Wednesday, July 16, 2014

New 101 in 1001!

So...I'm FINALLY posting my new list. Here's to the next 1001 days!

Start date: 7/16/14
End date: 4/12/17

Italics=In progress
Red=I didn't do it

1) Try a new type of ethnic food
2) Try a new meat
3) Go tubing
4) Go paddleboarding
5) Go ziplining
6) Take an overnight camping/backpacking trip (before Peru)
7) Go to a random festival
8) Eat a cheesesteak in Philly
9) Eat a cannoli at the North End
10) Watch noon formation at the Naval Academy
11) Go to The Memorial Illumination
12) Take a train ride

13) Try a new outdoor activity
14) Visit a museum
15) Visit a new winery
16) Visit a new brewery
17) Learn something new about MD's history
18) Discover and experience 5 new MD things (SO much to do here) (0/5)

19) Read 75 books (0/75)
20) Go Crabbing
21) Eat at 20 new restaurants (0/20)
22) Go to a professional sporting event
23) Go to a concert
24) Have friends over for dinner (0/10)
25) Host a few game nights (0/5)

26) Save for a down payment for next home
27) Reach 401K goal

28) Reach savings goal
29) Pay off Explorer
30) Pay off HVAC

For Me
31) Revamp Blog...for real this time
32) Get a massage
33) Get a pedicure
34) Write a letter to myself to open in 5 years
35) Buy at least 5 outfits that make me feel great (0/5)
36) Have at least 5 girls nights (0/5)
37) Try 5 new hairstyles (0/5)

Giving Back/Acts of Kindness
38) Volunteer
39) Do something to show appreciation for the military
40) Donate unwanted items bi-annually (0/6)
41) Leave a nice note for a random stranger
42) Pay it forward at least once a month (0/33)
43) Donate $5 for each incomplete item

44) Hike Old Rag
45) Try a new hobbie
46) Improve food photography
47) Learn enough Spanish to get by in a Spanish speaking country

48) Organize master closet
49) Organize garage
50) Organize laundry closet
51) Finish drawers on our bed
52) Paint kitchen ceiling
53) Paint second guest room
54) Replace door in guest bedroom
55) Make a new menu board
56) Organize kitchen drawers
57) Buy our next home
58) Get a new comforter for our bed

In the Kitchen
59) Try 75 new dishes
60) Make Pasta from scratch
61) Learn to make Paella
62) Make homemade ice cream/gelato/sorbet
63) Make sushi

64) Create a will
65) Create a living will
66) Get death wishes from parents
(I know it sounds morbid, but I don't want to be worried with figuring out what to do at such a difficult time)

67) Do a Bible study together
68) Have lunch together, during the work week (0/10)
69) Drive somewhere random together, with no destination in mind
70) Do something new and completely random together
71) Do something creative with our wedding vows
72) Make activity jars for when we can't decide what to do
73) Go on at least 2 dates per month (0/66)
74) Learn something new about each other
75) Watch our favorite childhood movies together

75) Read the whole Bible
76) Complete a Bible study
77) Reach my goal weight...again
78) Hike Machu Picchu
79) Complete the 100 pushup challenge
80) Complete a 10K in an hour or less

Personal Development
81) Take and pass the GRE
82) Start Grad School
83) Learn the basics of our new camera

84) Take Bailey on 1 trip per year (0/3)
85) Teach Bailey something new
86) Try a new activity with Bailey

87) Repurpose an article of clothing
88) Get wedding dress cleaned 
89) Make a photo book of our travels

90) Visit Philadelphia
91) Visit a new state
92) Visit Dolly Sods
93) Take a spontaneous weekend trip
94) Visit a new country
95) Go back to NY
96) Visit Spain
97) Visit South America
98) Visit Iceland
99) Visit the Vegas Strip
100) Visit a non-coastal state west of the Mississippi (not including the Vegas trip)

101) Make a new 101 in 1001 list

Saturday, June 28, 2014

101 in 1001 Results

I haven't blogged in approximately FOREVER! I didn't even realize this had passed! I've been keeping it in mind, but I had completely lost track of time. I plan on making some changes to my blog, so I'll post my new 101 in 1001 list once I update!

