Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spring Thaw Vacation: CA Continues

On Sunday the Lakers had their first game of the Series. If you didn't know already, I'm a pretty big Lakers fan. Well, that's an understatement. I'm kinda obsessed! 

They lost Game 1 and I'm pretty sure they will lose the Series but we can still hope, right?!

On Monday, Josh and I went to the beach. We left my parents house on Balboa Island, took the ferry to the mainland, walked across the peninsula, and set up camp on the beach by the Balboa Pier. 

It was a GORGEOUS day! We had a great time just sitting on the beach, enjoying the view, making fun of tourist, and critiquing the boogie boarders. For lunch we walked over to BJ's Restaurant and Brewery for some of their famous pizza.

[Josh found a crab!]

[My parents have these really great beach chair backpacks. I was pretty excited about them]

That night we went to another Angel's game with my family.

[Josh, me, and Luke enjoying the game]

Even though our seats were up high they were still great! We got giant hot dogs, peanuts, and chocolate malts. The Angels lost but we still had a great time!

On Tuesday, Josh and I went to Six Flags Magic Mountain.

The park was EMPTY so we were able to get onto all the rides we wanted to and rode them as many times as we wanted to.

[Josh in front of Goliath]

My favorite ride was The Drop of Doom. The ride consists of a huge drop from the top of Superman! I rode it twice! Josh doesn't like big drops so he took pictures of me from the ground.

My second favorite ride was Batman. When I was in High School I came to Six Flags with my family and the Van Dusen family. During that trip Jessica and I rode Batman 14 times IN A ROW without getting off the ride. It was crazy! This time I only rode it once before I was ready for a break. I've always had a problem with motion sickness and it's getting worse as I get older. Bummer!

[Me in front of Riddler's]

The Green Lantern ride was really different and super fun!

We started the day on Tatsu and finished on X2 (the two most popular rides at the park). I'm glad we ended with X2 because the ride was so intense! You know when people scream on rides it's because they are having fun? On X2 you scream because you are scared for your life!

On Wednesday Josh and I went shopping! We bought Josh his first pair of sandals and some nice board shorts for Hawaii. That night we watched another Lakers game and hung out with my family. The Lakers lost, again, sad day.

[My dad "resting his eyes" and watching the Lakers game]

Thursday morning we left beautiful Southern CA! We had a blast hanging out with my family but it was time to start the long journey back home!

[Sad faces because we were leaving]

A special thanks to my family for hosting us for TWO WEEKS and a super special thanks to Luke for letting us steal his bedroom : )  We will see my family soon as we will all be going to Hawaii for a week in June! So excited!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Spring Thaw Vacation: First Week In CA

Just a few days after Josh and I arrived in CA my mom and Luke headed out to Canada to visit my Grandma. 

On Saturday night Josh, my dad, and I went to an Angels game. We had great seats and the Angels won!

Josh started his NACE 2 class Sunday morning. From then until Friday he was either in class or studying like crazy!

While Josh was studying, I was able to keep busy and entertain myself : ) Don't you worry!

I ended up spending a lot of time with my cousin Tiersha and her adorable baby Charlotte!

On Monday, we went to Sprinkles to get their new ice cream and classic cupcakes! YUM! After that we walked around Fashion Island. You can't go wrong with an outdoor mall in Southern CA that overlooks the ocean.

[Red velvet cupcake with vanilla ice cream in the middle]

On Tuesday, I babysat Charlotte. She was so cute and so good! I wanted to get a picture with my phone of the two of us but every time the phone was pointed in our direction, she tried to grab it. Silly baby!

[My attempts to get a picture]

[Finally I put her down and got a good one]

On Wednesday I went to Wahoo's Fish Taco to get the BEST FISH TACO'S IN THE WORLD and to visit with my old friend Adam! We have known each other for a LONG time (15 years?!). It was so nice to chat and catch up on life.

