Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Back from California

Eliot and I are back from another California adventure.  We had a wonderful Labor Day weekend in San Jose celebrating the wedding of our best man Ryan and his bride Katherine!  It was nice to visit Eliot's old stomping grounds and to get our fix of some California favorites.  We also got to spend some time with his Dad and his sister Sara!

Our California adventure began really early Friday morning.  Eliot and I caught our early flight from Portland to New York's JFK airport.  Then, we got on another plane to head to San Francisco.  Eliot's Dad, Rick, picked us up at the airport when we arrived around noon west coast time.  Of course, at this point, it was 3:00 our time and we were starving- so we stopped at In-N-Out and Eliot got his burger fix.

After that, we stopped to pick up this cutie pie.  Bella was at doggie day camp and she was so excited to see us!  We've missed her and she hadn't seen us since we were out in June.  Eliot and I were surprised that she didn't bark at us this time around!  (But that was probably because she was happy that we picked her up from camp!)

We spent the afternoon settling in at Eliot's parents' house.  Friday night, the wedding weekend festivities kicked off with a dinner at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse.  Ryan and Katherine invited a bunch of their friends to dinner so we could all catch up and meet the others we hadn't had the chance to yet.  I met a few more of Eliot's friends, stuffed myself with pizza and salad and caught up with everyone!  Afterwards, Rick picked us up and we went to the San Jose airport to get Sara.

On Saturday, Eliot and I had plans to go to up to San Francisco to visit the Walt Disney Family Museum with Rick and Sara.  It was nice to take a more leisurely approach this time.  (Last time, we felt a little rushed because we wanted to do the open studio and after that we went to the San Jose Sharks hockey game!)  I feel like I soaked a lot more in this time around.  We also got to visit the Art of Pinocchio exhibit.  I'm so glad we went; we had a great time!  I'll be sure to most more about this experience soon!

After going to the museum, we decided to make a quick stop at the San Francisco Disney Store since we weren't able to during our last trip.  After driving around the city for awhile, we finally found it.  Eliot and I jumped out of the car while Rick and Sara did a loop around the block.  There was a ton of traffic in the city and it didn't make sense to pay to park for such a quick stop.

Eliot and I were looking for San Francisco items like the Chicago store had, but we didn't find anything there.  It was a normal, new style Disney Store.  We were a little disappointed, but we decided to poke around anyways.  I got a kick out of the kids Halloween costumes.  We also saw the new Elena of Avalor stuff.  There was a bunch of adult shirts upstairs and Eliot and I bought a few of those.  They actually had two of the shirts I'd been admiring on the website, and they were on sale!  We also got the Halloween shirts and we bought a funny one for Rick.

After checking out, I came across a Fozzie bear and Gonzo on the clearance plush shelf.  I texted pictures and called my brother.  (Jeremy loves the Muppets.)  He didn't have them already, so needless to say, Fozzie and Gonzo came home with us too!

On the way home, we ate at one of our favorite California restaurants, Pieology.  It's so good and Eliot and I wish we had one closer to home!  Maybe someday!  I ordered my BBQ Chicken Pizza and Eliot and I split a dessert pizza- basically a cinnamon topped "pizza" with icing and mini chocolate chips!  It was so delicious!!!

Sunday morning, we went to see Pete's Dragon at the local theater.  Both Sara and Rick had seen it, but they agreed to see it again.  Plus, Eliot was named after Elliot so it was definitely worth seeing with him.  We loved it.  I was surprised at how much I got sucked in.  We had reservations about remaking the classic, but the live action movie was beautifully done.  The acting and CGI animation was great.  I'd go see it again!

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After, we went back to Eliot's parents' house to get ready for the wedding.  Ryan and Katherine's wedding was at 5:00 pm at the Cinnabar Hills Golf Club.  The scenery was gorgeous.  The ceremony took place in front of a rose covered arbor trellis with the rolling hills in the background.  The reception was inside a banquet hall with a dance floor.  It was a beautiful ceremony and the reception was a ton of fun.  Eliot and I enjoyed getting to visit with everyone.  We are so happy for Ryan and Katherine!

Monday morning, Eliot and I attended the post wedding brunch.  It was held at the Blue Door Restaurant and Bar.  The venue was awesome; I loved the interior design.  We had lots of yummy food with great company!  The brunch was a great end to Ryan and Katherine's wedding festivities and a good opportunity to say goodbye to everyone.

On the way home, Eliot and I decided we'd try to swing by the Shark Tank to go to the store.  Unfortunately, the circus was in town, literally, and the tank was packed.  There was no way we'd get free parking, and we weren't even sure if the store was open since it was Labor Day.  Instead, we stopped at one of the local malls so Eliot could see if they had any Sharks merchandise.  We didn't find much, but hopefully they'll get more closer to the start of the season!

After that, we hung out around the house.  Sara didn't leave until after 8:00 pm, and our flight wasn't until after 11:00 pm.  Eliot and I took short naps, played with Bella and eventually packed our bags.  On the way to the airport, we went to Sweet Tomatoes- a buffet restaurant with tons of food.  We all ate way too much.  Then, we went to the San Jose airport to check Sara in and drop her off.

Eliot and I flew out of San Francisco and we still had tons of time before our flight.  We ended up stopping at the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo since Eliot still wanted to look for Sharks merchandise.  We didn't find any Sharks stuff, but it was still a productive stop.  We saw the new Cinderella Castle Lego set on display at the Lego store.  I admired that for a few minutes.  We also went to Build-A-Bear and got Eeyore and Brother their matching Finding Dory shirts that have been sold out back home!

Eventually, it was time to make our way to the San Francisco airport.  We stopped for a few minutes near the bay to watch the planes take off and landing.  Then, Rick dropped us off at the airport.  Eliot and I had a pretty uneventful trip, except the part where we were afraid we'd miss our connecting flight back to Portland.  (Thankfully, our first flight wasn't as late as we thought it was going to be, and the second flight didn't start loading on time.)  We flew a different airline then we usually do, and I'm not sure we'll be flying that one again anytime soon.  We arrived in Portland around 9:30 this morning, and got home around 10:30.  Poor Eliot had to go to work, but I had the day off so I've spent most of the afternoon napping and relaxing around the house.

While we're completely exhausted, we had a wonderful weekend in California.  It was so nice to see everyone at the wedding events.  Eliot and I are so excited for Ryan and Katherine!  We also enjoyed spending time with Rick and Sara.  We haven't seen Sara as often as Elissa, so it was nice to spend a few days with her!  Now, we look forward to our next California Adventure- Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend 2017!!!  °o°

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