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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!

We are only hours away from celebrating a New Year - 2018. It's been a great 2017, mostly a year of travel for us! We didn't get a lot of house projects done this year, but we are hoping that next year we will get to some bigger projects that we've been wanting to do for a while.


This New Year's, we have several inches of snow outside, and temperatures in the negative digits. But we're ready to ring in the new year with Trent's family here in town!

I hope you all have a Happy New Year, wherever you are. Stay warm everyone!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Merry Christmas from our Family to Yours

Hello all and Merry Christmas! Our Christmases with family start today. Trent is working for a little while, then later this afternoon we go to Iowa City to celebrate with my mom's side of the family.

Look at all of these presents covering up our tree (and living room) this year!


This might be a record for number of presents, or size of them, either one. But the good news is, I am all done Christmas shopping and wrapping.


It's been a busy holiday season this year with working and shopping, but like I said in my last post, I've also had time to watch Hallmark Christmas movies and Friends and Boy Meets World on Netflix and Hulu, so it's all good. :) 

Hope you and yours have a merry holiday season! Off to celebrate!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thanksgiving and Our Christmas Tree

It's been so long since I've blogged, and November's already coming to an end! I don't know where this month went, it seems like it's been a blur. Since we've gotten back from San Diego, I've been busy working, but have also had time to relax at home (watching Hulu, Netflix and Hallmark movies!), and spend time with friends and family.


We got together with our families for Thanksgiving. We ate a lot of food and had a good time with family. The day after, I got some pretty good deals shopping online for Christmas gifts, and I spent the afternoon putting the Christmas tree up and decorating the house while Trent was working, as is my tradition!


This is the eighth (!!) Christmas we've had this tree, and it's the first one we've ever had. We got it right after I moved into the house, on sale at Target for Black Friday. It looks almost the same every year, except we always seem to get a few new ornaments every year, and it's been in a different spot in the living room since we got our sectional a couple of years ago.


It's strange to think that it used to be in front of this window. Now the couch is there, of course, and all we see is the reflection of the tree in the window. :)


It's actually a prelit tree, but most of the original lights are now burnt out. Last year, we had to get a couple of new strands of lights, and some are brighter and "less golden" than the others - I think due to being LED, so you can actually tell if you really look closely, that the lights don't match!


I still like our tree, because it's small enough that I can haul it out of the closet myself and set it up without Trent's help. It's easy to set up and fits perfectly in our living room, but this might be the last year that we have it... We'll see! I haven't decided yet if we should go another year with the prelit lights not working. I guess it depends on whether we find another good deal on a tree we really like!

On another note, this month was our 7th Housiversary! November 21, 2010 is when I moved in with Trent into this house. Usually I do a whole "Housiversary" post, but this year, we can just consider this my housiversary post. Close enough, right? :)

Next Tuesday I leave for another work conference, in Columbus, Ohio again this time. I'll be gone until the following Saturday, so expect another small leave of absence. The busy-ness continues!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

San Diego Adventures, Part 3

Hello and happy Sunday! Today I'm sharing Part 3 of our San Diego trip. You can view Part 1 here and Part 2 here if you missed them. 

We left off watching the sunset by the cliffs. After that, we went back downtown to find a place to eat dinner. We decided to go to the Gaslamp Quarter, but ended up finding a place a street or two over from all the hustle and bustle of the main street there, so it was a little quieter.


It was a pretty cute place called Half Door Brewing Co. The second floor patio was closed for the night, so we ate in the front patio area, which was nice and quiet.


We just got some appetizers and drinks, but it was enough to fill us up. 


The next day was our last full day in San Diego. It was also the hottest, with a high of about 94 degrees that day, at the end of October.

I snapped a few photos of the hotel grounds before we left. We stayed at the Town and Country resort, and it had a little bit of a retro vibe. We were in an older part of the hotel, and our room had a balcony with a view of the pool below.

With each day, literally more and more pool floaties appeared in the pool. Maybe because it kept getting hotter?


There were other quirky things about the hotel too, like some flamingos gracing the lawn, and some oversized rubber duckies in the fountain.


For lunch we decided to go down to the North Park area, which we thought felt like a more young/ hip area of town. Right across from one of our bus stops was this awesome mural.


We ate at a little place called Underbelly, which had a completely open dining area. They had ramen and rice bowls, and I got to pretend like I knew how to use chopsticks.


Then we sampled a few brews at the Modern Times Tasting Room next door. They had the most unique decor of all of the places we had been so far. My favorite part was the huge mural on the wall made of floppy disks.


The ceiling was also covered in upside down lampshades everywhere. It was definitely unique!

We decided to go to the San Diego Zoo in the afternoon, and we couldn't have picked a hotter day for it. The walk itself to the zoo was a little torturous, but we finally made it!

It was like heaven's gates were opening when we finally got to the zoo entrance. Haha.


The zoo was probably one of the largest zoos we've ever been to. At $50 a person, we wished we would have had more time to walk around, see all of the animals, and really get our money's worth. If you have kids though, it's probably worth it. Just plan to spend a whole day there if you really want to see it all - It is big!


We also found it hard to navigate, so we just kind of winged it! I thought they had giraffes there, but I was disappointed because we didn't see any. I don't know whether we missed them, or they were hiding. Not sure!