I didn't do so well with this...I didn't complete 33 items, so I had to donate $165. If you know me at all, you know I absolutely love animals...probably more than I like people. I chose to donate to MidAtlantic Bully Buddies. They are a bully breed focused dog rescue in my area. They foster all of their dogs until they can find good homes for them. I have always had a soft spot for Pitties & other bully breeds, so this was a pretty easy choice for me!

I'm a really big list person. I make lists for everything. If you've never heard of 101 in 1001, I'll fill you in a little. Basically, you make a list of 101 present tasks you would like to accomplish in 1001 days (or 143 weeks, or 32.89 months, or 2.74 years). The tasks must be specific with a goal that is measurable and clearly defined. They should be realistic and stretching, so they should represent some amount of effort. 

Why am I doing this? I think it's a great way to keep life interesting. If I don't have tasks, or goals in mind. Life just flies by and I don't even realize it. Of course it will still fly by, but at least I'll be doing everything I can to enjoy every minute of it. This is a great way to document that! 

I started making my list for this well over a year ago. I never really kept up with it. In the end, I just threw things on the list to fill it up. I found the list not too long ago. I don't even want to do half of the things I put on there any more. For example, I was supposed to watch a bunch of classic movies. I don't remember how many, but it was a lot. I should have known better than to put this down. I usually don't care for older movies. Don't get me wrong, there are some I would like to see, but I found myself looking through Netflix, trying to find classics. I would just cringe when I saw the movie posters and things for them (yes, I'm quite shallow when it comes to movies...I appreciate the glam and technology we have today over whatever it is people see in the classics). What would you put on your list?

Start date: 6/16/2011
End date: 3/13/2014

Italics=In progress
Red=I didn't do it

1) Make a meal with things only from my garden (or mostly, I can use eggs, seasonings, oils, flour...those types of things...otherwise I would just have to make a salad)
I'll try for this one again when we have the space to have a decent garden. 

2) Compile a cookbook of my favorite recipes
3) Cook lobster at home
4) Try 50 new dishes (50/50) (*=favorite) - 1/28/13
Chicken Spaghetti
Chicken Bruschetta Pasta
Red Velvet Pancakes
Crab Pretzels
Cheddar Bay Biscuits
Lemon Blueberry Pancakes
Peanut Butter Cookies
Pumpkin Pancakes
Horseradish Crusted Beef Roast
Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie
Crab Wontons
Crab Dip
Avacado Basil Pasta
Hamburger Steak with Gravy and Onions
Chicken Enchilada Puffs
Baked Chorizo Ravioli
Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas
Cookie Dough Dip
Turkey Tortilla Soup (This recipe, but with turkey leftovers!)
Farfalle di Pollo al Sugo Bianco
Chicken Bryan
Salmon Cakes
Turkey Enchilada Spaghetti (this recipe, but with turkey)
Mexican Chicken Casserole
Pan Fried Onion Dip
Chicken Parmesan Bake
Healthy Sweet Potato Skins
Corn and Cheese Chowder
Quinoa "Burgers" 
Mushroom Risotto
Brocolli Quinoa Casserole
Roasted Veggie Enchiladas
Veggie Frittata
Mashed Cauliflower
Colcannon Cakes
* Oreo Truffles
Lemon Drop Cupcakes
Single-Serve Monkey Bread
*Hashbrown Casserole
Jalapeno Popper Dip
Beer Bread
Beer n Bacon Mac n Cheese Bites
Crockpot Baked Apples
Mocha Silk Pie
*Twice Baked Cauliflower
Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken
Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers
Quinoa Kale Risotto
Barramundi Osso Buco

5) Make pasta from scratch

6) Go crabbing
7) Eat at 10 new restaurants (10/10) - 1/2/11 
8) Try a new type of ethnic food-12/2/11-Indian YUM!
9) Try a new type of food (ingredient)- 8/29/11-Buffalo
10) Go to a comedy club
11) Watch all of the Star Wars movies
12) Go to a shooting range (1/24/12)
13) Host a Super Bowl party - Woohoo...GO HAWKS!
14) Host a game night
15) Go to a new theme park (Hershey Park)
16) Go ice skating
17) Drive in DC
18) Go to an Oriole's game
20) Go to a regular season NFL game
21) Attend at least one home and 1 away NC State football game a season (5/6)
22) Attend 1 NC State basketball game a season (2/3)

23) Pay off credit card debt
24) Pay off student loan debt (1/25/13)
25) Start 401K/Roth IRA
26) Build our emergency fund to 3 months
27) Build our emergency fund to 6 months
28) Start meal planning again
29) Find a way to make a steady supplemental income 
I did one better, I found a better job!

