Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day

Today we are returning from a wonderful week on the East Coast. 
I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day and remembers how 
blessed we are to live in this country.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Lobster and Lighthouses

 Eating my first lobster roll. Scrumptious!
 Dinner in Freeport aka L.L. Bean Town.  Lobster mac n cheese and seafood chowder. Mmm!
 I ate LOTS of lobster in Maine yesterday and today, and will gladly cross that one off my 30 before 30 list. Maine is beautiful and a little chilly. Also, everything closes at 7 pm. On a Friday night. During Memorial Day Weekend. Wha? Maine is kind of for old people. But we loved it, as the old souls that we are, and will gladly vacation here again... in 50 years :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Hello Boston

We have spent a grand total of 36 hours in Boston and I can say wholeheartedly that it is one of my favorite cities in the world. Everyone is friendly, everything has this amazing, historical charm, and everywhere is walkable. The Freedom Trail is so cool. You follow this red bricked path all over the place to see all of the oldest treasures in our country. I'm totally slacking on organizing pictures, but just know that I've taken over 800 in the day and a half that we have been here. There is SO MUCH to see!

We arrived on Wednesday evening after a whirlwind travel day starting at 3 am... we dropped Maddie off at the pet hotel (tear), drove to Austin to catch a flight to Dallas, and finally arrived in Boston at 4 pm. Then we met up with Andrew's lifelong friend, Brad, who moved to Boston 10 years ago for undergrad at Gordon College. Brad and Mary, his fiance (congrats!), walked with us along the freedom trail to take in all the historical landmarks, took us to dinner at Regina's Pizzeria, dessert at Mike's pastries for the best cannolis, and an evening stroll along the North End. So fun to meet up with old friends!

Thursday we got up early for Andrew to present a paper for the ALA (American literature Association) on Spanish translation of Jack London at the Westin Hotel in Copley Square. We walked by Trinity Church and a whole bunch of other beautiful churches. Everything in Boston is beautiful!
The Westin Hotel was across the street from the Boston Marathon Memorial. Several of the windows in the surrounding buildings were still shattered. Just being in that place was so emotional and made it so much more real to me. I am heartbroken for the families that are still dealing with aftermath of this tragedy.

After Andrew's presentation we went to the Boston Public Library with his professor, Dr. Reesman and his colleague, Connor.  The library was magical. They literally had an entire section devoted to King Arthur. Amazing!

After the Library we walked through Boston Common to take in more of the sights. We saw Ben Franklin's tombstone, and some fun costumed lads.
Thursday evening Dr. Reesman took us out to dinner at this great Indian restaurant in Back Bay. We then went back to the Westin to meet some well known professors at the conference. Afterwards we took the T to Harvard Square to meet up with our fellow former San Diegan friend, Drew and his girlfriend Tori. We walked through Harvard and hung out at a couple bars... Charlie's and Grendel's.
It has been non-stop fun, friends, food, and photos since we got here and it's not letting up. This afternoon (after we check out Fenway Park and a couple other highlights) we are renting a car and driving up through New Hampshire to Maine. For those of you keeping track, that's 2 more states off the 30|30 list. Woot! We will stop to take in the sights and light houses and lobster along the way. Then Saturday we're driving down to Connecticut (I lived there when I was a baby and my dad was in the Navy so I want to revisit it). Sunday it's Rhode Island and Newport Beach, then back to Boston Sunday night to catch the Arrested Development Premiere with our friends. We fly back to Texas early Monday morning. I'm telling you, non-stop fun this week!
 I'm sad we don't get to spend more time in Boston because it is such an amazing place. 
We will definitely be coming back here again!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A couple days at the beach

We're back from our mini vacation and it was soooo relaxing! I literally only took 300 pictures (really more around 100 except that the self timer does 10 shots at a time. Don't judge me, I need the options!) On Sunday, we made the 305 mile drive to the Southernmost point of Texas; South Padre Island. We went there last April on a whim and pool hopped at a hotel called La Copa Inn. We thought, this place is alright (read: they didn't kick us out for pool hopping) if we ever come here again we should stay here. Then last month Andrew got a Living Social deal for 2 nights/$99 at that exact hotel and we had to pick 2 days in May. In case you forgot, May is Mother's Day and it's a bit of a tough holiday for me as of late, so we picked Sunday - Tuesday for our vacation days. Turning Mother's Day from an unhappy day to a very happy one... see, I even documented that in photos:
The bottom photo says "un-Happy Mother's Day" in case you couldn't read it.
Don't worry though I switched it back because it was a Happy Mother's Day after all :)
There was an abundance of fresh, delicious sea food and blue curacao drinks.
I don't know what's in them, but I imagine a lot of coconut rum and a lot of calories.
By the way, calories didn't count this weekend. Obviously!
 The weather was perfect, we only got a little sunburned and I'm sure it will turn to tan tomorrow (wishful thinking). The only thing I found annoying was all the birds. I know, birds at the beach? You'd think I didn't grow up in a beach town, but I forgot how pesty birds can be. They photo-bombed so many of my pics that I finally reasoned with them that I would take a picture of them for every picture of us. That's how I really got to 300 pictures.
 Now it's back to reality. Which means laundry and packing. We leave for Boston a week from tomorrow and I can't wait! Sometimes I think I just live vacation to vacation.
Moving to Texas was just a really strange sort of vacation.
At least that's what I keep telling myself!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Twisted Taco Truck Throwdown

