Friday, August 15, 2014

Making a house a home.

Last time I shared photos of Mr. F on dinner duty. This time around I thought I'd share my kitchen contribution. Soup has recently been my go to meal. Here I am preparing a lentil/vegetable/facon soup. Yes, you read that right. I don't eat meat, but I do eat fake meat, or facon. I think it's a super yummy alternative. It's also full of iron. Paul and Dad will never admit it, but they like it too.
It's Friday night over here. That means we were due for a trip to Bunning's. Our incredibly thoughtful friends, the Kayser's gave us a Bunning's gift card as a house warming gift. We bought a fancy little lemon tree, and a few other things with our gift. 

We had the perfect little spot in the front for a dwarf tree.
Paul dug a hole, and got the soil ready.
It took us a grand total of ten minutes to plant.

I can't wait for our first lemon!
Ps: The rose bushes are still alive! 3 out of our 4 ferns look healthy. Hopefully they can keep fighting the good fight!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

California knows how to party: Part 2

On our third day we made our way to Hollywood Blvd. Paul and I have been there, but Josh had never experienced the mayhem.

How sad is the once swanky Geisha House?!

We dabbled in Scientology.

Paul made friends with a Lego Man. P loves Legos!

Josh was hard style with a gnarly wannabe Beast, of Beauty and the Beast fame.

Meryle Streep is a boss.

Musical stairs!

That night we all sat out by the pool for pizza and to go through all our photos.


Our hotel with the Jehovah's witness church across the street.
The first of our hotels, Azul Inn. A simple, inexpensive motor lodge. They were very clean, descent location, free breakfast, and good customer service. Would definitely stay there again.
 On our final half day with Josh we rented bikes in Venice. P and I had rented bikes once before. Iy was one of my favourite things we'd done. This time we cruised the boardwalk, and ate at James Beach. I had been dying to get there since seeing I love you, man. It was worth the wait! I had the Mahi Mahi tacos, and a margarita. It was all phenomenal!

 After lunch we biked to the Santa Monica Pier. We did some gawking before it was time to drop Josh at the airport. Our time together was short, but sweet!

After we dropped off Josh we made a trip to the mall. I needed me some white keds. P and I stopped into Target, Macy's and Penny's. After the shopping extravaganza we hopped on the road towards Anaheim. The next few days were spent with my besties Katie and Justine. Katie lives in Cali with her husband, and Justine flew in from MN to catch up!

We made it to Anaheim just before sunset. We checked into our hotel. Big shout out to Hotel Indigo. Excellent customer service, and beautiful rooms. After check in we went out for a bite to eat with the girls. Every damn restaurant had at the minimum an hour wait. There was a comic con like event going on. It was fun for people watching, and annoying for our stomachs. There were lots of laughs and catching up at ol' PF Changs.

We couldn't stay out too late as we had a date with DISNEY early the next morning!

Crocodile Rock to be revisited in another blog.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

California knows how to party: Part 1

 Back in April we had a visit to California. 
The first leg of our trip was spent mainly in La and the surrounding areas. 
We were lucky enough to have three days with my baby brother.
We hadn't seen each other since last September. If you didn't already know, my bro and I are thick as thieves. Until I moved down under him and I shared an apartment for two years in NE, Mpls. We hung out daily, laughed constantly, and annoyed each other A LOT. Not much has changed. I'm so grateful we had this time together.
 We each flew in on the same day. P and I from Oz, and Jables from MN. P and I thought the best way to combat jet lag was to get straight into it. We went to Starbucks, and patiently awaited Josh's 9:15 landing. Once we joined forces we went to the LACMA. P was really keen to see the tar pits. Josh and I were happy to see what it was all about.

That is real life tar from 1,000's of years ago on that stick.

After the LACMA we went to Chipotle for a bite. Josh embarked on the first of his two hot dogs in one day journey. Neither meal photographed. After our food we hit Venice Beach Boardwalk. P and I have been here every time we've been to Cali in our couple year relationship. Venice is special to us. When we were living apart we met in CA a few times. Our first visit together was primarily spent in Venice and surrounding areas. Anyways.... jaunt down memory lane paused.
Josh and his second hot dog. He said his first of the day was better. I wouldn't know.
I no longer eat meat, but I trust his hot dog judgment.
On our second day together we made plans to go for a hike in the Hollywood Hills. This was at Runyon Canyon. It's super popular, and crowded people. If you're in the mood for a secluded hike this location probably isn't your thing. But we had a blast. We were hiking for at least two hours. We worked up a sweat, and saw some spectacular views. I loved it, and would definitely go back. I think my bro and P would agree! Oh Ps: this is free to the public as well!


Hard style.

And a typical thumbs up from Mr. F!
After Runyon we kept up the tourist momentum. We made our way to the Getty. Another free tourist option. Apart from the $15 parking. But it was well worth that small fee for three people. You park under cover then catch a monorail. The monorail takes you up hill and thru trees. It felt very magical. After you exit the monorail there are several polite and very friendly greeters. The security guy even did a little dance for us. Now I'm no art photographer, so don't judge the quality of these photos. Just enjoy them. I took a few photos of pieces that moved me.


Who's that beautiful statue down the front?

We didn't get to the Getty until somewhere around 3pm. It closes at 5:30 if I remember correctly. That was no where near enough time to take everything in. I would recommend giving yourself a whole day.! But absolutely beautiful! Mark my words, we will get back there at some stage in our lives.

Post Getty we took a quick drive down the PCH to Malibu. We kind of just drove aimlessly until we spotted a cool looking pier.  
We took a stroll to the end of the pier. There were a few people fishing... and another mammal looking to catch a few fish! We spotted a seal at the end of the pier. It was there for at least a half hour! One of the fisherman caught a few and threw it in to the cheeky boy. Apparently he or other seals frequent this pier looking for an easy bite. I'd never been so close to a wild animal, so I was loving every minute of it. Eventually the seal got over it. He dipped under the water, and was invisible instantly.

Then Mr. F showed off his American pride.

The following day (day 3) we took another couple hikes. This time just outside of Beverly Hills.
The first spot we weren't overly impressed with. The second we didn't love either. But following our two hikes we continued to explore the area. That was the best part!

We climbed trees.
I attempted and failed to recreate the Dirty Dancing scene where they are dancing on the tree. It requires some serious balance! I didn't trust myself to stand up all the way... and Paul wasn't super into it.

Some turtles scared Josh.

Then he made friends with them.

P loved the snappers.

We were funny.

On our drive out we spotted a beautiful lookout.

A kid stranger took a photo of the three of us.
To be continued: More fun with Josh.