Joyful June

Again it’s another month and we haven’t had a minute to breath and gather our thoughts for a post. It’s been an exciting few weeks since our last update. We took a weekend trip to San Francisco, Adrian celebrated her 29th birthday, we began the process of apartment hunting in LA, Dave got a short-term position at a really cool company in Marina del Rey AND we finally began the process of apartment hunting and signed a lease on our new home last week! So lots to report on:)

Adrian’s birthday was on a Monday and she had a professional development conference beginning that day so we flew up to Oakland early the Saturday before and spent that night with our friend Nick. He took us to an El Salvadorian place for lunch and then we took the BART to the Embarcadero where we walked around a bit before hitting up a bar and drinking a few brews before the Giants game. We had great seats in the upper right field corner that offered views of the city skyline as well as McCovey Cove. The Giants came back in the bottom of the 9th to beat the Mets making it an exciting game.

The next day we got up and took Nick’s dog Willy for a little hike before picking up some picnic supplies and making our way to the harbor for a 12:30 boat trip over to Alcatraz. We lucked out with the weather and it was a beautifully sunny, clear, warm day in the Bay. The boat ride over to Alcatraz Island is only about 10 minutes, but provides nice views of the bay. Once you arrive and disembark you’re herded up to the main prison block, where you pick up the audio tour and begin to explore the island. The audio guide is voiced by former prisoners and guards and eerie noises like the clanking of keys and muddled voices can be heard in the background. The tour takes about 2 hours to complete and then visitors have the option of staying on the island for additional touring or to eat lunch. The seagulls are particularly aggressive and we noticed that many were nesting- which probably didn’t help the aggressive behavior. We caught the boat back to the city and downed some beers and hung out in a nearby park until it was time to meet Duven and Michael for dinner at Pier 23. It was great to catch up with them and the seafood was delicious. That night we stayed at Le Meridian downtown- which we got a great deal on through Hot Wire. It’s the second time we’ve booked through the site and both experiences have been great…we definitely recommend it for any last minute hotel needs.

Monday morning brought Adrian’s birthday and three days of admissions professionals workshops and events. She learned a lot at the conference and enjoyed getting to see some old colleagues from Northeastern. When she got back on Wednesday we celebrated her birthday with dinner in Old Town and Godiva chocolate cheesecake for dessert.

Just a few days after her return we celebrated father’s day weekend with breakfast at the Santa Anita Racetrack, a Dodger game and a Sunday BBQ. Then just a few days after that Adrian’s parents took off for Wisconsin and 10 days of family fun. While they were gone we enjoyed having the house to ourselves and spent most of our free time lounging in the backyard and watching the World Cup. If you haven’t guessed we’re pulling big time for Deutschland with Old Glory out of the picture. Being in Berlin this weekend would be INSANE!!  So jealous of all our friends still in Germany. I also hosted another Bachelorette night and we enjoyed a rousing game night with Alexis and Peter, complete with donuts, ice cream, beer and pizza.

We also began that stressful process of apartment hunting in Los Angeles. The way the market works in this city is that you see a place on craigslist or padmapper, contact the location manager immediately, visit the place in the evening, apply that night and sign the official lease the next day. It’s fast and it’s stressful and for people like us (who don’t know the lay of the land all that well) it’s impossible to know if you’ve found a place you’re going to love or loathe. Also for people like us it was impossible to find a place that aligned with our “wants” lists because we were looking for a place easily found in a city like Berlin or Boston, not fully understanding that LA is a completely different type of city. So we talked about what it is that we love about Southern California and the big standout was the most obviously positive for anyone who has ever spent a winter out east- the weather. We needed to find a home that afforded us the opportunity to capitalize on the weather. And luckily we found just that. The process was the same. Last Monday I saw the place online. The owner responded to my message mid-afternoon. We stopped by to see the place after work and lo and behold the next evening the papers were signed and the keys in our hands! We started moving some of our gear this past weekend and will be hauling over the big stuff this upcoming Saturday. We’re so grateful to my family for letting us stay with them these past 7 months or so and will miss the proximity to Sierra Madre’s charming downtown, but are so excited to be back in our own place and to get to know our new neighborhood, Mount Washington in Northeast L.A.

Our place is the lower unit

New Mt. Washington Home

View from our new home

And though we began (and titled) this post back at the end of June it’s already the second week of July and has yet to be published. So I’ll include a couple quick updates about the 4th. We had a great, long weekend that was kicked off by drinks in the Sierra Madre Biergarten Thursday night, followed by the lovely Sierra Madre 4th of July parade Friday morning. That afternoon we cooked up a BBQ feast and then all fell into food comas and took long afternoon naps. We thought about venturing out to see fireworks, but instead opted for seconds and some hammock lounging in the backyard…where we had a brush with some wildlife when we caught a raccoon peering down at us from a tree! I swear it peed on me, but Dave claims it just shook water off the high branches/leaves. We moved the hammock and I grabbed a bat in case it was rabid and attacked, but it just mosied around the tree before climbing down and out of the yard about 20 minutes later. The next day we participated in some domestic adventures making our way to Costco and Walmart for new home supplies and then attended a “Kitten Warming Party” at Kathleen and Brian’s home that night. We met their sweet kitty Moze and had a great time hanging out. Sunday we hung out, read and relaxed all day. We agreed every weekend should be a three day event. One day for social activities, one day for productive ones and one day to recoup and refresh. Let’s try to catch it on, okay?!

Up next we have the official move into our new place, Alexis and Peter’s July 19th wedding and then I’m finally getting my wisdom teeth removed. Should be a mix of good times and swollen times. Hopefully all is well with our friends all over the globe. We miss you all immensely and hope fabulous summers are being had all around!

xoxo- Daverian

White Christmas

Merry (belated) Christmas and Happy New Year!

