Wednesday, August 1, 2012

California Roadtrip: Carmel & Monterey

There's just something charming about the quaint downtown of Carmel 
surrounded by ridiculously expensive real estate.  
We enjoyed wandering, seeing what we could see.
We kicked things off with breakfast at Katy's Place, which was so good, but the portions were enough for a family of four

We drove the 17-mile drive, wishing we were on bikes instead of in our rental 

We stopped for a glass of wine at the Spanish Links and cozied up by the fire.
We walked in on a cocktail party at Pebble Beach 
and ease dropped until our hearts were content


We watched the surfers
We held hands
We peeked into photo galleries
We saw whales in Monterey

 We stopped for coffee
We passed through Salinas and saw where a good amount of our food is produced- fascinating

We had dinner at Casanova and La Bicyclette 
and adopted a new strategy to our week long food feast 
with the hope that we'll still be able to fit in our clothes by the time we leave- 
salads for both and an entree to split- 
perfect and delicious and more room for wine!

Monday, July 30, 2012

California Roadtrip: Let's Hike Yosemite

Today is Mr. oh-so-worth-the-wait's birthday. 
Hooray You! 
We have all of our celebrations grouped in a one week period. 
My birthday is just a few days away. 
I say all the more reason to celebrate with a big trip each year. 
Sounds like a good idea to me :)

To celebrate the birthday boy we set off on a hike to Vernal Falls, breathtakingly beautiful and rainbows too. How's that for birthday luck? To get away from the crowds we continued up to Nevada Falls, which was a tougher hike, but worth it. We also came across a stream to swim in, which was incredible because it was h-o-t.  

 There was definitely a theme throughout on our trip- 
Impromptu swim breaks in the crisp clear waters we came across . . 
Ahhh Summer!

As we say goodbye to Yosemite, a few observations. 
breathtakingly so, 
and I recommend that everyone go there at least once in their lifetime, 
but people 
if you weigh more than 250+ pounds 
and have never worked out a day in your life 
this is not the place to vacation.

I'm just saying...

Sunday, July 29, 2012

California Roadtrip: Yosemite Here We Come

Today is the day, our big 1-year anniversary, more on that here, and 
I couldn't be more excited to get back on the road with my favorite road trip companion. Destination- Yosemite. 
Seriously, what a great way to spend an anniversary, on the open road, surrounded by amazing scenery, rocking out to some great music (thank you Pandora), recapping the highlights of the past year and dreaming of what's to come. 
Oh the possibilities...

Here are some pics from our day:

Ugh oh, look who's behind the wheel

Afternoon swim, clear water, amazing views and not a person in site.

Hello Mr. oh-so-worth the wait! Yep, I married this guy!

Anniversary dinner and drinks at the Ahwahnee Hotel
Our tented accommodations for the evening

Happy Anniversary


...isn't that the truth. Today I celebrate my one year wedding anniversary with Mr. oh-so-worth-the-wait and while so much between us is the same- his kind eyes, gentle soul and thoughtful ways- everything is different in the most extraordinary way.

"The Union" by Robert Fulghum says it best.

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance
to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry.
From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed,
you have been making commitments in an informal way.
All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal,
or during long walks – all those conversations that began with,
"When we're married", and continued with "I will" and "you will" and "we will" –
all those late night talks that included "someday" and "somehow" and "maybe" –
and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart.
All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.
The symbolic vows that you are about to make
are a way of saying to one another,
"You know all those things that we've promised, and hoped, and dreamed –
well, I meant it all, every word."
Look at one another and remember this moment in time.
Before this moment you have been many things to one another –
acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher,
for you have learned much from one another these past few years.
Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life,
and things between you will never quite be the same.
For after today you shall say to the world –
This is my husband. This is my wife.

My partner, my lover, my confidant, my friend, 
I meant it 
and I am proud to call you my husband 
and I am proud to be your wife. 



Saturday, July 28, 2012

California Roadtrip: Tahoe We Love You

Wow, what a day.
 We set off this morning for a ride with the Tahoe Mountain Guides.
We met them at their shop in Truckee, which is cute little town just outside of Tahoe. 
They set us up with mountain bikes that looked like they could ride through a crater if they had to. 
They were beautiful too, but I know I'm not supposed to comment on that when I'm out doing bad ass mountain sports :)

They drove us out to the start of a great trail and up we went. 
Up, up, up, getting comfortable with the bikes, all of the gears and riding over boulders, tree trunks and loose terrain along the way. 
It was tough, in the good way of knowing you were testing yourself. 
We stopped for a break and Ken (upper right photo) gave us pointers like, 
"stay out of your seat, it'll give you more control" 
and my addition, "your tush will thank you later" 
before we made our descent. 