For Me
30) Get a massage (10/21/11)
31) Have my house cleaned (11/5/11)
32) Write a letter to myself to open in 5 years
33) Get a manicure and pedicure
34) Buy at least 5 new outfits that make me feel great (5/5)
35) Make a list of 100 things I love/that make me happy to put in craft room
36) Learn to change a tire (and actually change one)
38) Take a class on a subject that interests me (Access)
39) Get a new passport (3/3/12)
40) Either sale/donate/or find another use for my wedding dress

Giving Back/Acts of Kindness
41) Donate unwanted items bi-annually  (6/6)
42) Leave a 50% tip
43) Leave a nice note in a library book for someone to find
44) Donate $5 for each incomplete task to charity
45) Send a care package to a soldier
46) Volunteer

47)  Re-vamp the's been the same since I started it
48) Scrapbook wedding
49) Scrapbook honeymoon
50) Build a piece of furniture
51) Re-upholster or paint/dye an old chair
52) Re-finish a piece of furniture
53) Read 50 books (50/50)
Black Heels to Tractor Wheels
Pretty Little Things
The Men I didn't Marry
Gone with the Wind
The Pretend Wife
Of Mice and Men
Murder by Family
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl who Played with Fire
I'll be Home Soon
The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
The Hunger Games
Pictures of You
Catching Fire
The Pride and the Prejudice
Water for Elephants
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Accidentally Yours
Breaking the Rules
Nights in Rodanthe
Deadly Little Secret (Touch Series)
The Notebook
Deadly Little Lies (Touch Series)
Deadly Little Games (Touch Series)
Deadly Little Voices (Touch Series)
Dead Until Dark 
Living Dead in Dallas 
50 Shades of Grey
The Help
Club Dead
50 Shades Darker
50 Shades Freed
The Lucky One
Dead to the World
Dead as a Doornail
The 5 People You Meet in Heaven
Definitely Dead
All Together Dead
From Dead to Worse
Hidden: A Bone Secrets Novel
The Wedding
Pretty Little Liars
The Choice
Left Behind: A Novel of Earth's Last Days
The Vow
Tribulation Force: The Continuing Drama of Those Left Behind
Gone Girl
Sharp Objects
Dark Places
Extra books:
Nicolae: Left Behind #3

55) Update kitchen counters
56) Update kitchen cabinets
57) Make a piece of art to display in our house
58) Add something I love to every room of our house
59) Decorate guest room - I will probably keep adding, but I am content with the way this room looks. It is probably one of my favorite rooms in our house so far.
60) Decorate living room
61) Find use for empty space in kitchen and utilize it
62) Install functional storage in laundry closet doors - Unfortunately, this is not possible due to the bi-fold doors we have. The space we have does not allow for the french doors I originally wanted.
63) Build deck - We decided this wasn't worth the money it was going to cost for the short amount of time we will spend in this house.
64) Fence in yard - Our yard is so small, we've decided it's really not worth it.
66) Establish a cleaning schedule
67) Make a household binder
68) Get a safe for important things - 1/18/12
69) Decorate master bedroom
70) Get TV for State Room - 2/10/12

71) Start retirement or other type of savings plan for Daddy (because he will never do it himself)
72) Create a will (Josh and I)
73) Create a living will (Josh and I)
74) Get supplemental life insurance (3/1/13)
75) Make 10 cards to send to friends and family (0/10)
76) Take another family vacation - Due to time/schedule restrictions, we have not been able to go out of town with family, but we have taken a day trip with each side of the family...Hershey Park with Josh's and DC with mine. Since this satisfied my goal of getting out of the house & doing something different with our family, I counted this.

