Monday, March 30, 2009

Two Hidden Pools...One Fun, One "Different"

On our trip, Claire and I had two very different experiences with two, very special, hidden pools.

Aruba is a very small island, about 20 miles long and 6 miles wide....but the different terrain that is present is amazing. You have white sand beaches with turquoise water and no waves; Desert sand with cactus and lizards; Rocky beaches with pounding waves and steep cliffs.

To find these different terrains, you did have to do a bit of exploring...something Claire and I are good at.

One of the first explorations we took was on the back of a 4-Wheel ATV. We were picked up at our hotel and driven to the back side of the island. From there, we rode out to the Gold Mine Ruins, the Natural Bridge (which collapsed 4 years ago) and, my favorite site on the trip, the "Hidden Pool".

The Hidden Pool is a protected cove of calm water. The waves crash around it and sometimes even splash into it, but it is one of the few places on the south side of the island that is calm. It does take a 4x4 to reach, but it was worth every bump, slide and rock to the face!


On the Eastern most tip of the island lies the California Lighthouse. It was a nice view and a cool place to see, but the real jewel is another protected cove. This one is a little more open to the water, so there are very small waves, but it is safe and had great rocks to climb on.

When Claire and I first found it, we talked about how beautiful it was. How desolate it was. How private it was. How great it would be to come back again. We called it Bogart and Claire's Hidden Pool.

Unfortunately for us, when we did return to "Bogart and Claire's Hidden Pool", it was not so desolate or least not for us.

Turns out, this "hidden pool" was less hidden and more swing'n...when Claire and I walked up, the beach housed 5 or 6 naked, middle-aged men. No, they were clearly not there for the sun.

They scattered as soon as Claire and I showed up. They watched our every move. Looked at her with disdain and me with disappointment. We were strong though. We stayed an hour or so...then we left.

Left them and their sexy man beach to themselves.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Aruba Honeymoon

When we arrived at our hotel and started to look for somewhere to eat, we realized that this would not be a normal Claire and Bogart adventure...unless we forced it.

"Can you recommend a good, authentic Aruban restaurant?"

"Do you like ribs? We have this great rib place called Tony Roma's just down the street."

Really? Tony Roma's? That is the best Aruba had to offer me? This might take a bit of adjustment. See, Claire and I are adventurous travelers. We like to eat at the little hole-in-the-wall place that no tourist would ever go to. We like to walk all over. We like to explore.

Aruba was like one very large cruise ship.

Don't get me wrong, we had a great time. The Honeymoon rocked and we will never forget the trip, but it was not our usual travel pick.

Will we go back? I am sure we will...when we have kids or when we go with a big group of friends. If it is just Claire and me, we will probably stick to areas that allow us to get a little more culture and adventurous eating.


Monday, I have a story about a romantic hidden beach...well, actually two hidden beaches.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Beautiful Work x2

My buddy Derek and I have been talking marriage recently...go figure.

He shared some sweet thoughts recently and I thought I would pass them is what he wrote to me talking about Claire and my role as husband:

So, just make sure she knows that you will be willing to do whatever it takes when and if she can't or doesn't think she can keep on keeping on. We are the rock of the marriage and they, families, are the beautiful work that is created, lifted up and shown to the world to represent the sort of men that we are.

I thought it was pretty cool and hope that I can live up to this call.


Congrats to occasional commenter and long time friend Nashville!?...he and his wife Shannon had a beautiful baby this weekend. Claire and I are so happy for them...and maybe a little jealous.

Dare I say, Beautiful Work KP? I think so.


My summary of the Mardi Gras Party, Rehearsal Dinner Pie Fight, Wedding and Aruba coming up later this week.

Friday, March 20, 2009


From over 5000 to under 2000.

That is the music count on my iTunes player after assessing the full damage my "cleaning" efforts did.

I decided I needed to clean-up some of my folders. It appeared all that music was duplicates, so I deleted out of the playlist. Then I deleted the folders and sent them to the trash bin.

Then I emptied the trash bin.

Over 3000 songs, gone.

I am not real happy with myself right now.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Si Se Puede

So I had a chance to hit up the World Baseball Classic this week and it was great!

I got to see some SD friends, catch some baseball and eat Mexican food...WooHoo.
On Sunday night, we saw Mexico play against Korea and the fans were great. The Korean fans chant in unison. It was rock'n, but one fan rooting for Mexico took the cake...