Going down was a bit scary, I'm not going to lie. 
Tight turns and so much to try to maneuver around and I couldn't help but want to go fast. 
It took a while, but luckily i got more confident just in time for our trail to widen a bit. 
Man oh man can you get going fast on those bikes and they really do go over anything if you let em. 
Poor Mr. Oh-so-worth-the-wait may have tested his a little too hard because he wound up with a flat tire- oops. 
Luckily one of our guides fixed it fast and we were all back on our way, pedaling, jumping and pushing our way back down the mountain.

It was such a great way to see and experience Tahoe. 

I highly recommend it.

By the time we were done we were covered in dirt, so we found a great spot on the lake and went for a swim. The scenery out here is beautiful! 
Then we stopped by Sunnyside for a cocktail and 
finished off the day with a delicious dinner at Christy Hill overlooking the lake.
If you go, sit outside and get their Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding-- amazing. 

Yes, oh yes, I do love you Tahoe!

Friday, July 27, 2012

California Roadtrip: Hello Tahoe

4 a.m. the alarm went off 
and the internal dialog with myself began, 
"whose idea was it to get the first flight out?... 
It's so early. No one should be awake this early. 
Can't we go back to bed and catch the next flight out?...
Seriously, whose idea was this?"

Then Mr. oh-so-worth-the-wait, who married me in spite of me being hopeless in the morning, chimed in with a cheerful reminder,  
"It was your idea to get the first flight out sunshine. Let's get movin." 
So much for my internal dialog.

He was right though, it was my idea. First flight out meant we would be sitting outside enjoying a delicious sea scallop salad with truffle dressing on the side and an ice cold glass of chardonnay by the water.

First flight out-- Best Idea Ever!!! Thanks so much for the reminder. 

Hello Tahoe, I love you already.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Road trip...


I'm listening, I'm listening.
I'm all packed up and ready go. 
First thing tomorrow we fly to California, 
pick up our rental car 
and  kick off our adventure in Tahoe

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dream a Little Dream...


Oh how this quote resonates with me today. No falling needed in the love department. I've already fallen. Hard, thank you.

But I am counting the days to the start of my road trip through California with Mr. oh-so-worth-the-wait. Open roads, great company, beautiful scenery and endless possibilities for what we may discover.

I'm giddy with excitement here. What does one pack for such an adventure...

Tahoe>Yosemite>Carmel>Santa Barbara>San Diego 


Friday, July 20, 2012

Girl Crush Friday: Kristen Bell

Ladies, ladies, ladies. 

I grew up in a house full of boys, so while at times I find girls, me included, to be a bit perplexing, man oh man do I like to relish in the quirkiness that only they can exude.

Case in point, Miss Kristen Bell sharing her overwhelming love of sloths.

I love her.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Rustic in the City

As a city kid that often dreams of the mountains, I find myself drawn to wide open spaces with a rustic feel. I also have a slight obsession with all things white, which Mr. oh-so-worth-the-wait has subtly pointed out may be a difficult obsession to hold onto if rugrats and furry little friends are to be a part of our future.

This girl is hanging on to her obsession, especially now that I've come across these pictures of lovely.

City meet Rustic. Rustic meet White. Everyone meet Rustic in the City.

Nice work Philly!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Picnic Under the Stars

The day began with blue skies and ended with an impressive lightning and rain storm that cut our picnic and Tedeschi Trucker show at Ravinia short. It was fun while it lasted, but it's always sad to end a good night with good people.

Luckily the rain, which turned to hail, continued to come down long after we made our way home so we could enjoy it from the comfort of our dry, cozy bed.

All in all, a good night indeed.

Here's a taste of the Tedeschi Trucker Band's Midnight in Harlem:

Stuck in a Rut

Have you ever found yourself in the company of someone stuck in a rut? It's as if you can literally see the person shrunk down to the size of an action figure, running in a hamster wheel they can't figure out how to get off of. Their stories follow the same cyclical pattern and almost always end with the question, "how does this stuff happen to me?"