IMG_0030The first weeks in December were filled with lots of fun Christmas decorating and gift preparations. We had a great time celebrating our friend Blake’s birthday at a Great Gatsby themed soiree and were able to make it out Santa Monica to visit our friend from UPS, Gaelen. We also finally got out to hike in Runyon Canyon and I had another girls night with the ladies. The weekend before we left for Maine my parents treated us to a play at A Noise Within theater. We saw their rendition of a Christmas Carol and loved it! The day before we flew out we did “Christmas” with my family- preparing a plethora of our favorite foods, opening some gifts and watching some classic Christmas films.

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We landed in Maine about a week before Christmas Day and attempted to adjust to the drastic change in temperature from CA to ME: 81° to 7°!!! It was a bit of a shock to our weakened California blood, but we soon came around.

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We have been able to catch up with a lot of our east coast friends in town for the holidays- watching Sunday football, celebrating Amy’s 30th at Novare Res and hitting up a few of the different Portland bars including a one that was hosting a Stevie Wonder tribute night. I also was able to spend a day in Boston with my friend Becky. It was so good to catch up after WAY TOO long. She indulged my desire to head into our old neighborhood, Brookline, so I could eat at Dorado- my favorite Boston eatery.

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In addition to time with friends we’ve been able to spend a lot of quality time with the Chebuske/Hewey clan. On Christmas Eve we had a delectable fondue dinner at the Hewey’s house, which was followed by some lovely Christmas carols. Dave, Jack and I went to Christmas Eve service at the nearby church later that night and it was a beautiful way to ring in the holiday.

The next morning we arose early to open stockings and squeeze oranges for fresh juice (one of the many fun Christmas traditions around the Chebuske home). The rest of the family came over and we had a great day opening generous gifts, playing games, eating TONS of delicious food and relaxing. It was my first Christmas in Portland and I had a great time!

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We still have a week left in Maine before we head back to California. We are excited to celebrate New Years tonight with family and friends at a couple different locations and then kick back tomorrow and watch the Rose Parade and game on TV. It’s been the absolute best year and I’ll be a little sad to say goodbye to 2013, but we both are incredibly excited about the future (which will hopefully include some fantastic new jobs).  Looking forward to catching up with you in 2014!!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Thankful in the Fall

We’ve been back in “real world mode” for a few weeks now and most of our time has been spent job hunting, trying not to spend money and lounging around with the family. The silver lining to being (f)unemployed is that you have lots of time to do all the things you wish you were doing when you’re working. We’ve been trying to explore some of the cheap/cost-free options in and around LA and our wonderful family has treated us to a few things along the way as well.

The last stop of our mini-moon was at the Hangar 24 and when we told my dad about it he mentioned that a new brewery had opened up in Monrovia called Pacific Plate Brewery. The weekend after our return the whole family piled into the car and drove down to split a couple a samplers. The brewery is small, but the beer was delicious! Later that week we met up with my old friends Jessie and Travis at another local brewery called Eagle Rock Brewery. They were having their 4 year anniversary party the night we met up and were offering special flights of their Solidarity beer and passing out delicious chocolate cake. We had a great time catching up and laughing about old times while downing some more delicious beer.

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In our efforts to save our dough (and work off that beer) we’ve been taking advantage of the ridiculously warm So Cal weather by doing a lot of hiking and getting out to the local ball fields to throw and hit the softball around. Last weekend Dave and I hiked up into Bailey Canyon and got some amazing views of the south land. It had rained a little bit the day before and we could see for miles- all the way out to the ocean.

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In November Dave and I celebrated our 7 year anniversary by partaking in happy hour at DogHaus in Pasadena. We also celebrated my dad’s birthday with a family trip to Huntington Gardens and a sushi dinner at Kabuki in Hastings.

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Later in the month we headed into downtown LA to check out the LA Auto Show. I don’t know much about cars, but it was really fun to check out some of the fancy models and pretend to drive a Porsche around. After the Auto Show we took Dave to eat at the Pantry, a famous LA establishment that’s been open continuously since 1924. Fotor1206171025 IMG_1500 IMG_1509

We had a great time celebrating Thanksgiving with two massive feasts. On the actual day we drove down to my uncle and aunt’s house in Temecula. They prepared a great dinner and we had fun visiting with them and my cousins, Emilie and Leah. The next day we whipped up the whole meal all over again. Dave and I hadn’t been in the States for Thanksgiving in three years and were keen to do all our favorites and have leftovers galore. We cooked all day and then shared a second amazing feast that Friday. It definitely beat battling Black Friday shoppers.IMG_4043

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In the past few weeks we’ve also been able to make it down to Costa Mesa to visit with our friend Sachi, who moved to Orange County from Berlin, grab dinner with friends Alexis and Peter, catch a taping of the Jay Leno Show out in Burbank and I was able to have a girls’ day with Robyn, Katie and Kathleen checking out Kathleen’s cute, new apartment. Last weekend we saw Catching Fire with the family. And then just this week we trekked out to the LA Zoo with Maddie’s friend Sarah who is down in LA for a quick visit.IMG_1438

IMG_1526IMG_1447 IMG_1670I guess looking back over the past month we’ve actually been able to keep pretty busy. It’s finally starting to cool down in California and we’re looking forward to getting a Christmas tree and pulling out all the decorations this weekend. We’re leaving for Maine in just about 10 days now so we have lots of Christmas gift crafting to do in the next week, plus job searching of course… Merry (early) Christmas to everyone and hope you have much to be thankful for this holiday season!