Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Monday, July 14, 2008

Disneyland!!!

We have completely slacked off on our blog! Ever since we got back from our trip, it's been a whirlwind seeing people and starting to plan our wedding. But we didn't want to just abruptly end our California blog without completely finishing it so that we can have a full record of our wonderful trip. So here is more info on our last vacation day:


We woke up bright and early and felt like little kids again because it was Saturday and we planned to go to Disneyland!!! James hadn't been to Disneyland since high school and Megs hadn't been since 2002 so we were thrilled. Of course we had to pick one of the hottest days (temps in the upper 90's!), but we weren't gonna let anything stop us from having a great time and being kids for a day.
We made our way around the park mostly clockwise. We started with the Indiana Jones ride since it wasn't around the last time James had visited. What a fun ride that is! Then we continued on to Pirates of the Carribbean which was very refreshing--air conditioning! We also did the jungle ride--a little ghetto and old, but such a classic.

Then we were lucky enough to have Meg's dear friend Jaimee and her son Cayden come join us! Cayden is 5 years old and it was so fun being at Disneyland with a little kid. He absolutely loved James and was very glad that a guy was along for the Disneyland adventure. :) We went on the Toy Story ride, Space Mountain, Autopia, Materhorn, Big Thunder Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, etc. We basically hit all the big ones except Splash Mountain which had the longest line we'd ever seen. I know it's a water ride which would have been nice in that heat, but not sure that long of line was worth it! Cayden and James also went on the tea cups. So we covered most of the park. We were pretty proud of ourselves especially because riding those rides is a little tougher on our bodies now that we're older (so sad to admit that!). Small world was unfortunately closed (Megs wasn't too sad about that). All in all it was a pretty great day. The heat really started to affect us by the end of the evening so we decided to head home. What a wonderful day though!



What an awesome trip and one that we of course will remember for a very long time!! Thanks for following along our adventures with us. And thanks for all your fun emails and phone messages along the way! Farewell Cali and thanks for the fun memories!

Friday, June 20, 2008

That's Amore!

Megan got to be in nostalgia land today as we explored LA. We began the morning with a wonderful breakfast made by Lawrence (thanks Lawrence!). Then Lindsey, Lawrence and us went do to the 3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica to walk around and explore. 3rd St. is a pedestrian-only block lined with shops and restaurants. Megs finally got her Coffee Bean fix (Coffee Bean is a coffee shop that's only down here and she has definitely missed it!). James found some nice shoes. We had fun watching the crazy performers along the street as well. It was a fun time.

Then the four of us headed up north on Pacific Coast Hwy to visit Pepperdine. The school looks great and just as Megan remembers it except for a little bit of construction. We also visited some new areas of campus including the Heroes Garden that Pepperdine designed in memory of the 9/11. After Pepperdine, we headed further up north along the coast to Paradise Cove. We lucked out finding a table outside in the beach part of the cafe and ordered beers and shrimp cocktail. With our feet in the sand, yummy refreshments and great company, we couldn't have been happier. It was a beautiful day at the beach.



Tonight we went to another of Meg's favorites--a restaurant called C&O Trattoria. C&O stands for cheese and olives. It's a great italian restaurant that she frequented often with friends during college. Lindsey and Lawrence joined us as well as Elissa (Lindsey's sister), Chad (Elissa's fiancee), and Rachael (Meg's good friend from high school and college). The 7 of us had a fabulous meal and lots of wine. A tradition at C&O is for the whole restaurant to sing "That's Amore!" at various times during the meal. We included a video so you can live the experience.

video

After dinner and some sad goodbyes to people we won't see again on our trip :( we headed to Westwood area (by UCLA) to hang out with James' good friend Quinton Jones. Quinton was in town taking a class at UCLA. We went to Didi Reese which is a great cookies and ice cream place. You can get 3 cookies and milk for $1.50! We had a great time catching up with Quinton and enjoying the warm evening.

All in all it was another wonderful day. Does this vacation really have to end?? Tomorrow we're off to experience the magic of Disneyland!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Road Trip!

So we drove.... all day.




After an amazing time in Carmel, we started our trip down to LA. Before heading south, we headed back north to do the 17 miles drive (of which we actually only did about 5). We saw some incredible views at Pebble Beach, including the Lone Cypress. James is hoping to head back and do a couple rounds on one of the 4 courses at PB.








The drive provided breath taking views of the Pacific Ocean, along with breath taking curves! We stopped at several spots to just enjoy the view. Sorry the photos don't do it justice. James took some shots of the Bixby Bridge, one of the largest along the way.


