May 30, 2009

It's been a good run, Crystal!

I've only met and known Crystal for a short time now, but when her roommates sent out an invite for her themed birthday/going away party....I said "Sure, I want to come!".

I've never been one big on dressing up with themes. I don't look forward to's too stressful trying to figure out who to be, or what to wear, that I just end up not playing. Ugh...I know, I'm a party pooper. But...I did throw on work out clothes to join in on the fun for the party.

We played a very loose game of baseball for a bit, and then decided to play Four Square in the driveway. I don't really remember ever playing this game as a child, which might explain my lack of playing very well AT ALL. But, I had fun nonetheless. I even made it to the "King Square" one time....I'm sure it was due to other's mistakes, and not my superior abilities. :)

After the party, we went to visit Kirsten. She's going to be one busy woman this summer with recruiting, visiting Alex, traveling, we took the chance to hang out with her at her place. After hanging out for a bit, they thought it was a good idea to play a game that I'd heard a lot about....Settlers of Catan. Anyone else heard of this game???

It's evidently pretty I agreed to play. Supposedly Kirsten wins everytime, so I was even more up for playing a game that someone (not me) could beat Brett....haha!! I think I kind of caught on, but will do better next time. Kirsten did win....and if it even counts, I did have the 2nd most points at the end of the game. It's a lot of strategy, which isn't my strong suit, but we'll see how I fare next time!! :)

May 29, 2009

Romulans, Vulcans and FroYo

So, I'm a little behind, but I'll let you in on a secret (in case you hadn't already figured it out). I backdate my posts so that when I personally go back and search for what I was doing on a certain date, it's all posted on the right days. reality, this happened over a week ago....but oh well.

So, today is my last free Friday before I start working. What to do, what to do?!?!? Well....go see Star Trek, of course!! :) I actually enjoy this kind of movie, although I won't pretend to always understand what's happening. There was quite a crew of us to go see the movie....and then afterwards, Emily suggested Yogurtland.

I'm not a yogurt fan, I don't eat it....but frozen yogurt, I've discovered, is a whole different thing! So, we walked into the yogurt wonderland...and were.....amazed. Brett said "Oh, wow, I think I'm really going to like this place.".

There are a ton of different flavors to choose serve it all yourself, and then put as many toppings as you want on there. They weigh it, and you're in yogurt heaven! I was so in awe, that I took a picture...but then very quickly, one of the workers came and told me that I wasn't allowed to take photos inside the shop. Weird....but, um, okay?

So...I snapped a few outside.

Kyle has a thing with liking to touch things that are high he wanted to try to reach the sign. In the pictures it really looks like he did....although, he honestly admits that he didn't quite make it. Either way, it made for a fun shot. A passerby on the street even snapped a shot of his second attempt. :)

May 26, 2009

To Houston....just for a bit!

The day after my poor sister had to sit grounded in LAX for over 8 hours, I took the same flight to Houston. I went back to TX today in order to see my family, and get Molly to bring her back to SB.

Lucky for me, my flight left right on time, and I got to Houston as planned. Corey picked me up at the airport so we could spend a little time together. We went back to her place and got Jake and Delaney, and went for a late lunch at Lupe Tortilla. I had forgotten how good the tortillas there were, but sharing them with the Mermis clan was even more of a special treat.

The nice thing about this location, is that there is a large sandbox playground for the kids to play. After we finished our food, I wanted to take off my flops and hop in there with them. Delaney loved the slides....she'd go down, and immediatley say "again!". Jake loved the truck, and was all over the sandpit. I loved how red his little cheeks got. I tell you, it's even hotter than I remember in Houston!!

We met my Mom in Sugar Land to go back to their house. My Mom and I played a pretty intense game of Scrabble. She took me by 40 points. Not surprising!!

May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 09

Despite it being a gloomy day, it was still a day to celebrate our Vets. We rallied late afternoon, and decided to gather at DJ's for a feast of goodness.

Jeff made his yummy veggie burritos. We had some meat, chips & salsa, hummus, and a few other things for our meal.

It was a wonderful day to hang out with friends. I just love the conversations with this company!!

May 24, 2009

Taylor SB Tour Day II

After morning service at Reality, we rallied some of the troops and had a picnic at the park. The sun barely came out at the end of our time, but the company and the yummy snacks still made the trip out there worth it.

We made another trip through the crowds at the Mission to see the updates on the I Madonnari artists. No new pictures, but it was still so cool!!! On the way back to the truck, Taylor spotted this humongous tree and had to jump up in it!! It's enormous!!

We borrowed Emily's cruiser, and headed out on a bike ride to round out our SB activities. We chose a new path, and this time went towards the ocean over near my new neighborhood. We first found this neat stairway heading down towards the water. The view from the top, and as well on the way down the stairs, was amazing.

Casper Jones made the trek with us too....and I think he enjoyed the ocean as well!

Gotta JUMP!!!

On the way up, we decided to count how many stairs there were. We all counted to ourselves, and at the top, compared our tallies. I was up first, and my count was 233. Brett was behind me with 241. I was confused...I mean, there was no way that I messed up simple counting. Did I? When Taylor reached the top, she also had 141. Doh!!! I think that I got a little messed up when I tried to get fancy on my method...and admitted that I was probably incorrect!! :)

We made it to Shoreline Drive and took it all the way down to the park. There was the slightest bit of a downhill on the way there, which made the trip there pretty simple. On the way back home....well, that was a different story. I'm not sure how Taylor made it on the cruiser...I barely did, and I had gears!!!

We were all quite pooped from our almost 2 hour bike tour, so we made it an indoor night with pizza from Giovanni's. It was so tasty!! Emily and Jeff came to join us and we watched Yes, Man! It was a great way to end Taylor's trip to SB!!

