Saturday, January 30, 2010

This is only the start of our traveling adventures! Seattle and Iowa:

Thursday night Dane got a text from his sister Emalei, who lives in Seattle, that said, "What time are you flying in tomorrow?" We laughed and laughed, and I figured I should let you all in on the joke. You see, two weeks ago Dane took the opportunity to try out our flight benefits courtesy of Continental Airlines and flew to Seattle to visit our family there. We stayed with Emalei and Fabio for a few nights, had a lot of fun, ate a lot of good food and flew home Sunday night.

Then, last weekend Dane had a ton of studying to do and I took it as a chance to go visit my sister, Joanne, who lives in Mason City, Iowa, and be there for her son's birthday and baptism. Now, I am not sure if Dane would admit this, but one of the biggest distractions for him (when it comes to things like tying to study) is loneliness. So, he flew back to Seattle to study with Emalei and Fabio, who are both in grad school and have plenty of studying of their own to get done.

Honestly, a part of us really does wish that we could fly to Seattle every weekend, and we know that we WILL be back there if not once, but a couple of times. But we have a lot more places to go. So for the next few months I am warning you that this might seem a little like a travel blog.

And now what you all have really been waiting for, pictures from your trips:

One of the greatest things about Continental is that they are one of the only domestic carriers that still serves in-flight meals. Our "enchilada" with a salad, a treat and of course, hot sauce.

We flew on a 737-900, which means nothing to me, but to Dane it means in-flight entertainment: Direct TV.

Of course we had to go for a walk in Discovery Park!

We met up with Melissa and Monico our first night in Seattle and went to a great Mexican place in Magnolia. They were a ton of fun.

Too bad we ate it all up before we could get a very good picture. But this is a pretty good indicator that is was really yummy, right?

Saturday, Fabio and Emalei took us to a charming little bakery in town for lunch. I wish I remembered what it was called. Just in case you wanted to know, they have been 100% organic since 1985.

Inside the cafe. (Oh yeah, it is called The Essential Baking Co...thank you, sign.)

You might be seeing a trend by really was all about the food on this trip, I guess. And this place was so good, this is the only picture we got here too. Dane had a Reuben and I had a "yam-witch".

After lunch, we went rode the fairy to Gig Harbor. Such a beautiful view of the city and a fun ride.

THIS is why we went to Gig Harbor! To check out the hottest new attorney's office. Welcome to the Ambrosio Law Firm! (I think Fabio was looking at Emalei's camera.....what a nannerpussu.)

After stopping at the office, what did we do next? Have a snack, of course. This little cafe was really cute, called Java and Clay. You can get scones and drinks like this in one half, and the other half is a place you could paint pottery, kind of like a Color Me Mine.

One last treat to enjoy in the airport watching planes before flying home.

So, I feel like a dork, because I totally forgot to take my camera to Iowa when I went to see Joanne, but luckily my mom didn't! So I only have a few but these turned out pretty well.

Alec, my nephew, with Ben, my brother-in-law, right before the baptism in Mason City. He was soooo excited. I love my nephews in Mason City! They are so full of energy and love. It was really special to be there for this day. Congrats, Alec!

At Joanne's house right before heading to the airport with Mom, Dad, me, Joanne, Ben, and Ben's mom, Shauna Woods.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

going green

So, I was talking to my sister earlier this morning and she was teasing me about my smoothies. Can I just say, that I got the best Christmas present ever from my mother?! She gave each of my siblings a VitaMix blender. Now, this is not just an ordinary blender. I think it has like 1.5 horse power or something. It is crazy. Anyway, I use it everyday and one of my favorite things to make is my breakfast smoothie. I usually put whatever I have in my fridge in them, so they are always a little different, but today's was amazing, so I felt that I needed to share:

Blend until smooth:
Spinach, one handfull
Kale, one handfull
Green cabbage, thin slice
Baby carrots, 5
Pineapple, 1/2 C
Apple, one half
Banana, one whole
Grape juice, 1/2 C (grapes are a better option, but I didn't have any today)
Ice 1-2 C
It actually made about 2 1/2 of these glasses full (about 5 cups), but I drank it all. It filled me way up and kept me full all morning. I love this breakfast because I figure it gives me 2-3 servings of veggies, and another 2-3 servings of fruit, lots of vitamins and tons of energy without many calories. If you know anything about WeightWatchers, I figure it is about 3-4 points, but I haven't figured out how many calories it has. Anyway, I think it's pretty good for how much energy it gives me and how full it makes me. Enjoy!