77) Take a full day for us to relax together once a month (22/33) - I stopped counting this. It just wasn't happening.
79) Have 2 dates per month (66/66)
80) 50 random acts of kindness for Josh
81) Not get pregnant

82) Get back to my wedding day weight
83) Run 1 mile
84) Run 2 miles
85) Run a 5K
86) Complete some sort of exercise program
87) Find a church
88) Answer the 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind

90) Teach Bailey to put away toys
91) Teach Bailey to "say your prayers"
92) Teach Bailey to bring beer
93) Make and organize a file for Bailey

94) Go on a cruise - We decided to go on an all inclusive rather than a cruise.
95) Take a spontaneous weekend trip
96) Tour a Wine Trail
97) Visit 5 new towns in MD (5/5)
North Beach, MD
Hampstead, MD
Frederick, MD
Sykesville, MD
Keedysville, MD
98) Visit a new state (DE -7/30/11)
99) Go back to NY
100) Travel outside the country (other than a cruise) - We went back to Mexico to celebrate our 3rd anniversary & we visited the Dominican Republic in February, 2014!

101) Make a new 101 in 1001 list

Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday Favorites!!!

Wow...has it really been over a month since I've blogged?!? Life has gotten a little crazy, so I haven't had the spare time to devote to blogging. Don't worry though, the crazy is really good. Hopefully I'll have more details in the coming months. (No, it's not baby related). goes for my Friday favorites:

- Teeth Cleaning - We had our dentist appointment this week. We had to re-schedule it twice due to snow, so I was glad it finally happened! Maybe it's weird, but I love having my teeth cleaned!

- Game night - Last Saturday, we had another couple over for games. We had a nice, low key night at the house, but it was tons of fun! I can't wait for the next one!

- Snow - We've had a good amount of snow this year! We had a couple inches a few times then 6+ inches on 2 separate occasions. Bailey has been loving it! I really enjoy the snow, but I'm getting a little tired of the cold weather!

This was after I arrived at work one day a few weeks ago. With the windchill, it was around -20 this day. This Southern gal is NOT cut out for negative temperatures!

This is Bailey pouncing for her stick. I love watching her play in the snow :-)

- Skype - I got to Skype with my niece this week. I love that little girl so much, we should definitely do it more often!

- Vacation - Speaking of snow and cold weather...we decided last year when we went to Mexico during hurricane season that we wanted to go somewhere warmer in the winter. During the past few weeks, we've been planning our trip to the Dominican Republic!!! I'm quite ready for it! Our 10 day forecast shows a chance of snow on 5 days! The 10 day forecast for DR shows some scattered showers, but weather in the mid 70s to mid 80s. Yes please!

- Honey Pig - If you ever have to opportunity to eat at a Korean BBQ restaurant...DO IT! you choose your meats and they're grilled right at your table. It's similar to Hibachi, but better in my opinion. It was just our personal table, and I like the intimacy of it. The downside is you leave with your clothes smelling like the food you had, but it's worth it!

 This is the duck BBQ that Josh picked. I chose Bulgogi, which is marinated, thinly sliced beef. Both were awesome!

- Superbowl - I was more excited about the Superbowl this year than I have been any other year!
4 former Wolfpack players got to play on Sunday and I am SO excited for all of them! I was pulling hard for the Seahawks, but I wouldn't have been horribly upset if the Broncos would have won. Nate Irving still would have gotten a Superbowl ring. Fortunately, the Hawks were able to pull out a win! Congrats to Russell Wilson, JR Sweezy & Steven Hauschka!!!

- Spontaneous date night - After we finished getting our teeth cleaned, we realized that I was completely out of it when I booked our appointment, because it was rush hour! We didn't want to spend a ton of time in traffic, so we decided to go out for Happy Hour at On The Border. We were planning on using the time to be productive and trip plan, but it was worth putting it off one more night :-).

- Happy Hour x3- On Wednesday, we met friends at DuClaw for a beer release and yet another Happy Hour! Another thing you should definitely try if you ever get a chance is duck fat fries. They're delicious! We have another Happy Hour planned for tonight with Josh's work team. After tonight...I'm back on my vacation diet...seriously this time!  

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!!!

I hope everyone has had a great start to 2014!

