Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Pottery Year

Did you know the traditional gift for an eighth anniversary is pottery? Me either, but it is perfect for us this year. (More on that later.)

8 years with my guy just flew by. I'll tell you what, there for sure has not been a day he has not made me laugh, that he has not told me he loves me, that I am not hugged and kissed and loved. And while it is totes cliche (, while 8 years has simply flown by it also feels like I've been with this man for as long as I can remember. That's a good sign right?! And I swear I try to be as good to him as he is to me. I want my boyfriend forever!
This was a fun anniversary for us. Best of all, we celebrated all week long. I love long celebrations, I mean who doesn't? But, I really love celebrating and find any and all excuses to do so.

Wes surprised me in the morning of our actual anniversary (Jan. 6th) by taking us all (his 3 girls as he calls us) out to brunch. I love brunch, it just seems so classy and fun, and for years (literally, years) I have been dying to try this restaurant off the side of Ortega Hwy overlooking Lake Elsinore. So we went. The kids loved it, but it was not very kid friendly... as in no high chairs, and it was a biker pit-stop. Yes, it was awesome, like all of my wildest dreams. It was weird, random, had Beatles music playing, eclectic decor and the menu was mostly "chef will create" items without specifics listed. My only complaint, it was a tad pricey, but since I knew we were going out later, Wes and I shared a meal and the girls shared something too, so it worked for us.
After a nice easy day, that night we headed to Benihana for our annual dinner date. More on that here and here. We used a self bought gift card and awards card and had a great night!!!!
Then, that weekend (last weekend actually) we did a one night getaway to Catalina Island. We never do gifts, but we love outings, so it is our gift to ourself from each other if you will. We have both been before but it's been a long while for Wes (5th grade) and a good amount of time for me (2002). Plus, with only 1 night to go somewhere Catalina is perfect since it is close, relaxing and you can do everything in that time. In reality our only agenda was merely sleep in, nap, and lounge alone without being hassled, so this was the perfect getaway!

The best part of our boat ride was seeing the water blow out over the water where a whale was. We saw 2 different spouts come up and it was awesome!
Don't be fooled by this picture though, we didn't last too long outside on the boat ride, it got chilly and we quickly moved inside.
(and don't judge my cheesy glasses, I lost my real pair, and these were given to me at a fun-walk we participated in. Thank you Chevrolet for my free glasses!)
We got to the island mid morning and could not check into our hotel (to nap) until 3, so we checked our luggage and began to explore. We headed to a pizza place on the water, which was mediocre at best. The food was greasy, the price steep, and their was some mildew on our outdoor table (plus they didn't let us eat the peanuts they served outside), but with all that, the view was pretty nice and I didn't have to remind a certain 3 year old to eat her food every 20 seconds, so it was a nice meal for us.
We also enjoyed their crazy decor.
and Wes took these all by himself upstairs by the bathroom and showed them to me later. I don't know if I laughed harder at the photos or the fact he was up there alone taking them. I seriously, seriously love this guy you guys!!!
  And like I said, the view....
After eating, we biked around the shoreline and relaxed on Descanso beach. I have deemed our bikes a must have to go on pretty much any vacation anymore. We paid a little extra to bring them, and are oh so glad we did. One very positive thing to vacationing during the off season is the lack of crowds and therefore crowd control. The beach had those nice chairs you typically have to rent, but we were able to lounge on them since no one else was there cost free. And being as tired as we were we both fell fast asleep only to wake to our alarm telling us to head to the casino for our tour.
Oh, and did I mention that Wes and I are 80 year olds on vacation. We go to bed early, watch lots of TV, and take tours of neat buildings. Not a bad life I tell ya. I don't think I will mind one bit being an elderly person with him.

So, as stated we toured the casino, which ironically doesn't have, and never has had an ounce of gambling done within... which kinda bummed us out as we set aside a whole $10 to gamble with while we were there. I am talking $10 combined bucks BTW. It also has the biggest floating ball room above, and the coolest theater below.

