Monday, August 20, 2012

Bay to Seattle

I broke our move up into a couple posts so that it didn't get too long. Here is the final chapter of our drive up the coast. :)

After driving from San Diego to San Jose we stayed for a week while Nathan completed his first week of training at headquarters. This was really nice since some of our best friends live in the Bay Area and this gave us a chance to see them. Unfortunately, we only managed to take one photo while visiting friends, here it is:

Roshni and I enjoying the sunshine and working at the Googleplex. :)

I was also able to go and have some writing dates with some friends on the Stanford campus and also took up residence at a local Starbucks for a while. One day I just holed up in the super comfortable hotel we were staying in and wrote from bed while watching the Olympics which was also nice. :) Nathan of course spent his days working from the Googleplex. 

Nathan after his first TGIF and induction as a Noogler

After work Friday we hit the road north to for our stay at the Santa Nella House B&B in Sonoma County (just north of San Francisco).

It was super-duper adorable and wonderful. (Oh my gosh! does that porch wrap all the way around? yes it does! is that a porch swing on the left? yes it is!)

Living room. When we showed up that evening they had fresh pie and port waiting for us as a welcome! :)

Chairs on the wrap-around porch

Nathan and I played Chinese Checkers, he won though... :P

Our super cute bed, Babar is testing it out. You can tell by the look on his face that he approves.
I forgot to take any pictures, but they also had their own chickens and they used the fresh eggs in the breakfast (which was homemade yogurt and granola, home baked banana bread, and a veggie frittata with local sausages and roasted potatoes... sooooo good). 

We only got to stay one night because we had to keep moving up the coast, but I think I want to come back and live here forever for a week... or at least a long weekend? :D

The next morning we did a champagne tasting at the Korbel Champagne Cellars. We'd never done a champagne tasting before, it was really fun!

They give free history tours too, but we sadly didn't have time this time. (maybe next time when we stay a week...? Ok, I really hope that happens now)

In the tasting room. We brought home two bottles, a red champagne and... hmmm... I forget... another champange?

They had flowers, and some had regular bees and some had teeny tiny bees! I think the bee on the right is one of the teeny tiny ones but it's a bad picture. Nathan wouldn't let me take anymore pictures 'cause he said the cute little teeny tiny bees might be more aggressive... :( 

After that it was time to hit the road north (Don't worry Nathan didn't actually have that much champagne, and we walked a bit before we started driving again).

We drove along behind this truck for a while, which it appears is full of wine? Only in California...

We stopped for lunch at the North Coast Brewery in Fort Bragg and got some fantastic food which I forgot to photograph (a Catfish BLT and a BBQ pork sandwich). We also shared a beer sampler, which I did photograph and it pictured above. I really should have remembered to photograph the food, since now it looks like we just spent our whole day drinking... sigh.

Fort Bragg is also home to several glass beaches. which are beaches that are mostly covered in sea glass. Apparently this is because a long time ago the city used to use the beach as a dump and eventually only the glass was left. I have to say, it's the nicest dump I've ever been too. And really, how clever! They figured out a way to not only dispose of their trash, while creating a unique beach, they also have convinced other people to carry their old trash away for free (thanks beach combing sea glass collectors).

The next night we stayed in Crescent City where I found this cute little chainsaw bear who reminded me of Brave. Yes, I am wearing the same dress as the day before... somehow my luggage with my clothes got buried deep in the car when we packed up and it was too hard to get out. At least I like this dress? :)

In Gold Beach we stopped to take a photo of this cute boat. We take a picture every time we go past, it's lookin' a little worse for the wear here, but also kinda cute still. 

Next stop was the Tillamook Cheese factory for a late lunch. It was a long drive and we were both hungry, but it was worth it. Here I am with our S'more flavored ice cream.

We also got a grilled cheese and a reuben. Grilled cheese was better though, next time we'll just get two of those. :)

From Tillamook we finished the last bit of Oregon coast to get to Astoria, OR and then cut inland to get back to  I/the-5 (depending on you are a Seattlite "I-5" or a Socaler "the 5").  Traffic was a little backed up through southern WA, but in the end we got to my parent's house at around 10, not bad for having started on the Norther California coast that morning. :)

So Hello World! We are now Washingtonians!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Packing up and moving out!

We have officially ARRIVED in Seattle! We got help from a lot of people, who we are very grateful for. Lauren, Ethan, Emily, Jeremy, and Aileen thank you so much for helping us pack up and/or letting us live in your house! Lauren, Nathan, Edna, Ryan, Karen, Chad, Oliver, Graeme, Morgan, Lily, Jofish, Erin, Lizzie, Becca, Roshni, and Avi, thank you so much for hanging out with us, sharing your smoked salmon, feeding us brownies, organizing writing dates, sharing yummy meals, letting us hang out with your family, and in general letting us de-stress with you. :)

I broke this post up into a two parts because I took too many pictures and then couldn't decide which ones to delete. Here's some photos from our big packing day. More to come soon covering the rest of the drive up. :)

Slightly blurry photo with Pastor Kenny at CEBC, I think I left a fingerprint on my camera phone lens... whoops.

hanging out in the u-haul rental office

starting to pack up, where did all this stuff come from?!?

getting the tv back in it's box, glad we saved it!

