I am trying to fit as many trips in as I can before little monkey boy is born. We met up with my folks and our dear family friends, the Kirkseys, at the Smokey Mountains. We stayed in our favorite cabin on top of the mountains. Dad would sneak away at all hours of the night to jump in the hot tub. Wayne cooked all of our meals and made us the BEST steak we have ever eaten (minus Ryan who ate bar-b-que chicken, of course).
Before I could marry Ryan, he had to have an interview with Wayne to be cleared and threatened. I am so glad he passed!
My dear friend, Stephanie, came to visit. We had a wonderful time together. Ryan was reading "The Politician" by Andrew Young and so he was a little obsessed with John Edwards for a couple of days. John lives in Chapel Hill and built the infamous 28,200 sq. ft. home. We found it and could see the Rec building through the woods. We took a picture but it is kind of difficult to see. The recreation building contains a basketball court, a squash court, two stages, a bedroom, kitchen, bathrooms, swimming pool, a four-story tower, and a room designated “John’s Lounge.” Per the book, John spent a lot of time here escaping Elizabeth.
The front gate
We were then off to a pre-season exhibition game of the Durham bulls game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Take me out to the ball game!
Still blogging about Portland even though its been a few weeks since we were there.
My brother Jeff took Thursday and Friday off and we were able to see a lot of great places in the area. Jenny cooked wonderfully and was great to talk with as usual. We got to tour a submarine, go to a kids museum, go hiking and see a bunch of waterfalls, and just enjoy spending time with kin. We have really cool nephews and a wonderfuly cute neice:
Here is Tucker about to launch the torpedos: And Caleb wondering why we are on his submarine: And here is uncle Ryan pinning Caleb and getting pinned by Tucker
After our wonderful trip to Los Angeles we decided to take a trip up to Portland to visit my brother and his family before coming back to Raleigh. This was a week before Easter so we decided to put on an Easter egg hunt for our niece and nephews.
Here is some video on the event:
First in was Anja's turn:
Then the boys took their turn:
And then it was time to open them up and see what was inside
We spent the last two nights with Emily. She was a wonderful host and we got to have a traditional LOST night together. We were missing many from the good ol' days but they were there in spirit.
We had a wonderful last day in Los Angeles with Emily and Eunaye. We went to our favorite art museum in L.A., the Getty. It has an amazing view, garden and impressionist exhibit.
We also ate lunch at the beach with our toes in the sand! We had to touch the Pacific and skip a few rocks. We loved our time in L.A and treasured reliving our dating memories. We especially loved that we are able to pick right up with wonderful friends even after 3 years.
Ryan used to live just below the Hollywood sign. We would hike up to it together. This time I was a lot slower. We did get to see a bobcat! And we got a really nice view of where we were engaged (the Observatory).
We did do 2 new things while in Los Angeles. #1. Yogurtland.... so much better than Pinkberry. #2. The Reagan Library. It is in Simi Valley, beautiful country. We thoroughly enjoyed the museum about his life and administration. We got to tour Air Force One, a replica of the oval office, and a miniture White House. There was also a part of the Berlin Wall as well as Reagan's grave.
While in L.A., we went by our old apartments. It was nice to see no gang tagging or homeless people outside them. We remembered how difficult it was to find street parking and how many tickets we got because of street cleaning. But mostly, we remembered our great roommates and all the fun times.
Sandra was not only nice enough to let us stay in her home but she also hosted a delicious dinner for us and friends. It made it so much easier to see everyone. It is hard to believe that it has been 3 years since we have been together. We had so much fun laughing, catching up, and remembering the good ol' days.
We had a jammed packed day the first day we were in Los Angeles. It started out driving through the canyon, past the Hollywood Bowl, and through rows of palm trees. We wondered why we ever left such a great place.
We got to spend time with Brooke, Jacob, and baby Miri. It was the beginning of the meet the baby tour and Miri is so dang cute. We also got to spend time with Stacy and her boyfriend, Ryan. My Ryan and Stacy went to grad school in NYC together then both moved to California. We had a great time catching up face to face.
We then went to Venice Beach and Santa Monica Pier. We met up with the Strongs. We wish we had more time with them as it was so chaotic and crowded. There was a bomb threat or hazardous spill on the pier and everyone was evacuated. EVERYONE went to 3rd Street Promenade were we tried to find a place to sit and feed the kiddos.
Then we were off to visit with Justin, Stephanie and baby Pierce Chapman. Pierce is 3 months old. It is fun to go through this stage of life with friends. Our kiddos will grow up being in the same grade and hopefully we will get to hang out and have them be best friends in the future. Unfortunately we didn't get a photo with them.
What a great way to be welcomed back to Los Angeles.