Saturday, February 23, 2008

Meet my new ride!

Happy belated birthday to me. :D Today, I am the proud new owner of this 2008 Infiniti EX Journey:

Isn't it bee-yoo-tee-ful??? The color is Dark Currant, and the interior is Wheat:

This thing is loaded with bells and whistles, not the least of which is a fully-integrated communications center, which is my interactive navigation system, 9.3 GB musicbox hard drive, satellite radio, iPod interface, Bluetooth phone, voice recognition for audio/phone/navigation commands, and oh yeah, an around-view monitor (cameras all around the vehicle to show you obstacles) combined with a sonar system, which beeps when something comes within a few inches of your bumpers.
This is my first "luxury" vehicle, and I love the details that Infiniti adds to its cars. Like the embroidered "Infiniti" logo on the front seats:
It was a lot of back and forth for me before I ended up deciding to go for it. It is a lot smaller than my last car (a Nissan Murano), and I had a lot of concerns about that. Truth is, I still do. I'm still not 100% sure I made the right decision, and I hope I don't end up regretting my choice in six months or a year, wishing I had stuck with a bigger car. For now, though, the EX has me won over.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me!

We returned to Amara Resort and Spa for one night, compliments of the hotel to make up for the trouble we had in December. They more than came through for us on this trip. First, they let us book just one night, when they otherwise had a two-night minimum for Valentine's weekend. Then, they upgraded our already-free room to a king suite with a whirpool tub and a patio that opened up to Oak Creek for a gorgeous morning view. On top of that, they gave us a gift certificate for dinner in their restaurant, which was fabulous.

This was my birthday meal of a half butter-poached Maine lobster tail and claw, two seared Maine diver scallops, an organic olive oil cake, and truffled brussels sprouts petals in a black pepper-tarragon lobster emulsion. YUM. Dinner was so delicious, I didn't even bother with dessert.

And this was the view from our hotel room the next morning as we enjoyed a room service breakfast of pancakes with warm Vermont maple syrup, fresh berries, and applewood smoked bacon.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I love Valentine's Day, despite its bad rap as a commercial, sappy, "Hallmark Holiday." Maybe because it's so close to my birthday, so it's like a weeklong celebration of me, starting with Valentine's Day.

So I'm sitting in my office yesterday, working away. Little did I know that Che was lurking outside my office door. Fortunately for him, my coworker next door saw him and dragged him into her office without me seeing. Ten seconds later, I get a call from another coworker, whose office is five doors down the other direction, asking me to come down and help her figure out what some kind of document is. Had I thought harder about it -- and had I been even the slightest bit suspicious -- red flags would have gone up, since this coworker graduated first in her law school class and is sharp as a tack, so the likelihood of her asking me to help her figure out a document is pretty lame. But nice distraction.

Anyway, off I go, and when I come back to my office, this gorgeous arrangement is on my desk: