Well, well, well....look who has returned. There's been so much that's happened since Brandi and I booked our honeymoon...aka the last post I did in late April.
The amount of work and traveling I have done since then would be considered insane by many. I ended up hitting a stretch shortly after my last post where I worked 7 days a week for 7 weeks straight. And no we aren't talking about typical hours either. The good majority of those days were 12+ hour days on the road. My first weekend off in what seemed like forever was 4th of July weekend. An interesting weekend to say the least but I'll get into the nitty-gritty shortly.
I'm going to dedicate this post to getting you all caught up over what Brandi and I have been up to.
Let's go back to May 4-8 when I headed out to Atlanta, GA for Round 2 of the Formula Drift series. Having never been to Atlanta except to the airport for a quick layover, I was pretty excited since this event was held at Road Atlanta. For me, this is one of the top 10 race tracks I've wanted to visit. The scenery is unreal with tons of trees, grass and a gorgeous track layout loaded with elevation changes.
Just a few weeks after my trip to Atlanta, I was back out on the road June 1-5 and headed to Palm Beach, FL for Round 3 of Formula Drift. This was not only a new venue for myself but this was also Formula Drift's first time holding an event at Palm Beach International Raceway. Florida sure did live up to it's hype regarding the humidity. As soon as we stepped foot off the plane, you could feel it hit you like big slap in the face. Considering I practically sweat in the shower, this was the sign of a long 4 days to come. Luckily for me, my home-base for the weekend was inside an air-conditioned media center. As you can imagine, my spot became the popular place to be with temperatures reaching into the 90's along with 90% humidity. We all thought it was some sort of joke when we were told they had gators around certain portions of the track. To our surprise, this was serious shit!
Just when I got settled back in at home, it was off to Wall, NJ for Round 4 of Formula Drift from June 15-19. I know what you're thinking...NJ? Like 'Jersey Shore Fisting Pumping' status? No, not even close. Take a moment to look up Wall, NJ and you'll see that we were out in the middle of nowhere! Nonetheless, it was a great time with the Formula Drift crew just like always! The hotel we stayed at had a lounge/bar that ended up being where we had out staff meetings and dinner. Little did we know, Friday and Saturday were karaoke night! This place had no idea what hit them! When 100+ drift related drivers, crew, or staff came through the door with only 2 bartenders, you knew right away they weren't going to handle it. Regardless, it was only a matter of time before the singing and laughter began!
Once I came back from New Jersey, things sort of settled down a bit for Brandi and I. We were finally able to finish our wedding registry and she actually had two bridal showers - one with just really close friends and bridesmaids and the other was with all of our female friends and relatives.
I can't explain how much it meant to me to show up to both showers during the gift opening and see Brandi just glow with excitement over everyone celebrating the love we share for each other. When I showed up to the smaller bridal shower, I brought Brandi, my mom, Brandi's mom and all of the girls some flowers to show some appreciation for all that they've done to make this so memorable for us.
They had the smaller of the two showers at a really nice tea house in Santa Monica, CA. No bridal shower at a tea house would complete without some fancy-shmancy hats right? Not to worry, the ladies had this covered!
In between both of Brandi's bridal showers, we "enjoyed" our first weekend together when I didn't have to work. After 50 days of working everyday, to say I was ready to party would be an understatement. I was long overdue for some free time with Brandi, our family and our group of friends. It just so happened to be 4th of July weekend so there would be plenty of things to do. As luck would have it, the Valley would experience 3 days of 105 degree heat when our air conditioner unit decided to catch on fire.
As Brandi was getting ready for work on that Friday morning, she woke me up in a panic smelling smoke. As soon as I got up, I could tell it was electrical just by the smell. After unplugging everything in the house while more and more smoke poured through the vents causing the smoke detectors to go off, it was time to call the fire dept. Turns out that the motor blew and caught on fire but the fuze never blew which would have turned it off. Needless to say, our house stayed at 95 degrees during that weekend even at 10pm. Thus, the 'want' to party became more of a necessity.
That Saturday night was spent at Ashely and Alex's wedding in Culver City. Imagine putting suit on in a house that's 95 degrees...yep, you guessed it...not fun!
Sunday was BBQ day at Maritza's house BBQ'ing, swimming and laughing all day!
Monday was a pool party extravaganza at Tracy's! Many games of beer pong, flip cup and water-basketball were played! Always nice to be around our group of friends who are endless amounts of fun! I should also mention how responsible Brandi and I were that day. Since we knew that we'd be partying pretty damn hard, we decided to skip driving and hopped on the metro. Yep, that's right. We took the bus in our swim attire and a 30-pack of beer on the bus. It's okay...we don't judge you for not being as cool as we are.
Come Tuesday, my hungover self worked from home so that the air-conditioning saviors could fix our unit. Now that we're back in business, you better believe I keep this house as cold as possible!
Just a little over a week ago, Brandi had the larger bridal shower and let's just say it was memorable! Since she's marrying an Italian, it was only right to have it at Buca Di Beppo's. When I made my grand appearance, it was a little more special this time. Not only was I accompanied by my soon to be father in-law, but we walked in during a performance by "Michael Bolton." Long story short, Brandi and I have both shared an incredible passion and many inside jokes about the famed singer. Low and behold, my mom decided to hire a Michael Bolton impersonator to show up and sing a few songs. Boy was everyone in for a treat. Not only did he not look like Michael Bolton (more like Rod Stewart to me), let's just say his voice wasn't exactly on par with what Mr. Bolton would approve of. Putting his non-Bolton-like looks and lack of a singing voice aside, he was incredibly funny and had everyone laughing hysterically. I guarantee you it's a bridal shower that no one in attendance will ever forget!
Here's where I get a taste of my own medicine.
Generally, I am the one traveling between Brandi and I. She has worked her whooty off and finally got the opportunity she's been waiting for! She was asked to go to Hong Kong for 1 week for market where they'll present the newest lines of handbags to different distributors. It's something I know she has been dying to do and I couldn't be any prouder that she has accomplished this goal and getting to experience such an amazing place the way she should be....by that I mean, BALLER STATUS!
I hate to be away from her at this time and of course we wish we could always travel together but regardless, I can't express how proud I am of her for working her way up to this level. She's the one who has pushed me to work harder, strive for what I want and never take opportunities for granted. The opportunities I get to experience right now and the traveling I get to do are because of her. She's pushed me and made me believe in myself more than I ever have. Thank you b...you'll never know how much it means to me that you believe in me so much!
As fate would have it, the day before Brandi comes home from Hong Kong, I leave for Seattle, WA for Round 5 of Formula Drift. It's very bittersweet since I miss her so much but I am happy that we both understand that following what we're passionate about requires sacrifices and a great deal of understanding. One of these days we'll be successful enough to be able to travel together instead of alone. That will be when I can say I've "made it."
Well folks, if you've managed to stick with me throughout all of this, consider yourself all caught up now. That's been the past few months of our lives in a nutshell.
On another note, Brandi and I have accomplished so much wedding planning amongst all of this chaos. How? I have no idea but it's happened. Brandi has really taken the bull by the horns and done all that she could to make our wedding day one that will go down in history! Every day that goes by and we get closer and closer, the more excited I get. I've pictured how this day will go down so many times and I know it's going to be that but times 1 billion.
There's no words to describe how anxious, excited, thrilled and happy I am to have Brandi as my soon to be wife.
Until next time...