Thursday, March 21, 2013

grand champion ornamental bird

Good Afternoon!

I had to tear myself away from the new Kate Spade Saturday website... sheesh. These are dangerous times.

...Yes, the website already knows my name.

True to my word-- let's recap San Fran, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tucson. All at once?! She's crazy. Yes, yes I am. 

San Francisco.

I was mostly sick the entire time I was there but braving it with a smile and a secret stash of tissues. The weekend was so jam-packed that I almost (almost) forgot I was sick. Spencer moved to a new apartment and boy oh boy is it lovely!

That's the view from his window. He's fancy.

I did miss the old Haight/Ashbury neighborhood... but I must admit the pretty green trees lining the street and the lack of homeless twenty-somethings trying to sell me drugs was a nice change. I flew in late at night-- just in time to see the new Bay Lights display on the Bay Bridge, with a perfect view just a couple blocks from Spencer's apartment. 

Check out the website here for background information and videos.

Lovely! Just lovely.

I spent sunny Friday with Jimmy. Jimfi, my main man. He and I could talk for hours and hours-- and we did just that. Jimmy moved to the bay area recently so I haven't seen him in a few months. We lounged in various parks before wandering through the city to a macaron cafe that Spencer recommended. It was a very windy walk.

I hope you can see the motion going on in this photo.
The wind was practically knocking us over.

After calming down from the windstorm with tasty macarons, we headed to Spencer's office to share some cookies and play some ping pong.

As soon as 'work' was over, we hit various bars in the city, the highlight being "The Tonga Room"...

The three of us shared this... 

I'm not sure if you can tell from that photo above, but this Polynesian-themed bar most certainly has a pool in the middle of it. And the live band is in the middle of it, floating on a boat. Just as weird as it sounds. We finished our punch bowl-sized drink and headed to the waterside dance floor. After much festive dancing we went home, dressed up half-assedly like pirates, and attended a midnight screening of HOOK that Spencer's friends had arranged. The theater was full of silly people, it was BYOB, and we had a big bag of popcorn. A perfect evening, if you ask me. Spencer is quite the host.

And really, you can't beat Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook. 

Saturday morning we stopped for some irish coffees at the Buena Vista Cafe before heading to the bocce ball courts by the bay. Spencer just became a member (sheesh) so we spent a couple hours getting in the swing of it. Not quite the most athletic game, but very fun nonetheless! In the afternoon we caught the Arizona basketball game at the Brick Yard, grabbed some ice cream, and then unintentionally called it an early night after falling asleep on the couch while watching Chapelle's show. 'Twas a good day.

Sunday Spencer and I caught a cable car (...I'm easily wooed by SF charm) into town to pick up a couple of things and get some lunch. The better part of the day was spent at Fort Mason soaking up some much needed sunshine.

I unfortunately had a flight later that night which cut into any big plans. We had some fancy tapas and wine before I reluctantly took a cab to the airport. Time to work... in Las Vegas!

I am so lucky to work with Camp Bravo as the Assistant Director and a traveling liaison for the program. I can't say enough good things about Camp Bravo and how it has changed my own life-- and I see it happen for kids every summer. This is the second year that I have traveled to Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tucson to talk to high school students about Bravo (I'll be in Northern California next month). First it was off to Vegas, where I stayed with Ashley's lovely family and was upgraded to a Toyota RAV4 from an economy car. Score for me.

This might be the next car I get. If I can ever handle the pressure of a car-purchasing-situation ( 2070).

I spoke with schools during the day and had the afternoon and evenings to do what I like. Last year I spent most of the time on the strip with friends, seeing bizarre hypnotist shows and gambling $20. This trip I spent the whole time with Ashley's siblings-- they're a hoot! I picked Angela up from middle school, watched a marathon of The Client List with Ana, and helped AJ build a leprechaun trap. I felt like the (honorary) oldest Nunes sister.

Building stairs so the leprechaun can climb into the box from the ground.

Before heading out of town I got to meet up with my dear friend Katie from U of A and Natalie from Bravo! I love the two of them so much and I'm so lucky they call Las Vegas home. 

Natalie and I ate some naughty italian food. 

I dropped off the rental car and flew to Phoenix to visit more schools. Jamie's friend Erin opened her home to me, which I appreciated endlessly. And the bonus? She has an english bulldog named Winston. I was in doggy heaven. ...I also just realized I'm in a bath towel in this video. Awesome.

After talking with Phoenix schools and judging the entire area for it's poor taste in mascots (Boo ASU)...

Phoenix... there has to be more options than devil-themed mascots.

...I drove down to Tucson! Hallelujah! I had the next four days to spend with Alison and fam/friends.

Wednesday night we went to see West Side Story in theaters. That movie is just too good. The romance! The music! The dancing! Go watch it again. Even if it is just to watch all of Tony's songs and stare at how many teeth he has in his mouth. It's crazy.

This is the best teeth pic I could find... go watch... and count.

The next couple of days were packed--- with pictures apparently.

Homemade pizza with Alison

Chicken cordon bleu with my favorite second family!

Sunset admiring. This is with no instagram filter, you guys. Arizona magic.

I drove to Phoenix on Saturday to get Jamie and Paul--- who were visiting from Boston! Paul is deciding between two grad schools right now, so on their way out to visit University of Washington they made a stop in Arizona. You know... cause it's on the way. It was actually purely coincidental that we were in town at the same time; in fact Jamie and I haven't been in Tucson together in over three years. This was Paul's first time visiting the Tucson side of our family... and I think he had an interesting experience.

I mean, it is Arizona, after all.

Paul's first visit to In-N-Out

Jamie and I also had plenty of time to catch up on memories of our very colorful childhood. Like plaques for our Grand Champion Ornamental Bird (the artist formerly known as Trudy the turkey) hanging on the wall. 


Hanging out with Marley-- our pool has a brown bottom, it's not dirty.
That's what we like to call natural solar heating.

This palm tree randomly is yellow? And still living?

The little chickies.

The good ol' goat stanchion-- back in it's heyday and now.

We worked on our darts skills... 

...And Paul got to experience Guadalajara Grill and the magic of tableside fresh salsa.

Lots of food. Lots of laughing. Lots of family time.

I was gone for a total of eleven days. Eleven! I had such a fantastic time-- breakfasting with friends, sipping strawberry eegees, going to a family friends' St. Patrick's Day celebration. Believe it or not though I was a bit relieved to be back in my own bed by Sunday night. I do love adventuring but there's something oh so charming about being snuggled up in your own bed with a warm kitty. Yes?

Thanks for reading. More updates tomorrow. And hopefully more concise posts in the future... One can dream.



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