Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Coasting" through the holiday weekend

For the Fourth of July, Brian had a 4 day weekend and originally, we thought we should take advantage of it and go somewhere Hawaii!  But that just wasn't going to work out with all this moving stuff coming up and Brian going out of town etc.  So instead, we decided to go to Point Reyes National Seashore which is about an hour from here, just north of San Francisco.  We've heard great things about it but haven't had the chance to go, so we figured we'd have an adventurous weekend right around here.  On Sunday, July 3rd, we packed up the car with all kinds of food and clothes (since you never know what the weather will be like!) and headed for the coast for a fun filled day of biking and hiking.  We got to Pt. Reyes, unloaded our bikes and set off on our 3 mile bike ride through the forest to the trail head which lead to Arch Rock...our ultimate destination.  Once we biked the 3 miles, we had to park our bikes and lock them up so we could hike the rest of the way.  It was such a weird hike because you are hiking through fur trees on minute, and the next minute, you are in grassy fields which end at big cliffs.  So eventually, this trail that we were on ended at a big cliff over looking the Pacific was absolutely gorgeous!  And we couldn't have asked for better weather!  Our only question was, where is Arch Rock!?!  We hiked all the way out where is it?!  Just as we were about to ask someone, we heard some people talking and they said that we were actually standing right on top of it!  Of course this just made us want to climb down to see it, so that's just what we did!

In order to get down to actually see Arch Rock, we had to climb down this really narrow trail, jump a creek of freezing cold water, and then kind of rock climb our way over to the beach, but it was well worth it!  We were the only people down there so we were able to get some great pictures!  

 Brian hiking across a tree bridge...he kept his helmet on for safety:)

Crazy trees along the way!

Nerd alert!!

Made it out to the beautiful beaches:)

 Brian almost gave this seagull some of his lunch because he felt bad for him...haha!

The gulch we had to climb down to get to Arch's really not as serious as I'm making it out to be!

Brian climbing...

Me getting ready to climb up

Made it to the top!!

 Arch Rock

 Beautiful beaches down near Arch Rock

 Mini Arch Rock

 We had our own private beach!

 Just being goofy on the beach!

 I feel like a geology class should be taught right here...what kind of rock is this anyway?!

Brian under Arch Rock!

Only people on the felt like we discovered the place because there weren't any footprints!

Big rock covered in birds

 Arch rock

climbing on the rocks

Next we drove to the light house in Pt. Reyes and on the way, we saw a field covered in what looked like giant marshmallows.

 Cows eating on our way to the lighthouse!

 Pretty coastline...

Whale was huge!

 Light house in Pt. Reyes!

The trees all grow sideways because of the was freezing.

Our New Home in Charleston!

As many of you know, we will be moving to Charleston sometime in the next few weeks...we don't exactly know the date yet as Brian hasn't received his military orders!  Let's hope he gets them ASAP as he is going on a "deployment" humanitarian mission to Suriname sometime next week...we don't really know much about that either except that he's leaving next week for about 3 weeks...which means right when he gets back, he'll have a few days to out process here and then the movers will come and we'll be on our way back east.  So in order to prepare for our move out to Charleston, I decided to head back east for two week I spent with Brian's family in Destin, and the second week I spent with my family (mainly my Dad) at home and in Charleston.  Brian's parents dropped me off at my mom and dad's house on a Saturday and we had a nice relaxing evening at home.  On Sunday, we celebrated Father's Day by going to church (my brother even got to come home!) and out to lunch.  Later on Sunday, my dad and I left Peachtree City with a very daunting task at hand...we were under pressure to find not just any house, but "the perfect" house in Charleston!  Brian apparently has enough confidence in my house picking abilities to let me go with my dad to find a house and determine where he will live for the next "x" years!

My dad decided to rent a car and drive it to Charleston as he knew we'd be putting a lot of miles on the car...he's been through the house hunting process a  few times before in his military career.  We got there Sunday night, and were awakened Monday morning with news that right out side our hotel, there had been a shooting on the interstate over night, a shooting at the hotel across the way, a hold up at the waffle house around the corner, and a fight in a restaurant nearby...great.  Definitely took notes not to live in that area!  After all the commotion calmed down, we went to the base, checked out base housing which wasn't great (although they are rebuilding it so if Brian's doesn't like the location or the house that I picked out, the that's our other option), and then went to meet up with a real estate agent who was gracious enough to show us rental properties.  We probably looked at about 15 rental houses all around the North Charleston was really hard to pick a house but we decided our best method of attack was to look at the house, wait a little bit, talk it out and then weigh the pros and the cons.  Finally, we found a house that just seemed perfect...3 bedrooms + a finished room over garage (FROG) and 2 bathrooms.  It's super cute, new and has everything that we were looking for including a neighborhood pool and work out facilities.  We are about 30 minutes from downtown Charleston, 45 minutes to the beaches and about 10 minutes to restaurants, movie theaters etc.  Here are some pictures...our door's always open for visitors!!

Family Vacation in the Sunshine State

A few months ago, Brian's family started planning their summer vacation to Destin, FL.  Sadly, Brian wouldn't be able to make it due to work, but I could!  I decided that I would try to get down there on Sunday, June 12 by flying stand-by from San Francisco.  Boy oh boy was that a bad idea!  It was such a nightmare of a travel experience, but I guess that's what you get for trying to fly stand-by during the summer months!

