Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Belated Honeymoon

Well, if you're going to have a belated wedding celebration, you might as well have a belated honeymoon too, right ;)?  That's what we did, at least!  After our fun little party on Saturday, we had a regular Sunday.  Then Monday we packed up and headed to Oregon.

My husband's idea of a vacation is being home and being allowed to be lazy.

My idea of a vacation is being out of town.  Otherwise, if I'm home, I feel like I have to do stuff around the house.  Like wash dishes.

I learned that we need to compromise in the future.  Because I'm a little bit of a vacation over-achiever -- if you will.  Or, as my dad likes to call me, a dictator.  I try to cram as much into a little amount of time as possible.  And so I planned for us to go to Tillamook, OR (because Jeremy and I both love cheese and he hadn't been there) and to Crater Lake, because neither of us had been there and I have had it on my list for many years.  And, based on Google maps, I thought it seemed do-able in 3 days.  And that's where I'm a bit of an over-achiever.  (I did this before when I planned a trip to Seattle when I lived in Alabama.  In my mind, travel time does not account for much ;)).  So anyway, in the end, highway 101, while quite scenic and pretty, was not "only 8 minutes longer" like Google maps suggested.  And it's way windy and curvy and uphill a lot.  And by the time we reached Roseburg on Tuesday, we knew we wouldn't be doing Crater Lake.  Because that alone was another 2 to 3 hour drive one way.  And since we took Jeremy's car -- and it's a stick -- he drove all of it.  I can drive a stick.  But I'm not well-skilled anymore.  It probably wouldn't have gone well on all those Oregonian hills ;).

So we went to Tillamook and Roseburg.  And it was still pretty lovely a time.  And here's the run-down!

We got into Tillamook Monday evening and checked into the same motel where my mom and I stayed 2 years ago.  I like that motel. It's roomy and clean, and I really have no complaints.  We went and bought Subway for dinner, and returned to the room to eat.  Then we relaxed for the evening and enjoyed a good night's rest.  We took our time getting ready in the morning and checked out close to 11 (which was check-out time).  Of course, we took advantage of the continental breakfast -- and vacation food is allowed to be unhealthy :).  We headed to Tillamook Cheese Factory and took our first picture.  Can you tell the sun is in our faces?
We got inside and found our next great photo op.  The VW baby loaf!  Prior to us climbing in there, it was populated by a bunch of kids.  But hey...  You have to do these types of things!  Much thanks to the kind gentleman who took our picture for us :).  And just in case you can't tell, I was even wearing my Tillamook shirt that declares "Life is Cheesy, eat it up."  Love that shirt.
So we took the tour.  Jeremy thoroughly enjoyed watching the plant process of cutting and packaging the cheese.  I think it's the engineer in him.  It really is quite cool, and you would not believe the amount of cheese that comes out of there...  It's a cheese-lover's dream.  And I'm a cheese-lover :).  So, the last thing I would expect while I'm at the cheese factory in Oregon is for my name to be called out by anyone other than my husband, who was with me and by my side.  But, that's what happened!  Someone from here was down for a family reunion and we managed to both be at the same place at the same time!  It's weird to have that happen, let me tell you! 

After we meandered around looking into the factory windows, we headed downstairs to the cheese samples.  Very important part of the tour.  We enjoyed cheese curds (squeaky cheese), medium cheddar, white cheddar, pepper jack, colby, and -- our favorite -- garlic white cheddar.  That stuff is awesome.  We proceeded into the store part, where we purchased some chili pepper garlic slices.  And some mint fudge.  And then it was on to the fabulous cafe.  Where, of course, we had to get some grilled cheese sandwiches!  But Jeremy likes food.  And he can afford it!  So we got a plate of macaroni and cheese as well :).  We shared the mac & cheese.  It was all delicious!  See :). 
I couldn't eat much of the mac and cheese, because I wanted to save room for ice cream.  We each got a scoop before leaving.  I got Tillamook Mudslide (which has a thick ribbon of chocolate in chocolate ice cream... Oh my is it good!) and Jeremy got a scoop of Udderly Chocolate, which has white and regular chocolate mixed, with flakes of chocolate.  And some guy, who was waiting for his wife to shop in the gift store, struck up conversation with us.  He told Jeremy not to eat too much of that, or he'd end up like this guy did...  We learned he was a retired state trooper who worked in California and Washington.  We also learned he was willing to give people 6 miles over the speed limit and that he only pulled people over for doing stupid things (which didn't include not using a turn signal to switch lanes).  Funny what you learn while eating ice cream at Tillamook.

