Snow(board) Bunnies!

In January 2012, a full two years after my big move to the NE we finally booked a winter trip to Bromley Sun Mountain in southern Vermont. (backstory: The first and only time i participated in snow sports was in 2004, during an APO national convention. We took a train from downtown Denver to Winter Park Colorado. I skipped my beginner lesson because i was a natural on skis and was up on some pretty decent Blues by the end of the day!) Will & Lenny have snowboarded before so i decided to give that a try this time. As an added bonus, Claudia planned a visit just in time to join us!

Snowboard Bunnies

We all headed to Vermont around 4pm on a Thursday. Arlington, VT is supposed to be a 3 hour drive from where we live. However, due to snow/icy weather & questionable narrow/dark roads we arrived at our cabin around 9pm. Scates, John Louis & their ladies would be joining us the following night but we wanted to be up early on Friday for a “Snowboard Starters” group lesson so we arranged to be at the cabin the night before. The next morning, we lucked out and got placed in a small group with two very talented and helpful instructors: Tony & Ollie. They taught us the basics and had us making turns by lunch time. After lunch, we got up on the lift and made several passes down a mild course. Will happened to be the snowboarding all-star in the group and he was connecting his turns like a pro!

The boys all bundled up!

Even the guys (who had taken lessons before) were surprised at how great our instructors were. We were all doing very well on our boards. On day one, we had about 5 full hours of instruction and even though we were all exhausted and ready to call it a day… we were still very much looking forward to day two.

When we got back to the cabin we got cleaned up, made some dinner and waited for the rest of the group to arrive. Once everyone arrived we partied a little bit, some more than others (ahem, CLAUDIA ha!) but we were all up the next day and back at Bromley for more.

It was a fantastic weekend, and two days of snowboarding was all that it took to get me hooked. Our friends who live in Norwalk (the Lackey’s) are avid snowboarders and they inspired us to buy our own equipment. When we got home, Lenny introduced us to Joe (the owner of Capsule Board Shop in Cos Cob) and less than 2 weeks later I was a proud owner of a new beautiful Signal Snowboard! Will’s board came in a few weeks later… it took a little longer to arrive since he had to special order one in his size. We are now itching to hit the slopes again ASAP. We’ve got multiple friends who want to take weekend or day trips with us, so i’ll continue to post about our new fun hobby!

Lucas Loves the East Coast!

Exactly 12 months after we met Lucas in DC, he planned another east coast Halloween trip… but this time, he landed in Stamford, CT!! He’s been talking about visiting ever since i moved here and finally he made it a reality.

We started the weekend out with dinner & drinks in lower Manhattan. Then Lee took him out all night in search of some NYC ladies. On Saturday, we were back in CT for a Pizza Crawl. To make it even more interesting, Old Man Winter showed up a few months early in the form of a freak snow storm! But that didn’t stop us from enjoying a surplus of pie at the 4 most famous pizza establishments in New Haven, CT (arguably the best in the nation).

A Priest and a Spaniard walk into a bar...

The snow storm shut down the metro rail so we had no way to get into the city for a friend’s party… but we still got dressed up and hit the streets of downtown Stamford. Per usual, Lucas was in fine form for Halloween (see 2010 archives). And even though our original NYC costume party plans were hindered by the extreme weather, we still managed to have an incredible time that night in below-freezing temps.


Brooklyn Bridge

Sunday morning we went to SoNo for a phenomenal brunch at The Brewhouse. We met a married couple from Texas (Brandon & Amanda Lackey) who live in Norwalk. They just moved here this year and they also joined us for brunch, so it was pretty awesome having a table full of Aggies! Sunday evening,Β Lucas and I went back to NYC to do a little sightseeing. I got plenty of pictures of him, but he hates taking normal pictures. So it was a struggle finding something worthy of this blog post. This is the best i got outta him –>

The weekend was a blast and we’re hoping to make “East Coast” a Halloween Tradition… Maybe Boston next year πŸ™‚

My Sister’s Wedding – Cancun, Mexico

Robyn & Eric were married on Saturday, August 13th at the Gran Caribe Resort in Cancun, Mexico. This was my very first “tropical” vacation, can you believe it?? Twenty-eight years of life… and the only beaches i knew about were Texas Gulf beaches. (Well, we did go to Panama City Beach, FL when i was a little kid… but i was like 12, i barely remember it!)