I have no complaints. We kept it low key and brought in the New Year with the Smiths at our house. 2013 was a great year and it passed by so quickly! I look forward to seeing what 2014 brings our way.

I thought it might be a good idea to post my resolutions. Here we go...

1) Get back to my goal weight - I reached it in 2013 but put it right back on. This time I would like to keep it off!
2) Get organized - I plan to tackle the house one room at a time. We need to do some serious de-cluttering and organizing. I plan to start the first major part this weekend in the craft room. Before and after pictures to come!
3) Meet our financial goals (that we haven't specified just yet).

I would also like to take advantage of the time we have and travel as much as possible. We hope to start trying for a baby in about a year and a we want to see as many places as we can before that happens :-). 

What are your resolutions?

2013 Recap

2013 was a pretty eventful year. Here's what happened...

We spent New Years at home with the Smiths. Low key, but a great time!

We paid off the last of our student loans!!! Woohoo!

Bailey turned 2. I can't believe how much she has grown!

The Ravens won the Super Bowl and we took off a day of work to go to the parade.

Our friends Nikki & Bryan had their beautiful triplets 2.5 months early, the day before our dating anniversary!

We celebrated our 12th dating anniversary! We went to Flying Dog for our first tour then out to dinner with friends. We had a great time!!!

Josh's cousin got married in VA.

Love weddings!

We FINALLY finished our bar.

We got the biggest snow of the "Winter" on March 25th.

We got sod put in and our yard looks SO much better!

Before and immediately after. It's still pretty green in January!

We celebrated Easter with my family here.

Natalia stayed a week with us.

We updated our master bathroom by painting, replacing the light fixtures, faucets and mirrors, AND by painting the cabinets and adding new hardware.

Cabinets Before                                                   Cabinets After

We went from this...

To this.

Our niece, Ally was born!

We celebrated the 2nd anniversary of us buying our home!

We went to NC for Sherry & Aaron's wedding!

We went to NC for Natalia's 6th birthday party

We had to replace our HVAC.

I finally reached my goal weight (then put it back on over the next few months).

I hosted my sister's baby shower.

We celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary in Mexico!

...during hurricane season

I ran my first 5K/Mud Run!

Baby Zachary was born

Our nephew, Jaden was born!

We took Bailey for her first hike.

We updated the guest bathroom.

I ran my first 10K.

I finished in 1:08:10. My goal is to finish in less than an hour this year.

We went to Busch Garden's for Jen's birthday.

We flooded our kitchen and ruined the ceiling in the State room.

...then we fixed it

We went to Raleigh for the State v. Clemson game.

We went camping with Bailey for the first time.

We went to California!

We bought our SUV!

We celebrated Christmas at our house.

I got a Vitamix AND we got a new camera. We got a Canon 60D! Now to learn how to use it :-)

Bailey posing for the new camera :-)

We went to NC to spend Christmas with our family and friends.

Then we ended 2013 just the way we started it. Hanging out here with the Smiths. Except this time, baby Zachary was with us!

New Family Member baby for us, but we got a new car! Well, new to us. Josh and I have been considering buying a second car for quite a while. Our work schedules are getting less flexible and it's just getting harder and harder to share a car. We've done lots of research and talked to friends. We have known for quite a while that we wanted to buy an Explorer next, but we were going to test drive the competitors just in case. We needed to go to the Honda dealership to get the Civic serviced one weekend in December. We were going to drive the Pilot while we were there anyway. We actually weren't able to get an appointment, so we decided to just go drive Explorers instead. I was fine with that. I don't care for the way the Pilots look, I just felt like I should give them a chance. 

I've been keeping an eye on Explorers for months. I was hoping to buy a new one and Josh wanted to buy a used one. I didn't mind buying a used one, but I was having a very difficult time finding used ones that had everything we wanted. I checked our company's discount website not really expecting to find anything and I found a 2011 Explorer that had leather seats (a must for both of us) and a tow package (a strong preference for Josh). That was great, but the price was awesome! We decided to go ahead and test drive it. We thought we would go drive it, try to talk them down a little more, then hopefully buy it later in the week if we liked it. We didn't expect them to come down much at all based on our last car buying experience. We drove it and we loved it! I didn't look at all the features when I saw it online, but it turned out it had EVERYTHING on our wishlist, not just the must haves. It was in great shape. We drove it and we loved it! 

