Our St. Louis trip!!

Posted in One year later! at 10:04 pm by Nora

We had so much fun in St. Louis for Labor Day weekend!! We’d been looking forward to it for so long and it was SO GOOD to see our friends and spend time together at our old hang outs!! Jamie, Aaron, Kate, Crown, Jenny, Julio & I flew into the Lou on Friday night (8/31) and of course, where was our first stop? El Maguey!!! Melissa met us there and it was as delicious as ever!! They even sang Feliz Cumpleanos to me and Jenny AND we got to wear the birthday sombreros! We went to Morgan Street after and just talked and talked - there was so much to catch up on.
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Saturday, we watched the Canes game at a local bar - we stayed at the Hyatt downtown which was a great spot for everything we wanted to do. The Canes won!! We walked around the Landing and enjoyed a few Fat Tuesday drinks and some of the local bands that were playing at the Blues Festival. It was such a beautiful day and so fun to be with everone! We met up with Lindsay and Jason for the Cardinals game - they played awesome and won!! Of course, I missed quite a bit of the game because there was so much still to catch up with everyone about and I hadn’t seen Lindsay and Jason in forever! We all headed to Al Hrabosky’s after the game - it was all Cardinals fans and it was a blast. Allison and two of her friends met us there - it was so good to see Allison!! There was a great DJ so we danced it up:)
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Sunday, Julio and I met up with my former co-workers at Churchill and checked out the brand new school they just built! It was so exciting to see everyone and see the new school. We met Jamie, Aaron and Melissa at Logan to check out the new auditorium and they all reminsced about classes - a visit to the cadaver lab and diversified lab brought all the memories flowing back!! They couldn’t resist doing a little adjusting on each other while they were there, too. It was again a beautiful, sunny, blue sky day. Of course, we had to visit one of our other favorite restaurants - Thai Country! It was so yummy! We had drinks and chatted the night away at another favorite spot, Pin Up Bowl martini bar. Key lime, mandarin blossom (crown’s favorite!), baked apple - such yummy martinis!! We couldn’t end the night so we headed to Houligan’s and another restaurant inside Union Station for more drinks, dancing and chatting!!
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It was sad to leave everyone on Monday, but we hope to make it a yearly trip somewhere fun with everyone!!! We’re lucky to have such amazing friends:)


Nora’s 26th birthday!!

Posted in One year later! at 4:21 pm by Nora

My birthday was fabulous! I felt very special and very loved every second of my day! It started out with balloons at work from Danny, lunch with my work team at Prezzo and the rest of the day off! Julio had been planning surprises for the day and Shannon was in on it so we decided I needed a birthday dress for the night. Shannon and I went shopping and found a cute dress and shoes. Balloons, food, cake, and shopping - and it was only 4 pm! I got home and Julio told me to pack an overnight bag. He surprised me with a night at the Mandarin Hotel on Brickell Key - so, so nice!! I’d never been there before so we got there early and relaxed until dinner. I thought we were going to dinner just the two of us, but it turned out to be another surprise - his parents, Cecil and our friends, Shannon, Danny, Marilyn and Alan, met us there for a yummy dinner at Cafe Sambal, a Thai and Sushi restaurant! After awesome presents, lots of happy birthday calls from friends, a few yummy martinis and another birthday cake, we headed to Red Bar and Karu & Y with Shannon, Danny, Artie and Sergio. The DJ’s were really good and both places were really fun!! I danced it up in my birthday dress!! We got to sleep in - yay - with extra late check out and then we enjoyed the Mandarin Hotel beach for a few hours. There were beds in the sand looking out into the water surrounded by palm trees - it was so relaxing and such a nice way to end a long birthday celebration!!! Julio is the best and always finds a way to make my birthday so special!! We had a wonderful night with our friends - it was a fabulous 26th birthday!!

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Keeping up with our busy schedule!

Posted in One year later! at 11:03 pm by Nora

I had an awesome trip last week to DC! I traveled there for a grant writing workshop for my job, but it was so much fun because I got to stay with┬áNate, Fatima, Benji and Ellie! My workshop was on the George Washington University campus, so I was able to ride the metro in with Fatima and get everywhere I needed to go on the metro. Nate and Fatima gave me the new Harry Potter book for my birthday, so I had very good reading to do while I rode!! I so wish we had a metro system here in Miami. I got to explore more of DC than I have in a long time because I got off at so many different stops during my trip! My friend Jenna works near Metro Center, so I met up with her for coffee one night and got to see her new apartment - so cute! By the end of the trip I was very good at traveling by metro:) It was really fun to hang out with Nate, Fatima and Benji during their “real life” of work and school - we just got to hang out. Since we don’t live nearby, we don’t get to do that very often! It was really, really fun.