May 23, 2009

Touring Taylor around Santa Barbara - Day I

After sleeping in a bit, we started the full day of showing Taylor around SB. First stop was Jeannine's in Montecito for a little breakfast. I think she really liked the venue, and her yummy burrito.

We then headed out to Carpinteria to Ballard Avenue. This is where we shot Laura's pictures, and it's such a beautiful spot, that we had to share it with Taylor too! The huge fields, ocean view, awesome trees, and flowers were all worth the trip.

I had heard that we could walk from there to see the seals in Carp, so we explored along the water's edge, and did end up finding them. There were quite a few out that day, and they were much more playful than when we saw them about 6 months ago. There were even some really cute baby seals that we all got a kick out of too!

On the way back to the car, we had some more fun in the fields!

Next on our stop was the Mission to see the I Madonnari festival. I hadn't ever heard of this, or seen it either, so it was a treat for me as well. Before we went over to see all the sidewalk art, we had to make a stop and smell, and admire, the roses.

The I Madonnari was amazing. It was neat to see all the different people that had entered....from kids, to families, to schools, to real artists. They were ALL astonishing!! Brett and I enjoyed a snowcone from one of the vendor booths, and we liked this door so much that we had Taylor pose. :)

I wanted to show Taylor where Brett lived, so we stopped at his place. When we were in the garage, Taylor saw that he had some sidewalk chalk, so we had our own little I Madonnari at the well as some silly fun with our big muscles. Taylor definitely has me beat at the gun show - ha!!

It then hit us that walking around in the sunny afternoon worked up an appetite, but it was getting close to dinner, so we made another stop at a local favorite to tide us over until our next full meal - Blenders!!!

Still with me? The day's not over yet!! We headed back to my house and got ready for our night time activities. We decided to dine at Los Arroyos, and proceeded to stuff ourselves silly!! Brett went home, I think we pooped him out, while Taylor and I caught a late showing of Ghosts of Girlfriends Past at Paseo Nuevo.

Had such a great Saturday around SB with Taylor!! We came home and turned in for another fun day tomorrow!!

May 22, 2009


We got back to Santa Barbara after spending some time in Vegas, and tried to get settled back into the swing of things at home. The fires were settling down...but Brett's house was still a war zone because of some painting that was going on.

So, when today finally marked Friday....we were glad it was the start of the holiday weekend, and a day of a few fun filled things. The first fun thing being that we were finally going to the concert that we'd bought tickets for over 2 months ago...Flight of the Conchords at the Santa Barbara Bowl. It was a good thing that Brett told me, on my way out the door, that the venue was an outdoor one, so I could go back in and grab my sweatshirt!! I would have froze!!!

Brett, Scott and I enjoyed dinner first at Sal's Pizzeria.....that was because the line at the place that we were supposed to meet the rest of the folks at was too long....but I think we lucked out. The pizza was good, and it was a nice short walk to the venue afterwards.

I hadn't seen too many of the FotC songs played out before, but they were definitely worth a few laughs. Puddy from Seinfeld was sitting in the row in front of us, and a few times I glanced over to see if he thought the show was as amusing as everyone else did. Brett was in stitches, which I think is more fun for me than any show. I love to hear him laugh!

After the show was over, Brett and I headed to Emily's house. The reason that we went over there was because she had been so sweet as to pick up Taylor from the airport while we were still at the concert! Yes, tonight my first official visitor has come to visit me in my new hometown!!

After picking her up, we realized that we were all a little bit hungry, so first stop on the SB tour - In N Out. This also marks Taylor's first return to California since 3rd grade when we took a family vacation to San Diego, so she hadn't experienced this local delight. Well, she liked it....and ate it all up!!

May 18, 2009

A Mommy & Puppy Story | Linda & Delyla

Brett's sister, Autumn, told me a while ago that her friend Linda wanted me to take pictures of her and her dog, Delyla. When I knew that we were going in Vegas for a few days, I knew that I had to arrange to do just this!! Linda and I traded emails, and got it all setup. We met at Loralyn's birthday party the day before, and I could tell that she was excited!

When I met was evident how much she was loved by her Mom. Dogs aren't only Man's Best Friend.....they can also be a Woman's BFF too! I was so glad that Linda suggested that we come to her house for our shoot....the backyard was gorgeous, and had so many different fun places to explore.

Delyla was such a champ...she was up for anything....including swinging on the hammock and jumping on the trampoline!! Linda, I had such a fun time with you and D. It took me so long to pick my favorites....I hope you find them as much fun as I did!!

May 17, 2009

BBQ. Memphis Style. In Vegas.

We went to church this morning and then all went out to grab a bite to eat afterwards. We decided on Memphis BBQ. Right when we walked in, we spotted our favorite bit of the fun decor.....the train whistle that you could pull to make the recognizable sound!

When we were in the parking lot, I got a craving for sweet tea....but was told that they probably didn't have it here in Vegas. Imagine how happy I was when I asked, and our waitress said "Yes!". And double came in a huge Mason Jar - how fun!!

I ordered the Pitmaster came with ribs, pork, chicken and brisket. I chose potato salad and baked beans for my sides.....all excellent choices!! The brisket was my favorite for sure.

Loralyn liked her mac and cheese with fries.....and she loved making the train noise on the way out too!!

Yeah!! I finally got a picture with Rob in it!!! :)

We hung out on Sunday afternoon being lazy at the house until Rob and Autumn came to get me and Brett to head to the other side of town. I had chatted with Autumn's best friend, Linda, to take pics of her and her puggle, Delyla. We had a great time at her place, in her beautiful tropical backyard, and Delyla was a hoot!!

After, the 4 of us caught some sushi on that side of town. It was great to be able to hang out, just us big kids. :) Check back in a few days for the Mommy and Puppy pics!! :)