I was sold, but Josh was determined to get a them to come down another $1,500 on the price. At first, they just came down $1,000. Josh told them no. The salesman said that was the best they could do on that day and asked if there was anything else they could do to change our minds. I said they could throw in the extended warranty. They came back and said they could come down the $1,500. Woohoo!

We got it at the perfect time too! It's nice having a 4 wheel drive vehicle in the snow!

So, here it is!

We've had it for a month now and we love it!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

California Love!!!

This is quite late, but Josh and I were in CA for 10 days a couple weeks ago. We had such a great time! Just a heads up, this is going to be a long post.

We drove down to NC so that we could fly out of Raleigh since we would be going there for Thanksgiving right after we got back from CA anyway. Anna and John were nice enough to keep Bailey for us while we were away, so I felt better knowing she was going to be with her best friend while we were away.

We flew out of Raleigh Saturday morning. We had a VERY short layover in Denver...just 35 minutes. Luckily, our gates were side by side. We literally hopped off one plane and got on the next. Once we landed in San Francisco, we realized Josh didn't have his license. NOT a good thing! We looked EVERYWHERE and we just didn't have it. Luckily, Josh remembered that the plane we were on was going to San Jose after Denver. He called Southwest and it didn't take long at all for us to find out that it was in San Jose. Luckily, that's less than an hour away from where we were. Whew! We decided we would go pick it up that night.


This is the shadow from our plan taking off in Denver.

The salt flats flying into San Francisco.

We went to pick up our rental car after getting our luggage. We had reserved a full size sedan, but we were offered a 2014 Mustang for $8 more. Sure, why not!
She's pretty, even in white!

We had plans to meet up with our friend, Nick at his brewery! We took a look around, sampled his beers, watched some football and just caught up. We had such a great time! After hanging out for a bit, we went to dinner with Nick, his wife and his daughter. They introduced us to Afghan food at Kabul and it was delicious! 

 Some beers Nick has aging.

 The new bottling line! 

Josh and I with Savannah. We haven't seen this little lady since she was about 4!

We had a great time with the Armstrongs! We definitely want to get out to visit again before too long. Nick has plans to move his brewery into a larger space, so we really want to go see it!

Sunday morning, we drove down to pick up Josh's license from the San Jose airport. This seemed kind of silly since we were going to San Jose that night anyway, but we were going to have to have Josh's license to pick up the rental car we were getting for work. After picking up his license, we drove north of San Francisco to Muir Woods to see the redwoods.

Our first time going over the Golden Gate Bridge!

 Look at how old this tree was!

 SO tall!

 I've heard about how big Redwoods and Giant Sequoias were for as long as I can remember, but I was still amazed at how huge they really are!

Massive! This thing is bigger around than my master bathroom!

The view leaving Muir Woods, so pretty!

There was a small brewpub close by, so we decided to stop by for a beer.

 We enjoyed our beers here, but we didn't eat here because we were planning to grab lunch in Sausalito.

We got to Sausalito and just picked a place to eat. We didn't have a lot of time before the car needed to be dropped off, so we didn't have time to do any research. We ended up going to Taste of Rome. As it turns out, it gets really good reviews. I wasn't very impressed with my meal.

 I got spaghetti with clams. I expected amazing homemade sauce. I didn't care for the sauce or the garlic bread. I'm a fan of garlic, and it was even too much garlic for me!

 Josh got some kind of gnocchi. I don't remember what all was in it, but his was really good!

After lunch, we returned the car and picked up our next rental car. This is where the "work" part of our trip started. We drove down to San Jose, which is where we were both taking a class.

 This is where we spent the next 5 night. Cute room!

We actually didn't have much time to do anything in San Jose. We mostly went to class and went out to dinner. We even had dinner in our room a couple nights. We were still on East Coast time, so we got tired super early. 

 We tried In-N-Out Burger. The food was fine, but not very impressive. The shakes were delicious though!

We had a couple days of rain, then we went to downtown San Jose on our next clear day.
 A double rainbow! We could actually see the entire rainbow (just the smaller one)! I wasn't able to get a picture of the whole thing, because Josh was driving down the road when I took this one.