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That weekend Kat came to town!! She was in town recruiting so I got to watch her do her magic with her stopwatch, notebooks and lots of information about lots of softball players. I also got to enjoy some yummy Cuban food with Kat and Shelly - gotta make the dinner stop at Little Havana. And Kat can’t come to visit without a fun night out to South Beach!!

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Chris and Christie’s Wedding Shower - Saturday, July 28! Hosted by the Kibler family, who I finally got to meet - it was great to see the Buck family, Christie’s family and share the one of the many special days leading up to the big day for Chris and Christie!!
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After the wedding shower during the day and a Peruvian gala celebration for Independence Day at night, we finished the night out at Las Olas!! So good to see Chris, Christie and Jess!!!
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One Year Anniversary!

Posted in One year later! at 1:23 pm by Nora

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One year! Wow! As I sit here and think that a year ago today, I was in Paris on my honeymoon after having the most amazing wedding day ever, all I can do is smile. Julio and I talk about our wedding weekend all the time because so many things remind us of that special day and the wonderful people we shared it with. I remember at the end of the night, about to leave the reception hall and telling Julio, it was a perfect night. Looking into his eyes, knowing he is my husband was an amazing feeling. Seeing our friends and family get on the dance floor to get the party started and keep the party going was so much fun! It was just such a fun night of excitement and happiness. This year has been full of much more excitement and happiness with so many trips, visits from friends, and many firsts!!

To summarize our first year as husband and wife (as I’ve been told, I can’t tell the short version of any story, so here’s the long version!) …

After our honeymoon, we did more celebrating with my 25th birthday! Then we had a few things to figure out…where to live, where I was going to work…pretty important stuff! We looked into buying a townhouse or house, but the market was and still is crazy down here. So, we lived with the Pardaves for a while until we figured out what to do. I really had to find a job before we knew what our budget was. Julio’s business really picked up after he had a “Grand Opening” at the end of August. He finally got to do it after all the wedding festivities! At the end of September, I started at Miami Country Day School in the Development Office! It has been an awesome 10 months working there - the people are fabulous and I love the work I’m doing. Before I started working, I did make a trip to St. Louis to surprise Lindsay for her 25th birthday!! It was a blast with Linds, Jason, Mistie and everyone! In October, we made a trip to visit Nate, Fatima and Benji in Silver Spring which was so much fun as always:) I also got to get a quick visit with my Aunt Sharon, my Cousin Theresa and her family, Jessica and Jenna, too! At the end of October, Kat came in town to recruit, so we got to hang out! She’s coming here this weekend, too!!
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In the beginning of November, we finally moved into our own place - a 2 bedroom apartment in Aventura, not too far away from the Pardaves, only a couple blocks actually! We really like our location - it’s getting a little busier and crowded but our commutes to work aren’t bad which make a huge difference here. Neither of us drive on the highway - it takes Julio only 5 min and me about 20 min. We’re right by a canal, too (view below) so it’s great being near the water. Baxter and I take lots of walks by the boat dock! We love it! We’re still decorating - our guest room is always a work in progress! We went to Julio’s 10 year high school reunion party in the beginning of November! It was cool to meet his high school friends! Oh, and on Saturdays, we made it to the UM football games - my first experience at the Orange Bowl! The games are so much fun!
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My Aunt Ginny and Uncle Doug were in town for a conference in Oct so we met them for a nice dinner - Miami is a great place to be for lots of visitors!! More fun visitors, my Mom, Dad and Grandma came down for a visit in mid-November which was really fun! It was great for them to see our new place! Later in November, Julio headed to Atlanta to take his National Athletic Training test, which he passed, so he’s now a Certified Athletic Trainer and Chiropractor!!

We hosted our first Thanksgiving at our apartment - luckily I did not have to attempt cooking the turkey this year, but I did make lots of sides and desserts:) The Pardave family joined us for a yummy Thanksgiving dinner at our very new place! For the holidays, we had lots of fun times - parties at work, parties at friends houses, a fun trip to Orlando for Chris’ birthday party and a Christmas party at Christie’s mom’s house! Jessica made a quick stop at our place on her way to Colombia! It’s so fun to be the friends people can stay with on their way to and from South America!! We stayed in Miami for our first married Christmas and spent a nice day and had a delicious dinner with the Pardaves, Trigoso family and Victor. I was sick for New Year’s and only made it until the ball dropped but we still had fun with friends:)
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The new year started off well - I saw my first UM basketball game when Duke was in town - we were so close and tickets were so easy to get compared to at Cameron!! January 20th brought an exciting day - Julio’s 29th birthday! We went out to dinner with his family. This year is the big 3-0 so there will be a big party to celebrate!!! We had a Superbowl/apartment warming party on Superbowl Sunday, which was so much fun! Lots of people showed up - it was a lot of fun to have everyone over. In mid-February, I headed to Columbus, Ohio, to meet up with Lindsey to visit Ann! It was freezing and I think our next trip will be during spring or fall, but it was so fun to see Ann’s home and hang out with the girls! Chris and Christie were actually visiting Miami that same weekend, so Julio got to hang out with them! We did a Walk for the Animals at the end of February with friends from work - Baxter had a blast! nora, linds, ann.jpg Buck crew.jpg Walk2.jpg Baxter-Walk.jpg