He was a guy that had a Mexican Wrestling mask on like one of these...
He had a whistle he kept blowing and was leading chants...It was enjoyable to watch, until he took off the mask and we saw that the dude looked like this:
It was a double take...the Mexican fans just started laughing and making fun of the red headed Irish, Mexican fan...Quality.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Nothing Better Than a Good Practical Joke

I am in San Diego for the World Baseball Classic (thanks to an amazing gift from my wife), so I thought I would share something because I cannot resist a great prank...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Explaining 6-10

Here is part 2 from Monday's Blog...

#6-10 of the top things said during Bogart and Claire's wedding week at the beach house...

6. “I am no longer listening to what you are saying” - Stacey was having a conversation with my sister's boyfriend Kalar. I like Kalar. He is a good guy. He is an ex-marine (are you ever an ex-marine or are you just always a marine?), served 3 tours in Iraq and treats my sister very well...but his fascination with the War Hammer game (picture Dungeons and Dragons) was not everyone's cup-o-tea. When he started sharing his excitement about his Sunday night War Hammer parties, eye's glazed over...when some of the ladies walked away, he continued talking...Rumor has it, Stacey looked him in the eye and said the above quote.

7. “…but, I wasn't wearing any underwear” - Hmmm, this one could be so many things. There were a number of underwear issues during the week. I will leave it to Stacey to chime in on this one because embarrassing those at my wedding is not my MO here...It would be cool to do though!

8. “Interesting gift…6 batteries and a snowglobe” - Yes, we opened a gift with 6 batteries and a tiny little snowglobe. There was even a card. No explanation was given and for the better part of 5 minutes we had trouble understanding. Finally, we got a couple presents in and realized there were other parts of the gift...whew, I was worried someone thought we needed batteries for a french tickler or something.

9. “I’m fine, just get my f*@!n shoe!” - After the Pie Fight Friday night, we invited our guests to do a Polar Plunge into the 43 degree Atlantic Ocean. Most of them did, including my pops. He was the last one to reach the water and when he did, a wave took him out immediately. I, being the responsible son, grabbed hold of him thinking he was hurt. He was on all fours, looking like he was shaking out the cobwebs. I wrapped my arms around him, told him another wave was coming and told him to brace for impact. Just before the wave hit he said "I'm not hurt, I'm fine, just get my eff'n shoe." He had one shoe pinned to the ground and the other was floating away. Pops was fine, he just wanted his shoes...who could blame him?

I think it was my #1 line of the week...We might try to work it into our daily lexicon. Just get my eff'n shoe!!!

10. “Welcome to San Diego!!” - I assume this is Stacey's #1, since it took her and Steve a while to get home, including multiple canceled flights, but I will also say it is what she is wanting to say to me and Claire at some point in the future.


As I write this, I am lying on my living room floor. As you read this, I am probably lying on the beach in Aruba. I love this whole posting in the future thing.


More thoughts about the wedding, the pie fight, the Mardi Gras party (yes, we did fear factor) and the rest of the Wedding week upon my return.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Explaining 1-5

So Claire and I finally took off for our honeymoon on Saturday, but I thought I would share a couple of things with you this week nonetheless...

Since my friend Stacey dropped some pictures and thoughts on you on Friday, I thought I could just expand on her top 10 list...

For the wedding, Claire and I rented a beach house for a week and invited our immediate family and some of our closest friends to stay with us. During that week, some fun things were said and Stacey chronicled the her top, here is some color on those:

1. “Mmmm, You smell like bacon” - During the week we ate 20lbs of bacon...yes, TWENTY POUNDS. Really, we ALL smelled like bacon at one point or another. It was most outstanding.

This particular incident was from when Claire's sister Pamela went to wake up her boyfriend Nick...when she walked into the room, Nick rolled over and said, "Mmmm, it smells like bacon." As she nuzzled up next to him, he rested his head on her shoulder and said, "Mmmm, you smell like bacon."

I think it should be bottled as an aphrodisiac.

2. “Claire can play, just don't get whipped cream in her hair” - Yes, the rumors are true, we had a pie fight on Friday night. Claire and I had the idea a couple of months ago while watching this on Sunday Morning:

Watch CBS Videos Online

So, we decided to do it with our was wonderful. Most people, to our surprise, participated and had a blast. How's that for "Secret Entertainment"?