Once a year the taco trucks of San Antonio compete to be the champion of San Antonio's Mexican street food. They sell sample size tacos for $1 and all the proceeds go to Veterans. Today was our lucky day!
Andrew tried 4 tacos and I tried 2. Our favorite was Mr. Meximum's with grilled pineapple.
We loaded up on cilantro, so you can't really see the rest of it, but the pastor taco was delicious!

It took place near the river walk. Since this will probably be our last time in downtown San Antonio and at the river walk, so we had to document it.
Not that I ever need an excuse to take a picture ;)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Our work here is done

Today Andrew passed his qualifying exam and all he has left to do before receiving his doctorate is to complete his dissertation. {I throw that out there like it's no big deal, but apparently it's the equivalent of writing a book, with a couple hundred pages, about linguistics, and literature.} NBD, right.  Actually, he's what they call ABD (stands for All But Dissertation, not A Big Deal).

Today was momentous because it means our work in Texas is done! Well, school's not out until June for me, then we have this little move to California, but we accomplished what we came here to do.

Here are the papers he's been working on that got approved today.
 We went out to dinner to celebrate.
We ate Kow Soy (which has neither beef nor soy) it's a chicken with coconut curry soup. Yum!
Conveniently there was a Ross and TJ Maxx across the street.  I got Andrew some prizes for winning his qualifying exam. I like to think of everything as a win. It makes life more fun. He won 2 new shirts for his conference in Boston, some undershirts, shorts for South Padre, and a reversible belt.
 Right now we're winning at ice cream and watching Modern Family.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Cinco De Mayo

Hope everyone had a great Cinco de Mayo yesterday.
Andrew made mahi mahi tacos for dinner.
Maddie and I had a siesta of sorts.
As you can tell, it was a very lively celebration :)
I think it's about time we head back to San Diego where they
celebrate Cinco De Mayo up right... with margaritas and bunuelos (cinnamon tortillas).
Here's a quick flashback of Cinco De Mayo 2006 in Old Town, San Diego.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The countdown is on

3 years ago when we found out we would be relocating to San Antonio, we knew nothing about what a nightmare an adventure it is to complete a cross-country move. The only “moves” I had made prior consisted of loading up my trusty Saturn Vue and driving across town. {Several trips mind you, but relatively easy.} It is safe to say that when we moved to Texas we did everything wrong. We didn’t know better. But like the great theologian, Oprah Winfrey, says, “When you know better you do better.” Or something to that effect. I’m sure she stole that from someone else.

The worst decision was that we hired movers. They packed our stuff, stored it for a month (in Houston during a Summer monsoon. Hello sopping wet boxes and mold ridden clothes L ) and unpacked it (a week later than scheduled). We were quoted $1,000 to move the contents of our 1 bedroom apartment but were actually charged $3,600 when they told us we had the equivalent of a 3 bedroom house. Hmm. They (Air 1 movers- don't use them!) also lost and broke several of our belongings. I’m still mad about it!
This time around we’re doing things differently.

We’re doing this move ourselves, renting a U-Haul, and towing Andrew’s car. My mom and dad are flying out to help us pack and drive the U-haul and my car to San Diego. (Thanks mom and dad! You rock!) It will be a 2 day drive (1,500 miles). We will rent a storage unit for July-August to store our stuff while we spend the month of July at home visiting our families and making up for lost time the last 3 years. At some point in July we’ll drive down to San Diego to find a place to live and sign a lease, but we won’t actually move to SD until August. Andrew will start teaching lit classes at Point Loma Nazarene University and San Diego Christian College at the end of August and I have applied to teach/sub for San Diego Unified School District. There is still a hiring freeze for teachers, but hopefully everything will work out.

We’re spreading out this move to hopefully lessen the stress, but we’re outta here 8 weeks from today so I’ve got my trusty label maker and boxes ready. Super exciting stuff!