Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ringing in the Holidays

Dan's parents spent a fun-filled week with us this month. Until they came, I didn't feel like the holidays were even remotely close (the 75 degree sunny days in San Diego didn't help), but we knew Thanksgiving was just around the corner once his folks got here! Somehow we managed to fill 80% of their time with sporting events. The other 20% was a mix of shopping at Costco, taking walks outside, fixing and eating meals, and playing Carcassonne (the new board game we're obsessed with). Okay, we did sleep a little bit in there, too.

It was really beautiful that week. Here are some lovely photos that Dan's mom took as they were walking around Pacific Beach, where we live.

The day after they flew in, we drove to Anaheim to watch the NY Islanders vs. Anaheim Ducks game. Dan has enough Islanders paraphernalia to clothe a family, so we all raided his closet and wore team colors.

Our friends Chris and Adessa live in Anaheim, so they joined us for the game too!

Dan and I both had Veteran's Day (Nov. 11th) off from work, and we spent the day enjoying the beautiful sunny day in La Jolla. One of the perks of having visitors is that we have an excuse to visit cheesy tourist attractions. We paid $4 each to walk down a long steep staircase into one of the sea caves beside La Jolla Cove. You can also kayak on the bay into several of the caves, which Dan and I plan to do at some point. Except Dan keeps saying "we'll do it when the water isn't so cold," which means that it may never happen, because the Pacific Ocean is always cold.

Mom & Dad Jester inside the sea cave

We walked along the water and saw some of my favorite local wildlife

I think pelicans are by far the coolest sea bird. They look like pterodactyls when they fly! And there were tons of sea lions at La Jolla Cove that day. These young ones were really cute.

We did a lot of walking and worked up an appetite for our picnic lunch at La Jolla Shores. Dan is filching Oreos while I'm getting the "real food" out.

On Friday night, we cheered on Dan's high school football team. They won the game and got into the playoffs for the first time! Go CCA!!

On Saturday night, there was another Islanders game against the Los Angeles Kings so we went to our 2nd hockey game of the week. On our way up to L.A., we stopped by Farrell's, an old-timey ice cream parlor that Dan grew up with on Long Island. I had never been to a place like that before, but it must be one of the best places to take your kid on his/her birthday! We must've seen 6 birthdays being celebrated in the hour we were there.

On Sunday, we went to Dan's roller hockey game (hockey game #3 if you're counting). It was the championship game, and although Dan's team put up a great fight, they unfortunately lost. But Mom & Dad took us out to Macaroni Grill afterwards, where we drowned our sorrows in plates of pasta.

Dan and his two biggest fans

On their last day, Dan left work early and the three of them went fishing off the pier in Pacific Beach (it's shown in all 3 photos at the top of this post). While fishing sounds like lots of fun in theory, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have enjoyed touching/smelling/seeing the bait or the fish for that matter, so I was probably better off at work. :) We had a great time with them, and we can't wait to see them at Christmastime - only a month away!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Five Hours of Driving for One Awesome Spades Game

Was it worth it? Absolutely!! Our friends, Chris & Amy flew through Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago on their way to Taiwan to adopt their precious daughter, Ava! They had a layover for several hours, so Dan & I drove to LAX to spend time with them between flights. We got to know Chris & Amy through our church when we lived in Denver, and the four of us love to play Spades. It was always our game of choice when we were together. Amy had the foresight to bring a deck of cards in her luggage (love her!), so we played a few rounds for old-time's sake while we caught up with each other. The guys tried to make a come-back before the game was over, but the girls declared victory before we had to see them off on their next flight. Everything went really smoothly in Taiwan, and Chris & Amy arrived home with Ava this week - she is officially their daughter and an American citizen! We're looking forward to hearing more about their new adventures as parents of that sweet baby girl.