The wedding party on the beach

The ceremony was held in an open-air chapel facing the water and the view was incredible. Everything about that day was perfect… even the 10 minute surprise thunderstorm that briefly interrupted the evening reception! The girls wore short, strapless red dresses (with pockets!) and the guys wore tan guayaberas with red embroidery. Robyn looked absolutely stunning, and the white sand, bright blue water and clear skies made for an amazing backdrop.

A few things i learned about Cancun…
1) it’s the hottest/most humid place on earth. like, i was literally dripping sweat just loungin’ on the beach. and the minute i stepped foot outside our villa, my curls would fall and my hair would be damp with sweat from my head. i think i styled my hair 3 times each day. maybe next time i visit Cancun, it won’t be in the middle of Summer.
2) all-inclusive is the way to go! obviously there are different rates for upgraded rooms, etc… but the average cost was approx $100/per person, per day. and this price included all restaurants & bars on the resort (alcoholic drinks too!), free room service, and an awesome villa! it was pretty neat being on vacation and not having to “spend money” – everything was taken care of for us.

We all lucked out, because about a month after Robyn & Eric decided where the wedding would be a “groupon-like” special surfaced on The deal was $299 for an all-inclusive 3-night stay for two, at the Gran Caribe resort! Even though Will & I had already booked and paid for our stay through the wedding coordinator, we quickly purchased the voucher and canceled 3 of our 4 nights. Since that saved us over $400, we were able to upgrade when we arrived. Our villa was incredible. We even had a private, two-level balcony with a jacuzzi!

It was an awesome trip, my sister married an awesome man… and i promised myself i’d take a tropical vacation every year from now on πŸ™‚

The Boston Beer Marathon trained for us!

oh yes, the Boston Beer Marathon happened again…and this time we showed up with 9 more people! we started at the House of Blues just like last year, but this time we actually made it to Allston for the last 8 bars or so <– major accomplishment!

us with the Beer Marathon Founding Fathers!

i think the best part about this year was having a few Texans in tow… a college buddy of mine, Lee Bernhoft, recently took a job in Stamford, so this was his first chance to get to really party with me, Will and company on the East Coast! Lee had a FANTASTIC time to say the least… and he even started a bro-mance with the charming Mr. Martti Thomas. I even got a call the next morning from Martti and had to text him Lee’s digits! LOL Those two were a match made in heaven! Watch out Southern CT: Lee & Martti are on the prowl! oh yeah, so Lenny has been calling me “T-Toast” (short for Texas Toast) since we met… so it was only fitting that Lee got his own nickname as well: Lee Toast.

Even more Aggies/Texans met us in Boston – Amanda & Brandon Lackey are a couple who recently moved to CT from Cleveland. (Funny story actually: on lee’s 2nd day in CT he was walking the streets of Stamford and he saw a guy unloading stuff from his vehicle which happened to have an “A&M” sticker on it. Of course, Lee was wearing his maroon Aggie shirt so he stopped and introduced himself. Thankfully, since we’re just a friendly bunch of people… Brandon and his wife joined us a few weekends later in NYC for the Lonestar Chili Cook-off. And the rest is history…) Despite Brandon’s horrific case of food poisoning in Boston on Friday night, he was out on the streets with us like a champ on Saturday. It was great being around other Aggies in Boston.

*The Great Boston Experience is becoming so successful that they are planning on duplicating it in other major US cities. It is official… the Big Apple Beer Marathon is scheduled for Saturday, September 24th! The Beer Marathon is coming to NYC πŸ™‚

Mom-orial Day Weekend

Stamford Harbor Live - 2011

May 27th 2011 – Mom and Bellum booked an extended weekend stay in Stamford, CT. Saturday we enjoyed the 1st Annual “Stamford Harbor Live” which was occurring right outside my building. There’s a canal that cuts through our neighborhood and leads into the Long Island Sound. Some very smart individuals anchored a barge in the middle of the harbor and got some good bands to come entertain us. They had vendors selling ice cream and other goodies. But the best booth was Fairway Market’s setup – complete with free chips, salsa and guac! (Fairway Market is an NYC based supermarket that just opened a store here in Stamford. They are the only thing around here that holds a candle to HEB.) This was the first year the event has been held, but it’s such a fantastic idea… so i’m sure the crowds will keep coming back year after year.