After hitting the 101 Megan got behind the wheel. In true California style, we stopped at an In and Out for some burgers and fries. Megan took us all the way into Santa Monica, where the views of the beach were gorgeous. We made it in to Santa Monica at about 8:30 PM.





Lawrance Kao, Lindsey Lockman, Ali and Bryan Rash were all there to greet us and we spent the next few hours catching up with them.


Tomorrow, we plan on heading to Megan's alma mater, the beach, and a night on the town with friends.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

She Said Yes!!!

Well, we had a pretty busy day yesterday and with things being as crazy as they were, we didn't get a chance to blog last night. Sorry to all those who were hoping for an update!





Yesterday starter off in San Francisco, with some crappy muffins, coffee, and some fresh squizzed OJ. James called and made dinner reseverations for Portabellas at our next destination, Carmel, for 5:30, the only time they had available ;) Secretly, James had made reservations a month earlier, and wasn't actually talking to anyone on the phone, but made it sound like he was. We needed to be at the Carmel River Beach by 7:00, so the reservations had to be for 5:30 (I'll explain more later).

We attempted to hop on the trolly and head to fisherman's Warf, but every trolly just kept going because they were all full. So we got smart, moved down the street and finally made it on holding onto the rail on the outside, which happened to be a great location, because James was filming the whole thing on our new camcorder.

video






After much lever pulling by the conductor, we made it to Fisherman's Warf, but more importantly, we found Ghiradelli Square!! We picked up some yummy chocolate and had some delicious fish tacos at the McCormick's & Kuleto's Fishhouse. After that, we took a cab back to the hotel, which was the same price except we were travelling roughly the speed of sound.



Surviving the low earth orbit, we picked up the rental and packed up all our stuff and hit the road. James wanted to stop by Santa Cruz and see the boardwalk and pick up a T-Shirt, a seemingly simple task, if you have a map. After stopping and asking for directions (yes, James asks for directions) we found the ocean, big blue thing, can't miss it. To all those wondering about visiting Santa Cruz... don't bother, been there, done that, got the T-Shirt.



Megan really wanted to go on the 17 mile scenic drive through Monterey and Pebble Beach, but unfortunately, we were running out of time. James convinced Megan that we could do the drive in the morning, so we wouldn't miss our dinner reservations, even though Megan asked to cancel our reservations.

We made it to our cute little B&B at 5:15, changed clothes and walked two blocks to the restaurant... which was completely empty. Megan thought it was odd that we couldn't get a later reservation since it was so empty. We had a delicious dinner of Filet Mignot (Megan) and Halibut (James). After dinner, James convinced Megan to go for a drive to the Carmel River Beach, even though the Carmel Beach was within walking distance.





The drive was spectacular, filled with incredible homes with even more incredible views. The road ended at a parking lot where we kicked off our flip flops and dug our feet in the sand as we made our way to the ocean right on time at 7:00.

Megan headed toward the water to see how cold it was and indeed it was cold! James rolled up his jeans, and headed to the water as well. James walked up to Megan and stood in front of her with a big smile on his face. James told Megan he had a question to ask her as he slowly got down on one knee. Would you make me the happiest man in the world? Would you marry me? "Yes, with all that I am, yes!!" Megan said. James dug a beautiful ring out of his pocket, and upon seeing it was showered with hugs and kisses.


James finally convinced Megan to put the ring on, which fit perfectly on her finger. After gawking at the ring, James had Megan turn around to meet Lindsey Walker, who was secrectly taking pictures of the whole event and meeting them at 7:00.

Lindsey is a local photographer who James had contacted a month earlier (about the same time as making a reservation), to take pictures of the proposal. We spent the next hour and a half having our picture taken while the sun was setting. James had to propose to Megan about 4 more times. Pictures are due out in about 3 weeks.



After watching the sun go down, we needed to celebrate the event, so we looked all over town for a place that was still open. Unfortunately it was 10:00 and Carmel closes at 9:00. We found a grocery store and bought some champagne and profiteroles, which were then covered with the free chocolate sauce we received from Ghiradelli and celebrated!
It was an incredible day, a memorable day.

We made it down to LA today, but we are both too exausted to keep writing, so we'll write more tomorrow about today's fun trip.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sideways

After saying goodbye to good ol Sacramento, we headed off today to wine country and San Francisco. As you can see from the pictures, Napa is just gorgeous! After both calling our parents for suggestions on where to go in Napa, we ended up at a quaint and quiet winery called Stag's Leap. Probably a good thing we chose Tuesday to visit this area because I imagine it's very busy over the weekend.











