[MAD] Mary Ann & Don

Archive for September, 2009

MAD Anniversary

Posted by madkingblog on September 27, 2009

August 16th was our 1 year wedding anniversary.  Since I had planned and surprised Don with our Valentine’s trip to San Francisco, “we” decided he would be in charge of anniversary plans and it would be a surprise to me.

Well, he out did himself… it was the most romantic and awesome surprise, gift, anything that I’ve ever received. Don surprised me with a sunset hot air balloon ride!  Not just any hot air balloon ride either…

Don did his research and went with a company that had great reviews and we ended up getting a pilot with 20+ years of experience.  He went straight up, and WAY up, and while the other balloons stayed low and headed directly for the canyons, we went high and slowly drifted out toward the ocean!  We didn’t know at the time that our pilot was so experienced and doing this on purpose, we were a little apprehensive and worried but it was gorgeous!!  He dropped us back down over the estuary beside the Del Mar race track.  We floated only about 10ft above the water and then glided over Interstate 5 while people in their cars honked and waved at us.  We could see them!  That’s how close we were!  We also glided through some tree tops close enough to reach out and touch the leaves it seemed… though I didn’t try!!  We finally headed for the canyons, catching up with and passing some other balloons.  WOW!  Had we been in any of the other balloon we would have missed more than half that experience!  We found out later that was only the sixth time in 20 years our pilot has done that (going towards the ocean first) and the other pilots aren’t as experienced and will not risk it.  There are not words to explain how AMAZING this experience was… definitely in the top 10 greatest experiences of my life.

Here is a video I took with the camera of us taking off.  At first, you just see the scene around us where all the balloons are being inflated, then we begin to lift off and I turn the camera and you see how excited we are, and I turn back to the scene as WE LIFT OFF!

This is us ready and waiting!  This is where I was when filming the video above!

A balloon below us and some still on the ground about to lift off!

When we dropped down over the estuary… this is how close we were to the water in our giant hot air balloon… amazing and serene.

As we head back up over the 5, the picture below is probably one of the most beautiful pictures I’ve ever taken…

As we float away from the ocean and towards the canyons, more gorgeous pictures below…

Below are all the balloons we we passed hehe, and the first pic after landing.  Landing is crazy!!  You pretty much just hold on for dear life and be prepared for the basket to topple over and be dragged for who knows how far!  Lucky for us, it wasn’t too windy and so our landing was a few ‘bumb and go’s with some near capsizing but we actually stayed up right.  The basket did have to be pulled up an embankment, so a few guys including Don jumped out to help pull and the rest of us stayed in the basket to keep it weighted down.  Haha, good times.

Below are some more fun pictures of how we had to hold the basket down while the balloon deflated…

Finally, with the balloon down and the sun set, we got our Champagne toast, but first our pilot told us the story of where the tradition of a Champagne toasts comes from.  It was a funny yet dark story.  If you want to know it, I recommend a hot air balloon ride!  SALUTE!

Donald, thank you so much for the most wonderful gift I’ve ever received and making our 1 year wedding anniversary as memorable as our wedding day itself.  😀


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My New Love of Batting

Posted by madkingblog on September 20, 2009

Sometime around the beginning (or maybe even the middle, it’s all blending together) of the summer, our friend Alisha suggested we go batting at some local cages.  It was SO MUCH FUN!  I had never been to a batting cage before, but I loved it!  I might have even been a bit of a time hog as we were all sharing one cage.  This began a series of evenings spent batting, and a few spent playing catch with footballs, softballs, or anything else we could throw. One particularly nice evening I spent at the beach in Del Mar with Frank, Alisha, and eventually Travis playing catch for HOURS, basically till it was too dark to see anymore.  And I learned I can actually catch, throw, and run better than I had previously thought… that doesn’t mean great, just better than I had thought. 😉

Here’s a few pics of my handsome hubby tearin it up!




and the rest of the gang being silly…

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Dez & MA Together Again in Omaha

Posted by madkingblog on September 10, 2009

This last June, Dez was in the states for a very brief time. I knew I had a limited window to see her and I had never seen the home she owns in Omaha. So at the last minute I booked a ticket to see her for a long weekend. It was an absolutely wonderful trip… at the time. So much has happened since then, the trip seems kind of sad now. It was still wonderful in that I got to see my number one girl AND as an added bonus her mother, Marjorie, an incredible woman in every right, was with us also. We had a LOT of bonding time. My favorite was the night the three of us spent at an Italian restaurant in downtown Omaha. It had an incredible ambiance and the three of us drank wine and talked there for hours. We spent a lot of time talking through some wedding planning with Dez and then there were stories… Marjorie really opened up to us about her life in Costa Rica when Dez was a child… the three of us laughed and cried together that night. It is forever burned in my memory in a wonderful way. The three of us spent the days working on fixing up Dez’s house. Since she spends the majority of her time away, it needs a lot of work when she comes to town. It was great to be able to help with this. Dez and I spent one night on the town, in true Dez & MA fashion, and one day in a bookstore with lattes, also true Dez & MA fashion! 🙂 Finally, we spent the last night working through a wedding planning checklist with the Planner I bought Dez. 😦 At the time it was actually a pretty cool experience. We met up with one of Dez’s friends, Amanda, an awesome girl, and went to a local bar… we got beers and headed to the outdoor area and started working through the planner letting Dez revel in the experience of visualizing and deciding on wedding plans. Not long into this the bar was closing because they had no business… we were bummed, but then the owner decided to close up but buy us another round and sit with us for a drink. So we all talked and just enjoyed the thunderstorm raging on around us! Living in SD, that is a rare experience for me now! Sadly, I had to leave the next day to return to a very busy (yet successful!) month of work. I was so revived though, at that time, if I had to explain that visit with Dez in one word, I would have called it perfection. Since then, some events have transpired that make me look back on it (or more specifically all the wedding planning) with a taint of sadness… but one day, with time, things will be different and that taint will dissipate and we’ll be left with only the wonderful memories of those four days. I love you Dez. I will always be grateful for this time I got to share with you and your mother and I look forward to the next time…

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Michael and Jami Wedding

Posted by madkingblog on September 8, 2009

[Update: for some reason, wordpress is not saving my formatting correctly, so until I figure it out the picture below and their captions are a bit messed up!]

In May, Don’s cousin and best man at our wedding, Michael, married his long time love Jami.  We are so very happy for them and had the best time helping prepare for and at the wedding!  We decorated their wedding suite as per tradition which is always fun and coordinated in any way we could.  It was one of the rare occasions that I got to spend time with ALL of Don’s family at once and they are a riot!! I love them all so much!  They are animated and funny and nonstop entertainment. What a big and awesome family!  It was Mother’s day the next day also, so we spent the whole weekend in the desert.  Next to take this huge step is Michael’s sister Stephanie in November!  That will be the third cousin of Don’s we will have seen married since we’ve been together!  That’s almost one per year 🙂

Before the wedding, it was a little windy in the desert!  The “windblown” look… how very Hollywood!

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The boys messing around beforehand… I think they were actually with the photographer her, don’t know what they are supposed to be doing though.

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Nothing like shots before the wedding to help the nerves 😉

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The happy couple only moments after their vows.  That is the high desert scenery out those windows – mountains in every direction.

Mr & Mrs Maes

Michael’s proud parents – our Tia Sylvia and Tio Steve

The proud parents - Our Tia Sylvia and Tio Steve

Don looking handsome before the wedding!

Don & Mary Ann

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