And then we were on the road.  Headed South.  We opted to take the 101, because Jeremy like the beach and wanted to stop by the beach for a bit.  And we found a great spot to do so!  As we walked out onto the beach, we rounded a corner and saw this little island sitting right in the middle of the vista.  It was beautiful!  And chilly, with the wind.  Which is why you will see I was wearing Jeremy's sweater.
After a few failed attempts, I finally managed to get a decent picture of us with a pretty background.
And we waded in the ocean a bit.  It was really cold at first (but what do you expect for Oregon coastline?).  The tide started coming in as we were out wading.
But what a cutie ;).  He loved this.
On the island thingy, there was this little tunnel.  I managed to rock-climb (with Jeremy's help) up to the tunnel thing.  I told him, after that harrowing experience (I have tender feet and I'm sorta wimpy...), I was getting a picture to prove I'd survived!  So here are a couple.

Behind us is the other way out.  Which looked a lot less treacherous to me.  So I told him we were leaving by that route.  The problem with that route?  Well, it went straight into the water (whether the river or the ocean, didn't matter).  And it was deep.  We tried to find a way around that would prevent us (especially me) from getting wet above our knees.  'Twas an impossibility.  And I finally just said. "Let's just go."  And I crossed -- with cell phone held safely above my head -- in upper-thigh-deep water.  See?  And, of course, my feet got caked with sand -- now that they were really wet.  And my pants came un-rolled and started picking up sand as well.  And I said to Jeremy, "I hate sand.  You know that, right?"  Haha.  That is love, people.  That is love ;).
And here I am trying to get all the sand off me in the fresh water, before going back to the car.  Jeremy was safe-guarding my camera at the time, and I had no idea he was taking these pictures...

