Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays

My favorite video of the holiday season....obviously!


Loved this one from Postsecret this past week...


I'm borrowing this from Cameron's blog. I apologize in advance if the language offends. Just really resonated with me.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Gift

Ummmm....can we say best Christmas gift ever???

Jordan got Mark and I two lower level tickets to the bowl game. As if that wasn't great enough, he also gave us a UK football signed by the ENTIRE team!

Pretty amazing!

Mark and I are often amazed at what wonderful friends we have. We thank God on a daily basis for such good people in our lives.

California: Day Seven

This was our last full day in California. It was so hard to believe that we were at the end of our vacation because there were still countless things that we wanted to do, but didn't get a chance to do (i.e. San Diego, Joshua Tree, go out on the sailboat, etc). Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't go back and do anything differently....we just needed to be there for another month to do everything we wanted to! Guess that just means we'll have to go back (which we do plan on doing this summer).

That morning, we rode our bikes down to a restaurant called Flake for brunch. Mark was very excited about this place because they had a cereal bar! If you know how much Mark loves cereal and how he's always wanted to visit a cereal bar, you know that he was in heaven. I didn't partake in the cereal bar, but had an amazing bagel sandwich and a big cup of organic coffee. Joy!

Mark enjoying his cereal!
DELICIOUS bagel sandwich

Then, Mark and I went riding along the beach soaking in as much of the sunny weather as we could before we had to leave.

My favorite picture of the trip. This sums it up for me.

Still sportin' the UK gear on the beach. Go CATS!!!

That afternoon, Ticean and Amy took us over to Malibu for a day trip to do some hiking. We hiked several miles were able to watch the sun set over the ocean while we were hiking. There are no words to dexcribe how beautiful it all was. All I can say is that you can not see the things I saw and not believe in a God. So amazing!
We stopped and got Thai food on the way home and I have literally never had chicken fried rice as good as the rice that I had there last night! We went to Marina del Rey for a little bit after that then headed home for the evening.

We had a wonderful time on our vacation and we just cannot wait to go back!

California: Day Six (Our Anniversary!)

On our sixth day, which also happened to be our anniversary, we decided to sleep in. When we finally got up and going, we agreed that we both really wanted to go to The Getty Center. The Getty Center is a state-of=the art building that features art throughout the ages. It was featured recently on Project Runway, which we both LOVE to watch, so it was a real treat to go together.

Mark and I are nerds and we both have the best time going to museums. In fact, Mark wants to be a curator after he retires. As a teacher, I could spend hours in museums and be content as ever. The Getty is free admission, but you have to pay parking. I've come to discover that parking is how all of L.A. makes their money. You HAVE to park, so they get you there. After the $15 (yeah, that's right) parking pass, you take a small train up the side of the mountain to actually get to the museum buildings.

The architecture and sculptures of The Getty

The fountains outside the buildings

View of the cactus garden and the city

Just some really cool trees

Besides having remarkable architecture, breathtaking views of the city, and amazing furnishings gathered from over the years, there was an outstanding amount of artwork. All of the artwork is on the second level of every building with skylights so that the art can be seen in natural light as it was meant to be seen. We saw paintings from Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Rousseau, and my favorite, Monet. It was a wonderful day and a fantastic way to spend our anniversary!

Vexed Man

French bed featured on Project Runway
(I loved all of the light blue and gold in all of the French furnishings)

Rousseau painting

Irises by Van Gogh

(I recreated this painting in art class in high school)

That evening, we went to Cha Cha Chicken, a caribbean restaurant (another favorite), in Santa Monica with Ticean and Amy. It was delicious like all of our other meals! Then we went to the Promenade (outdoor mall that takes up blocks) to see the different acts in the streets, window browse, and get some Pinkberry frozen yogurt. Yum!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

California: Day Five

OK, I think this day may have been my favorite!
Day started out normal...sleep in, hang out at the beach, read, good food, etc. But that evening, Mark and I went on our anniversary date. We decided to spend the night before our anniversary going to Cirque du Soleil's Kooza at the Santa Monica pier.
Mark and I agree that it was some of the best money we've ever spent. I felt like a kid while I watched all of the acts. My favorite act, by far, was the Wheel of Death.
My palms were sweating as I watched the whole thing. There were several times that I had to catch myself from screaming in either shock or excitement.
So much fun!!! It was the perfect date with my husband!

Then, as if the night wasn't good enough, I went with the girls again to see the midnight showing of New Moon.

