Thompson’s Take on The Bahamas

For the Thompson family vacation this year we went to The Atlantis in the Bahamas. We had a great time starting with a limo ride from the airport.  The Atlantis was great and had something for everyone.  It was great to spend time together and it’s amazing how much the kiddo’s  have grown.

 

 

San Diego – 2012

January 21, 2012 our friends Jessica and Stephen aka “Stessica” made it official!!  We joined them in San Diego for a gorgeous ceremony and reception.  We stopped in San Diego on our way back from Thailand and luckily for us Mariam was nice enough to bring us our wedding attire so we did not have to take it half way around the world with us.  We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter and were able to walk to many restaurants and bars.

While in SD we were also able to meet up with Brian’s cousins Amanda, Melissa and Dave while we were in town and it was great to catch up with them.

Labor Day – Port Aransas

This year marks our 6th annual trip to Port Aransas aka “Port A”.  Port A is my favorite Texas beach town that is located about 4 hours away from Houston just north of Corpus Christi. Over the years the weekend has fluctuated between Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day but after this year we have decided on Labor Day from here on out.  Every year the group grows and this year was no exception.  This year’s crew included: Me, Brian, Mariam, Jennifer, Jessica, Stephen, Nini, Indy, Kai and Ronin and on Saturday Tina, Pat, Patrick and Kayla joined.  We rented a 5 bedroom house in Sandpoint Circle that is within walking distance to the beach and spent 2 perfect days on the beach, cooked out and patrolled our favorite nighttime spots including The Salty Dog and Bernies.

Shark Attack in Port A

Shark Attack in Port A

Port A Beach

Port A Beach

Womance 2011 – Welcome to Miami

Womance 2011 served two purposes: First as our annual Womance trip and Second as Jessica’s Bachelorette Party.  We decided onMiamias a good spot to get some sun and fun!  In attendance this year we had: me, Mariam, Mandy, Jennifer, Jessica, Heather and Carrie.  The trip started off by us arriving at the hotel and we all get in the elevator and there is a man in there who does not get out…he rides up with us.  About half way up Jennifer turns to him and says are you so and so’s husband from The Real Housewives of Miami and he says yes and we all die laughing!  So we had our first TV reality show personality sighting.

For the occasion I made everyone a shirt that said Stessica (for Jessica and Stephen’s upcoming wedding) on the front and a personalized nickname on the back!  Friday night we all went out to a great dinner at Il Gabbiono which was an excellent meal and then out to hit the “clubs”.

On Saturday we took it easy and lounged by the pool and beach and when a brief rain storm blew in we all went inside to rest up before dinner.  When we all met for dinner we realized we had all been watching the same TV show The Millionaire Matchmaker which was about a bachelor who lived between California and Miami.  We all discussed the show and wanted to see how it turned out but did not get to see it because of our dinner reservations.  We were all sitting at a high table in the bar section and I look up and who do I see sitting at the bar…yes the guy from The Millionaire Matchmaker show we were all just watching.  Needless to say after some arm twisting we convince Mariam to buy him a drink and he then comes over to thank her and invites to another bar after dinner.  So we had our second TV reality show personality meeting.

It was a great time with great friends

 https://picasaweb.google.com/elizabethstinson/Womance2011

2011 4th of July – Las Vegas

For the 4th of July of 2011 we gathered a group and headed to Las Vegas.  The crew included: me, Brian, Tina, Pat, Mariam and Jennifer.  We started the trip off right with a limo ride from the airport to our hotel (Aria).  This is our second time to stay at Aria and it did not disappoint.  We spent two days in the chilled pool…which was awesome!  Mariam, Jennifer, Brian and I splurged on dinner one night and ate at Joel Robuchon’s restaurant L’Atelier which was one of Brian’s favorite meals ever.  The next night we ate dinner at Tao then went to the “club” upstairs.  On the way home we stopped and watched the watershow at the Bellagio which is always one of my favorite parts of Vegas.  I could not leave off the trip to Minus 5 which was an ice bar and Jennifer’s new favorite spot.   They give you boots gloves and parkas so you won’t freeze to death inside and serve the drinks cups made out of ice.

