Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wedding #2

This past weekend John and I headed up to Napa for his cousin’s Val’s wedding. I love Val and I have actually unofficially adopted her as my cousin. John has quite a few cousins that are close to him in age and I’ve been telling him for years that he is so lucky. I have two cousins younger than me but they live on the East coast and I think the last time I saw them was 20 years ago. My other cousins I see every so often but they are all 10+ years older than I am. I had no idea how great it was to have cousins within a 5 year age span. Even if John doesn’t appreciate it at least I get to!

I was so excited to cruise through Napa with John. If you remember…I visited Napa for the first time this past March when I had my girls weekend. The whole time I was there I knew John would love it as much as I did, and I was right!

I was totally sketched out by our hotel as it looked like a total dive, but then once we got into our room and saw that it was nice and clean my attitude changed. I knew I had checked the reviews on and I remembered after the fact that the reviews said it had been recently remodeled. Thank goodness!

Saturday morning John went and played golf with the family and I had a mini adventure morning. One highlight was definitely all of the hot air balloons that I saw BOTH mornings! How cool!!!! Some flew right over the hotel. I am all pumped up about hot air balloons right now because we are going to the hot air balloon festival this weekend in New Mexico. It is one of my life dreams to ride in one but we won’t be able to do it in N.M. That is ok though, because I’m hoping to return to Napa for a ride and a meal at French Laundry. I may need to find a financial sponsor for that trip though. Anyone?
John's Grandpa on the course.
I know Napa is filled with spas so to treat myself, I got a massage. At which spa you ask? Try a place in a strip mall! I know, I know…I was totally weirded out at first but they seemed pretty legit and were actually a chain. My masseuse seemed a bit sketchy but after 15 minutes I was like WHATEVER get that knot out of my back! Plus it was only $50 for an hour. I hope I never become a massage snob…I love a good deal!

For lunch I was able to take John to Taylor’s Automatic Refresher…our 5th Triple D restaurant together. So tasty!
Val and Ron’s wedding was at Aburg De Sol. It was up a hill in Rutherford and had a great view. Here are a few of my fave shots of the night:John and his Grandpa
Me and Auntie Jane (Mother of the bride)Us with John's cousin Robert
Gramp and his kids...John, Jane, Allison, and Phyllis.
Keeping ourselves entertained while we wait for the party bus.
The next day John and I headed up north again to Yountville to go to Bouchon. If you recall…when I was there last March Molly and I surprised our friend Jeremy who was working there. Unfortunately he is no longer working there so we could not go behind the scenes and act all cool. Dang!

Apparently Yountville was having some sort of parade and we totally got caught up in it trying to find a parking spot! It was madness….for a very small parade. Needless to say we finally made it to Bouchon and feasted on some of the best bread in California…and two awesome cappuccinos to boot. It was so nice to sit in the sun and treat ourselves…I felt totally spoiled. I also wound up with two loafs of sourdough as I got one when I was there before and it was by far some of the best bread I have had.After our morning/afternoon exploring John drove me to the Oakland airport where I caught a flight home…but to Phoenix first. (A direct flight from SFO to SLO was $600). John is currently up in Fortuna spending the remainder of the week with his family. I had to pack my carry on very carefully. It consisted of my sleeping boot/sling, my cosmetics, my new pair of GAP pants (their outlets there are really good), and of course my two loafs of sour dough bread.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Iron and Candy

A few weeks ago John and I celebrated our 6th year anniversary. It seems as though the 6th year has been very anticlimactic compared to last year. Maybe it was because last year I got to have a photo shoot and I got an anniversary band to wear on my ring finger. No that’s not it…I think it might have been the fact that the day before was my sister-in-law’s wedding. We spent most of our anniversary traveling back to SLO and then lounging around for the rest of the day because we were so exhausted. We were able to pull ourselves off of the couch to go to dinner though.It was really tasty:
And I also got carded! (I think the waitress was a newbie and probably paranoid since a lot of the college kids were back in town).

