Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Jeremiah and I recently returned home from a trip to sunny SoCal! We had a blast, despite my being sick, and are even more excited for the warm Tri-Cities weather to come! Here is a look into our crazy trip to SoCal:

Day 1 - I developed  bad cold a few days before we left, and despite my best attempts to get better overnight , I was pretty congested the day we left. We flew into LAX and upon landing I was feeling so much pain in my sinus cavities I thought they would burst! I even took a decongestant before we left. Yikes! Never fly with a bad cold if you can help it. Once we were on the ground I was doing much better thank God! We then grabbed some lunch and drove the PCH down to sunny San Diego! The drive flew by and it was so lovely seeing all the beaches from Laguna Beach to Mission Beach. After we checked into our hotel we went down to the historic Gaslamp Quarter for dinner. We ate at Croce's Restaurant, named for Jim Croce (singer of the hit Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown), whose wife opened the restaurant after his death in 1973. The food was delicious and I recommend eating there if you're ever in San Diego. We then walked around the bustling night scene and old gaslamp streetlights for a bit before heading back to the hotel to rest up for a fun filled day at Sea World!

Day 2 - Sea World here we come! We woke up to beautiful 80 degree weather and it was only a quick jaunt to Sea World. San Diego really isn't hard to navigate and traffic was never bad at all. Everywhere we went was easily accessible and we were there in minutes. Once at Sea World we saw amazing shows of animals trained to do things that showcased just how smart they are combined with acrobatics, dolphins, and whales. The "Blue Horizons" dolphin show even rivaled scenes from Cirque Du Soleil! Every show has a "soak zone" where you can sit if you want to be splashed by the performing sea life. On a day like this, everyone wanted to sit there. We took our chances in the "soak zone" at "Believe" the Shamu show and ended up not too wet at all. We did end up with a bit of a sun burn though. Ouch! Sea World also offers a couple of water rides that add to the fun, as well as a gondola ride over the bay and a sky tower ride for free with admission. Go to Sea World! Take your kids, take your wives, and take your husband, cause they have fun for er'body out there!

After Sea World we drove to Mission Beach and quickly realized we were over dressed and out of our element with the college crowd of tattooed boys and girls strutting the streets in only their swim wear. We kept driving and I begged Jeremiah drive as far south as we could until we could see Mexico! We intentionally left our passports at home so we wouldn't be tempted to cross the border. We made it all the way to a parked border patrol car where I snapped a few pics and we then turned around. I have never been out of the country and like to push my luck sometimes so this was fun to me. Now that I have a passport, I plan to change that very soon! We continued on to Coronado Island - a beautiful quiet neighborhood of shops and gorgeous homes that just beg you to retire there! Finally, we headed over to the classic In-N-Out for dinner. That night we were craving chocolate and decided to grab something from the mini-bar. We picked a Toblerone. Jeremiah took the first bite and then I took a few bites and noticed the chocolate was waxy and not very flavorful. I looked at the expiration date and it said May '09! Ugh! We took it to the front desk and made sure they knew it was time to check the mini-bars. Which they decided to do the the next day while I was showering. Hey, at least they cared.

Day 3- 107 acres of San Diego Zoo + 85 degree weather. We took the zoo tour bus and walked around a couple hours and realized we had seen most of these animals before and decided to go shopping instead. It would be a great place for a child who is seeing animals of this sort for the first time, but as an adult it's hard to find it worth walking around. Plus, it is hard to see some of the animals here. We weren't super impressed.  So shopping and back to the hotel for room service topped off our evening :)

Day 4- San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Much better and easier to see the animals at this wide open safari/wildlife reserve. Here they breed and care for over 400 species, including endangered species, on over 1,800 acres of natural habitat.It was another warm sunny day and we took the tram safari around the park and got some better pictures than at the Zoo. Afterwards, we headed on to Newport Beach - our next destination. Jeremiah even let me drive this time, as he was either delirious from the heat or feeling brave ;) That night we drove down the road to Huntington Beach and walked down to the pier to eat at Ruby's. Delicioso!

Day 5- Let's drive to Santa Monica and LA! We slept in way too late, ate breakfast at Joe's Crabshack at noon, and went on our drive. Halfway there, in what is ALWAYS traffic, my stomach took a bad turn. We stopped at Trader Joe's, used the bathroom, got some healthy snacks, and kept going. Shortly after, just when I decided I needed to go back to the hotel, the traffic got so bad we couldn't go anywhere. So, we pulled off into a Taco Bell and decided to stay put, load me full of Rolaids, and chill in Santa Monica. I felt better after a bit so we did some more shopping in Santa Monica and then headed back to the hotel. And this is why I will NEVER want to live in SoCal. Stuck in traffic + needing to use a bathroom = panic setting in!

Day 6- Feeling better... but to be safe I ask if we can do our Magic Mountain portion of the trip the next day. My patient husband says yes, of course. So we take it easy, shop at Fashion Island, get Pink Berry, and have Pizza for dinner. Bad idea! After starting the trip with a cold and now having my stomach turn on me, I should have known better.

