Friday, September 30, 2011

Visiting Family in Orange County

I left Christine's about midday and headed down to visit with my parents and my oh so cute niece, who was coincidentally visiting for the weekend!

This cute girl was so much fun, crawling around and getting into things :)

Our next door neighbor came over to get some quality Amelia time as well. Who could resist?

My mom also  needed some quality time with this every growing girl.

We couldn't resist the cute baby giggles when she got tickled.

She also enjoyed her new toy.

And she even let me cuddle with her.

After the indoor play, we decided to take her out for some pool time. She really loved splashing and when you pulled her through the water, she would kick and hit the water. 

She looks like such the little swimmer.

After the spa, she had some very yummy dinner.

Then she had a bath in the sink. Quite honestly, she was not amused. But she looked so cute, even when she was so clearly outraged that we had deigned to wash her in a sink.

Of course, she calmed down and headed down for bed very easily. 

We adults then enjoyed a delicious dinner while the little one slept upstairs. 

The next morning, after a walk around the lake, it was time to head back up and back to the real world. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Visiting in Long Beach: Part 2

Our 3rd day together was equally relaxing. After a leisurely morning, we went out shopping and then had lunch by the beach.

Our view from the table was just beautiful.

We spent a few hours here, having delicious beers and meals as we soaked in the SoCal sun.

Once we got home, I had some nice cuddle time with the Hart's dog, Kenny. 

We topped off the night we some delicious cupcakes, bought earlier and enjoyed with a nice glass of milk.

It was a perfect end to the evening.

The next morning, I ran a lovely 9 miles along the beach in the cool fog, alongside a number of other Long Beach runners. Then, it was off to part two of my visit!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Visiting in Long Beach: Part 1

Before my friend, Christine, moved way off to Alabama, I wanted to get in one last visit, so I headed down the 5 in early August. 

We had a great first afternoon together, going out to lunch (which of course included a celebratory glass of wine and a dessert crepe - we were on vacation after all!). 

I did go on a short exploratory run in the afternoon, which was lots of fun I got to run around a man made lake
 experience the waterfront area, check out the light house

 and views of the QEII
, and check out all the people enjoying the nice summery afternoon. 

That night, we checked out a cute BBQ place right down the street from Christine's apartment (visiting her definitely helped me see the perks of living downtown in a city - everything is so close!)

We started with some decadent mac and cheese, and I had a burger to die for - one of the best I've had in a long time. We also had some good beer. I accidently ordered a "Radler" - a popular german mix of beer and lemon sparkling water that I had a lot of on our honeymoon. This was a bit too lemony for my tastes, though, so I had to finish it quickly and order another :).

The next morning, I headed out early (okay, it was around 11am, but due to the fog, it looked earlier) to go for another run. 

The first half mile is through the city, where I had fun sprinting to cross the streets before the lights changed. 

I then headed up to the convention center, which featured an overpass that allowed me to skip the last major light before I reached the waterfront.

Heading down the stairs, I got a great view of the area I ran in yesterday,

before I headed to the marina, to check out all the boats. 

Before I knew it, I had reached the beach - so smooth and expansive compared to a lot of Northern California beaches.

I headed out on a small pier, saying hi to the people fishing as the fog broke into blue sky. 

On my way back, I got a nice view of the mural on the aquariaum.

And a much clearer view of this magnificent ship. 

The day looked much brighter and prettier as I returned by the convention center, promising that this would be a lovely day. 

And, quickly enough, I was sprinting back through downtown,

And back. 

That afternoon, we decided to visit the fair with some of Christine's law school friends, which was great! I havent' been to a fair in years. 

We started with a lovely glass of wine (we definitely know how to relax when we're together)

before we met up with her friends and explored all the fair sights. 

Of course, Christine had to get cotton candy (one of her favorites). 

And, we shared a funnel cake - the only fried food we had, despite the "temptation" to have such delicacies as deep fried Kool Aid and deep fried butter. 

Seeing the oxen was pretty cool - these are such huge animals, and it gives you a better idea of why they were used to help pioneers travel west. 

We checked out the incredibly cute pig races, and had fun cheering along. 

 We also all decided to be daring and get tatoos - I thought mine was very pretty :).

That night, we went out great Mexican food on the waterfront.

As the sun set over the harbor, I felt grateful for such a beautiful, fun and relaxing day.