Thursday, September 30, 2010

Californication

My mom and I decided to take a little trip this year together. It's been a long time! We set off at the end of August for California to do a mommy & me vaca.

First we flew down to Santa Barbara to spend a few days milling around downtown for shopping and food, with a little visit to the coast. We did meet up with one of my dearest gal-pals, her hubby and her mom for dinner as well. I was not thoughtful enough to take photos of us all, but not to worry...they met up with us at our next destination!




















We were lucky enough to land in one of mom's World Mark Condos in Solvang. Solvang was a cute Danish village a little over a half hour from Santa Barbara. The condo was a big 2 bed/ 2 bath with a generous living/dining area. We even lucked out with the wheelchair accessable room, which meant even more space! There is a lot of yummy Danish food, shopping and wine tasting to be done there. We spent time with Kerry, Kevin and Debbie one evening just tasting the yummy local wines of the area. As everyone knows, CA is filled with vinyards! We even stopped by the Blackjack Ranch where they filmed the movie Sideways.





















After a few days down south, we headed up the coast toward Santa Cruz to see my mom's cousin Litsa and her family. This was just a short stop to grab dinner, but it was really nice to finally meet her! We even met a few furry friends on the way!

















That evening, we trudged our way to San Francisco, both tired and stiff from a long drive. We got to the next condo (more like a hotel room) late so we didn't start our tour of San Fran until the next day. The days flew by as we both walked and rode our way around the many faces of the big city. We didn't rent a car for this portion of the trip so we got a pass for the trolly and saw as much as we could over the next four days. We even got to visit with another of my friends, Corinne, who had moved there a few years ago.









There were just too many things to tell you about, so I decided to just post a couple photos and leave it at that. I would be happy to chat about the places we went over lunch if anyone is so inclined, but that will be it for my blog post. I will close by saying that I had a great time and was happy I got to spend some much needed one-on-one time with my oh-so-wonderful mother!

A nice day for a wedding!

My sis-in-law was married on September 11th and I have not blogged about it yet! First of all, let me say that it was really nice to have a sweet memory to think about on this sad day in history.

I was not the "official" photographer for this event, thank goodness, but I did tag along with her the first half of the day to catch her beautification! I had a great time doing girlie things and helping her capture moments thoughout the day (and during the rehearsal dinner the evening before). I thought I would post a couple of photos for your/my viewing pleasure!

So here she is: the BEAUTIFUL Bride and Co.



















And a few of the BIG DAY!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Toys!

Mike and I finally went shopping for new phones! For those of you who know us, we are not gadget people. We don't keep up with the newest and the best of anything really, but we decided to splurge and get new phones. It had been a few years and our phones were just not holding a charge too well, so spontaneously I went to the T-moble store and picked out a couple new phones I liked and bought them online. Mike and I got the same phone (we stuck with our trusty Samsung brand), but in different models and colors. Since we don't use the internet on our phones, we stayed away from the confusing smart phones and touch screens and settled on the Gravity.
Yay for new Toys!

Samsung Gravity 2 - Mike's phone

























Samsung Gravity 3 - My phone!

Audio Books

I have been a bit obsessed lately. With Audio books! I have no idea why it took me so long to try them out! With all the time I spend in the car, I can go through 2 books a week! I decided to give them a try when I realized how bored I was making my usual work rounds one wednesday. I do a lot of driving to my clients houses each week, traveling from Issaquah to Bellevue to Woodinville.

I had just finished listening to the last of my CD's in my car's 6 disk changer, when my player went back to CD 1. I got annoyed and turned to the radio, which of course had nothing but commercials playing. Then I thought about how I wanted to have a driver so I could finish my book. It gave me a spark of an idea...Books on CD! Why hadn't I thought of it before. I love reading, I have loads of time in the car, why not "read" a book while driving!?

Needless to say, I am hooked. I have listened to 3 books now in probably 2 weeks and I am never bored! I actually can't wait to get into my car and spend a good half hour in traffic. I know, crazy! No road rage, no wasted time!