Toilets on the street.

 Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph. We weren't able to go in, but it was beautiful!

Levi's Stadium, the new 49ers stadium under construction in Santa Clara. This will be the site of Superbowl L. This was just around the corner of where Josh took his class. Very cool!

After our class, we went to check into our hotel in San Francisco. I was SO excited to go back to San Francisco. There was so much I was looking forward to doing! Josh found our hotel on Priceline and we got a great deal. We stayed at Chancellor Hotel in Union Square. This was actually our favorite hotel we stayed at the entire trip. It's very old and still family owned. Not something you see a ton. It's also very close to so much! 

 Pictures of the hotel being built.

 Clocks with different time zones.

They had a 13th floor! We were on the 4th though.

 So cute. We left the ducky behind and later realized Bailey would have really enjoyed it. Oh well.

Super cute and super comfy.

They had an amazing pillow menu! I was so excited about this :-). I ordered the magnetic pillow and Josh ordered the buckwheat pillow. I used one each night. Josh ended up just using the regular pillows, which were also very comfy.

Cute little seating area we didn't really use. I love the green chairs though!

This was our view outside our window! We could hear the cables from the cable cars running underneath the streets. So cool!
Hearts in Union Square

A street performer. He made really cool robot sounds with his mouth.

We saw puppies training to be therapy and guide dogs. There was a group of about 20 of them. So cool!

There were normal stores in really old, beautiful buildings!

Walking up Lombard street. This was a VERY steep hike!

At the top of Lombard!

We decided to walk back down to the bay rather than waiting for the cable car.
I'm glad we did. We found this Norwegian church with this beautiful view!

An electric BMW

Ghiradelli Square!

Yummy sundae! It was very good, but to be honest, I would have been just as excited with a Ben & Jerry's sundae. It was cool to see where Ghiradelli started, but since there was no tour or anything, this is probably part of the trip I would skip if we could go back and re-do it. It's just a very touristy area and there are other things we didn't get to do that we would prefer. 

We saw some cool things while searching for the sea lions!

A 2 story carousel. Are you serious?!?

We found the sea lions! They were so funny!

The Painted Ladies! So pretty and such a nice view of the city!

This is the Full House house! You would think by the show that it's close to the Painted Ladies (or that it is one of them!) and the Golden Gate Bridge. It's not close to any of those things! It also looks very different. It's purple now, and no more red door. Obviously, the owners don't like to be bothered.

Apparently, these are really cool in San Francisco.

The Oakland Bridge. So pretty at night!

A historic streetcar. We rode these a couple times. They are the original ones from way back in the day. Pretty cool!

Look at all that sourdough bread! Yum!

So many cool shapes!

Last ride on the cable car!

Windmills and flowers in Golden Gate Park. So pretty!

We decided to visit the Pacific. Josh has never put his feet in it and I hadn't in the US. It was COLD!

...but I found out there were lots of sand dollars and I didn't care, I had to find some! It was worth it, I found 3 whole ones :-).
Next...we made out way to wine country!

We went to a couple wineries and had a nice lunch in Sonoma, then we went to our hotel room in Napa. 

We found this really cool dessert bar, Sift. They had delicious cupcakes! I got the Battle Royale. It was delicious! I didn't know it until I just looked up their menu to find it, but it was a Cupcake Wars winner! 

Wine grapes!

Josh is standing in front of an olive grove.

Brand new wine barrels. 

Wine Country was lots of fun, but quite expensive. The wines are undoubtedly better than the ones we make on the East Coast and it was absolutely beautiful! We have been able to find several of the wines that we tried and liked at Total Wine here. You would think it would be cheaper to get it from the source, but that's not the case. I guess they upcharge it so much because it's such a popular place to go and they can.

Just before going over the Golden Gate Bridge for the last time.

With my favorite person in the world!

Almost time to say goodbye to Cabernet!

We went on to the airport and began our really long trip back to Raleigh. Our flight left a 1:40 and we just had a short layover in Atlanta. Unfortunately, 45 minutes turned into over 3 hours. It was after 2:30 am when we landed in Raleigh. Whew! That was a long day of traveling!