On Thursday I went to The Market Place (formerly known as The Tustin Market Place). It was gorgeous outside so I just walked around and ate In-n-Out burger. After walking around for a few hours, Tiersha and Charlotte came and picked me up and we headed to Disneyland where we met up with some of our other cousins. It is so fun to be able to see my family! My cousins rock!

[My Disneyland outfit: shorts, Rainbows, shirt, and sunglasses]

[I really want this shirt that they have at Disneyland. It has Darth Vader and his Stormtrooper on the Carousel and the quote below it says, "This will be a day long remembered." LOL!]

Friday morning Josh went to take his NACE 2 test. He won't get the official results for two weeks but he is positive that he passed with flying colors! I hope he is right!

After Josh finished his test we went to the Irvine Spectrum to get Cold Stone Ice Cream, go ring shopping, and to see my friend Jamie and her boyfriend, Jason. Jamie and I went to High School and College together and it was fun to be able to catch up with her and Jason. 

On Saturday Josh and I went to Fashion Island to walk around. It wasn't too exciting except for the fact that I found this Swiss Chocolate store that had AMAZING chocolates! It was a highlight for me!


So far our vacation has been great! I just love being here : )

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Spring Thaw Break

No, not Spring Break. We get a "Spring Thaw".

When it gets warm the asphalt roads start to thaw out and soften. If large, heavy trucks run on the road when they are soft it can tare up the roads. So, the state puts weight restrictions on the road when the thaw starts in order to protect the roads. When this happens, the pipelines shut down because they can't run their big trucks and machines on the roads.

This break can be anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months. It just depends on the weather and how long the thaw last. It can be frustrating but it can also be a nice break.

Back in November of 2011, Josh and I went to Texas so he could take a class and get his NACE 1. Even since he got this inspection job we have been talking about him going and getting his NACE 2. These classes are EXPENSIVE, a week long, and very hard, but can be worth it in the long run.

We knew the thaw was coming so we started researching where and when the NACE 2 classes would be. There happened to be a class in Anaheim April 14th-19th, so I was praying that the thaw would happen so that we could go to CA for this class. If it didn't happen in time then we were planning on going back to Texas or to Colorado. It just all depends on WHEN this thaw starts.

Well, we got the word and the thaw officially started on April 3rd. Score!

We hung around ND for a few days to finish up some last minute things (get the RV ready for sitting around, finishing up paperwork, getting Josh signed up for the class, etc.) and then we headed out on an adventure!

We left ND early on Tuesday, April 9th and headed west. We went through ND, Montana, Wyoming (clipping Yellowstone), Idaho, and Utah in the first day! It was a long (16 hour) day but making it to SLC and getting a good nights rest made it all worth it.

[Entering Montana]

[Gorgeous Montana]

We woke up early the next day, after a great nights rest, and continued on our journey. At about 10AM we were passing through Southern Utah and I suggested that we stop and see Brodee for a minute since we were making good time*. Of course, Josh thought that was a great idea, so we called Sara to make sure they were home before we swung by.

It was the cutest thing when we walked through the door and Brodee saw us for the first time in 8 months. He just starred at us. It's like he recognized us but he didn't know why. Josh quickly walked over to him, picked him up, and Brodee gave Josh a hug. It was so adorable! I then said hi and asked Brodee if we could see his toys. He was so excited to show us his room which was filled with toys and books! We played in there for a while and then Brodee wanted to show us his bike. He is out of control on this thing! He goes so fast and has no fear! Stud! After playing for an hour Brodee was getting sleepy (and grouchy) so we decided it was time to take off.

*We wanted to get to CA as quickly as possible so that Josh could have time to study for his class. We were not planning on stopping and seeing anyone. When we finally go back to ND we are planning on taking our time, making more stops, and seeing family and friends.

After seeing Brodee, we continued on our drive through Utah, Arizona, Nevada (stopped in Mesquite for some amazing sushi... strange, I know), and CA.

[Virgin River Gorge in Arizona]

It took us 26 hours (2 days) to drive 1600 miles through 8 states! Phew! What a drive! But we FINALLY made it to Orange County!