Closing Time

“Open all the doors and let you out into the world
Closing time
Turn the lights up over every boy and every girl.
Closing time
One last call for alcohol so finish your whiskey or beer.
Closing time
You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here.”

It’s amazing how fast two weeks can go by.

We woke up Sunday morning and ate whatever was still in our fridge for breakfast. Thinking it was a good time for a second go at faceTime, we called the girls. Even though we were coming home in a few days Kaili still took it hard and it was a sad moment.

To shake the sadness, I  packed up the essentials and headed down to the pool, Shane soon followed.

After a few hours of relaxation and a slightly darker tan we slipped into the bar for lunch. Since it was Sunday most of the restaurants offered the national dish of Brazil, Feijoada on their menu. Shane wasn’t being a team player, he got the host to put on American football and ordered a hamburger…side eye… but he promised to help me a little with my order, since it’s meant to be shared. I jumped in head first to my delicious lunch and it was probably the best meal I had. Although, my mom can give them a run for their money.


After lunch we met  Cathy and Patti at their place, not far up the road for a car to drive us to Maracana stadium. Apparently the drive to opening ceremonies was a long haul due to traffic and closed roads, this time the driver to precautions and we went through the mountains and Favelas to get there, it worked out great. We had time for a snack and then we made our way to the stadium.


This was a sight to see and a pretty special place for me to walk into. The turnout of people was pretty spectacular.


The athletes came in and took their spots and then the show began.


The show started out strong but I have to say that after London, I am not sure anything can compare. Once the semantics were over, the party began. It was a concert for the Cariocas, which was awesome for them. They were having the best time. But for us Americans whom didn’t know any song or performer it became an old story after awhile.

The rain picked up and it was getting later by the minute so we decided to start our journey through some wild weather back to Barra.  Our driver Max was waiting for us where we left him, luckily. We had an interesting ride back, Max told us about how two men tried to carjack him while waiting for us. He was telling us the story in very broken english and google translate all while driving in the rain. He wanted to show us what he did so he leaned over Shane and opened the glove box and pulled out a knife. Apparently he threatened these men with it and scared them away but it was a interesting play of events, especially for Shane who was in the front seat and not sure what was going to happen. We laughed about it the rest of the night. We made it home just fine and I’m pretty sure the closing ceremonies were still going after we fell asleep.

If there was any day to sleep in, this was it. Our final day in Rio. Nothing really to do as the pool is closed on Monday’s and we had check out after lunch. We lounged around, grabbed some food and chocolate for the girls and then met Patti and Cathy at theirs for our ride to the airport. We were very lucky to have access to the Delta sky lounge this trip. Free food, drinks, wifi and a place to relax really can’t be beat.  The airport was swarming with media trying to catch interviews with athletes and even artists entertaining waiting passengers.



With that our trip home was a cinch. After a very good meal and some free wine I watched a couple of chick flicks and then reclined myself down for some sleep.

It’s really too bad the media made Rio out to be this terrible scary place because it was brilliant. I can really appreciate the hard hand that came down on Lochte because this city of Barra did not deserve that negative bullshit. The people were funny and went out of their way to take care of us, even with a language barrier. There was no harm in grabbing a taxi, and even alone I would have felt safe…(that is taking common sense precautions.)

That said there were a few things that I missed being out of the states. Their paper products leave much to the imagination as does their plumbing. There were zero signs posted outside of stores or restaurants so you have no clue if a place is open or when it’s closing. And their food, well let’s just say we have it really good here in the states. But after two weeks, it gets easy. The transportation, the shopping the language and ok not the food but most everything becomes easy and natural. I will miss it and I get why people love it there, it’s a pretty awesome place to visit.


Obrigada Rio!

Everywhere You Go

Yesterday, sheesh seems like forever. We started the day at Olympic park and headed to cycling. Another event I have never seen. To say I was blown away is an understatement. Shane said it best “wow, that gave me chills.” To watch these athletes break world records with one leg or prosthetics is incredible and I wish you all could see it live one day.



Time came to head over to the tennis venue to watch Nick (David’s doubles partner) play the first match of the day. Unfortunately that would be Nick’s last singles match as he lost.

