Friday, June 28, 2013

Let's get right to it!

One of the things Brett and I were most excited about when moving to California was all the awesome breweries in the area.  We couldn't wait to visit some of these places and we didn't wait.  After only a week of living in California, we decided to take a mini road trip down to the San Diego area for some brewery tours and fun on the weekend.  

We headed out on a sunny Saturday morning and hit the road.  We stopped at the town of Oceanside on our way because we didn't want to start drinking beer at 10am... :)  After roaming the pier and checking out the area for a while, we deemed it officially beer o'clock and headed to our first brewery of the trip:

The Lost Abbey
(which shares a brewhouse with Port Brewing Co.)

We sampled some beers, went on a fun brewery tour, and hung out in the barrel room.  This place had an awesome vibe.  We hope to come back and visit again, for sure.  After a few hours hanging at the Lost Abbey, we continued on to the second brew stop of the trip:

Stone Brewing Company

We've been to Stone before on one of our previous California vacations (which after just looking at those links, I realized I wore the same dress both times, ha!), but we couldn't wait to come back and visit again.  We didn't go on a brewery tour this time.  Instead, we grabbed a couple pints and relaxed in the beer garden for a while before heading inside for dinner.  Just like the first time we visited, we had a blast spending time at Stone.  I'm sure we'll be back again soon!

After our fun brewery filled afternoon, we continued on down to San Diego!

We booked a hotel (with an awesome rooftop lounge that provided great views of San Diego!) in the Gaslamp Quarter and soon after checking in, the sun had set and we were ready for the night.  The Gaslamp Quarter was hopping and we had a ton of fun drinking and dancing the night away at various bars.  And at the end of the night, of course pizza was eaten. ;)

We woke up the next morning with an immense need for an awesome breakfast (read: we were really hungover).  So we packed up our things, checked out of our hotel, and hit the road back towards home.  We heard about an awesome breakfast place in La Jolla and decided we must stop.  And I am soo glad we did.

We ate at Kono's Surf Club Cafe and had to wait in a line wrapped around the entire building but it was so worth it.  The breakfast was gigantic and delicious.  Completely hit the spot.  Afterwards, we strolled the pier and checked out all the surfers before getting back in the car and heading home, where we then took a 2 hour nap... :)

Fun times!

Monday, June 24, 2013

So Far...

After being on the road for a month, we are now officially California living.

So far...

...we've found an apartment & aren't homeless anymore!
It's crazy expensive compared to the east coast,
but I guess that's the price you pay to live 10 minutes from the beach.

...Brett bought a surfboard.
And goes surfing almost every other day.
No complaints here, though.  I get to chill on the beach and watch him while working on my tan.

...we've discovered some fun bike trails.
This bike trail is right by our apartment
and if you work your ass off biking up all the mountainous hills
you're rewarded with views of the ocean.  Sweet.

...Brett's beard is getting unruly.
Perks of working from home.
Though, I think this is after he trimmed it up a bit.
It was much longer at the end of our cross-country trip.

...we've been hitting up a ton of breweries.
Here we are at Lost Abbey.
(Separate post coming for this fun weekend trip we did!)

...we've been going to the beach almost every day.
When you grow up on the east coast, at least 6 hours away from the ocean,
you really appreciate and take advantage of a 10 minute drive to the beach.

...I've been listening to Hanson's new album nonstop.
It came out last week and has literally been my "anthem"
for our new lives in California so far.

...we've been buying a ton of fresh produce.
And making delicious things like guacamole and salsa
every single day.

...we've enjoyed many, many, many beach sunsets.
Again, when you grow up 6 hours away from the ocean,
beach sunsets are the bees knees.

...we've gone to Pizza Port a million times already.
You just can't beat awesome beers and cheap delicious pizza.

...I've been reading a lot.
And am currently loving this book -- "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed.

...I've been running a lot.
There are tons of cool and challenging trails to run on near our apartment.
I am liking that I can change up my route every day.

...San Clemente still stands as my favorite beach town in California.
And I have a feeling that's not going to change.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Lee!

Happy birthday to my big brother, Lee!

Wish we could have been there to celebrate the big 3-0 with you!
Hope your day was perfect!