Spring Break began in March! Jamie and Aaron started the fun - they came down for Cardinals spring training in Jupiter, FL. We went to a few games with them and got to hang out at their house in Palm Beach and then hung out in Aventura for a night. It was so good to see them! I got to watch the Duke/UNC game with my fellow Duke fans, even though Duke lost. The next weekend, Shannon’s best friend was in town, which was just the beginning of the late nights out with friends! Nora&Jamie1.jpg Ju, Aaron&Jamie.jpg shannon&danny.jpg

Fun times continued when Lindsay came to visit for St. Patrick’s Day weekend. We got to go to a Heat game - in the 2nd row!! - and we had so much fun catching up, partying and hanging out! We had a blast like we always do!! Julio’s cousin, Danaly, and Alan came in town the next weekend for the winter music festival and we hadn’t seen them for like 3 years! It was really fun to go out with them on the Beach! The next weekend Lindsey and Joel were in town along with a group of Julio’s friends from chiropractic school. So, we had a great time catching up with everyone!! The weather stayed nice for all of our spring break visitors, so it was a fabulous month!! nora&julio heat.jpg nora&linds.jpg Danaly.jpg Linds&Joel.jpg chiro crew.jpg

Jenny came in town in mid-April - it was so good to see her! She was our last visitor for a while, so things calmed down a bit. I was able to see a Barry softball game and catch up with Sarah and Erin. Julio had time to focus on work - he started working with his Dad in his Hialeah office and really started focusing on marketing himself! Annick made a pit stop in Miami for a night on her way from Ecuador, so we got to catch up after 2 years or so. At the end of April we celebrated Shannon’s birthday - more fun times!
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Tax season brought our first tax return as a married couple - I love the married tax breaks! I went to a volunteer session for the Humane Society - I still haven’t volunteered, but it’s one of my goals to help out there:) We headed to Durham for Memorial Day weekend where we got to see my mom, dad, grandma, Nate, Fatima, Benji and Hana! It was the first time I’d been home in over a year, so it was really fun to be in my house, see my Dad’s garden, talk with my mom over breakfast, play ball with Ben in the backyard, catch up with Hana over lunch at yummy Torrero’s and just hang out with my family. Julio even got to experience going to a field to hit and throw with my dad and brother! I love going home:)
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At the end of June, we went on a 3 day cruise to the Bahamas with the Pardaves and Trigosos. It was so relaxing and fun to spend time with Julio’s brothers and cousins. bahamas.jpg pardavefam2.jpg bahamas jet ski.jpg pardavefam.jpg

We unpacked, celebrated 4th of July with a few fireworks and then packed for Vegas! We celebrated Chris and Christie’s Bachelor/Bachelorette party weekend in Vegas with a big group and it was a blast!!
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All of sudden - after all these fun times - it was our one-year anniversary. Julio had a plan for the afternoon - he’s always so good - so we slept in, had our morning coffee and exchanged gifts. Julio gave me a beautiful necklace with a silver circle with one diamond - one diamond for one year Julio said! It is perfect! He surprised me by taking me to the Biltmore Hotel for brunch - it was delicious and it was so relaxing. We reminisced about our wedding day and what it was like that day. We both took wedding pics in the Biltmore lobby, so we walked around, just remembering that day. We walked around our church and there was a wedding about to take place inside. It brought back all kinds of memories for us:) We even saw the same Rolls Royce car that brought my mom, dad and me to the church!
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We stopped by the Venetian Pool - it closed early, so we just looked around at the very cool pool. I’d never been there. We decided to see a movie - Transformers (how romantic!) - that we’d been trying to see for a few weeks. We hardly ever get to go on movie dates! We headed home for the sweet ending - the top tier of our wedding cake! It was still so yummy after a year! It was a wonderful, relaxing day, just spending the day together remembering the amazing weekend a year ago and the wonderful year we’ve had together as husband and wife. Cheers to another year of newlywed bliss and many more happy anniversaries!!!