On a good note, David played very well and won… I want to say easily but I don’t want to jinx anything.fullsizerender-3The crowds of people here are insane. I know it looks by some of the photos that we are the only ones here, but that is NOT the case. I also want to give a shout out to the Carioca’s (people of Brazil) they have been  nothing but friendly, helpful and fun loving.

After David’s match Shane and I decided to venture out a bit. I did a little research before coming here on things to do, see and eat. Barra Shopping Mall is the biggest mall in all of the county and home to a few very good restaurants, so I am told. We walked a few blocks hoping to grab an Uber but phone service wasn’t working in our favor. Instead we flagged down a cab and was reached our destination within minutes and no problems.

After some important shopping…


we ate at a recommended restaurant. By far the best meal we have had and hopefully not the last. We started with croquettes and Caprioska’s ( that is a Caprihini but made with vodka instead of rum)


We finished the meal with perfectly cooked ravioli filled with burrata in a saffron tomato cream sauce…You guys, it was SO GOOD!


After our meal we hopped back in a cab and made it safely home after dark. We popped into the bar in our resort and chatted with a British man for a few hours over beers and Caprioskas. What more could we ask for?

Let’s Watch Tennis

Do you know what happens when you go to bed at 7:30 p.m.? You wake up at 3:00 a.m. and that is a fact, at least for me. Instead of stressing about the time and worrying when the girls were going to wake up, I scrolled through Instagram, read a few chapters  of my book and then fell back to sleep. I woke to Shane making coffee at 6:45, not bad….hoping for maybe 7:00 tomorrow.

After a very casual breakfast we went to meet the gang at the Olympic venue. Cathy was able to get  us tickets to see some swimming, something I haven’t been able to do yet.



Shane and I decided to head back to the apartment to change and grab some lunch before watching tennis. Apparently a few hundred other people had the same idea and we weren’t having much luck in the food department. We finally settled on some “street” pizza, that is what I am going to call it. More like a pop up tent with some beers and pizza, I think there were fries and hot dogs too…

img_9879Doesn’t look terrible does it? Don’t let the picture fool you, it wasn’t good, like at all. AND can we talk about why other countries feel the need to douse their food in warm mayo? Warm mayo is like what would happen if men produced milk, it would taste so bad. You’re welcome for that!

Once back at the tennis venue we settled in for a few matches. As the sun went down we watched Wag’s win his first match of the Paralympics 6-4 6-4.


He had some fans waiting for him afterwards, kids longing for autographs.


And then we all took the obligatory photo together with our wonderful matching ( ahem sarcasm font) t-shirts on.


We finished the evening with dinner at a restaurant near our abode. Nothing great, just okay food. Well the coconut cake was pretty delicious but all I have to show for it is a picture of our beers.


Today is Shane and my 10 year wedding anniversary. At this time 10 years ago we were a little bit drunk probably very loud. Eight years ago we were in China at the closing ceremonies of the Paralympics. Four years ago we were being serenaded by Chris Martin, Jay Z and Rhianna at the London closing ceremonies and tonight we are settled in our place with Brahma cerveja, so maybe I should say goodnight and talk to him instead of you.

Boa Noite.

Take Off

This last week has been rough. Kaili started kindergarten the past Monday and as the week went on, the harder the days got. I prepared her her as much as I could for our trip, maybe too much. There were days leading up to our departure that I wish someone would have told me how I was supposed to act and feel because I was doubting everything. She was very sad and I was very sad.

When we said our goodbyes, there were some tears but I know we all will be just fine. Kaili walked to school with grandma and Averi and with a last wave goodbye,
we headed to the airport.


I’m not going to lie and say how tough it was waiting for our flight. I watched other moms entertaining their kids while I sat back with a glass of wine.

We had three legs to our trip, San Diego to Atlanta, Atlanta to Sao Paulo and then on to Rio.


We didn’t get enough sleep on our red eye so we had a hard time keeping our eyes open on our layover in Sao Paulo.


Luckily that last flight was quick because I was “stick a fork in me” done.