My journey started off with Brian dropping me off at the San Francisco Airport on Saturday night for a 10:30 flight.  Unfortunately, I didn't get on that I waited around until the later flight at 11:40 that same night.  Same thing happens again...I didn't make it...but of course my stuff did:(  Before I went into the airport we had planned that Brian would just wait for me in the parking lot until I got on.  Thank goodness he was waiting because obviously my plans for flying all night and getting to Pensacola on Sunday morning did not work out!  Our next option would be for me to try to get on the 6 a.m. flight out of San Francisco to Atlanta, and the to connect in Atlanta to Pensacola.  So Brian and I got a hotel in SF at midnight, and then I woke back up at 4:15, went to the airport thinking that security and all that would be a breeze at 6 a.m. but was I ever wrong!   Seriously, who flies at 6 a.m.?!?!?!  What a terrible idea!  The security line was longer than I've ever seen it...ever!  Not to mention everyone either had to go through the full body scanners or opt to have a full body pat down...luckily, some guy came through security and said that everyone on a 6 a.m. flight could go up to the front of the that's exactly what I did!  I finally make it through security and submit myself to the "harmful and deadly" rays of the full body scanner for the 2nd time in 2 days, only to find out that I didn't make the flight.  Brian had gone back to the hotel to sleep until it was time to check out, so I had some time to spare.  I decided to try some other options, but to no avail.

After a few more attempts, I gave up and called Brian to come and get me.  I decided that I wanted to go home, sleep, and then spend countless hours on end checking flights from any and every airport within a 60 mile radius...that includes San Francisco, Sacramento, San Jose and Oakland.  To my disappointment, nothing looked good!  Eventually, I settled on the fact that if I went back to the airport Monday night, I could finally make it least that's what the computer made it look like.  At this point, my luggage has been sitting in the Pensacola Airport since Sunday, and the earliest I can make it to Pensacola is Tuesday morning.  I was kinda of in a panic about this because I thought that Pensacola might try to send my luggage back to SF and then I would get to Pensacola and it wouldn't be there...blahblahblah!  I tried not to think about it!  

So my journey continued Monday night...again submitting myself to the fun full body scanners and the crazy anticipation of waiting to see if I got on a flight.  The situation at the airport was kind of ridiculous!   On the screen, the numbers kept changing and I couldn't tell if I was going to make it or not.  It looked like it but I didn't want to get too excited just yet!  While I'm sitting there, I must have looked on edge because this older married couple next to me asks if I'm traveling stand-by.  I tell them that I am, and they enlighten me that their son works for Delta so they were too...and unfortunately for me, they were the people right ahead of me on the stand-by list.  When it comes down to the wire, the gate agent actually couldn't tell how many seats were open on the plane, so she had to run into the plane, count empty seats and then run back out and tell us.  The older couple kept telling me that if there was only one seat, they would let me go because they weren't willing to split up.  But if there were two, then they would take them.  So here I am, palms sweating, practically shaking with anticipation to see if I will get on or not when the gate agent come running back up the jetway yelling that there are 2 seats open so whoever wants to go should get on immediately!!!  Obviously the other couple took the seats, which left me the ONLY person who didn't get on:(  To make things worse, not more than 2 minutes after they shut the doors to the plane, some guy comes running up saying he was supposed to be on that flight.  Of course he was!!!  That would have left only one seat open which means I could have got on!!  The moral of this story is if you're flying, always be on time!!!!  

At this point, I was so upset and didn't know what to do, so I did what most girls would do and I started crying...right there in the middle of the SF airport at midnight!  Brian was at home because he had to work in the morning, I was going to go and get another hotel when the gate agent came up to me and told me to go to Minneapolis.  The gate behind me had just began boarding a flight to Minneapolis that would take off at 12:50 a.m.  Long story short, the gate agent didn't really know how to work the computer, so I was on the phone with my dad (3 a.m. his time!) and I was behind the desk relisting myself on the Delta employee computers.  It was such a big mess, but it all worked out!  My dad did the rest of the work behind the scenes and listed me on a flight from Minneapolis to Atlanta, and from Atlanta to Pensacola.  The only problem was that my flight to Minneapolis landed 20 minutes before the flight to Atlanta took off.  Luckily, my flight landed about 5 minutes early, so I literally was the first person off the plane and I booked it through the airport.  They were closing the gate as I ran up screaming that I need to be on that flight!  I MADE IT!!!  Same thing happened when I got to Atlanta but it all worked out in the end, and lo and behold, my bag was still in Pensacola:)  

When I finally made it, my aunt came and picked me up, and we went to lunch at Olive Garden (mmmmmmmm!!) and then headed over to the house where Brian's family was staying.  We ended up having a great time...including one night where Kim, Chris and I were able to go out to a bar and live it up!  Funny thing was that Kim didn't have her wedding ring on, so everyone thought that Chris and I were married and she was single.  We got a kick out of that one:)  I had a great time with my little nephew and niece who are both growing like weeds!  

Me and Kate

Me and Hayes

Kate and Hayes on the beach

Me and Hayes

Me and Hayes getting ready to go jet-skiing!

Tim McGraw Concert

A few weeks back, Brian and I went on a double date with one of Brian's co-workers and his wife.  We had great seats and a great time!  In fact, at one point, Tim McGraw walked right in front of us but my stupid camera didn't work:(  At the concert, the opening bands were The Band Perry and Luke Bryan and finally, Tim McGraw as the main show.  I forgot how much I love all of his songs and I forgot just how many good songs he sings!  I amazed myself as I was singing along with all of the songs!  Why is it that I can remember song lyrics from way back when but I can't remember what I did yesterday?!  I don't get it!  Here are some pictures from the concert...

Tim McGraw

Tim McGraw

Tim McGraw and Luke Bryan