3. “I know you want to be with all of this, but please remember, I am a married woman” - After the pie fight, Claire's sister Sarah had pie on one side of her hair making it look like a scene right out of Something About of the guys was staring at her hair and she said the quote above...only with attitude bigger than her 5 foot nothing frame.

4. “Do you talk like that on purpose?” - Claire's family is from SE Louisiana...they have an accent like they are from SE Louisiana. It is great, but some of my family might not be as used to different accents as I am, so Kyle (my new brother-in-law) was asked the question well as things like "Why can't you just talk normal?" and "Are you playing a joke on me?" and my personal favorite "You need to stop playing around and talk like me." The other was my sister may have said "I love it. It feels like I am in a TV show based in the South."

5. “Get off the chair, you’ve had too much ham!” - I was not privy to this discussion and judging from the sound of it, I think that is a good thing.

Check back Wednesday for #6-10...

Friday, March 6, 2009

A Friend's Thoughts on Bogart's Big Day!

Hello all you Bogart fans! I’m thrilled to be filling in for Bogart today, even if he hasn’t actually made it on his honeymoon yet! I have been friends with Bogart for 16 years (since junior year of high school) and he is a dear friend. My oldest is his Goddaughter. Check out our family blog at Bogart and Claire’s wedding week was awesome! I was able to spend Thursday through (thanks to the storm) Monday with them. We had such an amazing time! There’s not enough space or time to describe the whole weekend and since we all know how much Bogart likes Top 10 lists, I thought I would share my Top 10 things I heard during my time in Virginia Beach (in no particular order). I figure Bogart can explain what he feels is necessary when he returns from Aruba!

1. “Mmmm, You smell like bacon”

2. “Claire can play, just don't get whipped cream in her hair”

3. “I know you want to be with all of this, but please remember, I am a married woman”

4. “Do you talk like that on purpose?”

5. “Get off the chair, you’ve had too much ham!”

6. “I am no longer listening to what you are saying”

7. “…but, I wasn't wearing any underwear”

8. “Interesting gift…6 batteries and a snowglobe”

9. “I’m fine, just get my f*@!n shoe!”

10. “Welcome to San Diego!!”

Bogart and Claire’s wedding was really beautiful – congratulations to a fun, perfectly-matched, amazing couple! I am so happy for both of you and wish you a lifetime of happiness, joy, and adventure together (preferably all of those things in San Diego). Thought I’d share a few pictures from the wedding for all of you that have been waiting so patiently!

There are a lot more pictures and detail over at my blog. You can also see my photography site.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Aruba and Politics

Hey...Bogart here...again. Yes, I am still in P-Towne, but since I was supposed to be gone, I decided to run the guest blogs anyway...

Today, I asked my buddy Jamiroquai to drop some wisdom on you. He and I met playing kickball. While we may not be on the same end of the political spectrum, we have wonderful, non-emotional debates on policy. He has changed my mind some...I have changed his mind some...we are thinking that by the time 2028 comes along, a Bogart/Jamiroquai ticket may be in order.

I know I don't hit politics on the blog often, I hope you enjoy my friends thoughts as I did...especially the end!

Thanks JB!

In the wake of Governor Bobby Jindal’s rebuttal to President Obama’s Congressional address, I find a Republican like my friend Bogart refreshing. Though he and I disagree on certain policy issues, we engage in constructive and intellectual debate which leads to consensus and creative thought. In watching Tindal stumble almost incoherently through his speech I thought “where do they find these guys?” The Republican Party as a whole right now seems lost and grasping for straws. Perhaps Bogart and I should “cc” them on our debates in order to give them insight into intelligent ways to debate and engage. Jindal railed against pork yet failed to mention he raked in 93 million dollars in pork for his state in his last term in Congress. Although I am sure a portion of this went to Katrina aid, the pot is definitely calling the kettle black (is that black on black crime?).

He claimed that a mouse will receive thirty million dollars in the stimulus plan. This has long been proven to be an outright lie and is a very lack luster argument from a so called ”rising star,” much less one of our state governors. Had Big Bogart dealt with the use of federal funds for wetlands and wildlife protection, I would imagine he would argue against the effectiveness of government in this arena or its Constitutional validity. Barak Obama is a mental giant, and the “field mouse” argument is the tactic of a welterweight throwing jabs endlessly because he is out of his league.