Our luggage made it off the plane promptly and while Shane grabbed the last of our bags I had already paid for a taxi. We were on our way. It took about an hour to get to our condo, there was a lot of traffic and the main road was closed due to the games. The not so friendly police officer didn’t care if we were staying on that street so our driver was forced to take a longer detour.

I have had an exceptional time corresponding with our AirBNB host. We were greeted at our resort condo with all the information we needed.


Our view is pretty nice and although you can’t see it in this picture, the olympic stadium is to the right. We are literally across the street, it’s actually closer in person than I thought it was. After we got our access passes for the resort pool, we strolled over to the supermarket. Picking up a few of the necessities like coffee, beer, water and flip flops.


We are so wiped, hoping to make it until at least 7:00 before we call it a day. Tomorrow David plays fourth on after 11:00 am. Probably 4:ish here and noonish in  California.

As I write this I am looking out the window. There are some men playing soccer and beyond that there is a shopping center. I think that is what we will do in the morning. I will report back with the goodies I find.


A Week in Photos

Someone has been working on their tracing.


This month was our dinner theme, cuisine Française.

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The kids are all growing up. Next month we will be adding 2 more munchkins to this group.

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Despite the cards in her hands, she has become quite the Memory queen.

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Well played Dentist, well played.

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Finally 1 year later, she is able to reach the peddles.


Uncle Wags came home from a long run of tourneys and came bearing gifts.

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There was also a USA soccer jacket thrown in for me. Tomorrow the World Cup starts, are you excited?

Let’s Catch Up

Can anyone tell me what happened? This past week is a blur, I was in San Diego then Orange County and back again….back again. I am pretty sure I left off after my Dr. appointment, is that right?

If so, we spent Friday up in the OC. We cheered on David Wagner’s doubles partner Nick as he fought for third place, we didn’t cheer loud enough and he lost.


After, we ate our sorrows away.

Sitting on the Mission Viejo lake we devoured an amazing anchovy and caper dotted Caesar salad and garlic infused pizza.

Later in the evening we went back to the tennis center for the guys’ doubles match. I am so grateful for all the friends and family that made it out for this tournament.

They won.

Of course  they did!


Thankful for Grandpa, we were able to go out for a sushi feast after the match. I am still drooling thinking about one of those damn rolls, so good.

The better half of Saturday was spent at the Tennis Center, eating, drinking, tennis.



They won again.

Uh huh, we get the picture.

We drove back home  {San Damn Diego} later that evening and spent the rest of the weekend trying our hardest not to move from the couch or from the T.V.

Football, Homeland, Hello Ladies. Are you watching?

We watched David and Nick play their doubles final online, they won!!

Monday, Kaili woke me up early, 5 am early.

Anyone want her? I am trading her in for a new one, preferably one that sleeps in.

We hit the road by 10 am heading back to Mission Viejo to watch David play the Masters final. Kaili was a true monster the whole way up but once I told her I was going to leave her in Mission Viejo, she cheered up, fast.

The finals match started rough, I won’t lie. David was down 6-0 the first set.




However he kicked it into gear and got the job done in the third set.


NEC wheelchair Masters champion
NEC wheelchair Masters champion
Giving him Congrats
Giving him Congrats

David Wagner wrapped it up. The NEC wheelchair Masters champ….again.

Thank you to y’all who made it out!

Masters Arrive In O.C.

Kaili and I drove up to OC as soon as traffic let up Tuesday morning. Doesn’t this look like the perfect weather for a tennis tournament?


We got to the tennis venue a little before David’s first match. The place is really nice, decked out with a lot of comfy seating, food and drinks.


Wags kept us on our toes the first set of his match, finally winning it in a tie-breaker. My pictures of him playing have not turned out well so I will give you a glimpse and then carry on.


He killed it in the second set 6-0 kicking off his winning streak. Kaili gave her uncle a celebratory hug after the match.


The nice thing about this Mission Viejo tennis center is that center court is really open, allowing me to watch the match while Kaili wandered around in circles. She wasn’t going to sit for more than the allowed time it took to eat a fun size bag of skittles. Bribing them with candy will buy you at least 5 minutes. WINNING!