We both had a tasting at Stag's Leap and sat outside enjoying the sunshine. The weather was amazing--probably in the mid-80's today. We're trying to soak it up as much as we can. We hadn't had much lunch so after our tasting, we realized we should probably eat some food before drinking any more wine. :) We had a nice lunch of salad and sandwiches at the Rutherford Grill. They also made homemade cornbread which was so yummy! Again we got to sit outside and enjoyed watching all the wine tourists make their way down the road.




Next we made our way to the Rubicon Estate which was across the street from the restaurant. The Rubicon winery is owned partly by the Coppola family...as in Francis Ford Coppola. This winery was beautiful! And inside they had old film cameras and interesting history about the Coppolas. Not a bad life--movie making, wine making, cigars, winning Oscars...the Coppola's have it made in the shade.


We found a nice wine steward at the tasting bar and got to sample 4 different wines. We tried to be all professional in our wine tasting--smelling the wine, swirling it around, swishing the wine in our mouths, tasting the hints of pomegranate or asparagus in the wine--inspired by the movie Sideways. We probably just looked like amateurs though. And would you believe it--Megan actually didn't get carded at any of these places! Either the wineries are lax or Megan is actually starting to look over 21! We paid for 4 tastings, but the wine steward let us taste 5. He was very nice. The Rubicon 2004 is their signature wine. It was very good, but unfortunately we couldn't bring any home because it was $125 a bottle! James did buy some of their Cab Sauv though so we have a souvenir now from Napa. After all these tastings, we were beginning to feel a little "Sideways" so felt it was best to start heading to San Francisco!


On our way in to the city, we stopped off the side of the road to take some pics of the Golden Gate Bridge. After almost getting blown off the cliff, we made it to the lookout spot to take some pictures. It still amazes us that humans were able to build a bridge of that size and magnitude! We meandered through the city and finally found our hotel--the Hotel Vintage Court in the Nob Hill/Union Square area. It's a great little boutique hotel. When we walked in to the lobby, it was filled with people sitting around drinking wine. We thought at first the hotel set up a great welcoming party for us! But then quickly realized it was the wine tasting hour. As if we hadn't had enough wine already, we ran our suitcases upstairs to our cute little hotel room and ran back down to enjoy some more wine. The hotel is in a great location--and it's just down the street from the trolley line so we hear the trolley bells every once in awhile from our room.


After wandering a bit last night, we ended up at a great Italian restaurant in the Union Square area called Kuleto's. We had some awesome food--calamari, steak, pasta, and yes, more wine. Gosh we're starting to sound like lushes! Topped off with some Coldstone Ice Cream--we gotta say it's been a pretty great day. Tomorrow it's some sightseeing in San Fran and then headed on down the coast to Carmel. Until then....

Monday, June 16, 2008

Trip Down Memory Lane




Today started off with a delicious bowl of Lucky Charms and Honey Nut Cheerios. After drinking the sugary milk we made our way out to the pool for some much needed vitamin D. Most of the Sacramentans we've met have been blinded by our bluish white skin. We've frequently heard "Wow! You're so WHITE!"


Due to our whiteness, we were forced to lather on SPF 4,000 to protect us. Laying in the sun felt sooooo good. We jumped in the pool to cool off and made our way back to our chairs and dried off. James started into Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged (page 8 of 500,000). After laying out in the sun for about an hour, our bluish tint has started to ware off.








Kim made us some delicious sandwiches, pasta salad and fruit for lunch, which left us feeling very pampered. James took Megan around his old haunts including the FedEx Hub where he used to work. We spent some time talking to Kathy Thurston, the Hub Manager about all the changes than have happened since James has been gone. We then drove to James' old neighborhood and stopped by the house JD and James lived in.




We headed up towards Old Sacramento, but before we got there we stopped at Arnie's house. Yes, that's right the Governator! The capitol is really a beautiful building. Unfortunately we got there at 6:00 PM so we weren't able to see much. We did a drive-by of Old Sactown because we were hungry for sushi.

















Wasabi hit the spot with some delicious miso soup, rolls and nigiri sushi, oh and a couple Sapporo's to wash it all down. We are officially in vacation mode!



Kim and Brad have been spoiling us with some great hospitality!! Thanks Kim and Brad for everything!!


Stay tuned for stories from wine country and hippie town...