We filled two of these!!

Very glad Ethan was able to come to help with the heavy lifting. :)

Regent's Pizza Break. Artichoke and spinach stuffed pizza.

contemplating the situation to find best attack angle

Last look at the bed. Nathan built this for us out of 4x4s. 

when everything gets to be too much you can always look for shelter in a rubbermaid!

break before regrouping...

putting in the last things.

and fish taco celebration at the Fish Shop in PB! Best onion rings ever! oh also the fish tacos are really good too!

Thank you for helping everyone!


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Birthday Dreams Finally Came TRUE!! (part of the post backlog)

August 2nd is always an important day in the Bales household. One year after I decided to be born on that fabulous day (an undisclosed number of years ago), Nathan also decided that would be an awesome day to be born. The consequence of these decisions is that every year we plan together how we should share the celebration of surviving one more year. :)

The day started with me (Liz) teaching class and going to a meeting, but quickly improved with Nathan picking me up from school and whisking me over Shakespeare's Tea Room for High Tea. This part was actually Nathan's choice. When we first got married he was pretty skeptical of the concept of high tea, but his skepticism evaporated as soon as he saw what it meant (basically a meal made 2/3 out of cake).  Since discovering "cake meal" (as high tea is affectionately called in our house) he's been a pretty big proponent of making sure we go at least once a year. 

Here's Nathan with our cake meal. Notice 1 plate of sandwiches, 2 plates of cakes.

After tea we hit the road and made the journey north to Disneyland for dinner at Napa Rose (my favorite restaurant ever!) We sat at the chef counter where the chef prepares each dish specifically for you (you don't have to order, they just ask you the kinds of things you like and they make the food for you). We also had a fantastic Sommelier which made dinner even better. I somehow imported all these photos backwards, so please enjoy this birthday dinner recap starting with desert first. :)

Nathan's Birthday Dessert, a lemon creme brule with fresh raspberried.

My dessert, a really yummy s'more type thing except there was also ice cream! :D

The talented Tanya makes heirloom tomato salads, she was really nice and let me take this photo. (This is the view from our table/counter)

Nathan's Oxtail Ravioli

My rabbit meatloaf with carrot puree.

Nathan's sustainable white sea bass with fennel sauce, potatoes, peas, and some other yummy sauce.

My scallop with lemon lobster sauce and frilly potato things. 

Nathan's prosciutto and heirloom peach salad

My heirloom tomato salad

Salmon, caviar, and creme fraiche on a blini to start things off. 

After dinner we went to the park to enjoy the fireworks show and ride some of our favorite rides. 

They made us these buttons to wear and everyone kept wishing us happy birthday. :)
I was the happiest ever.

After nearly 6 years of living in California we finally got to go to Disneyland on our birthday. My life is now complete. :D


Monday, August 6, 2012

Goodbye San Diego!!

After nearly 6 years in San Diego we are moving back to Seattle! Nathan starts work today and has a week of training in the Bay Area before we finish out move up to Seattle. We are pretty excited to be near family again although we are definitely going to miss all our wonderful friends in SoCal (and Disneyland!!! *sniff*). We left San Diego Saturday morning and took the scenic route up the coast, staying the first night in Lompoc, CA and driving Big Sur and cycling in Monterey Sunday. Here's some picture form the trip so far, who knew moving could be so fun! (ok what you can't see here is that  poor Pilot is packed full and there are like 8 pairs of shoes, 4 giant avocados, two bike locks, and Pilot's sun shield all where my legs go. good thing I have short legs...)

Front seat is a little crowded, how did we ever end up with such a large penguin?!? I blame you Costco! Well at least the penguin looks happy. :)

Little Babar checking out the Elephant Seal info sign. He's glad he's a stuffed elephant and not an elephant seal, his life is much easier.

Elephant posing with the elephant seals 

Us posing with elephant seals

Fighting elephant seals. They do this which also making low burping noises.

Oh a light house!

These seals look like they might be saying a friendly hello to each other, but in reality they are about to body slam each other repeatedly while simultaneously trying to bite one another.

Sea otters at Morrow Bay

Lunch at Ragged Point in Big Sur. Also there was a live folk/bluegrass pair singing while we ate which was pretty cool. 

Lunch place! (the view looking back from the ocean) :D

Somewhere on the Calirofnia Coast

Pilot enjoying a nice view in Big Sur

Big Sur bridge pano! Yay! I love that my phone can do this (even if the colors end up a bit weird)

Hey! it's us!

We also had a fantastic bike ride in Monterey, but my phone died so I don't have picture. Nathan took some so maybe he'll post them in a bit. For now imagine two people who look like us biking around near the water (that should generate a rather accurate picture of what we looked like). :)

We arrived in Sunnyvale at our hotel just before midnight. We were pretty tired by I managed to carry all the animals up to the room (oh and also our clothes and stuff). I think we might travel with more animals than normal... but I haven't really done research on the matter to find out for sure.

Now I'm hanging out in the hotel room while Nathan is at work (ok, I'm working too, but at least I can sit in bed and have the olympics on in the background). :)

More updates soon!