Sunday, October 7, 2012

Santee Alley

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I am the only spouse that moved to California for the duration of the project.  Some of the spouses of the project's members visit from time to time so when Eileen visited from Nebraska back in August, we began to spend time with each other daily.  I was thrilled to have someone to get together with and we quickly found we had much in common.  She, too, is a mother of four adult children, a nurse, and married to an engineer.  We quickly became friends.

Most of our time together was spent walking Walter, but one day we decided to explore Santee Alley in downtown L.A. and left Walter behind!

 It's located in the heart of fashion district and has EVERYTHING imaginable for sale.

And the prices are unbelievable!

Not so sure about the quality . . .

We didn't purchase anything this time . . .

but we will definitely be returning in the future!

The day before Eileen returned to Nebraska we went to view a taping of Conan.  So fun!  We saw Seth Green, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Milo Greene.  It turns out that Eileen's husband sings barbershop with one of Conan's camera men who said he could get four tickets to Conan for her anytime.   How nice!

waiting to get into Conan

Eileen returns next week and I can't wait to have my new friend back!

Canada . . . Aye?

I've previously posted pictures from Scott & Shelby's wedding, but there's more that I want to share about our time with them in August and our trip to Canada.  

We flew to Detroit and drove to London, Ontario (about a 2 hour drive).  To avoid the extra international charges from our cell phone company, we turned off our phone's navigation system near the border and quickly realized how dependent we were on it.   I had printed directions to London, but there's something about seeing for myself that little moving dot heading in the right direction.  Thankfully, we still had the ability to text with Shelby and after one wrong turn we made it . . . 2 hours later than expected.

We quickly checked into our hotel and drove to their home.  After some long hugs we walked around the corner to a restaurant and had a very enjoyable visit.

The next day, we picked them both up to do some shopping for Scott.  Isn't their home and neighborhood so beautiful?

 They showed us their backyard where the wedding would take place on the following day.

Later that evening, Shelby's grandparents treated everyone to a delicious dinner at Blackfriars.  The menu consisted of unique offerings using fresh local ingredients which made selecting a dinner choice difficult.  It was wonderful and so nice to meet Shelby's family.

On the wedding day we had breakfast at this restaurant at the request of Scott since it's famous for their waffles.

Afterwards we picked up their dogs for an outing at the dog park.  It's such a nice dog park!

After running a few more errands we returned to our beautiful hotel to get ready for the wedding.

 Seeing the garden transformed to a beautiful wedding site just made me cry.  It was a such a sweet ceremony and a fun reception.  I loved how their neighbors joined in on the celebration!

The following morning Steve and I took off to Niagara Falls.  Neither of us had ever seen it before and it was so worth our short time there.

We drove back to London and arrived a little after noon.  We picked Scott & Shelby up and after eating lunch we drove to Stratford, Ontario. The drive was so beautiful and relaxing.  I loved seeing the farms!

Stratford, named after William Shakespeare's birth place, was so pretty.  The gardens were amazing and the town was so quaint.  We had a lot of fun walking around and taking in the beauty.

We spotted several "play me" pianos along our walk- so fun!

Some artwork in an alley way of some bands. 

I think Steve's highlight was finding this telephone booth.  It's been a long time since we've seen one of those!

I was amazed (and thankful) that I never saw any reference in Stratford that it was Justin Bieber's hometown.  (Just to clarify, I only discovered this fact while googling "things to do in Stratford".)  
We left after topping off our enjoyable afternoon with some ice cream and coffee.   

                             We drove back to London and had one last dinner together.  

The following morning we picked Shelby and Scott up from the Idelwyld Inn.  Isn't it beautiful?  

It was hard saying good-bye since we didn't know when we'd see them again.  They hope everything will work out in order for them to return to Florida in May for Natalie and Dan's wedding.  We hope so too!  We had a wonderful visit with them and can't wait to see them again!