I've been hitting up novels I have been meaning to read, but haven't had time for. Since I have been on such a fantasy streak the last few years, I haven't been able to get to a lot of my fictional novels. This works perfect. I can read my fantasy novels at home (one by myself and one with Mike, yes we read together!), and a novel in my car. So now, I can get through three books at once. Go ahead, call me a nerd... I can hear you thinking it. But it's honestly the perfect thing for me to do to pass the time when I am driving or taking Charlie on a walk.

My next book on que from the library is : Unwind

It's a sci-fi story that has me very intrigued.

Charlie Brown



I was watching Charlie the other day as he was running around my living room and thinking "Boy, is he a character"! Then I got to thinking that since he is the "baby" in my life, I should give him a little blog time. So here goes - a few little tid-bits that make Chupa such a funny dog.

1. He acts all aggressive toward strangers, barking his head off, then as soon as he knows that we know them, he wants all their attention.
2. He doesn't really like to do "dog" things, like play fetch or chew bones.
3. He is more of a person than a dog.
4. He gets jealous whenever I give attention to anyone other than him.
5. Charlie could care less about his food, sometimes waiting all day to eat, then acting starved and eats a huge bowl all at once.
6. The dog is an athlete. He jumps higher than any chihuahua I have ever seen and runs like his pants are on fire.
7. One of his ears is "lazy" and flops a little, which I think is adorable.
8. He always seem to understand what you are saying and tilts his head back and forth like he is completely interested in what you are saying to him.
9. He randomly gets in the bathtub and can't get out again.
10. He regularly gets stuck in one of the bedrooms and howls until you come to let him out.
11. If you howl long enough, he will start whining and crying too.
12. He knows when you are sad or upset and comes to kiss you.
13. As soon as you get up, he takes your spot on the couch.
14. If Mike and I are play fighting, he tries to protect me.
15. When you are playing with him on the floor, he will roll onto his back under your face for attention.
16. He growls at the metal bears in front of the Brown Bear car wash.
17. His favorite people food is Green Beans!
18. Charlie is a little mountain goat, climbing all the way up to your shoulders if you try to hold him.
19. Charlie has to look down into every storm drain he passes, while on walks.
20. He swims when you hold him over anything with water (even a bucket).
21. His front paw pops up when he sits (like a flamingo) and he looks all dainty.
22. He has a dark racing stripe down his back due to thicker hair.
23. When it's wet out, he high steps through the grass trying to keep his feet dry.
24. Mike and I like to watch him nibble off of an apple core with his tiny front teeth.
25. He thinks he is going somewhere as soon as you put your coat, shoes or pants on.
26. He hates the vaccuum, plastic bags, bodies of water, bicycles and skateboards, his snow boots, being stared at, being blown on, tongues, Soda & Rock Band.
Cheers to my Chupes!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cook Family Vacation

This past week I was able to spend time with some of the best people in the world and I am happy to call them family. My aunt Kathy (on my dad's side), her hubby Brent, my cousin Brad and his girl Steph all ventured over here from Ohio to spend a few days. I had been waiting to show some of my Ohio fam around for some time and was delighted when they told me they had booked their tickets!
My sis and I don't get much chance to see our family since they don't live near us, but it's always so comforting when we do. I only wish it could happen more often.

We decided to make the most of our time off of work and see the sights. We went to the Snoqualmie Casino, where Brad was able to slink away with a good handful of winnings and we ate lots of seafood which is lovely!
We took the ferry over to Whidbey Island, wine tasted, played on the beach and took Deception pass back home. We got some decent shopping time in when we spent time at Bothell Country Village, took in a car show and a short trip to the Ballard Locks. We found time to take a drive over Snoqualmie pass to Lake Kachess, eat pie at Remlinger Farms, visit Snoqualmie Falls, sightsee around Pike Place Market and the Space Needle, and chow on "all you can eat" Dungenes Crab! Well that ended up being me and Steph...I won't lie, we were eating for a good hour or more.

All in all, it was a fabulous time and I am plum tuckered out now. Entertaining sure can be exhausting! I wouldn't trade it for the world however.
























Not everyone was able to make it unfortunately, so here is a nice group photo (that I stole) of a few of my Ohio family. Of course the family is much bigger than this, but you can't fit them all into one frame, so this will have to suffice.
We missed you Lindsay & Trace!
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