We did see elephants, pandas, and penguins, though. Those were some of my favorites!


There was also some pretty cool scenery around the zoo, too, like this waterfall:



And you can't forget the zebras!


At the end of the day, we rode a skylift ride back to the beginning of the zoo.


You could see downtown San Diego, and the bridge that we had walked across to get to Balboa park.


Some all around pretty views from above the trees.


Even from our bus stop going back, you could see the faint view of mountains in the distance.


We decided to eat dinner back at Seaport Village again. We walked along the bay, and ended up finding a little pizza place with a view of the sun setting over the ocean.


It was our last night in San Diego, so we took it all in for the last time!


The views were gorgeous of course.


Nothing like eating pizza and drinking wine outside on a patio, with a view like this to end your trip.



We saw the ships all lit up at night, too, which was pretty cool.


It was a nice night to end our visit in San Diego.


We had a couple of early flights back home the next morning, and we watched the sunrise from our plane above the clouds.


Even though it was fun to explore a new city together, it was really nice to be back home again in the end. :)

Monday, November 6, 2017

San Diego Adventures, Part 2

Now for Part 2 of our San Diego trip! (If you missed Part 1, you can see it here.) Next on the agenda was Balboa Park. I had seen pictures of this place and wanted to stop here during our trip. This area is full of the coolest, most intricate architecture. I believe the style is called Spanish Revival. There are museums and other fun cultural stuff going on here too, like musicians singing and playing music while you walk by.


We strolled through the park and enjoyed seeing all the cool buildings and fountains all around.


We didn't go into any of the museums since I worked in the morning, so we just had some of the afternoon and night to explore. The lily pond, below, is apparently one of the most photographed places in Balboa park. 


It was a really pretty area. I've seen pictures of it at night, and it looks pretty awesome then, too. 


After the park, we took a bus down to Coronado Island. We got to the beach just as the sun was setting, so we watched the beautiful sunset over the Pacific Ocean in Coronado.


It was one of the prettiest sights we've ever seen. It just seemed to go on forever, and last so long. Like an endless sunset.



As we watched the sun set on the beach, right behind us was the Hotel del Coronado. It looked so huge, and we explored it a little later. It's basically a resort, with shops and restaurants, and it all seems so nice and upscale.


Coronado was another favorite spot of the whole trip, just because of how beautiful it was. We really felt like we were in paradise and didn't want to leave!


I captured a few pictures of Trent dipping his toes in the ocean, and they're some of my favorites photos from the trip. 



I got my feet wet too (I don't think there's a photo), but of course my jeans got completely soaked at the bottom when the waves hit the shore! It was so pretty though, that I couldn't let soggy jeans ruin the night, that's for sure.


How majestic does the Hotel del Coronado look with the pink sky behind it? Also, fun fact - the movie, Some Like It Hot with Marilyn Monroe was filmed here!



We decided to walk down to the hotel and check it out, along with finding a restaurant there to eat. As we walked around the hotel grounds, the sunset lingered even as the sky got darker. I've never been to Hawaii, but I think this may be what it would look like!


We couldn't get over the views.


We ate at a nice little pizza and wine place outside of the hotel called Eno. There were all these little outdoor patio restaurants there, and it was just a nice and cozy vibe.


Also, thank goodness I was right next to a heater! It was a little chilly at night.


Our dessert was the best part. It was a s'more cheesecake, and it was AMAZING! I highly recommend it if you're ever here. Go to this place just for the dessert, seriously.


When we cut into it, it was all marshmallowy and gooey inside. The best.


The next day, we went downtown again and ate at the Stone Brewing Tap Room, another place Trent wanted to try. It was right next to Petco Park, where the San Diego Padres play.


Trent had a flight with a few different beers, and we both got flatbread pizzas.



The pizza was good, and the vibe inside the tap room was kind of hip, modern, and relaxed.


There were even some board games, a couch, and an oversized coffee table if you just wanted to have a couple drinks with friends and hang out. Not to mention some pretty cool art on the walls.


After Stone Tap Room, we went back downtown to the Seaport area. We hadn't yet gone over to where the Maritime museum or the old ships were, so we decided to check it out.


We just walked a while by the bay and enjoyed the scenery. It was probably the first day since we'd been there that it got really hot out and actually felt like California weather!

There were maritime themed statues there, like the giant "kissing" statue below, based off of the famous World War II photograph.


Then there was a cool Bob Hope memorial, where it played a recording of his voice in the background entertaining the troops.


We didn't go into any of the ship museums, but it was cool to see them all up close. 




In the evening, we headed down to Ocean Beach to see the sunset and the pier.



We took a bus down, then had to walk a while and just barely made it there in time, but I'm glad we made it there to see the sun setting again over the ocean.


We wanted to go to Sunset Cliffs afterward, but didn't have much time before it got dark, so we walked along the rocks and made it as far as we could by the cliffs.



It was a pretty walk by the ocean, and it got rockier as it went on.


It eventually got too dark to see anymore, so we stopped and watched what was left of the sunset before walking back and catching the next bus.


I'll leave you with this last bit of sunset for now. :) Part 3, and our last day of the trip, is coming up! Stay tuned to see how it ended!
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