Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fire/Smoke Pictures from Costa Mesa

Pictures From Palm Desert

Here's us after dinner at Tuscany Ristorante:
Cuong in the lovely lobby. See the little boats down on the left? You could ride those around the resort to get to different places....we didn't though.

Here's us on of Official One Year Anniversary! :)

Of course I had to get a picture of some of the TONS of wind mill things! They're HUGE!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Our First Anniversary

This weekend we celebrated out 1st wedding anniversary! I can’t believe that time flew by so quickly. I’ve heard people say that the first year is the hardest. If that was the hardest, then we’ve got no problems! J
We have made quite a few adjustments since we’ve been married though. At first it was moving in full-time into our house together. That was a very exciting time.
Then a few months later we decided that it would be the best time to put the house on the market. Thank goodness we did it when we did. We sold it within about 4 days and 45 days later, we were moving out.
Now most of our things are in storage, in Connie’s garage in Oceanside, or in my parent’s garage! Moving back in with my parents is different also! It’s definitely not the place you would like a newlywed couple would want to live, but we are very thankful for their hospitality and generosity. Now we’re able to save up some more cash for a down payment, or “fix up” money.
We’ve come so close to putting an offer in on a house in Fountain Valley, but it never works out completely. It’s a nice house (in structure), but it’s a real fixer upper on the inside. We’re handy and we can definitely make it a really nice house…but of course, that all takes money. Unfortunately these people have borrowed WAY too much against their house and are now unable to lower their price because their loan balance is so high. We are the perfect buyers, but sadly they aren’t willing to work anything else out to let us buy their home.
This weekend to celebrate our anniversary, we headed out to Palm Desert. We stayed at the J.W. Marriott Resort. The grounds were gorgeous! You could even take a gondola ride from one location to another. We saw a bride and her family taking pictures before her wedding ceremony. A very nice day to get married!

We had our couple’s massage at the spa on the grounds of the resort. Following the massage, we relaxed in the steam room and Jacuzzi. Later we went back to our room, changed for dinner and then headed to the Tuscany Ristorante. It was merely steps from our tower of the hotel. We had a very nice dinner, complete with wine…and dessert, of course!
Naturally, we stopped at the Cabazon outlets to do a little shopping! I didn’t find a WHOLE lot of things to buy, but it was just enough!
…More pictures to come!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Our Indiana Wedding Experience

At 9 o’clock on Friday night, we met my Uncle Mike at Union Station (where he works) and he took us out to my grandparents house in Bradley, IL. There we met my Aunt Barbara. She then drove us out to the town that she lives in, Watseka, IL. We finally arrived there at 11pm. We spent the night in my cousin’s old bedroom…in her full size bed. The next morning we woke up and I peeked out the window. Having not been there in 7 years, I had completely forgotten that there was a cornfield nearly across the street from the house!
We got dressed and ready for the wedding. My dad’s youngest sister, Diane and her son Spencer met us at Barbara & Skip’s house to follow us on our road trip to Indiana. It was about a 2-hour drive into Zionsville, IN. We arrived at the Catholic Church about an hour before the ceremony started. The church was pretty new and had a very nice design.
The ceremony was lovely, and we were glad that we got to share in Kevin & Monica’s special day.
After the ceremony, we checked into our hotel. From the hotel they had a shuttle set up to take us to the Yacht Club, which was on Lake Geist. It had beautiful views of the lake.

Our Day in Chicago

We got back from our Mid-West trip on Monday night. Last Thursday we headed out to Chicago for my cousin’s wedding. We landed at Midway Airport and checked into our hotel in the town of Cicero (near the airport). Since it was about dinner time, we walked across the parking lot to TGI Friday’s. They have their “3 Course Meal for $12.99” deal again…so we all go that. Cuong ordered the Fried Green Beans as his appetizer. Surprisingly, they were actually pretty good!

We didn’t get too great of sleep that night. Our hotel room had a nice view of the parking lot and was located right by one of the exits…plenty of noise…not conducive for sleep!

The next morning we got up and drove into the city of Chicago. My parents dropped us off at the Chicago Architecture Foundation for our tour…in the rain! We had booked the 3 ½ hour city bus tour through Ticket Master and we were excited to see where the tour would take us.
We boarded the bus with about 40 other passengers. Our bus driver was James, and our tour guide was Cima. Cima has her Master degree and was a teacher for many years and is now a volunteer docent for the Architecture Foundation.
Our first stop was down their “Wall Street”. It was amazing to see the very old and massive buildings. We went into one of the buildings and were amazed by the gold leaf decorations on the courtyard plaza area. After the building was originally built, Frank Lloyd Wright came in to help with the stairways and to brighten up the building. He did a fabulous job.

Next we went into another financial building that had enormous cathedral ceilings that were covered in gold leaf. If you looked up, you could see the tiny squares of gold leaf that had to be hand applied.
On the University of Chicago campus is the Robie House that Frank Lloyd Wright designed. We were given a tour by the docent there. His open and airy vision was very different than your typical architecture. We weren’t allowed to take pictures of the inside of the building, so the only picture we have is from the outside.

Nearing the end of our tour, we stopped at the Illinois Institute of Technology. We went into their School of Architecture, which happened to be in a building designed by Meis van der Rohe. I had personally never head of him, but Cuong quickly told me that he is one of the most famous architects.

Our last stop was along the Museum Campus. It gave a great view of the city skyline. Our tour guide said that the tours don’t normally stop there, but she was feeling extra nice that day!
….then our camera battery died!
After the tour we were starving for lunch! We found a place called Pizano’s Pizza & Pasta. It’s famous for their Chicago style thin crust pizza. It was really yummy!

From there we headed further up Michigan Ave towards where the new Trump Tower is going up. We headed downstairs to the river to catch our River Tour. It wasn’t as informative as our bus tour, but it definitely gave us a different perspective of the city.