Well, until now.
Anyway, it was really pretty.  And I was able to change clothes so I was dry for the remainder of our drive.  And we made great memories.  And life's about that :).  As the day wore on, the driving got old.  We missed a turn in the crummy town of Reedsport, where they do not use "traditional" road signage.  We had to turn around and drive around the Southern edge of the city, looking for our way east.  Thankfully we found it.  Now, I'd had pictures of our hotel in Roseburg.  And I'm a city girl, so it looked on the up-and-up to me.  We had google mapped that as well, based on the address they had sent me in my hotel reservation confirmation.  We were prepared!  And so we went driving into the back roads of Oregon -- where there weren't any gas stations.  (Thankfully that never was an issue for us, but I'm just trying to paint a picture for you :)).  We found our roads.  We were excited.  We turned onto our last road, which we only had to take for .6 miles.  And let me tell you, I was getting a little worried.  As we drove down that road -- slowly, I said to Jeremy, "Aren't you getting a little worried?  I mean, I expected it to look a little less rural."  Because we were in farm country.  Seriously.  People were feeding their horses and cows (and probably wondering who the heck was driving down their one-lane country road).  Jeremy laughed and said, "What is there to worry about?  This is America's Best Value!"  (We were staying in America's Best Value hotel).  He thinks he's so funny.  We went more than .6 miles -- and the scenery didn't change.  It was about that time we decided that we had something wrong.  And I called the hotel.  (Thank goodness we had cell phone reception!).  Well, it turned out the hotel didn't even have their address right when they sent me that confirmation.  There's a big difference between "road" and "blvd."  Road is rural.  Blvd is not.  We got back on the main road, and it did dump us into Roseburg proper.  And the city girl in my heaved a huge sigh of relief :).  Of course, we went from one extreme to the other, because we were right on the interstate.  We heard the traffic all night long.  Oh well.  So we decided, upon getting in at 8 that night, that we didn't want to drive another 4 to 6 hours the next day plus however long a drive it would be from the hotel to my Aunt Sue's house.  Because, since we were down that way, we figured we should stop by to visit.  So instead, we slept a lot on Wednesday and then headed out to my Aunt's around 2.  Ironically enough, we had passed her road on the way in.  Haha...  And she lives way out in a log cabin.  So we got there and visited for about 5 hours.  It was really nice and she cooked us a delicious tri-tip on the grill with twice-baked potatoes and fresh garden peas.  And apple pie for dessert :).  It was relaxing, and I managed to get some sun while sitting out on their deck and visiting :).  And we made sure to take a picture before we left.  We left about 8:20 -- got kicked out by Aunt Sue and Uncle Ernie, because driving in the back country where the deer and elk play is not ideal around twilight.  They like to come down to the river -- which was on our right side the entire way almost.  So we headed back to the hotel and wound down for the night. 
Thursday dawned, and we ate breakfast (continental, but not nearly as good as the one in Tillamook) and then packed up.  We spent the next 5 hours on the road, headed to Jeremy's brother's house.  We stayed with his brother and family Thursday night and it was really enjoyable.  It was fun to get to know them better and to sit and visit and share opinions and thoughts :).  And it was relaxing.  Well, except for the part where Jeremy was trying to prove he could eat a hamburger in one bite -- and he started choking.  That wasn't so relaxing (read: scared me to nearly to death).  His sister-in-law made some yummy zucchini bread for breakfast.  We were up at 6 in the morning for some unknown reason, but we were able to see his brother off to work and visit a lot with his sister-in-law before all the kids got up.  So we laughed and joked and had fun.  And then went to a garage sale looking for a food processor (unsuccessful).  And by about 11:40 we were back on the road headed home.  We stopped off at his parents' house and visited with them for a couple hours.  That was nice too.  We got home and took a much needed nap after we unloaded the car.  Then we got ready to go out to eat.  (Who wants to cook when you come back from vacation?).  We went to this place we love, only this time, instead of getting pizza, we got pasta.  It was good.  We really like that place.  We came home and basically turned in for the night.  We were exhausted!  You know the saying:  need a vacation from the vacation!  And so next time, I will probably provide for that and have us leave earlier for vacation so we have a couple days to recuperate on the return end...

Because today has been trying to get ready for Monday.  Blah.  Laundry and fixing bikes and noticing my back tire is low -- have to fix that, and shopping for food and...  You get the picture.  YUCK.  But at least we made some memories :).

And okay, so I promised another sample question from our questionnaire.  Here goes.  You can feel free to leave your answer in the comments!

What is the ideal amount of time Hila should bake a bun in the oven?

Happy guessing!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Belated Celebrations

So the power supply on our modem went out. We are currently using the power supply from our wireless router to supply the modem with power. So I must hard-wire into the internet. And that's not so convenient. Our new power supply should arrive while we are out galavanting in Oregon. Woohoo! Vacation, here we come! Tomorrow.

First I will fill you in on our belated wedding celebration. Which was yesterday. It was fun. I'm glad it's over. But it was fun.  We kept it very low-key, and I think that was perfect.  It's a little non-traditional to have a reception-type thing 3 months after you're married, I suppose.  And mostly, we did this so that our family and friends could celebrate with us.  Being that we got married quite stealthily and all ;).  But at the same time, we recognize people have busy lives, and if they were going to take time out of their life for this, we wanted it to be enjoyable.  So we had lots of food and a fun trivia game where they could win prizes.  Here is the prize table:
Here's what the majority of the room set-up looked like.  See?  Really non-fru-fru.  We just put out picture of us from our wedding day and from the pictures Stacy took for us in November.
 The one "traditional" thing I did was order a cake.  Way too much cake.  I figured that would make it somewhat more "weddingish."
So this was way too much cake.  We have the entire bottom layer leftover.  We are taking half to the County and half to the funeral home tomorrow before we leave town.  We don't want that much cake.  But I thought it was pretty and it really was a decent tasting cake. 

