friday night, we took my brother and O out to dinner to celebrate their engagement. whee! we went to sushi roku in pasadena, one of our favorite spots, and had some yummy sushi, capped off with a delish chocolate volcano cake. i'd made our reservation via open table, and mentioned the celebration, so the cake arrived with a "congratulations" message written in chocolate syrup. a sweet ending, indeed [groan].
and i'm excited to report that i'll be acting as their unofficial wedding planner - helping them pull it all together, but not working the day of. i love it! it'll be fun to talk wedding again. yay!
on saturday, the teen and i met up with my mom at four seasons tea parlour for some bonding time. it'd been a while, and tea is always our favorite way to catch up and relax together. since i've been here so often, i didn't go nuts with the camera or anything. we had a lovely time, and i'm looking forward to doing it again - although maybe next time, we'll try somewhere new ;)
when we got home, we packed overnight bags and hopped in the car to head down to san diego. and my trusty iPhone came in handy yet again when we realized we were heading towards one of the many fires raging across southern california - i was able to check for traffic conditions and road closures. these fires are so massive and have swallowed up so many folks' homes. i sent up a prayer for them as we drove along.
somehow *cough*thehubdrovelikeabatouttahell*cough* we managed to get down to the gaslamp district in an hour and a half-ish. heh. we found our way to the hilton, which i'd priceline'd for WAY cheap, and got checked in. we hung out in our room for a few minutes, as i changed clothes and the teen put the finishing touches on a poster for the concert.
when it was time, the teen and i went down to catch a cab. i was feeling too lazy to drive and too cheap to pay for parking, and the hub promised to pick us up when the show was over. i pulled up the map to the sports arena to get an idea of how long it would take us to get there, and was annoyed when the cab driver seemed to drive in circles. it ended up costing us as much as parking by the time we arrived. ugh.
there was even more to "ugh" about as we got out and walked towards the entrance - there were hordes of folks standing in long ass lines that seemed to wrap around the arena several times. blech. we walked around to another entrance, where the line seemed to be a bit shorter, and listened to the excited chatter around us. we also learned that some of those suckers had been waiting for an hour-plus to get inside! yikes!
we overheard one of the venue employees telling folks in the line behind us that they were heading the wrong way and weren't in a "real" line. so along with the girls in front of us, we slid right past her, pretended we couldn't see or hear what she was saying, and sashayed right up to the security guard who was checking bags and ushering people up to the entrance to have their ticket scanned.
yes, we totally cheated and basically cut in front of a ton of others, including small children (at a concert. !!), to get inside. hey, it's every fan for themselves - survival of the fittest, yo.
we found our way to our seats, which were actually pretty damn good. the arena wasn't huge, so the stage was pretty close to our lower loge-level seats. another yay!
dinner was a hot dog, nachos, and a pepsi. ick. i hate pepsi. but i was hungry, so there you go.
and as we munched, the jonas brothers appeared on the video screens to introduce the first of two opening acts - a group called honor society, who we'd never heard of. the teen cracked up as they shouted "what's up, san diego!" she'd completely forgotten where we were and got confused for a second. yup, that's my girl.
then they started playing and shouted out for us to join in, and she said "um, nobody's singing because nobody knows you." she makes me laugh so much.
and then at 9:00, after demi lovato had finished her set, the boys took the stage. the screaming was beyond deafening. man, teenage girls can SCREAM - mine being one of them. she pointed at the JB logo, which had always been present at the other concerts we attended, but we'd never been able to see from our seats.
nick, who is apparently my future son-in-law.
the teen seethed with jealousy as this little girl was brought up on stage and was the recipient of big hugs from all three brothers. she was cute, and got to sing along to one of the songs.
the last song.
this door opened up next to the stage, revealing the getaway cars - something we'd never seen before. within about two minutes of their triumphant final bow, they were gone.
it was utter chaos outside, as thousands of folks scrambled for the exits.
the teen was sad, but not too sad as we've got that second show in hollywood, in two weeks. the general admission show. god help me.
the next morning, we got ready and took off for coronado, to have sunday brunch at the del. it's one of our favorite spots. and as we drove along, i took a picture of this cool mural:
the hub and i always drool over this fabulous house:
it's got this giant park in front of it, with the ocean right in front of that.
and practically next door? the magnificent hotel del coronado.
sunday brunch was being served in the historic crown room, which has hosted presidents and royalty over the years. we'd never actually been inside, and it was gorgeous.
but not as fabulous as the spread laid out on countless tables. there was everything from crab legs to caviar to truffled pot pies, with made-to-order omelets, imported meats, a waffle bar, a candy and cookie buffet, and a chocolate fountain. there was a huge display of cheese, plus the most delicious gruyere cheese fondue i've ever had. i wanted to slurp it up with a straw, it was so good.
the "nothing but chocolate" display.
i decided to give macarons another shot. these were delightfully chewy and airy, but i'm still not a fan.
after we coughed up the cash for the exorbitant bill, we decided to take a walk to burn off some calories.
we all drooled over this awesome house.
and then we fell asleep as the hub drove us home. we relaxed for a while before heading out again to pasadena, where the hub relaxed in the cigar club and we walked through the shops on colorado. we ended the weekend with dinner at pei wei and dessert at pinkberry, and then we went home to crash.
yay for fun family time!