Thursday, January 17, 2019

long distance birthday love to cousin seven

along with the 25th anniversary of the gigantic northridge earthquake, today also happens to be my cousin seven's birthday.  we've shared tons of shenanigans through the years, although the craziness has slowed down considerably in recent years.  it doesn't help that she lives up in san francisco now, and even when she comes home to visit it's hard to coordinate schedules for much more than a quick chat.  but that's okay.  she knows i'm always here for her, and hopefully she can come down to hang out this summer with us.

and of course you know what comes next.  oh yes...a pictorial walk down memory lane.  ahhhh yeah.














happy birthday, dear cousin seven!  we love you!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

first disney day of 2019

after almost a month away from our second home, we finally made our first trip of 2019 to the 'land this weekend.  while getting up super early on a sunday morning is a little rough, it's always worth it when we get there for rope drop.  we missed actually being in the park for the drop by two minutes, but we didn't mind.  we were finally back at the happiest place on earth, yay!


the bean had requested that we go to california adventure first, and so our first ride of the day was on the incredicoaster.  we were doing this by 8:15:


i have to admit, i do love riding it first because it gives us such an adrenaline rush to start off our disney day.  and on the way there, the old lady snagged us fastpasses for our second ride, over in cars land.  by the time we got there, the ride had inexplicably just opened - hence the typically unheard-of short standby line.




our next fastpass was for guardians of the galaxy, and just like that we were done with our top 3 rides and it wasn't even 10:00.


we headed out towards the pier area for a ride we hadn't been on together in forever - goofy's sky school.  so much fun!


from there we parted ways for a few minutes while i took the bean to the redwood creek challenge area for some playtime, while the other two headed off in search of some adult beverages.  yes, at 10am.  heh.


too bad none of the drink kiosks weren't quite open yet.  that was okay though, because that gave the bean extra time to run around before we all headed back towards the pier area again when the kiosk opened at 10:30.  it just so happened that the cream cheese mickey pretzel the bean was craving was also sold there, so it was a win-win for everyone.



crossing over to the disneyland side, we finally got to check out the exhibit of "mary poppins returns" memorabilia.





thanks to the fastpass we'd snagged on the way there, we headed right to tomorrowland and took a turn on star tours.  our next one was for big thunder, and as we walked through the hub and into frontierland we came upon the disneyland band.


the fastpass entrance line at big thunder was crazy long, and so we decided to skip it and make our way back to tomorrowland and catch the monorail to downtown disney.  the parks were starting to get busier, and we'd gotten our fill for this trip.


ballast point brewery was doing a soft opening that weekend, and it was pretty packed.  from where we were standing, though, it looked like a cool spot to go for some food and drinks and do some peoplewatching from above.


in the dress shop, i eyed the kate spade clutches that match the tote i got for christmas.


if we hadn't just been to salt & straw the day before, i might have been talked into heading into their downtown disney location for a scoop.  maybe next time.


these two...


we stopped at the kids' apartment to pick up stevie dog and bring him over to the house.  he was so excited to jump into the car and give us kisses that he stomped all over the box we'd brought back from sprinkles.  d-oh:


but he's so cute that nobody could be mad at him for long.


it was a great start to 2019 at disneyland.  there's a lot of fun stuff coming during this year, and we're all excited to see all the new attractions.  it's gonna be an interesting year, that's for sure.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

more eats on the west side

on saturday, we headed out to the west side in the hopes of visiting some cool furniture and design shops in and around the pacific design center.  it was a cloudy, drizzly day.


too bad for us that i'd totally misread the website and didn't realize it wasn't open on the weekends (only the MOCA part of it is), and if i understood correctly, we wouldn't have gotten inside without a designer anyway.  d-oh.

as we drove around, we realized that we were pretty close to au fudge - and the bean squealed with excitement at the idea.  and too bad for us again - jessica biel's kid-friendly restaurant is no more.  the signage was still up, but there was a "for lease" sign and all was dark and quiet inside.  boo.

instead, we ended up snagging a quick reservation at catch l.a., which worked out because the hub had been wanting to go there anyway.  we left the car with the valet and walked around the corner to the entrance:



this place is super trendy and fabulous.




our table wasn't quite ready yet, so we hung out and did some peoplewatching while the hub ordered us a couple of drinks.



as he stood at the bar waiting for our drinks, the hub heard a familiar voice and realized that one of the guys that we both used to work with back in the day was sitting at a table and went over to say hello.  it's always so weird to run into people you know when you're out and about.  a small world indeed.

we were seated at a table outside.  it's a covered patio and there were heaters going with a pretty view of the surrounding area.  i didn't snap pictures because there were lots of people around and you wouldn't have seen anything anyway, plus i didn't want to be that weirdo.  heh.

the menu was chock full of delicious-sounding goodies.




the prix-fixe menu looked good too, but it was available only if the whole table ordered from it.


we decided to share a small seafood tower, especially since the bean has been wanting to try oysters and mussels for the longest time.  she finally got her chance, and we'll just say that the chances of her ordering them again are pretty slim.


that kind of seafood isn't my jam, so i stuck to the top layer of the tower.  everything was delicious - king crab leg, lobster tail, salmon and hamachi ceviche, shrimp cocktail.  yum.


and of course, i washed it all down with a couple of these.


the bean had also ordered two specialty rolls, which she was much happier with.



this was my mushroom toast - goat cheese, mushrooms, arugula, hollandaise.  so delicious.


the hub stuck to his keto diet and opted for the grilled mahi mahi.  he let me try a bite and it was perfectly cooked and seasoned.


we decided to take a walk around the block and found ourselves here:



the bean was one happy camper, with a waffle cone that held a split scoop of chocolate gooey brownie and salted malted chocolate chip cookie dough.


so while our day out on the west side didn't turn out to be what we'd set out for, it was still a pretty successful outing.  and we passed a bunch of other places to add to our list of spots to try in the future.  we used to spend so much time out there, so maybe we'll get back to that again this year.  we always have so much fun when we venture out of our little comfort zone.  we'll see how that goes.
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