Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Keep It Classy, California, Part 2: Seeing the Sights

During our journeys through Southern California, we had the chance to see some beautiful sights! We stayed in Rancho Cucamonga for 2 nights with my dad and youngest sister. On our first day, we went to visit my seester, Jade, and her boyfriend in West Hollywood. They live in a super cute neighborhood, within walking distance of a bunch of bars, restaurants, etc. We walked to Red Rock Bar & Eatery, had a couple drinks and num nums and then headed back to Rancho. During rush hour traffic. Fuck. That. Noise. Driving in Los Angeles makes me crazy. Driving in LA during rush hour makes me want to punch unicorns and burn down rainbows. Luckily, young Daniel finagled his way into this bad boy at the rental car company...
He drove, we had the top down, and life was good. The next day, we took my youngest sister to Venice Beach. Danny's never been before, and he was good and entertained by all the crazy on the beach. He and my sister had fun discovering critters and seaweed in the sand. He does well with kids (far more patient than I am!), and we all had a great time!
Beach Besties, digging in the sand.
Pre beach

Muscle Beach. Me and that rope did not get along!

We could TOTALLY get Lola to do this!
After we left Rancho, we went to the glorious wedding in Bonsall and stayed at the Castle Creek Inn in nearby Valley City. We didn't stay very long, but this is the view that we got to wake up to...

From there, we traveled to San Diego. IT. WAS. GLORIOUS. We stayed at the US Grant Hotel, which was this amazeballs property right downtown (thank you Danny, for getting that hella cheap employee discount!), a few minutes walk from the Gaslamp district, the Convention Center (which was coincidentally hosting ComicCon. Spectacular people watching. SPECTACULAR) and the water. I would make the move back to the west coast if it included living in San Diego. You know what, San Diego? You're not too shabby for a whale's vagina. Speaking of cetacean vag, can't even WAIT for this business...

Driving to San Diego, rocking out to Freebird!
Oh, hey boats. And water.
View from our hotel

I liked the nifty art above the bed and all over the hotel!

This fine ComiCon attendee thought I had beautiful skin. Well thank you kindly, you handsome fella!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Keep it Classy, California: The Wedding

Last week, Danny and I took a little jaunty jaunt across the country to California. The main reason for the trip was to celebrate the marriage of one of my good good buddies from Cal Poly. However, we also got to visit my family, saw some beautiful scenery and ate TONS of delicious food.  So, in the interest of keeping your lovely peepers from reading for 8 years, and my fingers from falling off from typing too much, "Keep it Classy, California" shall be a story told in 3 parts :-)

Part 1: The Wedding

Look at the gorgeous altar with the balloons a la "Up!"
As I mentioned before, the main reason for our journey across country was to celebrate the nuptials of my good friend Brian and his new wife, Heather. A little background on my relationship to the couple...Brian and I started our jobs as CSDs (basically a fancy name for a hall director) at Cal Poly at the same time. He was the first friend that I made, and one of the first people that I met. We hit it off immediately. We were both midwestern kids, slightly awed by the splendor of the Central Coast of California, in our first professional job out of grad school, with the driest of wit, the sharpest of sarcasm and just a general proclivity to be immature dicks if the mood suited us. Sure, we had our rocky times (as friends often do), but to this day, I still consider him to be my boy bestie (aside from Danny, of course).

I only met Heather briefly before I left Cal Poly. I was her host around campus and town during her on-campus interview, and I remember thinking "Wow, this girl is suuuuuuuper bubbly! I wonder where she'll get placed." The next year, I came back to Cal Poly for a visit and found out from another friend that Brian and Heather had been secretly dating (they were placed together as co-CSDs in the same apartment complex). I stayed with Brian while I was at Cal Poly and we chatted about life in general. While I was surprised that they were dating (because on the surface, I could not imagine two more opposite personalities), I came to see how happy they made each other.

