Wednesday, November 18, 2009

the west coast

Here it is - all you ever wanted to know about our vacation! It won't hurt my feelings if you just look at the pictures!

We started in Anaheim for my conference. I love NODA and loved seeing my NODA friends! I also learned a lot and have many thoughts and programs to follow up on in the next few months. While I was conferencing, John explored a little on his own. Many of his activities were centered around this guy:

We did find some time to go to Disneyland! But here's the sad part. I've been to Disneyworld one time and the Small World ride was broken. It's not that I'm a huge fan of the song, but it's a pretty landmark attraction, right? So the one thing I wanted to do at Disneyland was ride Small World....and it was closed!!! Here I am looking sad...

Monday was a legendary day! It started with conference stuff then John and I took a lunch break at Huntington Beach. We saw lots of seagulls and surfers.

My coworker Jenn has a friend from college who is a writer for How I Met Your Mother! So, after our conference responsibilities were over, we went to visit the set! It was so much fun and so interesting to be standing on the set that we watch on TV every week. Here are a few pictures:

Clockwise from top left: a childhood picture of Neil Patrick Harris that was taped to one of the monitors; John and me in the corner booth at MacLaren's; John and me on the front steps of Ted's apartment building; part of Ted's living room; John, Jenn and me in Ted's classroom

From the studio lot we took off driving around Hollywood. Were just kinda wondering and trying to figure out where to have dinner. Well, we were on Sunset Blvd. stopped at a red light. I looked to my right and noticed Bentley in the adjacent lane. I kinda looked at the car, then at the driver, then thought "I wonder who's he's driving". I look in the back seat....and it's John Travolta and Kelly Preston!!! The first words out of my mouth were, "S*@#!!!! That's John Travolta!" I was trying to be cool so I didn't take any pictures :(. We were in a left turn lane and had to turn, but as we were processing what had just happened, we realized that he was probably in town for the premier of his new movie, Old Dogs. So, we found our way to Hollywood Blvd., parked the car and went to hang out with the paparazzi and screaming fans! It was stupid fun and we saw a slew of famous folk.
Clockwise from top left: John Travolta's car we saw as we were leaving the premier; a red carpet pic (it's kinda blurry but there's John, right there in the middle); Tom Hanks in the Disney ice cream shop next door; the whole cast taking pictures in the Disney ice cream shop (including John, Tom, Kelly, Rita Wilson, Robin Williams, Dax Sheppard, Seth Green, Lori Loughlin, etc.)

That was lots of fun and we followed it up by driving up into the Hollywood Hills to the foot of the Hollywood sign. Great day!

The results of John trying to get a picture of John Travolta when he came approximately 3 feet from us. Fail. But he tried.

Tuesday the conference ended then I had a marathon meeting. We made a pit stop at the Disney store to pick up gifts for the kiddos then headed out of town. We did stop for dinner at In 'N Out and dessert at Pinkberry (one of my favorite meals of the trip...definitely the cheapest!).

Wednesday morning started our 2-day drive up the Pacific Coast Hwy. We saw some amazing scenery and really enjoyed just being together and not around many more people.

clockwise from top left: the view from our motel (yes, motel) Wednesday morning; elephant seals on the beach in San Simeon; John and me at sunset in San Simeon

the sunset in San Simeon

clockwise from top left: the view from our lodge on Thursday morning; John enjoying the view (one of the reasons I love him, it's not posed, he's just taking in the moment while waiting for me to get ready!); the view from breakfast

clockwise from top left: view from the road; another view from the road; Bixby Bridge; John finally seeing a giant Redwood (I realize it looks like he is relieving himself...he's not...I promise)

McWay Falls Overlook at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur

We got in to San Francisco early Thursday evening. I really liked the hotel we stayed at there, Carriage Inn. It was actually pretty cheap and super cute. We loved San Francisco! I didn't realize how absolutely hilly it is. Tons of fun!

the Carriage Inn

clockwise from top left: flag in the Castro; Golden Gate Bridge from a lookout; driving across the Golden Gate Bridge

clockwise from top left: The Castro Theatre (one of the upcoming shows was a Sound of Music Sing-a-long!!); Alcatraz from Fisherman's Wharf; Mission Dolores (oldest building in San Fran); The Painted Ladies from the opening credits of Full House (where we got a flat tire...)

flowers at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate park

I've been cyber drooling over these for at least a year but they are only in LA and San Francisco (this brand at least; macarons are French so there are plenty there!). Paulette's was on my must visit list. We went on Friday afternoon (after changing the flat tire) and I bought a box of 6. When their amazingness was confirmed we decided to go back Saturday morning and this is my box of 12 I got to bring back. The purple (violet cassis) were our favorites and the orange (passion fruit) were also pretty yummy.

the most deliciousness ever!

So that was it! We had a great time and I am so thankful we had the opportunity to travel. It really makes me want to start planning our next vacation! If you made it all the way to the end, leave a comment so I know my typing wasn't in vain!

p.s. the nephew has a name

you can call him Zeke


My nephew is here! We don't have an official name yet, but I'm still holding out hope for Hash (last name Brown....get it?)

Here's his mug...

Isn't he beautiful?!? Too freakin' cute.

I'm working on a vacation post....but I have too much real work to do!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

going away

John and I leave tomorrow for a western adventure! Does that sound exciting and dramatic? I hope so!

Tomorrow night we will be in Atlanta (I know...not western) for In the Heights! I've been looking forward to this for a while! Here is one of my favorite songs.

And then Saturday we will fly to Anaheim to the happiest place on Earth! No, not Disneyland...NODA! This is the conference for the professional association I belong to - National Orientation Directors Association. I mean, it is actually at Disneyland, which I'm super excited about, but I'm also pretty excited about NODA. It's a great chance to see old friends, meet new friends, and get some great new ideas for orientation!

Another thing I'm super excited I will wait to talk about until I get back. But here's a hint:

image from

I realize that just looks like a bar - but it's not. I promise.

When the conference ends on Tuesday, John and I will drive up Hwy 1 to San Francisco. We'll fly back, exhausted, on Saturday. I'm super excited and can't wait to get away. Unfortunately, a lot of work needs to be done in the short time between now and then. Better get to it!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

on my mind

This video made the rounds on facebook back in September and it's been on my mind since. It blows my mind that this policy is still in place.

If I had more time, I would have more to say. Maybe another day...