Day 7- Wake up with a stomach ache from the pizza, but decide to tough it out at Magic Mountain. Too bad I am not so tough. We made it through 2 rides and with me being able to eat nothing, and feeling so anxious from the nausea, I end up in tears and we decide to head back to Newport Beach. Bummer! My hubby then decided he needs to take better care of me and not let me eat crab at noon for breakfast and pizza at midnight. So, he orders me a healthy room service chicken sandwich and water for dinner. We then headed for ice cream later once we were sure my stomach could handle it (of course ice cream is always welcome in my tummy) and hung out at Bloomingdale's to comfort ourselves for a rough day had.

Day 8 - Beat the traffic, that is due to Obama's arrival into LAX, and get home. Mission Accomplished!

This was definitely the most eventful travel experience we have had together and I sure feel blessed to have a husband who puts his frustrations aside and helps me feel better! It sucked I was sick for this trip, but we definitely had a good time in the heat before we were ready to come home and relax from the traffic and illness plaguing me. I already look back on the trip with fond memories and laugh! We always get the .50 cent pennies with the pictures on them you make by cranking the wheel at various places and love getting room service :) We started our penny tradition on our honeymoon because we saw a cool Hawaiian penny and it looked like something funny to do. Might seem dorky, but it's something special we do together and I hope we continue it on with our babies one day. Who knows... maybe a few trips from now we will be toting one around ;)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

"Ooh Daddy Like" Part 2

When I get excited about things I love I like to share them! There are so many options of items to buy or use out there, it can be a headache deciding. Online reviews can be helpful, but sometimes it's hard to know if you can trust them. That's why I like giving my own reviews and hope you'll trust me, since I am not affiliated with any brand/company. Here are some things you should try if you're in the market:

 In shower body lotion! Olay is the best! I have tried Gillette Satin Care as well, but prefer the smell and moisturizing abilities of Olay better. During the work week, I rarely wake up early enough to lotion my body after showering and hate putting on cold lotion that I then have to let dry. This stuff saves me so much time and lets me get warm in my clothes sooner. I am also able to slather it on in the shower and wash my hands off right there. No greasy lotion hands to re-wash after getting out or cold lotion to apply. Every girl should have some of this in her shower.

Staying in the world of moisturizers and grease free hands... I tend to have dry skin and my hands can get pretty bad in winter. However, I do not like the greasy feeling most hand lotions leave behind or how long they take to dry. I used to love the anti-bacterial hand lotion sold at Bath and Body Works because the alcohol in it allowed it to dry quickly, it had light moisturizing abilities, and killed germs. Then it disappeared. When I asked an employee a couple years ago why, she said the alcohol is too drying and blah blah blah. She tried to get me to buy that thick shea butter lotion everyone is obsessed with, but no thank you. I do not like that feeling on my hands and it never dries. Then if I touch my face or rest my chin in my hands I get greasy lotion on my face. Well this Christmas, while perusing B&B, lo and behold I see the anti-bacterial hand lotion is back! Why I don't know, but I was so excited! While, I know it's not for everyone, I love all the benefits it offers - light weight, quick drying, germ killing, and in your favorite scent. This is probably my favorite scent - Coconut Lime Verbena. Sends my thoughts to warmer sunnier places :)

Laugh if you will, but you won't be laughing after you try this! Jack Daniel's Pulled Chicken. There are also pork varieties available. However, make sure you buy it from Costco. It's the best deal! Safeway sells it for nearly the same price, but you only get 1 package and at Costco you get 2. This is such an easy and quick meal to make. Each package makes quite a few servings, as well. You can microwave or cook it in the oven and both turn out equally tasty!

"Priceline Negotiator!" I remember the first time Jeremiah and I used Priceline to get a hotel room for a weekend trip to Seattle. It was exciting waiting to see what the Shat had negotiated and we were pleasantly surprised. A 4-star hotel for less than $100! Now we use it all the time for smaller trips. We just used it for a hotel in SoCal and are very happy with the hotel and location. If you have never Pricelined before, it's very simple. You pick your location, price, enter you payment information, and voila! A message saying something to likes of , "Congratulations your price was accepted. Your hotel is______." appears. Your price won't always be accepted, but I have been surprised by the low amounts I enter assuming to be rejected, only to be congratulated with my offer. While you don't know the hotel you're getting until after you are charged, the excitement and feeling of getting a good deal can't beat with any other method of booking travel :)

Bad Review-

Usually you only hear about things people enjoy, but sometimes wonder about other options you've seen and are not sure what reviews you can trust. It's nice to read reviews of things people don't like so you can then you can decide if you want to take the chance of purchasing it. Therefore, I have included one review that reflects a product I was disappointed with:

I bought Cargo Texas Lash from Sephora not long ago because well... everything is bigger in Texas! I was hoping it would give me super sized Texas lashes full of volume and drama. While it wasn't the worst mascara I have ever used, I won't be buying it again. It was very clumpy and hard to get off, despite not being waterproof. First off, I don't have time to endlessly comb through my lashes every morning to remove all the clumps and while I enjoy a mascara that stays put, I was worried it was damaging and causing my lashes to fall out just trying to get it off. It may work for you, but didn't for me. Just a heads up if you want to try this mascara.