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The second day kicked off almost the same way. With warmer weather and  a more stressful first set, our fat heads came in handy. Each day I see the venue getting more and more crowded. This weekend should have a good turnout.

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My dad came with me helping me wrangle the kid. He wandered around with her allowing me to actually sit and watch the second set. Thanks dad!

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Wags once again killed it 6-0 in the second set reminding us all why he is the best!


We can’t make tomorrows matches but will be up there for the evening doubles match on Friday. I feel another win coming!

The One About The Sick Kid

Oh, where do I begin? Puke, throw up, puke, throw up…yep, that sums it up. Kaili got hit with the “ick” out of nowhere Saturday. She was her jolly old self but after nap she was a little slow. Slow in the tired sense not in the….well you know what I am saying. Then out it came, flying from her mouth like it had a score to settle. Yuck!  And then she was fine. This continued for two days until the fever hit and then she really slowed down. Luckily it ran it’s course and she is feelin’ fine. The hardest part about the whole “epic puke” fest is keeping her hydrated. She only drinks water and milk. She only wantswater and milk. We were offering her juice, gatorade and soda and she turned her nose up at all of it. It got to the point where I was syringing gatorade and pedialite into her mouth a teaspoon at a time just to keep my sanity. Her grandma came out to stay with her so I could go to work Monday and that is so nice.. Kaili started to pick back up and by Tuesday was pretty much her normal self aside from her “normal” appetite, which may be f*cked up for awhile. We bravely took her out to dinner Tuesday evening and when she was done she let everyone know by yelling “LADY ALL DONE” to the waitress clear across the room. Brilliance I tell ya!

FaceTiming Uncle Wags before “Puke Meltdown ’13”
All smiles. Thank the maker of wine she didn't puke on our bed.
All smiles. Thank the maker of wine she didn’t puke on our bed.
Despite her illness we watched USA beat the shit out of Cuba.
Despite her illness we watched USA beat the shit out of Cuba.
no filter, so pretty.
no filter, so pretty.
Someone's feeling better.
Someone’s feeling better.
Damn, she is cute, even a few lbs. lighter.
Damn, she is cute, even if she is a few lbs. lighter.

Guess What?

My daughter is adorable, but you already knew that.


Avocado toast is all I want for breakfast these days. I like mine with an egg, K likes hers with fruit or a masala burger, Shane thinks it’s all gross. Shows you what he knows.


No seriously, guess what? Nike Tennis is advertising David Wagner on Twitter. Now that’s pretty awesome! You should follow them both so you can say you knew about him before he hits celebrity status. People it’s going to happen.


David Wagner

I know this guy, he is an amazing athlete, cute, funny, kind and his heart is huge. The problem is, the world doesn’t know him….yet. This is where I ask you for help. I want you to share this post with all of your friends and family. Or better yet, send it into your favorite talk show {Ellen}. This is what I just sent her. Feel free to copy it or write up your own. Either way, help me get his name out there. I promise, it will be worth it.

Kaili loves her uncle David
Kaili loves her uncle David

“David Wagner, you don’t know his name but you should. He is the number 1 Quad wheelchair tennis player in the world! He doesn’t get the shouts out he deserves. Gold, Silver and Bronze medal winner from Athens, Beijing and London. He is as humble as they come and cute to boot.

He was hurt at the age of 21. Playing frisbee on the beach in CA. a wave jackknifed him landing him head first in the sand. Paralyzed from the chest down, he has overcome the impossible. He currently resides and trains at the Olympic Training center in Chula Vista Ca, he is the only wheelchair resident there.

He travels all over the world playing in tournaments, talks to children at different schools out of the goodness of his heart and holds a yearly wheelchair tennis camp for children with physical disabilities in Oregon.

David is a star, a role model, a friend and an world class athlete. I would love to introduce him to Ellen and the world.

David wants to start his own charity for children with disabilities but doesn’t know where to start.. So here I am, writing you, asking for help. Please help me recognize this amazing man who could be down with despair but chooses to be the best he can with what he has and wants to help others. Help me let him know how amazing he is.”

So are you with me?