And of course, the food spread.  Always an important picture!  Jeremy helped me with all the food.  Except the constructing of the empanadas, which my mom helped me do last weekend.  And the oreo truffles, which my mom-in-law helped me do.  My mom got really sick on Thursday and has been pretty much out of commission ever since.  So she wasn't there.  But a lot of family did go, including both my brothers, two of Jeremy's brothers and family, his grandma, his aunt, a cousin and her daughters, and another uncle and aunt.  Plus a lot of ladies from my job went and several people from church.  So it was a decent turn out.  Oh, and Bob and Melanie from the funeral home :). 

So our food consisted of a relish tray (black olives, garlic midget dills, garlic stuffed olives); cheese cubes (pepper jack and cheddar), ritz, mixed fruit (watermelon, pineapple, raspberries, black grapes, green grapes, cantaloupe, and strawberries), zucchini bread (well, my mom-in-law made this and and she and our sister-in-law made peanut butter balls), a HUGE vegetables tray (celery, carrots, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli -- all with ranch dip), empanadas, cocktail meatballs, barbecue weenies, oreo truffles, peanut butter balls, and punch.  Yep, it was a spread.  But seriously...  Food is an important part of the Nilla Life :).
And that picture frame is one I bought at Pier 1.  We got a gift card for our wedding to specifically buy a frame for a wedding picture.  So there it is, with our wedding picture :).  I like it.  And the huge veggie tray. 
So we had this massive-long trivia game full of fun questions.  Like:  what was our first major household item purchase?  When did we make that purchase?  (The answer is a mattress, on our wedding day).  Hahaha...

Speaking of mattresses...  Jeremy built our bed.  He got it finished about 2 weeks ago, and we've been living it up :).  Actually, it's more complete now, because the top is now on it as well.  This gives us storage on top of the bed.  And in this little 483 square foot house, we needed it badly!  I'm loving the bed, as it seems kind of medieval-like, with the top on it and the posts that go all the way up.  And I'm loving my husband's talents :). 

Anyway, back to the party...  So those are all the pictures I got.  I started mingling and visiting, and then we gave out all the answers to our guests and let people collect their prizes.  And we seriously had so much food leftover!  Brad, Angie, and the kids stayed and helped clean up; as did Jeremy's oldest brother.  And actually a bunch of people helped us take everything down.  It took us 2 hours to set up, and only about 1 hour and 15 minutes to clean up, due to all the help.  We so appreciate everyone!  And I hope I can get copies of the pictures my mom-in-law took so I can have pictures of the attendees!

So I'm sure I'll be posting more soon.  I plan to take pictures on our trip :).  And I'll even ask you a few trivia questions from our game to see what you guess :).

Sunday, June 10, 2012

This & That

Yep, so I've fallen behind on my blogging. I seriously don't know where the time goes! I put this on my to-do list this past week -- you know, to ensure I got to it. And here it is Sunday morning and I'm finally getting to it!  As you may have guessed from the title, this will be another post of random (and possibly useless) information :).  But that's how I keep track of life:  the random moments that happen.