Click here to see more pictures: https://picasaweb.google.com/elizabethstinson/LasVegas2011

Down Under

In May of this year we went to Australia.  This was an amazing trip and is one of the many places that we’ve visited that I could see myself living.  It took us around 24 hours of flight time, and was completely worth it,  to get to Melbourne which the locals pronounce as “Melbun”.  We spend 3 nights there which included a side trip to the Great Ocean Road to see the Twelve Apostles.  You can’t go to Australia with out visiting the Outback so we went to “The Red Center” for 2 nights and saw 2 sunsets and 2 sunrises over Uluru and Kata Tjuta.  One of the best experiences was the Sounds of Silence dinner where we had champagne and watched the sunset then had dinner in the middle of the Outback do some star gazing including seeing the Southern Cross.  Next on the list was The Great Barrier Reef for some scuba diving.   We arrived in Cairns, pronounced “Cans”, and spent 1 near the marina and then headed to the dive boat for another night - The Reef Encounter.  We did 5 dives including on night dive which was my first.  The night dive did not really do it for me so I’m not sure if I’ll do another one.  The coral formations were AMAZING and everything you could hope for.  We saved the best for last – Sydney!!  I could spend hours sitting at the harbor overlooking the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Opera House.  While we were in Sydney they were having a festival call Vivid Sydney were there were over 40 light up exhibits which included lights being projected on the Opera House which is the only time of the year that it’s not white.  If you have a chance to go I highly recommend it!  Too see more pictures click on Elizabeth’s Picasa Web under photography.

The Twelve Apostles

The Twelve Apostles

Sydney Harbor

Sydney Harbor

Uluru

Uluru

Hawaii – Kauai

Over Thanksgiving 2010 we went to Kauai which was my first time to visit Hawaii.  Kauai is also known as the “Garden State” which is a very good description of the island.  This is also where several movies were filmed: Jurassic Park, Lord of the Flies and Raiders of the Lost Ark.  We toured the island on Thanksgiving morning with my first helicopter ride where we saw tons of waterfalls.  We stayed a few nights on the south side of the beach and then a couple of nights on the north shore.   We visited the glass beach where the sand is glass, hiked Waimea Canyon and spent some time on the beach.  To see more pictures click on Elizabeth’s picasa web link under Photography.

A Creative Farewell

For Alison’s last weekend in Houston before moving to Orlando she got a group together for a night of “creativity”.  We went to the Mad Potter where you pick out a ceramic piece and then paint it.  I don’t consider myself very creative when it comes to this kind of stuff but I gave it my best shot and painted a “sushi bowl”.  After painting we headed to Indian food at Indika which was tasty as always.  Alison, Z and Little Luka we are going to miss you.  Here’s a few pictures from the night:

Boliver Island

Who can resist a weekend at a “beach cabin”?  Torres was nice and daring enough to invite 11 of us to her parent’s “beach cabin” on Boliver Island.  Boliver is about 2 hours from Houston and a ferry ride away from Galveston.  Boliver was hit pretty hard by hurricane Ike in 2008 and many houses were completely destroyed but luckily the Torres “beach cabin” remained standing. 

When we arrived to the cabin we were greeted by some very “friendly” guests…mosquitos!!!  If someone would have had a video of me, Brian and Mariam getting out of the car they would have won a funniest video contest.  Within 30 seconds of getting out of the car we were swarmed by hundreds of mosquitos which we proceeded to swat at while digging for Off in our bags .  July has been a very rainy month and perfect for the little buggers.  Luckily they did not follow us to the beach.  We had a constant smell of off and sun block…great mixture!

Once everyone got there we headed to the beach for some sun, swimming and games.  We played bocce, ladders, tossed the football then decided to play “touch” football.  Ofcourse the idea of touch football came after several glasses of Jerry Lewis’s, beers, white wine and vodka.  So we picked teams and let the fun rip.  Needless to say we ended up with: a bruised tailbone, bit tongue, one less toenail, several strawberries included 2 on a face.  We learned to never play “touch football” without a first aid kit around…for the adults!

The "Beach Cabin"The Beach

Good Friends and Good Times

Late last week my best friend since junior high school Dana and her husband Glen came to visit.  We actually calculated that we’ve been friends since I was 12 and she was 11 and we’ve both known Glen since we were 14.  On Thursday night we went to dinner at Shade in The Heights www.shadeheights.comwhich is always good but this time I had one of the best dishes I’ve had there (the scallops).  After dinner we went to see Wicked which was Glen’s birthday present to Dana.  The show was very good and it really beat my expectations regarding the storyline and in the comedy that was incorporated into it and if you get a chance to go see it I highly suggest it.  After the show we went to The Dark Horse Tavern for some darts and around 1000 beers then went home and Glen and Brian made eggs and hashbrowns and then we finished off the night with Rock Band.  Friday we ate lunch at Someburger which we’ve never been to then went bowling and then went to Lupe Tortilla for dinner to have the best beef fajitas ever!  It was a great visit with great friends!