Friday, August 30, 2013

My version of a perfect day (or 2)

This past week included a couple of nearly perfect days.  After being on the go for so many weeks, it was nice to just relax and enjoy some leisure time together.  On Wednesday we slept in then headed to the beach to relax.  I packed a lunch and we just chilled for a few hours for the first time in weeks.

We ran a few errands, including a stop at a local farmers market, then came home and had homemade french bread pizza 2 ways (Margarita and BBQ chicken) for dinner on our makeshift outdoor patio furniture.

Then we headed back to the beach, this time with Buster.
He's 16 years old and this was the first time his paws ever felt sand.  My grandmother (Buster's original mother) would have enjoyed this moment. She loved the beach more than anyone I have ever known and to see her baby on the beach just would have made her day.

He seemed to enjoy himself for the most part.

He's not a huge fan of the water and there were tons of other dogs around which makes him (and me) very uncomfortable so this was not the best part of the experience for him, I'm certain.

Our first family trip to the beach.

Topped off with what is really the only ice cream I will eat, vanilla soft serve with rainbow sprinkles (and double chocolate for the hubs).

The next morning, Jason wanted to do a test ride to the area where he'll be attending classes this month.

So I sent him off and I went out to do a little shopping.  I found this shelf full of letters and these were the three sitting out front, just like this.

When Jason returned from his recon expedition, we rode our bikes to the local farmers market (2 in 2 days, I know, but I want to check them all out while we have the time so I can decide which ones are worth going to).

This one in Ocean Beach was much better (larger and more selection) than the one we had gone to in Point Loma the day before.

 Jason picked me out a beautiful bouquet of flowers for a most reasonable price.

After some time browsing the market we decided it was finally time to eat some fish tacos.  Right at the end of the farmers market is a restaurant I remembered my friend taking me to when I was out here on vacation a few years ago called South Beach Bar & Grill.  According to the internet, they have some of the best fish tacos in SD.  I don't have anything to compare them to but these definitely set the bar pretty high.

We ordered a plate of 5 different mini tacos and this monster plate of onion rings, a beer and a coke.  It was happy hour and the guy forgot to enter our order the 1st time so he didn't charge us for our drinks, so we ended up paying less than $10 for dinner.  While we ate dinner, we watched the sun set over the ocean out the window and the Cincinnati Reds whoop on the Cardinals on the TV inside.  It was a fantastic evening.

We're looking forward to many, many more days like this here in San Diego.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Settling in

We've been here just over a week now and we're finally starting to feel settled.  Neither one of us are working/going to school/doing much of anything responsible at the moment so we don't have any sort of routine established so we're simply enjoying our time together.

We received our express shipment (unaccompanied baggage) which means we have a lot of clothes, a lot of kitchen stuff and not much else.  Our kitchen here is very different from the one we had in Japan.  It is missing my beloved pantry and has really odd shaped cabinets.  I still haven't figure out how to make the best use of them yet, as you can see (I've never had lazy susan's and as of right now I hate them!  I'm hoping they'll grow on me.).  I'm not trying to complain, I just need to figure out how to make it work for me.

Since we have all these kitchen supplies, we've been making trips all the grocery options in town. We have about 5-6 to choose from with in 10 minutes of our house.  The first time I went to buy chicken and had more than one option I was so overwhelmed it took me 10 minutes to pick something.  There is so much more variety and selection here than we've had in the past 3 4 5 years!  They also have produce here like I've never seen anywhere else.

We thought to pack chairs in our UB but not a table so we've been eating dinner on trash cans (that are brand new and I still cleaned extra thoroughly).

We're slowly finding the perfect place for all of our belongings.  This place is smaller than any we've ever lived for an extended period of time so it's going to be interesting once our HHG arrive.

We did send our bikes with our UB so we've been putting them to good use exploring our neighborhood.

We live close enough to the beach that we can ride our bikes there.  We haven't yet but it'll be happening this week, I'm sure.  We did stop by Ocean Beach one day for a few minutes while we were out running errands.

We checked out a new church.  It was my first time at a "mega church" and it was interesting but it felt kind of like corralling cattle to me and that's not really what we're looking for in a church.  I loved all the outreach opportunities they have though so we'll see.

Everyday here I think "man, what a perfect day today is" then I realize that this is going to be EVERYDAY for the next 3-4 years. I really think we're going to like it here, more than we had hoped.  We live in the perfect neighborhood for us.  Almost everything we could possibly need is a bike ride away, the weather is my idea of perfection, and so far the people have been great to us.  We're looking forward to the next 3-4 years here!

Monday, August 26, 2013

August 30x30: Days 21-24

If you're paying close attention to my posts you might have noticed that days 13-20 never showed up and guess what, they never will.  I was correct to assume that participating in this challenge would make it easy when it came to packing for our move but I totally underestimated how difficult it was going to be to find time to snap a decent photo every day while traveling.  If you look through my ETS road trip post you can kind of see most of the outfits from each day but a full post about them just isn't going to happen.  I kept notes of what I wore each day thinking I would have time to go back and take some photos but I've found more important things to do each day so I haven't and probably won't go back and do that.  However, I didn't give up on the whole challenge.  I might be missing 2 of the days from this weeks update, one of which I didn't even put on real close because we were painting from sun up till sun down, but I've still been participating, even if I have totally sucked at documenting it!  Here is what I do have, and I'm back on track to finish strong with the last few days in August.