Sunday we took the train to NYC and enjoyed our first Broadway Show. “Baby It’s You” was dubbed “a baby boomers delight” by the New York Post, so i figured mom & bellum would love it. And we all did!

"Baby It's You" - on Broadway

It was very entertaining and now i think i’m totally hooked. I have a long list of shows that i want to see very soon. After the show we walked to Carmine’s. In case you haven’t heard of Carmine’s (because i sure hadn’t before i moved here)… it’s this fantastic family style Italian restaurant with a location right in the theater district/Times Square. OMG. don’t ever go there with less than 5 hungry, grown-ass adults. The portions are enormous and the food is absolutely delicious. The food is so awesome that it makes the 1-2 hour wait worth it.*

Rock Center Cafe
inside NBC building







On Monday, we went back to the city to do some sight seeing. We had lunch in Rockefeller Plaza. (They turn the ice rink into an outdoor restaurant during the summer months.) Then we took the trek up to the very top of the 30 Rock building. The “Top of the Rock” observation deck as they call it has fantastic views of the city. {Plus, Bellum loves the show 30 Rock. So he was pretty happy}

Central Park - looking North

I was able to talk mom out of a tour bus – it’s so much more fun walking and stopping wherever you want to. Our last stop was at Canal Street in Chinatown. I’ve heard from multiple people that they were able to purchase designer handbags and discount knockoffs from vendors on Canal Street. So i just wanted to see what this was all about!!





It was such a treat to get to have my family here, even for just a few days. Mom and I shopped, Bellum drank beer with the locals at “Bobby V’s” and i got both of them to try Middle Eastern food at Layla’s Falafel!! Mom and Bellum had to fly out on Tuesday morning at 8am. So i woke up around 4 to see them off from the hotel. I was heading home two weekends later for my high school reunion, so mom held it together as we said goodbye (sorta) … “See you in two weeks… Mommy loves the baby!”

*not according to William Davidow

Year in Review

So I moved from my hometown of San Antonio, Texas to Stamford, CT on Jan 30th, 2010 (for work). Year one looked a little something like this:

January 2010 – “Steffers Go Buh-Bye” party… the most amazing group of friends travel to San Antonio and nearly give Cindy a heart attack, LOL. ok so that was just one part of it. when all the food was eaten, the keg was floated and the kitchen was cleaned we headed to Eden to finish off the night! My frenz = top notch, no doubt.







1/30/10 – SATURDAY: me, mom & bellum leave SA. it was chilly when we left Texas, snow-storming for our layover in Baltimore, Maryland and 19 degrees and SUNNY the morning after when we landed in CT!!





2/5/2010 – FRIDAY: i spent my 27th birthday in our hotel room. this was also the end of my first full week of work at the Greenwich office.




The month of March went by without any major milestones. I spent the majority of my time working (a lot of extra hours) and buying things for my new studio apartment. The only items I brought along with me were: three big suitcases of clothes, my car and whatever I could stuff in it!

The one thing that made moving across country for work easier was the blessing of awesome new co-workers! The Interactive Team at the Greenwich Time office consisted of smart, young, hard working individuals. I fit right in πŸ˜‰ They helped me discover good lunch spots, showed me the secret passageway to Snaxx & More (convenience store next door), and introduced me to pub trivia at Tigin! Will, Brett, Keith & Karin were more than great colleagues… they became my first friends!

I was lucky enough to take a quick weekend trip to DC to visit Galen, Michelle & Dan one weekend. This was my first ever Amtrak experience. It was extremely affordable and I would recommend this form of travel to anyone! Here’s a picture of us from the balcony at “Newseum”… and me & Michelle in front of a piece of the Berlin Wall.