Jindal made an assault on “volcano monitoring” as well. What he failed to mention is that the United States Geological Survey, which the funds were allocated to, is also responsible for reducing the vulnerability of the people and areas most at risk from natural hazards, like, oh I don’t know, HURRICANES. If Bogart were at the helm, he would have attacked the funds as policy, not stimulus, and demanded an explanation of how monitoring would “stimulate” the economy. I also think he would realize that attacking the very type of policy which could help prevent loss of life in natural disasters would, strategically, be a bad move for someone from the state which witnessed an utter failure at ALL levels of government to protect the lives of its people.

What I am getting at is that there is an incongruity between Jindal’s maneuvering and reality. In “dumbing down” his arguments he makes himself look inept. In attacking sensationalist parts of the stimulus, he makes himself and the Republican party look weak, out of touch, and disingenuous. In talking with Bogart over the same issues of our day I find myself engaged on a mental level and we debate ideas and concepts, not Discovery Channel.

Do I worship Bogart, no, in fact I think some of his ideas miss the mark wildly(and I hold a grudge over his dojo defeating mine). But I respect him for making an intellectual argument and stepping to the plate and swinging for the fence. In challenging me on ideas, I often go to the drawing board or research his ideas to determine their worth. Some I agree with, some I don’t, and some I incorporate into my thoughts so as to garner broad based consensus, not inflamed and obtuse rhetoric. Like myself, Bogart understands that we are all Americans, we are all in this ship, and we need to work together. We also have to rise to the occasion from the aspect of personal responsibility, and though the methods and manner of how to save our country may differ, the respect for the intellect and thought process does not.

Bogart is not someone I have known for long, yet he is an old soul to me. Perhaps it is his love of everything Ninja, but we have bonded and I foresee a long friendship and perhaps a future team up in certain arenas. We both share a strong faith, and it guides us in our thoughts and actions. He made a choice for love to leave everything he had for a woman he cared for, and for that I admire him because his love is shameless, as it should be. I couldn’t be more happier or proud of his actions, and look forward to watching his and Claire’s marriage and love grow. I just wish he would stop collecting unemployment (he must be a Democrat at heart).

PS. I was being disingenuous there. He left his job, so he can’t collect unemployment. I just pulled a Jindal on you.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Bogart's Sister Checks In

Hey...Bogart here...well, actually I am still at home, but decided my guest blogs would run anyway. That stupid storm in the Northeast yesterday pushed our honeymoon back to Saturday. Since I was supposed to be gone, I asked a couple of people to share some thoughts this week...

Today my little sister Erin is sharing some thoughts...She is #3 of 6...She normally writes a blog called Displaced California Girl...pop on over and say hello sometime.


I first met Bogart when I was born. He is about 4 years older than me. He was, at times, the typical big brother. I remember sitting on a train near the window while Bogart sat in the isle seat. There was flatulence involved on his part and he would not let me stand up to leave. I had to sit there with tears in my eyes, trying desperately to breath through my mouth, praying that I would not taste the smell. Then there was a time that I was a very young teenager swimming with Bogart and his friends. The friends were older and, in my young mind, were hot. I got up the courage to get up on the diving board (in my bathing suit) and attempt a perfect dive...impressing the heck out of the friends. Bogart hollered, "Hey guys...look at my sister!" I paused at the end of the diving board. Then the horrific phrase was yelled, "Look, she's sprouting!" I was mortified. I ran inside and did not return to the pool with his friends...ever.

Then there were the times that he was not the typical big brother. He and I didn't live together for the majority of my life. He in San Diego, and I in Orange County. Though the distance, I always knew he loved me; I always knew he was on my side. I knew I could call him at any hour and he would talk to me. I always knew he was one of the greatest guys I would ever meet.

I met Claire about 2 years ago in Las Vegas. I was told I would share a room with her, the new girlfriend. When I first met her, I thought she was nice, bubbly, and so chaulk full of energy that she rivals a 3 year old. I am not a morning person and Claire naturally wakes up at the "butt-crack-of-dawn". I was worried. It turned out great. While she is a morning person, she was quiet and made sure she vacated our hotel room so as to not wake me up. I don't think I ever thanked her for my sleep.

I liked Claire instantly. I watched her and Claire together and realized that they fit. She made him happy. She got along with my family. She took care of him just as much as he took care of her. I also don't think I ever thanked her for that either.

So, if you are reading this while holding a glass, please raise it in their honor: To Claire and Bogart! May they live, love, and laugh together always!