One thing I've been wanting to blog is the beautiful quilt my sister-in-law Michele made for me and Jeremy as a wedding gift!  She didn't know that I love green -- and that Jeremy's pretty partial to blues -- but she happened to pick those colors!  We love the quilt and love having something that will remind us of Ben and Michele every time we look at it :).  So here I am, cheesing under the quilt ;).  In my new glasses.  Clearly I had only recently gotten out of bed that day...  And you can probably tell in the background I never fully finished everything in this house.  And with only 4 more months of living here, it's not likely I will ;).  But the plan had been to hang a picture of a Temple beside that other picture (which is the Family Proclamation).  Ah well...  In the next house ;)... 
And here's the majority of the quilt laid out for a better look :).  Michele is very talented!  Oh, and I'm a big-time snuggler.  I LOVE things that I can snuggle under.  So this is bonus cool :).

The other day at work, I was sitting on break reading.  I think I was reading In Harm's Way.  I loved that book.  It was about the torpedoing and sinking of the USS Indianapolis during WWII and the story of it's survivors.  The Navy didn't know the ship was missing for 4 days, so nobody was looking for the survivors.  The book was fascinating.  I don't know why, but I'm intrigued by ship disaster stories.  And I love stories from the World War II era as well, so that was pretty much a hit in my opinion.  But the book was well-written -- read more like a novel than non-fiction.  And I learned part of our Nation's history.  Anyway, that wasn't the point of this little paragraph.  But you know how I get lost in tangents ;).  The point was that I was sitting on break reading and a gal from Community Development walked by and said, "Has anyone told you that you look like Jenna Fischer?"  Well, the answer is no.  But I did dress up like her when April and I did our "The Office" party back in 2009.  She plays Pam on that tv show.  And so this girl was like, "Well, you do.  You could be sisters."  I was quite flattered and told her I'd take that as a compliment!  And in case you want to know what she looks like (if you don't know already), you can click here.

The weather in Washington has been interesting.  We had a couple days of warmth.  I complained about it a few posts back ;).  Since then, the weather has cooled significantly, and I've been sporting my red sweater turtleneck.  Yep.  No joke.  In June.  I'm okay with it.  I prefer the non-hot :). 

I've started walking with my mom in the mornings.  She's walking about .25 miles in the morning before work, so I drive over and walk that with her.  I also have started walking again with Sue on Tuesday evenings.  It's good.  I have only gone with my mom twice, because I was lazy the other 3 mornings...  Two of them were incredibly cold and rainy.  The third I was just exhausted.  This was the last week of watching Desiree and Emily on Thursday and Friday, but phew!  I was up late and definitely tired.  I wish I had just gotten up on Friday, though.  I would have missed the maddening crowd at WinCo that way...  I know better than to go there at 10 on a Friday.  And I prefer to be Far from the Maddening Crowd.  Haha...  I crack myself up.

Samuel turned 8 earlier this month.  I can't believe he's 8.  He's gotten so tall.  So yesterday, Brad and Angie brought over cake and ice cream (Sam picked out vanilla bean) and we sang happy birthday and ate some cake and ice cream.  He had decorated it with Star Wars legos.  Including JarJar Binx.  Two of them.  Or at least one of them and on that looked like JarJar Binx.  At first, nobody could find matches or a lighter.  So we pretended. 
After we'd all eaten it, Jeremy went downstairs and found some matches.  A lot of them.  So we let Sam blow out candles on a half eaten cake (after we sung to him again, of course).  He blew them out fast, and I wasn't quite ready.  So I only got the "after."  Bummer. 
I'll be taking Sam out for ice cream (or frozen yogurt, but he already said it's going to be ice cream, so it probably will be) this week. 

After this, Jeremy and I went and got our pizza dinner.  We waited forever at Papa Murphy's.  They were quite the happenin' place to be on Saturday, apparently.  I ordered the gourmet vegetarian, and it was pretty good!  And so, we just ate our dessert first.  We're grown ups.  We can do that ;).

And the rest of life is just typical.  Working on our wedding celebration party (that's coming up in less than two weeks!).  Went to lunch at Olive Garden with Lea on Friday and we did some shopping and picked up some prizes for our wedding celebration.  Going to work.  You know, the same old stuff.  But at least you know, now, what's going on in the Nilla Life ;).