April – mom, Bellum & Robyn come to visit me! my family stayed at the New Yorker hotel and i took the train into the city on Friday after work to meet up with them. Robyn and I went out to Turtle Bay (bar) and Pacha NYC (club) with some of my new co-workers. On Saturday, the family went to Coney Island among other places before heading back to Stamford so Robyn could see my new city. It was so wonderful having my family here with me!!







May – I had multiple visitors in the month of May! During Memorial Day weekend KevRam flew in from Austin and Michelle and Galen took the train from DC. We had a blast hanging out in NYC, going to MoMA, eating good food and hanging out at Lenny’s BBQ for the holiday weekend.








June 3 thru 6 – Linz comes to visit! We hung out in Stamford and Norwalk before venturing to the city. We also made our “NY Aggie Club” debut at The Overlook Bar to watch the Ags play (ahem, lose to) Miami in baseball. I proudly take credit for getting to play with Lindsay one last time before she found out she was pregnant with Rylee! We had a wild weekend and I’ll remember it for life πŸ™‚








more June -Will takes me to see Conan in NYC! If you know me, and you know how much i love Conan… this is a huge deal. Annnnd major points for Will πŸ˜‰ This was my first time, EVER inside Radio City Music Hall!


July 4 – Yay! My first trip back to TEXAS, since moving away. Fourth of July weekend means only one thing: Port A Trip with all my favorite people. Sweet Lucas gave me his Southwest Airlines credit, otherwise i’d have to pay over $700 just to fly home! I repaid him with the shirt – err, DRESS – off my back. It was an amazing weekend, and it was so wonderful to spend time with all my friends who i missed so much!








July 10 – as if i didn’t party enough in Texas… the following weekend Lenny, Will and I drive to Boston for the 5th annual “Great Boston Experience”. This is an all day BEER MARATHON that starts in the shadows of Fenway Park and stops at 26 other local bars and restaurants. This particular year the heaven’s decided to rain down on us, literally. But thank goodness we had our Viking helmets on for protection. We definitely plan on making this a yearly trip!







August – Will, who was born and raised in Greenwich, CT… a mere 40 minutes away from New York City… had never been to the Statue of Liberty. Blasphemous!! In August, we took a trip, and stood in the loooong line at Battery Park toΒ  buy our $12 tickets for the ferry ride to Liberty Island. It was worth it. Not only is it obviously a very recognizable landmark but the view looking back at NYC is breathtaking.







September (Labor Day Weekend) – CAPE COD! Will’s family has been going to Cape Cod every year for as long as he can remember. With his sister, her husband and their son living in Massachusetts, it’s one of the only times the whole group gets to spend an extended amount of time together. This time, i got to join πŸ™‚ We ate breakfast at Percy’s every morning, explored the area during the days and ate dinner at fancy restaurants every night. It was a blast. We even found Cape Cod Brewery and took a tour and drank their beer!








October – After a scary Peter Pan bus ride, we arrived in DC for Halloween weekend… but more importantly, for Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert’s Rally to Restore Sanity! As an added bonus, Lucas flew to DC for the weekend as well. So we (along with Dan and his roommate) somehow made our way to The National Mall along with approximately a bajillion other humans early Saturday morning. It was a fun event to attend, but in all honesty we were way too far back to see (or hear) any of the action. Later that evening, I had more important issues to worry about: how was i going to make sure my Snooki poof stayed up?!


November – With Will’s mom in recovery after back surgery, we cooked up the best Thanksgiving meal we knew how to and delivered it to her rehab center. It wasn’t “Ann’s recipe” but it felt nice to provide her with good food while she was away from home.

Tyler Florence's "Split Turkey Herb Roasted" recipe

After we ate, we headed into the city to watch the Aggies & the longhorns play the annual “Lone Star Showdown”. The New York Aggie club was meeting at Calino Jack’s Cantina but when we arrived, we were shocked. Over 100 Aggie fans packed a small mexican restaurant in Manhattan, just not something i ever dreamed was possible! And just to add some icing to that cake… the Ags won 24-17 πŸ™‚

December – I’d been saving all my vacation time so i’d be able to spend a decent amount of time in Texas over the holidays. My dreams came true and i booked a flight and spent 11 days in San Antonio with my family.