Hopefully see you soon!?

Friday, June 21, 2013

CALIFORNIA!! {Our Great Adventure}


We made it!  After driving through 14 states in 25 days, our cross-country road trip is officially complete.  Funny story: our goal of the trip was to take a picture of every state sign while crossing into the state.  We got every single state EXCEPT California.  Once we realized that we missed it, I made Brett turn around and drive by it again so I could get the picture.  Mission accomplished.  :)

We've now been in California for about 3 weeks.  We are still getting settled and adjusted to all the differences of the west coast compared to the east coast.  And there are a lot of differences.  :)  But we've been taking advantage of the beach being so close and checking out all the outdoorsy activities in the area.  Lots to explore and discover.

And now that I am finished with all of my cross-country trip posts -- It's back to blogging about our daily lives (but now in California instead of Pittsburgh).  Enjoy!

PS --
Happy First Day of SUMMER!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Nevada {Our Great Adventure}


Las Vegas was just a really hilarious experience.  We weren't originally planning on stopping in Vegas, but our route went right through, so why not!  Neither of us had ever been.  We stayed for two nights in two different hotels: The Hard Rock Hotel and Treasure Island (to which they upgraded us to an insanely gigantic suite for FREE).  We spent the days by the party pools, drinking and people watching (which was SO entertaining!).  And we spent the nights roaming around the Vegas Strip, drinking our cheap beers from CVS.  I never knew that Las Vegas had no 'open container' law and that you could just walk anywhere you'd like with alcohol.  Amazing.  It was actually really weird being in Las Vegas.  After spending a month pretty much solely in the outdoors, it was such a culture shock/sensory overload being in Vegas with all the neon lights and hustle and bustle.  We had a blast but Vegas isn't exactly our cup of tea. :)

Arizona {Our Great Adventure}


We drove into Arizona and right out the same way in the same day just to see one thing: The Grand Canyon!  We went to the North Rim, since that was the easiest side to visit without having to drive around the entire thing to get to the South Rim.  The North Rim seemed to be much more laid-back than the South Rim.  The tourist area is way smaller, there are way less people, and it's just more quiet compared to the South Rim (so I hear...).  We didn't do any real hiking while at the Grand Canyon (our legs were tired and needed a day off after Zion!) but still roamed around and checked out all the cool look-outs.  The Grand Canyon was pretty cool, but if I'm being honest, I've experienced other outdoor areas that I think are way more spectacular.  I'm still completely glad we visited though because no cross-country trip is complete without a stop at the Grand Canyon!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Utah {Our Great Adventure}


We only spent one night in Colorado and then headed straight on to Moab, UT.  We were getting into Memorial Day weekend and knew that we'd have to get there early if we wanted to secure a campsite.  We arrived Friday afternoon and literally got the last campsite at a 150 site campground.  Hallelujah!  And what a campsite it was!  The view was amazing.  And Brett was overly ecstatic because we were now in the mountain biking mecca of the west.

When we weren't enjoying the town of Moab (and sneaking into the local recreation center for showers), we were exploring Arches National Park!  It was only about 10 minutes outside of Moab, so we went back and forth a couple times.  We loved hiking around and checking out all the amazing arches.  It was so very hot though.  We got lots of funky tan lines from our time in Utah. :)

After spending Memorial Day weekend in Moab, we continued on the road towards Zion National Park.  It was a bit of a drive between the two points, so we stayed overnight in the town of Cedar City and had a surprisingly delicious meal at this little Italian restaurant, Centro.  And in the morning, it was back on the road to Zion!

We made it to Zion National Park mid-morning and again, got the very last campsite available.  This is becoming a trend, no?  Another campsite, another amazing view.  We did a few hikes during our time in Zion and they were all amazing and equally terrifying.  We were hiking trails that you had to hold onto chains on the side of the mountain so you don't fall off and plumet to your death.  The best/most terrifying hike we did in Zion was Angel's Landing.  We hiked up an extremely steep trail and then out onto a narrow ridge (holding onto chains for balance and to avoid death...).  But oh it was so worth it.  The views at the end of the ridge were incredible.  We only spent one night in Zion (because all the campsites were full) but definitely got our worth while there.