2010: A Review

Back in January 2010, I posted a list of goals (or resolutions) that I had. While I was able to achieve some of these, many of these went uncompleted. As I give thought to what I want to achieve in 2011, here is a review of 2010.

1. Start a family. Chris and I have been discussing when the right time would be for having a child, and as we are both getting older, we’ve decided that now is as good a time as any. We are exploring different options for us to make this happen, and as we make progress, we’ll be posting up

No luck with this, however our friends Bobby and Ian did start theirs. So we have become uncles to the handsome Mr. Parker (“P-diddy”). In 2011 we shall continue to explore this option for Chris and I.

2. Successfully renew my work visa for the next couple of years. This will be a critical step for us to achieve goal number 1, as well as keeping me working at the best nonprofit agency in the US of A.

Done, and with a new attorney. What a major difference it is to have someone handling this application who actually knows what they are doing.

3. Participate in at least four (4) 5K runs. This in part is related to the first goal, and will help with our training. One of our goals is to include our Little Brother in one of these runs towards the latter part of the year.

I completed 50% of these. I can’t say that I was in the best shape, but I made it to the finish line in both races.

4. Complete a half-marathon. Chris and I are going to try to complete the White Rock Half-Marathon later this year. We will be working towards building up our distance and stamina to make this a reality, and thankfully it is on the other side of summer, so there will be many opportunities to train.

Um, no. Maybe 2011.

5. Complete a 5K run in under 30 minutes. The best that I’ve ever done was just under 33 minutes, so with some focus and determination this should be a relatively easy goal to make.

Almost, but another incomplete.

6. Travel to at least one place that I’ve never been before outside of the United States. Right now there are discussions for a trip to the Mexican Riviera which would fulfill this goal, but should this not happen, there will be another trip that we will need to take.

We made it to Mexico!

7. Successfully meet the goals for my new role on the Youth First Texas board. This will include the fundraising component, but it also relates to working with the board to overcome some of the issues that the organization is facing right now.

Done. I will be honest and say that it was a lot more work than I originally thought but it has been an amazing experience and I am looking forward to continuing to build on the work that I have started this past year in 2011.

8. Continue to improve general health. While the running (exercise) will definitely help with this, I do need to put a goal about weight loss, or general health on my list. I would like to drop back to at least a 32? waist before summer starts, and that will be something that I will attempt to do.

Health has improved, especially mental health. I did get a little thinner for the summer, but maintenance has never been my thing. We have rejoined the gym, and we will be adhering to a stricter fitness routine in the new year.

9. Travel to Australia to visit family, including family I did not get an opportunity to meet up with during our last visit in 2009. At this stage our thinking is to make the trip around Christmas this year, but that will depend a great deal on Qantas making it financially possible.

With our travels to Mexico, the trip to Australia didn’t happen. 2011 will see a family reunion.

10. Maintain healthier relationships. This is something that may be more difficult to measure, but it’s one goal that I have to focus on more. We tend to get caught up in the world as it rushes by us each day, and it is becoming more important to me to spend time with my friends, along with making new friends.

I think I have been successful in this. I’ve definitely expanded my circle of friends, and I don’t think this has affected my existing relationships. Of course, others may disagree.

Cancun Dias Secundo

The second day in Cancun was very relaxing. We managed to get a decent breakfast (buffett) that only cost $250 pesos each (still having some issues with conversion). After breakfast, we headed down to the beach for about an hour (maybe a little longer) to work on the tan, and then got insided just as the clouds opened up. It was a heavy downpour that lasted all of 10-15 minutes, and then the sun was shining again. It reminded us of Hawaii.

We reluctantly packed up and put our bags in storage for the day while we waiting for our friends to join us. We enjoyed a good amount of time at the pool bar sipping on some cervezas (the local Negro Modelo) and snacking on a small lunch. The Hilton is very nice, but there is not really a lot to do in the resort, which was actually – at the end of the day – very relaxing. We sat and snoozed a little, and then we waited … and waited … and waited.

It seems that the trip for Bobby, Ian, Jonas and Corey as not as quick as ours, and they were in line for customs and immigration for over two hours. Finally, they arrived and we headed down to Akumal (near Tulum) to the Grand Pallidium. Another good driver from Entertainment-Plus was our chauffer, and we were really happy that they were able to accomodate our airport pick-up to Akumal via the Hilton.

The Grand Palladium is big. When we tried to check in, we were advised that we had been upgraded to a different room, which also meant a different section of the hotel, which mean a different check in. So our journey continued for a short time, and were greeted by a welcome drink and a very friendly front desk agent. They banded us, and we were free to find food, drinks and other fun activities.