Day 21
Now that I'm taking photos inside instead of outside like I did in Japan, a lot of my photos don't show the shoes I wore because we don't wear shoes in our house (yes, we are those people!)  Some days I remembered to put shoes on for the photos and some I didn't.
Day 22
It took some time to find the best place to take the photos so I moved around a bit this week
Day 23
I loved this outfit and I probably would have never worn these items together if it weren't for this challenge!
Day 24
It is incredibly difficult to stand in a way that doesn't make this skirt look silly in photos.  I must have taken 20 shots that day and they all looked funny. Oh well, it's comfy and this one doesn't look bad!

I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of the awesome ladies wore all week.  You can check out some of their links below.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

New House Sneak Peak

I've been asked multiple times for photos of the new house and eventually I'll have a full post up about our new house but for now here are a few sneak peaks!

There's been a whole lot of painting going on!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

ETS Road Trip

I don't know that I've ever had a more exhausting week than the one that just passed.  We have been going non-stop since we left Japan Sunday morning.  We left at 8pm on Saturday EST and arrived in Dayton at 830pm on Sunday EST which was followed by a stop at Skyline and an hour drive to Jason's grandma's where our car was stored.  We spent a day in Cincinnati but I failed to take a single photo with any of our family.  I did take some with my BFF but she's in her newly found wedding dress so just by some odd chance her fiance ever sees this I won't post it.

0700 the next morning we were on the road heading west.

(I have this new phone and didn't realize that the camera was set to 16:9 ration instead of 4:3 until 4 days later so the first 20 photos on my phone are all this ridiculous size)

We started our journey with a sunrise trip on the Anderson Ferry that connects Ohio and Kentucky.  Jason's grandparents' each live about 5 minutes from the ferry on either side so we take it often when we're in town visiting.  We've never seen it at this hour though!

Our first stop was just 4 hours into the trip to have lunch with some of our favorite people from Japan.

Day 1 we saw 6 states, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas.  Thankfully we had these awesome people waiting for us at the end.  (Jason's best friend from college and the best man in our wedding, and his wife)

Day 2 also started out with a stop shortly into our trip to see another one of my dearest friends from Japan, Melissa.  We missed seeing her family but it was great to catch up with her for a bit.

We drove all the way across Kansas that day which is terribly boring however, I will point out that Kansas drivers are infinitely better than Missouri drivers.  I wish everyone in the US drove on the highway like people in Kansas.

We stopped in Denver to check out one of the many micro breweries in the area.

That night we stayed with our friend Ashley and her adorable children at their temporary home just outside of Vail.  If I could afford it, I would definitely have a summer house in that area, it's simply gorgeous.  We could have stayed there for days (and the company was unbeatable also).

Day 3 was a short, 7 hour, drive across Colorado to Utah where Jason's mom recently relocated.  Colorado has some of the most beautiful scenic views I've seen anywhere!

Day 4 we didn't drive, we spent the whole day exploring the area around Jason's mom's new house.  She's just minutes from the Great Salt Lake so that was our first stop.

We had dinner at a little burger joint that was featured on DD&D.  It was mostly disappointing.  It was ok but the portions were way too large and there was a ton of wasted food when we were done.  I ordered a pineapple shake and got vanilla ice cream with a few chunks of pineapple, not what I was expecting.

The next day we loaded up a mattress Jason's mom was kind enough to give us and headed south.

That was by far the longest day of driving we had.  We had to stop multiple times to re-secure it and drive slower than we would have liked as well.  It was worth it though now that we're here and have a bed to sleep on!

We stopped somewhere just before the Utah/AZ boarder at a place called "5 Buck Pizza" where I had one of the best BBQ chicken pizzas ever, for just $5!

Luckily, we had beautiful weather the whole trip.  This day I was grateful to be inside the car with the A/C running because it was 110+ outside!

2700 long miles later we finally arrived at our new home!

Our awesome landlords even left us a housewarming gift.

That's the only sneak peak of the new house you get.  We're slowly getting settled in and our express shipment (unaccompanied baggage) gets delivered tomorrow.  Once things are a bit more settled, I'll share some much requested photos.

Friday, August 16, 2013

August 30x30: Days 7-12

So I'm a few days late with this and I haven't read or commented on any blogs in over a week but this is the first time I've been in the same place for more than a few hours.  I'll recap our journey from Japan to San Diego once we actually arrive in San Diego...still a few more days till we get there.
We did get new phones and I decided to go with a windows phone so I also don't have instagram any longer.  It's the only thing keeping me from loving my new phone.  I have until next week to decide if it's worth it to go back to an iPhone!

So, here is week 2.  Week 3 will come from our new home in SD!

Day 7 (last day in our house!)

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10 (last day in Japan!)

Day 11 (30 hour travel day) 

Day 12 (our only day in Cincinnati with friends & family)

The whole week!