Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Weekend in LA

Jason and I spent this past weekend in LA. Jason is a huge Dodger's fan (I know...), and he goes to a home Dodger's game every summer. This year he insisted that I come along and experience my first game at Dodger's stadium...

We left early Saturday morning (6am) and made a quick stop at Anderson's Pea Soup. Jason got a cup of split pea soup for the road at 7:45am. Gross.

Split pea soup at 7:45am.

We first headed down to Santa Monica. We were planning on spending the afternoon at the beach, but it was pretty overcast and a bit chilly. Instead we had lunch down by the pier and then walked around 3rd St. Promenade and got some Coffee Bean (Jason's first experience). If anyone knows me well, you know I LOVE Coffee Bean! On Saturday night we went to Downtown Disney, which was so cool. I had never been there before, and I loved the ambiance. It is so fun. We ate at this amazing restaurant called Ralph Brennan Jazz Kitchen. It is designed with New Orlean's architecture and ambiance - with an open-air courtyard in the middle of the restaurant (which is where we sat). They also have a jazz club, which you can hear in the background while you eat. Sometimes you sacrifice good food for the sake of good ambiance, but the food here was amazing! We had coconut golf shrimp with a pineapple-mango salsa as an appetizer, and for dinner I had blackened salmon with blue crab, and Jason had the seafood jambalaya. We were both blown away by the food.

The fountain that was next to our table at RB Jazz Kitchen

Downtown Disney

On Sunday we went to John MacArthur's church (one of Jason's favorite pastors). Unfortunately he wasn't preaching, but the guy who was, Steve Lawson, was amazing, so it ended up being a win-win situation. After church, Jason took me to his all-time favorite Mexican food restaurant called El Tepeyac. I was served the biggest burrito I have ever attempted to eat! I ate about a fourth of mine; Jason polished his off. No surprise there.

My burrito at El Tepeyac - huge!

Jason's finished product next to my finished product.

Jason and his cleared plate.

We spent Sunday afternoon in the Venice Beach area before heading to the Dodger game. We had great seats at the game (lower level in the outfield by the first baseline) and sat next to such a fun crowd. While I'm no Dodger's fan, I must say that my first experience at a Dodger's game was a blast (and I did wear Dodger blue...but NOT a Dodger's shirt. I figured that since they were playing the Cubs, I was technically neutral since the Cubs are also the same shade of blue). The Dodger's beat the Cubs 7-0, so of course Jason was a happy camper.

My first Dodger Dog - When in Rome...?

We tried to go see the Hollywood sign on Sunday night after the game, but didn't really have directions, so after roaming around the Hollywood Hills for a while, we finally gave up and settled for some Diddy Riese. So good!

We left on Monday morning, and made a stop in Hanford on the way home to see my grandma and my mom's whole side of the family. Jason hadn't meet Grammy yet, so I wanted to make sure that happened sooner than later (especially since Grammy is turning 99 in a few months). We had a great time visiting with family (plus, my mom, sisters, and nieces came down too, so it was quite a full house). Jason and I had a great first trip together and are looking forward to many more!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Adventures in Roadtripping!

One of my best friends from college, Megan, just finished grad school in Denver with a Master's in Social Work (congrats, Meg!). She is getting married in a month, and her and her soon-to-be- husband will be living in San Luis Obispo. So, about six months ago Megan asked me if I would be up for a little roadtrip from Colorado to San Luis Obsipo this summer. Of course I was in! I love Colorado (my sister Mel went to University of Colorado, so I've spent a bit of time there)...plus, I'm always up for an adventure (which turned out to be more than expected)!

I flew out to Denver on a Tuesday night. On Wednesday we spent the day in Boulder - love that place! We enjoyed Buchanan's Coffee, Illegal Pete's (confession: I think Chipotle is better), and Pearl Street. Thursday was packing day and loading up the U-Haul so that we could leave early the next day. On Thursday night we went to a Rookie's vs. Red Socks game, which turned out to be one of the best baseball games I have ever seen. (The Red Socks won 13-11 in the 10th).

Pearl Street

Coors Field

Packed game - so fun!

We set out at about 8:15 on Friday morning, planning on a ten hour drive to St. George Utah, and then a nine hour drive on Saturday from St. George to SLO. Well, that plan was quickly out the window pretty soon, as we were pulling a U-Haul and were pretty much stuck going 60mph the entire time (our roadtrip ended up taking about 6 hours longer than we expected...)

Colorful Colorado! So beautiful

The adventure really started about four hours into the trip. We stopped for lunch, and as we were getting on the freeway, Meg realized we should have got gas while we were stopped. But since we were already getting back on the freeway, we decided to get it within the next few miles since we were already back to driving. We had over a fourth of the tank left, so we were good to go...so we thought. Well, Meg and I get to chatting, and its been maybe 30 minutes and we still haven't stopped for gas. I then see a blue sign on the side of the freeway that says "No Services 60 miles." (Thank you, Utah desert). And so begins the dilemma: Can we make it? We have a little under a fourth of a tank at this point. We decide to just go for it...

If anyone knows me, they can quickly guess that I am beginning to freak out at this point. Let me give you the play-by-play of how all the events unfolded from this point forward:

Gas tank approaching empty. No services 60 miles.
Megan: "We'll be fine."

Gas tank on empty. No services 40 miles.
Megan: "The gas light hasn't come on yet. We're good for 20-30 miles once that comes on. And it hasn't even come on yet. We'll be fine."

Gas tank below empty. No services 20 miles.
Rebecca: "My stomach is in knots."
Megan: "We'll be fine. It's not like we're gong to die."

Sign: Thompson Springs 1 mile - Services!
Car begins stalling.
Rebecca: "I'm pretty sure we're running out of gas."
Megan: "No, that's just the cruise control."

Car out of gas. Almost stopped.
Rebecca: "We're out of gas. Pull to the shoulder."
Megan: "We can just cruise like this on the shoulder the rest of the way, right?"
Car stops.
Rebecca: "No."

Start walking to the gas station in the middle of Utah's desert. Get gas, refill, start driving again.
Megan: "We did a lot of things right up to this point - got the U-Haul, packed it up ourselves, drove for five hours. You can't win them all..."

No, you can't win them all. And we certainly didn't. We had a few other funny stories (such as paying for gas at a gas station and then leaving without actually filling up - whoops, miscommunication....or driving 15 miles in the wrong direction before there was actually an exit to allow us to turn around) but running out of gas was definitely the best of them all - or the worst? Here's a little photo op from that portion of the journey...

@#!$ - 20 miles?

I can't tell you how many NO SERVICES signs we drove by!

Almost to gas!

Oh wait, we're out of gas...

After 24 hours of driving (13 hours on Friday and 11 on Saturday) and about 22 hours of talking (we only listened to 3 CD's - one time through each - for the entire trip) we finally arrived in SLO safely (much to the relief of the men in our lives...). We were quick to hit up Firestone's for a burger and beer after that trip!
Back safely in SLO

Jason came down on Sunday to pick me up, and we had a great day exploring SLO and the surrounding areas before I had to hop back in the car for another 3 hours of driving!