Our room is really nice. It’s in the Riviera section and very spacious. Thankfully the others are close by – up one floor, and in the next door building. Communication has been an interesting challenge as we are foregoing our cell phones while staying here, but we seem to find a way. We walked around and found a buffett for a late dinner, and then wandered around the resort for some sightseeing and exploration. We found the salt water pool, which is a part of the sea, and found the place where people get married. The night ended soon after that, and we looked forward to what the new day was going to have in store for us.

Yes you can can can … Cancun

I’m sitting here relaxing on the balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico listening to the waterfall beneath me, and the waves crashing on the beach. For the most part we have been disconnected from the world and forcing ourselves to have a relaxing time without all the gadgets that keep us connected (even the laptop doesn’t have Internet and won’t for a few days … so this is actually being a few days ago).

Our trip to Cancun has been very uneventful, which has made it all that more enjoyable. We had a pleasant flight (thankfully Chris was able to use some of his upgrade credits to bump us up the front of the plane). Our process through Mexican Immigration and Customs was – at first sight – overwhelming, but both of us were impressed with the speed in which agents worked their desks.

Our transfer to our hotel was fantastic! Thanks to the advice on Trip Advisor we decided to pre-book our transfers and after some research went with Entertainment-Plus (USA Transfers). The team were very easy to deal with, and were available to answer questions (before hand), and when we landed, there was the man in a cap waiting for us. Raymonda was just what we wanted to see after pushing through the swarm of taxi and shuttle drivers. He escorted us away, requested our transport and we were safe in the hands of Hilario (our driver) who was moving us closer to our hotel in no time.

The Hilton Cancun Golf and Spa Resort is a a typical resort hotel. You may take that statement anyway you wish. After a quick room change, we transformed out of travel attire, and toned it down a little with shorts, flip flops and tee and hit the beach. We walked a good distance along the shoreline looking at the other hotels, the crashing waves and the people who were doing the same thing as us.

We swam some, got cleaned up, then ate dinner at the resorts Mexican restaurant (when in Rome). The first thing that is a little overwhelming (for uneducated types like me) is seeing the prices before you realize they are listed in pesos. The food was actually very good. The mango margarita I had was excellent! Chris’s margarita on the rocks was one of the best he has ever had. I ordered a pork dish that was cooked in citrus inside a banana leaf, which was unbelievably good. Chris went with the fajitas (which I was thinking about), and they were okay. The total cost was $660 (pesos), or about $52 (USD).

After dinner, we walked around the hotel some, along the beachwalk a little more, and then … well we are back to where I started. I’m sitting here relaxing on the balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico …

What 2010 Brings

As I blogged a few years ago, one of the most effective ways to hold oneself accountable on goals or resolutions that you make, is to publish them, so here are my goals for 2010.

1. Start a family. Chris and I have been discussing when the right time would be for having a child, and as we are both getting older, we’ve decided that now is as good a time as any. We are exploring different options for us to make this happen, and as we make progress, we’ll be posting updates.

2. Successfully renew my work visa for the next couple of years. This will be a critical step for us to achieve goal number 1, as well as keeping me working at the best nonprofit agency in the US of A.

3. Participate in at least four (4) 5K runs. This in part is related to the first goal, and will help with our training. One of our goals is to include our Little Brother in one of these runs towards the latter part of the year.

4. Complete a half-marathon. Chris and I are going to try to complete the White Rock Half-Marathon later this year. We will be working towards building up our distance and stamina to make this a reality, and thankfully it is on the other side of summer, so there will be many opportunities to train.

5. Complete a 5K run in under 30 minutes. The best that I’ve ever done was just under 33 minutes, so with some focus and determination this should be a relatively easy goal to make.

6. Travel to at least one place that I’ve never been before outside of the United States. Right now there are discussions for a trip to the Mexican Riviera which would fulfill this goal, but should this not happen, there will be another trip that we will need to take.

7. Successfully meet the goals for my new role on the Youth First Texas board. This will include the fundraising component, but it also relates to working with the board to overcome some of the issues that the organization is facing right now.

8. Continue to improve general health. While the running (exercise) will definitely help with this, I do need to put a goal about weight loss, or general health on my list. I would like to drop back to at least a 32″ waist before summer starts, and that will be something that I will attempt to do.

9. Travel to Australia to visit family, including family I did not get an opportunity to meet up with during our last visit in 2009. At this stage our thinking is to make the trip around Christmas this year, but that will depend a great deal on Qantas making it financially possible.

10. Maintain healthier relationships. This is something that may be more difficult to measure, but it’s one goal that I have to focus on more. We tend to get caught up in the world as it rushes by us each day, and it is becoming more important to me to spend time with my friends, along with making new friends.

Let’s see how we do with these, and I hope to be able to post updates on each status throughout the year. We’ll see.