It's enough to make me want to channel Dr. Phil. Instead I try to remind myself that I too have been stuck on that wheel. I had to figure out for myself that the only way to get off was to slow down, take a serious look at how I got there, where I wanted to go, and get out of my own way so I could actually get there. It's hard work. It's work that only I could do. It's also the most rewarding work I've ever done and continue to do.

So wheel runners, I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, hoping the wheel slows down for you. As for me, I'm more of an open road kind of gal these days. It puts a smile on my face just saying so.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Big 6-0


That's right, the Hoff is turning the big 6-0 today. 

Let's hear it for the Hoff.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Just One More Day...

I say this often when it comes to my weekends, if only I could have one more day... and this weekend was no exception. It was the perfect mix of...

  • ME TIME- I 'accidentally' showed up an hour early to my hair appointment so I could sneak into the salon's super relaxing spa area to catch up on some reading. It was just what I needed. I left feeling refreshed and I have some new super blonde summer highlights to show for it too.
  • PLAY TIME with Mr. oh-so-worth-the-wait- We decided to escape the city and drove out to my parents for the night. We grabbed ourselves some cocktails, sat outside under the stars and listened to the crickets. It felt like we were a world away and I didn't even mind the mosquito bites I found scattered all over my body the next morning. I also didn't mind getting up before sunrise to ride through the hills with Mr. oh-so-worth-the-wait. It was beautiful. Who knows, my quest to become a morning person may be closer than I thought. 
  • CATCH UP TIME with old friends-  Call it a newlywed thing, but there is this calm excitement that comes over me when I'm in the company of other couples that give off that, "we're in this together" vibe as I like to call it. Lucky for me, I got to experience that this weekend. We had brunch with one of my high school friends and her ridiculously cute family of five. It was so nice to see her, to get to know her kids personalities and to hear her and her husband talk about their upcoming 10-year anniversary. Our upcoming one-year anniversary has flown by, so it's pretty crazy to think that come our 10-year, we may be on the other side of that table with three little nuggets of our own. Where does the time go.
  • CATCH UP TIME with old, new friends-  To close out the weekend, I decided to join Mr. oh-so-worth-the-wait and attended Sunday night mass. Its been quite some time since I've gone, so it felt karmic in a way because we ran into Father Eddie, who married us almost one year prior to the date. Shortly after our wedding, he moved to the East coast, so he just happened to be back in town for a conference and we were lucky enough to run into him. It was such a nice surprise. Now I can't say that I know many priests. To be honest, I've always found their profession, which makes up such a huge part of who they are, difficult to relate to. But, when I met Father Eddie I knew he was someone I wanted to know. He has an optimism about life that's contagious and he wound up being a big part of our engagement process. It was the perfect end to a great weekend.

Bring it on Monday...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Happy Friday

Over the past few weeks, two to be precise, I have been trying to eat better i.e. no more savoring a delicious burger on a soft pretzel bun while sitting outside with Mr. oh-so-worth-wait and no more slices of office birthday, anniversary, just because cake for me. Things have been going really well. I love my egg whites and veggies in the morning. I really do. That is until today. I walked into Starbucks to get my usual summer treat- an iced venti no water americano- when I was taunted by a slice of iced lemon pound cake that was staring at me from the pastry case. I imagine that I looked something like the picture above.

I got a slice. It was delicious. It's Friday.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Let's Jump In

Welcome to my blog.

The past few years have been a whirlwind. I went from being single, in search of a better work life balance, and treading ever so gently in the dating pool, to finding love in a complete stranger I met in the most unexpected place, to replacing my want for balance for my need for inspiration, to getting engaged and planning a wedding, to drum roll please, settling in to build a future full of possibilities. 

I feel like I dove head first into the ocean in search of hidden treasures. Now I'm making my way back to shore with the treasures I found held tightly in my hand and, call me greedy, but I'm eager to find more.

I feel lucky. I feel blessed. I feel more inquisitive than ever about the mysterious ways the world works. And yet I feel fearful that I'll get sidetracked by the doldrums of the everyday. Life is what you make of it, at least that's what 'they' say. Oh how I would like to meet the 'they' we so often refer to because I believe them. It's up to me to see what I want in the world. For that reason, I want to slow down and explore, lest I miss something good.

I want to Gaze away. 

Feel free to join me.

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