The Casino was built in 1929 and was quite the spot for celebrities. And the inside is beautiful as you can see. 
Each of these wood panels is currently worth $55,000
And the theater acts as a live theater venue and to show movies... they do one each week.
The floating ballroom above the theater.
They even let us go out on the balcony at the top for the awesome views.
Honestly it was neat, and I am glad we did it.
 After the tour we headed to the Vons grocery store by our hotel, grabbed some snacks for the night and some soda (for me always) and went back to relax in our room.

The hotel was....OK. Cute from the outside, had overly friendly employees, the rooms were small (but had a bed, bathroom and TV, so we were covered), but it was noisy. The walls were thin and we were by a must use street. I wouldn't be completely opposed to going back, but don't plan on it either. Luckily it was a "Groupon" so it was cheap. Big plus for us!
 After spending a few hours lounging, sleeping, and watching TV in the room, we got up, got ready and headed back to the casino for our organ show, which is just as it sounds. An hour of a man playing the organ before our movie started (Saving Mr. Banks, which I cried through...I blame PMS). We liked the organ show as it was different and unique. One grisly old man even requested "What a Wonderful World) and sang while the man played. Sweet and hi-larious and a little odd in the beginning actually!
After the movie we rode to dinner and being that it was close to 10 pm, we ended in a bar restaurant, the Lobster Trap, where we ate seafood and watched the end of the Clippers destroy the Lakers. It was a good night! 'Nough said.

Oh, and I got a sea bass taco... so of course a certain Dumb and Dumber quote had to come out at the table. And no, I did not, nor did Wes have to throw any salt.
Saturday was even more kick back if you can believe it! We slept in, showered, and readied ourselves for the day. Sadly we had to check out of our hotel at 11, which was a little earlier than we hoped, but whatcha gonna do?! We bought breakfast at the Vons (again) and went up on our patio roof of the hotel and ate looking out over the island, luckily we were the only ones up there too. And after we took a long bike ride down the coast. It might have been one of my favorite things we did the whole time we were there. Whenever we wanted to we jumped off our bikes and walked around, or stopped and looked into the water to watch sea lions. We ended our ride at Pebbly Beach to look for some rocks and clay for Peyton (for her outside rock garden) and to enjoy the area. Remember 8 years... pottery year. We collected pottery on the beach together, thus fulfilling our year requirement (for the first time ever I might add).

On our patio. Sadly like I mentioned before it was cold and foggy, so our view was limited.
However, the fog made for some awesome pictures on our bike ride.
 Our bike ride in general gave us a lot of fun photos.
I mean we had to have one... it was our anniversary.
On our ride back we stopped to watch a couple get married on the sand... it was just them, the person officiating and their photographer. With such a short ceremony we watched the whole thing (all 3 minutes) and cheered on their first marital kiss, then continued on our merry way.
We actually got kind of hungry so we started to look for a place to eat. Which I might add is a tough choice when every shop is a restaurant and there are millions of unknown choices to choose from. We ended at a little Mexican restaurant where we could sit at a bar-table overlooking the boardwalk out towards the water and watch the 50 mile marathoners come across the finish line. And yes, I realize I wrote 50 miles which is correct, these crazy runners ran twice around the island in fact. The only bummer about this day is that is was pretty chilly. Friday had been perfect, but Saturday was kinda cold, Wes and I never really got warm until we got home in our car. I blame that day on my terrible cold that hit hard Sunday and even now as I write I am a mouth breather. Disgusting!

We also walked around the shops and stores, and did a lot of people watching. :)
 After lunch we still had a little time so we paid to go through the very very small museum (which I wouldn't recommend especially if you tour the Casino, which I would recommend). Then we hit up Vons for some more snacks and drinks for the boat ride home. Then sat and watched the fisherman on the small pier until our boat came for us.
In the end we were ready to go home, but had a wonderful time!!! I think every couple needs time away to relax and enjoy being together. Even without kids, escaping "real life" is important to do every once in a while, but with kids it's imperative! I loved coming home to hugs from them too though, and I think that it was fun and important for them to get away from us for a while too. ;)


Heidi Broberg said...

I commented yesterday on my phone. I an never comment or your blog, I have issues with my new technology ha ha ha (isnt that ironic). But I LOVE this post!

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary!!! You guys are so cute!!! :3
And April, how are you so pretty? You're making me jealous! :)

Sue Carter said...

I enjoyed your anniversary post!! Great photos, too!