writing skills today, but hey, I tried. I wish I were still in NY. I love love love that city.... It's Christmastime in the City.....