Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mom and Abby's Visit

A couple weeks ago, my mom and Abby came to visit for a few days. I was SO happy to have some company during the day while Cameron's at work! We had so much fun going around and doing all the touristy stuff in the area.

Day 1: Santa Cruz

Day 2: San Francisco

I forgot my camera! I was so sad. We had a great day with delicious sour dough bread and clam chowder, Ghiardelli Chocolate, street performers, and lots of shops. It was fun to be able to do the touristy stuff with people...since Cameron is from here, he thinks all that stuff is a little lame. :)

Day 3: Half Moon Bay

We found some jelly fish on the beach and put them back in water to more closely examine them.

Day 4: Sausalito & Cookies

This is how we have to make cookies in our place...we have no mixing bowl and our cookie sheet is too big to fit in the oven. Who knew you could stick a frying pan in the oven?!

I had SUCH a fun time! I have the best mom and littlest sister in the world. :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

More California

We have had the most wonderful summer so far! We're so lucky. We are loving our time in California. We're not used having so much free time to hang out together. Cameron gets home at 6 and we can have fun the rest of the night. Our weekends are completely free, which we've been taking full advantage of.

Some more of the things we've done so far...

We went to the De Young Museum in San Francisco for an incredible exhibit of impressionistic art (my favorite!). The paintings were all from the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. I've been there before, but it was Cameron's first time seeing paintings from master painters in person. It was wonderful. We saw a few of my favorite painter, Degas. I also found a new love for Manet. We love being so close to San Francisco where there is always so much going on.

We spent a weekend with Cameron's aunt and uncle, Kelly and Dave, and their two sons Iain and Wyatt. We had SO much fun! It was my first time to really spend a lot of time around this wonderful family and get to know them. I really fell in love with each one of them and am so grateful I married into such a fantastic family. We had a fun weekend of swimming, chatting, eating great food, church, and settlers of catan (my first time playing!).

Wyatt, Cameron, Me, and Iain

We are SO lucky to have so much family in the area. Cameron's dad Greg works here every week--this last week he took us to dinner in San Francisco at the pier at a super nice restaurant called Scoma's. We had delicious seafood. We were lucky enough to have Grandma Liz come along too.

Speaking of Grandma Liz...

We just spent a wonderful weekend staying with her and Grandpa Harlee. They always make us feel so welcome and we have so much fun staying with them. Harlee is always pulling funny faces for pictures.

We took a trip to Bodega Bay and had the most delicious crab cakes, crab sandwiches, and clam chowder. We each ate about three was worth it!

Cameron's always talking about this ice cream place in Sebastopol called Screamin' Mimi's. I'm pretty strict with my junk food consumption so it's taken a while to convince me to try it, but I decided yesterday was the day. It was SO good!!! I look pretty excited because I haven't had good full fat and sugar ice cream for so long.

The only downside of the weekend was that we didn't get to see Cameron's dog Abby who currently lives in Sebastopol with a friend. We drove to the house and the lady who takes care of Abby wasn't home. However, Cameron was able to wave hi at Abby through the door's window.

We spend a LOT of time in the car...which I'm learning to like. We're always driving somewhere on the weekend. It gives us lots of time to catch up.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jamie Cullum!!!!

Last night, Cameron and I went to the most amazing concert I've ever been to. Now keep in mind, being the musical person I am, I've been to my fair share of concerts and I'm pretty picky. But this concert was incredible! Here are the reasons why:

1) The Venue: It was in Saratoga up in the "mountains" (hills by Utah standards) at a winery called Mountain Winery. It was absolutely gorgeous. It was a pretty small venue which made it feel intimate. The whole setting was very romantic.

2) Our seats were awesome! We bought the cheapest tickets they had but because the place was pretty empty, we got to move forward into some much more expensive seats. It was actually a pretty interesting crowd. We were definitely on the younger end which was strange. I think most people there had never even heard of Jamie--the guy in front of me called him "McKullum." Most attendees were rich wine drinkers out for a night on the town.

3) I SHOOK JAMIE'S HAND AND MADE SOME SERIOUS EYE CONTACT WHILE DOING SO!!! Yes, I know it's nerdy to be excited about this. But he's been a favorite musician of mine for quite a few years and I have dreamed of the day I'd hear him in concert...I never imagined I'd be close enough to shake his hand! The story: For the last few songs, Jamie told the audience to come up to the stage. Cameron and I were some of the first up there so we were right up front. Like---I was 2 feet away from him for the last few songs. It was awesome to hear him sing so up close!

4) Definitely the most important reason the concert was incredible: He is so amazingly talented. I can't get over it. I feel like 99% of the musicians in the popular music industry owe their success to some luck, good looks, a small bit of talent, and sound engineers who make people sound MUCH better on a recording than they actually sound in real life. Jamie's sound is 100% his. He sounds just as amazing live as he does recorded. His voice is always right on pitch. And--he is a super pianist. His technique is awesome--he really is well trained. He just glazes over all those keys like it's nothing! He has a beautiful touch. He writes most of his own songs (the others he writes with his brother). He does lots of covers and hybrids that sound better than the originals. (Ummm..."High and Dry" anyone?) He can improv like crazy and does it all the time at his concerts. It's just very clear he's a super talented guy when you hear him. He's there because he wants to share amazing music with people. He plays a lot longer than most people (over 2 hours) and has no set list. I could go on and on all day (clearly), but basically---he's super talented, and he's successful because of his talent.

5) Jamie gets so into his performance. He's really fun to watch, jumping all over the piano and everything. He even came out in the audience and sang a number out there with no mike (his own jazzy version of "Cry Me a River"). And when he's playing the piano, he's so into it. Normally this really irritates me because the typical punk rock pianist is playing a C triad over and over again (which certainly doesn't warrant much expression), bouncing his entire body, acting like he's playing some Romantic Cadenza. But Jamie's piano parts are so crazy, he really has to be moving all over.

6) Cameron caught the drummer's drum stick!

Anyway. I'll stop rambling. It was a spectacular night! And anyone who doesn't know Jamie Cullum's stuff should look him up. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, July 5, 2010

California So Far

We've been here two weeks and are LOVING it! It is such a fun area with so much to do. And--we actually have a time to do it. (Always a plus after doing nothing but homework all year.) Some of the things we've done so far...

Half Moon Bay

The Exploratorium in San Francisco. It was amazing! I think it's mostly for kids...but Cameron had to drag me out of there. I loved it!

My favorite experiment there. It confuses the brain with hot and cold signals.

Great America: I LOVE theme parks. Cameron went on most of the rides with me until he started getting "sick".

Armstrong Grove--Redwood Forest

Oldest Tree in the Forest--1400 years old!

Tallest Tree in the Forest--310 feet

We spent a couple days at Cameron's grandparents house in Sebastopol. At 1 AM, I hit my head on a shelf above the toilet and knocked off a vase full of shells, shattering both the vase and many of the shells. Cameron and I just sat staring at it for like 5 minutes, dying of laughter. It seriously took an hour to clean it up!!! I felt so so so bad. Notice the shells and pieces of glass that landed in the toilet. I hadn't yet flushed when this little accident happened and I had to reach in and dig all the stuff out! It was SO GROSS.

Today we spent the day at Santa Cruz Beach. It was much colder than anticipated, but SO fun to just hang out at the beach.