So, fast forward to this past weekend. Danny and I drove to the wedding, which was on a horse ranch (I think) in the mountains of Bonsall, that belonged to friends of the bride's family. Brian's proposal was based on the movie "Up" and the theme carried through the whole wedding. Everything was so colorful and beautiful, but simple and really let the beauty of the location and their love for each other shine through. Several friends from Cal Poly were in the wedding party, and it was so amazing to see so many of my friends all together after several years.

Watching the bride come down the aisle
The officiant was another former CSD
Their first dance was to "Home" by Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros, which was perfectly fitting for them, they read their vows from a brand new iPad, and they kept everyone chuckling through the entire ceremony. I haven't been to many weddings, but this was by far my favorite because it was so much about the couple and demonstrated not only their love for each other, but also the love that others have for them (they had 22(!!) people in the bridal party!).

We had a great time at the reception, and Danny and I cut several rugs. He bet money on me falling in the pool, but I kept my balance and my dignity, thankyouverymuch. Man, if I had some mountains around, we'd totes be getting married in them. But even though Columbus is regrettably mountain-free, I can only hope Danny's and my wedding is as full of love and joy as Brian and Heather's.

Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs!
Just married!!

A whole lotta CSDs!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

This one time, we were in a tree...

Flying through the trees with the greatest of ease.
Hello Lovelies!
As you may know, the boy and I have been together for the better part of 12 years (mostly on, a little off ;-), since we were in high school together. For the past several months, I have been on him, throwing in some not so subtle comments about getting engaged. I went to a networking event a couple of months ago and one of the sponsors owns a ziplining company in the Hocking Hills. I brought some info home about it, talked about how fun it would be to go ziplining, and that was pretty much it.

A couple weeks later, he told me that we were going to hang out with his sister's family down in Athens. I got excited because I love her 2 little boys, and the boy and I got on the road at around 8 am and he kept pestering me to eat breakfast on the way. I kept saying "Let's just stop at Sonic, it's on the way and that's really the only time we ever eat it!"

Well before we got to the Sonic, he pulled off on this tiny road and there was a little sign advertising a ziplining course. I was confused and asked if we were going ziplining and he said yes and then I asked if the kids were coming too...because quite frankly the thought of a 1 and 2 year old in the air above the trees made me QUITE nervous. He just laughed and said he saw how much I wanted to try ziplining, so he decided to surprise me. Ummm, cutest thing ever, no?

So we get all geared up and one of the tour guides asked him to hang back, saying that Danny forgot to sign some paperwork (I found out later that they were getting some last minute deets in place). I tried to hang back and wait for him, but the other tour guide scooted me along and said that they would catch up to us. So we went through the first half of the course and had a blast!

At the midway point, the line is set up in such a way that you can't see the next landing, and they have a photographer there take everyone's picture as they come across. The tour guide told Danny to go first, and then the other groups to go after, leaving me for last. I started to suspect something was up, because until that point, all the people who were together in a group went across consecutively.

Here I come, flying down the zipline and there he is at the landing, on one knee with a ring box. Of course I start crying and he tells me to take off my gloves so that he can put the ring on and everyone else in the group does the collective "Aaawwwwww.” The photographer took several more pictures of us, and then we finished the rest of the course. I was kinda bummed because I had to put the glove back on over my gorgeous ring. The proposal was perfect. I was hot and wearing a harness and a helmet, but it was so sweet and romantic and different. I mean, really, he proposed to me in a tree…which I think says a lot about how our lives together will be :-D (It's still funny to call him my fiancee because a) He's been my boyfriend for so long and b) We both pronounce it "fee-yawn-say" in our old man Cajun voices and giggle a little each time.) 

When we got back to the building, everyone who worked there asked about the proposal and to see the ring. Apparently they all knew about it and had discussed it at their staff meeting earlier in the week. In all, people at Danny's job knew because they helped him plan it, his sister's family knew because they had to be in on the cover-story, my mom, stepdad, one of my sisters and a few of my friends knew about the ring but not the engagement plan and all the people working at the ziplining course were in on it too. Well played, feeyawnsay, well played...
What the...??

Aaaand let the waterworks begin...
Oh, this is happening right now, huh?

The happy couple