Monday, July 11, 2011

Cheerio! Au Revoir! Auf Wiedersehen!

We are off to Europe today! I can't believe it is finally here! First up, London for 4 days. Next, Paris for 5 days. Then, Schwabisch Hall, Frankfurt and Germany for 5 days. I'll try and update as I go, but I'm not sure how much time/Internet access I'll have. I'll definitely be sure to give you the full update, pictures and all, when we get back.

See y'all in a few weeks!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Have a Great Weekend!

What are your plans for the weekend? I'm headed to Canada! I'm going with my best friends, Kim and Shannon, to Vancouver, BC for Kim's Bachelorette Party! I'm so excited since I haven't seen Shan in over a year and Kim in a few months. Time to relive our old Gonzaga glory days... maybe not to that extreme, but we will have fun that's for sure! I'm a little bummed we will be missing Prince William and Princess Catherine by a day or two. Maybe they'll be back in London by the time we get there. :)

Have a safe and happy weekend!


West Coast Road Trip: Redding, Albany, and Home!

We left Napa on Thursday and made the short 3 hour drive to Redding to stay the night with Zach's aunt and uncle. It was fun seeing Buster interact with the three other dogs at their house. One of the other dogs was a little territorial and kept standing over Buster to put him in his place. But BBoy just wanted to play. He's such a sweetie, but definitely still ALL puppy. We had a good time catching up with his family and getting some pointers on our upcoming Europe trip.

From there, we left on Friday for Albany, Oregon to visit my aunt and uncle. Again, Buster met two new doggie friends, Jazzy (a black lab) and Indigo (a sweet long haired dachshund). He did great with the other dogs, except that he had a lot more energy than the rest of them. We had an awesome Lumberjack Breakfast sponsored by the local Lions Club on Saturday morning and then headed to Portland for lunch with my Grandma and Grandpa.

It was an awesome day and we got to sit outside for lunch while we ate some yummy BBQ hamburgers (my 90 year old Grandpa is still an amazing cook!). Buster loved their yard, and even had his first encounter with my grandparents' "pet" cat, Blackie. (It's not really their cat, but more like the neighborhood cat that likes to come over and get some food every day). Buster was not diggin' Blackie and showing the tough guy that he is, when he almost came in contact with the little kitty he retreated back to us barking like wild. (He's so tough...) Then he didn't take his eyes off Blackie the rest of the day.

After lunch, we made the short drive to Centralia to my parents house and we were HOME! It felt so good to finally be home, or as close to home as we were going to get until we find a house to rent in the Bellevue/Renton area...

I should have been better about taking pics with our families, but of course with so much going on, I forgot. We had a great time catching up with our families that we hadn't seen in over a year. But, I think I've had enough driving for a long while.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

West Coast Road Trip: Napa Valley Part 2

We had a great time staying with Zach's Grandma, Mary in Napa. It was my first time in Napa and I've already vowed to come back for a long weekend. With San Francisco so close, it could easily turn in to a week long trip.

Thursday Mary graciously drove us around the Napa Valley so we could see the hundreds of wineries and enjoy the beautiful scenery. It really is a beautiful place! The valley is filled with green from the vineyards; I loved seeing all the green instead of brown everywhere! 

We did stop by one winery - the Castello di Amorosa. It's this huge castle and winery up on the hill with a view of the valley. So beautiful! Apparently, they shipped over the castle stones from Italy and re-built the castle in the Napa Valley. It's complete with sheep, a couple peacocks, gargoyles, a draw bridge and even a moat.

We also stopped by the Robert Mondavi winery to pick up some of Zach's Dad's favorite wine. 

I guess to judge the water level in the vineyards, they plant a rose bush at the end of each row. Smart.

I can't wait to come back to the Napa Valley and explore a bit more. Thanks for showing us around, Mary!

West Coast Road Trip: Napa Valley Part 1

Well, I've been out of commission for a week or so, but I'm back! Maybe just for today though... The past week has been crazy and stressful, but also fun and relaxing at the same time.

We embarked on our road trip early last Wednesday morning and 13 hours and a few stops later, finally made it to the Napa Valley to stay with Zach's Grandma, Mary. Wednesday was a looooooooooong drive.

Whenever we've gone on a road trip in the past, Buster has been a champ. He basically just sleeps the whole time (which is great for us). The longest trip we had previously taken was about 6 hours max, so we weren't sure how the BBoy would do for double that time cooped up in his crate in the back seat. We also didn't factor in that going over the many mountain passes along the way (the Grapevine, Mt. Ashland, Mt. Shasta, etc.) might affect his ears.

Sure enough, about half way through (after going over the Grapevine) he started whining and yelping. I finally made the Hubby pull over on the side of the road to let him out to do his business and get some water (Hubby was turning into a slave driver with the driving... we both just wanted to get there). After that, Buster went back to sleep until about an hour and a half before we got to Napa, in which he proceeded to whine and cry and yelp the rest of the way. Poor little guy. I felt for him, but it had to be done.

Napa was great. Zach's Grandma took us to one of her favorite Italian dinner spots, La Strada in Napa for dinner and then Thursday we went out to breakfast at the adorable and "very California" Boon Fly Cafe which was delish (pardon the iPhone photo, but I wanted to get one shot of the super cute mugs). I had the Boon Fly Benedict and it was ah-maze-ing. Then we drove around Napa taking in all the really cool old Victorian architecture. There are some crazy cool mansions up there!

The Hubby was raised in Napa until about 5th grade, so it was fun to drive around and see his old house and visit the dreaded Westwood Hills where his Dad made him hike the steep climb to the top. Zach always remembered it as a death march, but going back there now he realized it wasn't too bad (this was the first time he'd been back to Napa since he moved to WA!). We decided to take a short hike up to the top (although we had a hard time finding the top) and I even did it in sandals.

The funniest thing was that hiking in front of us was a family of four and the little boy, probably around 9 or 10, was complaining the whole time and saying, "I want to go down. When can we go down?" Haha. It was like a deja vu of little Zachary complaining on his hike years ago with his Dad. :)

The whole hike smelled like Eucalyptus and the tall old trees were a refreshing change, since the tallest trees in Arizona are palm trees and don't give much shade. It was a beautiful day!

More tomorrow (or later today) on our winery tours and the 4th of July!


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