Me and Amy at the theater

(She bought me the shirt. I swore I'd never wear one, but it was a gift...and I loved it)

Lindsay got us the amazing, reserved seats in a theater so there was no standing in line for us at all. We actually made pizzas and sipped wine until it was time to go see the movie. Keep in mind that it was a midnight showing so it was 3 AM KY time before the movie started and it was over after 5 AM KY time. I was sleepy, but it was worth it!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

California: Day Three & Four

The love of my life
As I said before, I spend most of my days on the beach reading....and I see nothing wrong with that! I read The Hunger Games and it's sequel Catching Fire thanks to Amy. I absolutely loved them. They were an easy read and were exactly what I was looking for in a good read for vacation. Plus, anything's easy to read when you're sitting next to this...

My view as I biked to the beach

One of the big events for us took place on Wednesday. Since Daniel works for WCPO in Cincinnati, he was able to get us VIP tickets to the Ellen show. It was either that or Jimmy Kimmel Live, but because they knew I'd rather see Ellen, Daniel and Mark graciously agreed to go with me!
It was so neat to see the taping of a show and I had a blast. She is so funny and so kind. We got to see Simon Baker from The Mentalist, Leona Lewis perform, and Andre Agassi (biggest highlight for me). We got a free Leona Lewis cd and Andre Agassi's new book. They also came up and gave us shirts from the show since we were VIP. Despite looking like a couple together, I think Daniel and Mark had a good time and even danced a bit. We were dead center and you could see both of them on tv several times, but I was too short to be seen.

California: Day Two

Our second day was PACKED with things to do! We dropped Amy off at work that day so that we could have the car and cruise through town. We started off the day with a hike in the Hollywood Hills. We went to Runyan Canyon where many celebs bring their dogs to run/walk. While we didn't see any celebs, we saw plenty of beautiful views (well, after the morning smog cleared).
Next, we drove through town to see some of the "sights". We really just had a GPS and were looking for things we'd heard of before. We had no desire to actually get out and see many of the sights. Just simply wanted to drive by them to say we'd seen them. We went by the Chinese Theater, down Sunset Blvd., all throughout Hollywood, and even went over to Beverly Hills. Mark didn't know what the Beverly Hills Hotel was or why it was significant, but I took a picture anyway.
After we got back, Mark and I took the bikes to the beach. This later turned out to be my favorite thing to do each day. The ride is no more than 10 minutes and I would just load up the bike with my purse, a good book, and a towel to go read on the beach for hours.

But on this day, Mark and I rode a few miles on the beach past the Santa Monica pier and then came back to Erdinger to sit on the beach and have a beer and lunch. The service was horrible, but as can be imagined, the beer was delicious. The company wasn't too bad either.

I then had to hurry home because a year and a half ago, when I finished the Twilight series, I got Amy hooked on them. Well, the week we were at in CA happened to coincide with the premiere of New Moon. Amy's friend Lindsay is a HUGE fan and has her own website. In fact, US Weekly had named it in their favorite Twilight sites that week. If you are a Twilight fan, you can check it out here.

Lindsay, Me, Amy, and Jasmine

So, that night, we went to the red carpet premiere in Westwood. We didn't see the movie or anything, but got to see all the stars. Below are the pics (if you care). While this was an amazing treat for me, I have to say that going to a red carpet premiere PERIOD was pretty awesome!
My camera is not so great...

Robert Pattinson

Kristen Stewart

Taylor Lautner

California: Day One

So, I decided that I wanted to add my pics from California because I literally had the time of my life and I just needed a way to catalog all of my memories. So, here goes...

We left EARLY Sunday morning from Cincinnati, which landed us in LA around 10:45 in the morning. That left us with plenty of day left to explore. Daniel and I went to LA years ago, but actually didn't spend a whole lot of time there. Mark had never been at all. It was great to experience it from a local's point of view. Ticean (Mark's brother) and his wife, Amy, let us unpack at their place and then we headed out to the weekly farmer's market to get lunch.

Under recommendation of Ticean and Amy, we got these GIGANTIC burritos. They had homemade sausage (ours was a chicken and shrimp sausage) and these burritos had everything imaginable in them (even french fries). Mark wouldn't share, so I had to get my own, which I put a tiny dent in. Daniel finished the rest for me. It was literally one of the yummiest things I've ever eaten though (and I'm sure it was because it was so good and not just that the airline pretzels let me starving)!

Next, we headed out to walk all along Venice Beach (just blocks from the house). We checked out an awesome skatepark where kindergarten children were just putting everyone to shame.

Then we just enjoyed the warm weather and breeze off of the ocean. Daniel checked out some awesome shades while on the beach (there were TONS of vendors), but decided on a more tasteful pair.

We were so tired from the flight and the day of walking between the Venice pier and Santa Monica pier that we had to go back and take a nap around 3, but finished off the night with dinner at the house.