Home sweet home, well for 5 months at least

We made it! Just in case any of you were wondering where we have been for the last two and a half weeks, yes we made it to Houston. I don't really have a good reason why this took me so long to get up here, but here you go.

We basically live in downtown, Houston. Technically it is called Midtown, but it's borderline downtown. What do I mean by that? well, if any of you remember that post a few back with the picture of Houston's skyline, the building on the far right is where Dane works, and we literally live 5 blocks from that--and in the 4th largest city in the nation, 5 blocks is pretty close. Wouldn't you say? For those of you who like to look at maps (and I know we have a few in our family) when you look at this city from above, it looks like a giant spiderweb of highways with downtown in the center. If you look at this map, "A" is where Dane works, and "B" is where we live.

Here's a close up:

Our complex is wonderful. It is pretty big and very nice. I don't know when it was built, but it must have been pretty recently updated, because it is nicer than anywhere I have seen in Provo :). There is acyber-cafe where tenants can use free wifi , computers, and even print for free, along with 2 big screen t.v.'s. AND there is a gym for tenants as well. This is a big deal for me because I don't even want to begin to think what it would have cost to get a membership somewhere here for just a few months. The management is great, and most of the utilities are included in our rent. We are pretty happy with it, and I thought I would give all of you a little tour : Welcome to our apartment!

This is our kitchen and yes, that is a dishwasher!:

Small, I know, but a little roomier than our kitchen in Provo. Moving in here was one of my biggest challenges. When we were packing for the big move, we only ended up bringing less than half of our stuff because we knew it would be temporary. I spent a lot of time deciding if something would be put into one of 4 piles: 1-Utah, 2-Texas, 3-DI, and 4-garbage. It was amazing to me how much stuff was actually put into piles 1, 3, and 4. We had a lot of stuff that we seem to not really need. So, to be honest, however, the one room that I had a hard time thinning out, and brought almost everything was one of my favorites, the kitchen. We brought almost everything, and this is probably the only room that has less storage here than we had in Provo.

The rest of our apartment is a little barren, actually. We left almost all of our furniture in Provo because it would have been way to difficult and expensive to bring it with us for only 5 months. We brought two chairs that were easy to take apart, our t.v., and a little bookshelf that now serves as a dresser. Here is our sitting room:

I actually have room (and time) to paint!!!

This was a fun space saver idea-- Our ceilings are so high, we have space to hang our bikes on the walls. Great for a few reasons: one, we know our bikes are safe from being burgled off of some lonely bike rack, two, we can use our storage closets to actually store the things we need, and three, if you didn't notice already our walls are pretty barren and it is nice to have something to cover up some of the white . :)

This is the view looking out of our window. The building you are looking at is part of our complex. The first level you are looking at is a restaurant. Other than the fact that it is close and WAY good we love this restaurant because they have freewifi. It's not too fast but it is how yours truly is able to get lots done all day. Thanks again Cyclone Anaya's!

After we arrived, one of the first things we had to do was get a bed. A really cheap, hard one. Well I guess it didn't need to be hard, but cheap was kind of a need. We found a mattress warehouse in town and got a great deal but it was killing our bodies. Thank yousooooo much to Emalei and Fabio for letting us borrow their pillow-top. I cannot believe how much of a difference it has made! Here's the bedroom:

Thank you IKEA "as-is" section. Bedding set complete with sheets and duvet cover for $17? Yes, please.

Also pictured below: Dane's 737 cockpit posters. These not only look cool, but help him study.

Here is our bathroom and closet, sorry it's a little messy :).

Here is a floor plan--minus the balcony that comes off of the bedroom (dedicated to Kristy). We don't have a washer/dryer so we use that closed for storage. Enjoy!

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