The 6th year anniversary gift is iron…and candy. What a combo! I really had no idea what to get John as he had just purchased himself a new set of golf irons. That would have been the perfect gift! Dang. So I opted for two random items…a decorative iron ‘g’ and an iron piggy bank. I had no idea if he would like the decorative ‘g’ but the piggy bank he did need…although it’s only 3 inches high!!!!! A lot of good that is going to do! What is he going to store in it… 20 quarters? Yes…the site online did have the dimensions, but I really didn’t want to believe it was that small. I mean who makes a piggy bank to store less than a handful of pennies in it?
John also bought himself a new cooking knife as a gift from me, but it’s hard to count that as a gift when he picked it out…and paid for it.

Thank goodness I did come up with an awesome gift for the dude, but it was after the fact. I don’t know why it took me so long to think of this gift either. A t-shirt from Lance Armstrong’s bike shop in Austin Texas Mellow Johnny’s. I was so excited when it arrived and he LOVED it! Score one for the wife!

Unfortunately for John the gifts he ordered me did not arrive in time. The killer part is that he did plan ahead and even ordered them in August! I felt pretty bad for him, as I would have been really mad if I were in his shoes. He had nothing to worry about though because once the gifts arrived they were so good that I completely forgot about the tardiness!

I received some accessories for the MINI…two stickers. One says ‘actual size’ and the other says ‘no photos please.’ Then he got this small round magnet thing that hooks on to the front of the car and you can switch out the plates. I'll post a photo after it gets put on the mini.

How cute is the reindeer one? I can’t wait to buy some more. Will I remember to swap them out? Hopefully!

Then he got me the gift of all gifts…a custom Lisa Leonard Necklace!!! I almost keeled over when I saw what it was. I think I may have blogged about her work on this site before but I’m not sure. In case I didn’t here’s a little background. I came across her blog a few years ago via another blog and started following it. At the time she was making custom jewelry and selling it through her blog. Eventually her business grew and grew and she now sells her work from this site.

As some of you know I’m a sucker for personalized gifts and in so in turn my friends get personalized gifts. I started small by getting a few friends necklaces with their kids names on them. They loved them so much that I continued to give them to all my friends. It also helped that this was the year for my friends to have babies. Each time one of them received the necklace I would get the sweetest call or email thanking me so much. Granted it was my idea, but I really felt like Lisa should be the one getting the credit.

I also love to give this baby spoon.

I even gave a necklace to my mother-in-law this necklace with all of her grandchildren on it.
She has even come out with an ornament for this year as well.
Where was I? Oh right…every time I would receive one of the pieces in the mail I would show John and swoon over how beautiful they were. It has been a year since I’ve been ordering from her. A year. I really gave up the notion that John did not get ANY of my hints…maybe I’m a bad hint giver? Apparently I’m not because my some miracle he remembered and bought me a necklace! (Photo to come)

Needless to say it did turn out to be a pretty good anniversary, although it still doesn’t feel complete. Why you ask? Well we have yet to finish our anniversary traditions by watching our wedding video…and I need to put on my dress. With traveling every weekend since and being super busy during the week we haven’t had a night to sit down and relive one of the greatest days of our lives. Don’t worry though…I’m hoping after we get back from New Mexico we will do it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Work of an Artist

A few weeks ago John’s sister Molly got hitched down in Pacific Palisades (north of Santa Monica). John and I were both very excited to be a part of her big day…I was a bridesmaid and John was the officiate. Molly and her husband Michael planned the wedding in three months and considering that time frame they did a great job.

One of the highlights was when one of Michael’s brothers got up during the toasts. Now Michael never officially named a ‘best man’ as he was worried what they all might get up and say. Needless to say that his preventative actions didn’t help. At the end of the brother's sentimental toast he finished with ‘At least we know Michael isn’t gay,’ and then walked off. It was so funny and uncomfortable at the same time.

I was going to post some of my photos, but why do that when I can steal…I mean copy and paste some of the professional photogs photos? I was lucky enough to convince my sister-in-law to hire my friend Ken to shoot the wedding. (Do you remember the awesome photos he took for John and I last year?) My sister-in-law was definitely hesitant with hiring a photographer that was way more than she had budgeted for but I kept telling her that when the day is over all she will have left is the photos. If you have to cut corners…cut it on the flowers. They are dead the next day anyway. I think a tiny miracle happened when she decided to take my advice and hire Ken…and let me tell you that she told me I was right. I mean take a look for yourselves!

I am still amazed when I look at these photos. During the day I thought ‘how is he going to make these photos look as good as his others?’ I was there…looking at the same things he was and I wasn’t seeing it. However that is why he is the professional.