This past weekend we went to attend Bryan’s sister Jimi’s graduation from UC Santa Cruz. We stayed with Bryan’s family in a home they rented near the beach. Our first stop was at Staff of Life, a health food store to stock up on food for the weekend. We loved this store, and a few others we happened to pop into while walking around the downtown area. Santa Cruz is very health conscious, made evident by the many organic restaurants and grocery stores, completely putting Southern California to shame. Every restaurant even if not “organic” seemed to make an effort to use organic ingredients on the menu. To us this seemed huge, because you are lucky to even find a health conscious restaurant in Orange County offering organic salad greens on the menu. Our first night we went to La Posta Vecchia to celebrate Bryan’s 26th birthday. La Posta is an Italian restaurant specializing in house made pasta, and all the food was quite well done!
Our second day we drove down to the downtown area and walked around all the shops. It was a breath of fresh air to be in a shopping plaza that was not full of chain stores. Taken by surprise by all the unique offerings we returned to feed the meter about 4 times after realizing each time that we were not done yet. We spent a few hours reading various books in the Bookshop Santa Cruz, delighted by their unique selection of titles. Afterward we ate a late lunch at Chocolate Cafe, where we had some delicious mediterranean food and split a chocolate truffle.
The next day Jimi’s graduation took place in a beautiful setting on the University’s campus overlooking the ocean. It may have been beautiful, but it was also midday and very hot! Luckily we thought ahead to bring a large beach umbrella and there we various people trying to mooch off our shade. After the ceremony we headed over to Pearl of the Ocean, for a Sri Lankan dinner. Unfortunately Megan felt ill and had to leave with out trying the food, which was wonderful. The whole family is quite fond of Indian food and we found Sri Lankan food to be similar, but incorporating flavors from South East Asia. Later we discovered the restaurant was named the best new restaurant in Santa Cruz and we can’t disagree that it is worth stopping by. Sunday evening we flew back to Orange County via Southwest Airlines, thankful to be skipping out on the 8 hour drive back.
We spent the weekend housesitting for Megan’s aunt in Hollywood. Megan was feeling a little under the weather but we managed to have an excellent meal at Osteria Mozza and took a trip to the Getty Villa in Malibu.
After all the exciting and beautiful new places we have been this year, Big Bear pales in comparison. Having only been there as kids we soon realized that it offers far less to amuse us as adults, especially in summer. We drove up only for two nights to visit with Bryan’s parents who were vacationing at (uh-oh) another timeshare (previous timeshare experiences have been interesting… think Costa Del Suck, Spain and the Trailer Park in Napa)!
Our time was spent hiking and biking in the nature surrounding the lake and on a rented boat where Bryan’s dad hooked various parts of the boat but zero fish. Bryan was so busy ducking out of the way every time his dad tried to cast the line that he kept pouring beer all over the boat. It was pretty hilarious actually. First dumping 7/8 of a large glass all over Megan’s legs, and then emptying another 1/2 of a glass all over his own seat. We are still not sure how he kept turning his glass completely horizontal in such gentle waters, but we will let is slide due to the fact that his dad was hooking more seat vinyl that bait.
After the dangerous and messy boat ride we stopped off for some beef jerky before heading out to dinner at the Sweet Basil Bistro, both of which were truly gourmet by Big Bears standards. Overall the trip was pleasant, but not thrilling. There isn’t much more to say about it.
We went down to San Diego with our friends Drew and Allison to watch some of the Tour De California. Drew and Bryan had the pleasure to run with Lance as he was going up a climb. In the process Bryan accidentally clobbered another spectator in the midst of all the excitement. The sheer force of Bryan’s impact disoriented the man forcing him to miss his one opportunity of getting Lance’s photo. Needless to say, he was not happy about it, and his frustration turned into something amusing for us when his wife asked, “Honey, did you get your photo of Lance?” He emotionally replied, “No! These bozos ruined it, and I could not see anything!”
On December 30th, 2004, surrounded by close family and friends we were married in an intimate ceremony in a historic chapel in Megan’s hometown of Lake Forest, CA. The wedding coincided with our 3rd anniversary of being together. Afterward we headed over to the Meyer’s home to dine and say our goodbyes before we headed off to our honeymoon in New York and our 5 month long studies in Italy. At 20 years old, many believed we were too young to marry, but we knew what we were doing was not only the right timing but also incredibly romantic! We are very happy and excited to spending the rest of our lives as husband and wife.