Welcome to Part 1 of my California adventure!! I'm not sure how many parts this is going to have and they are all sure to be picture heavy. So if you don't care about or don't want to see my adventure feel free to skip it. But I hope you will come along on this adventure with me!
It all started on Wednesday February 26. My flight was to leave our local airport at 6:20 am. So you know what that means? I had to get to the airport around 5am. That also meant I needed to leave our house just before 4:30am!! This is not a time that I am usually awake, let alone functioning to be driving or speaking to other people.
Yep! That is exactly how I felt on the plane! Thankfully our airport has a Seattle's Best (it's not a Starbucks but at 5:30am I take what I can get!) so I got a latte and settled in to wait for my flight. We took off on time and the flight was full but I had a window seat all to myself!
I like Chicago! I wouldn't want to live there but I do like to visit. I've never flown into O'Hare after (or before in this case) dark. So I had never really realized what the streets looked like all lit up. I took this picture out the window as we flew over. I just thought the perfect lines of the grid pattern and the lights were all so beautiful. I don't know. It just spoke to me.
To pass the time on my flights I brought this book. I LOVED it! I would HIGHLY recommend it to any runner or really anyone! Bart Yasso is just an amazing person and a real inspiration. I finished the book before I even got to Cali. I also had to get some really
nasty delicious coffee because I was DRAGGING!
It's really hard to see but that's the Grand Canyon (or at least part of it)! I've never been out west before so this was the first time I had seen it. We actually saw it a bit better later on but I was in the middle seat and didn't want to reach other the sweet lady next to me to take 101 pictures of it. But I can tell you even from the air it was AMAZING! I started dreaming about going there and running on the rim, or on the floor, or down the path or anything! I really want to go see it in person now! I was seriously in AWE!
I no more got to Cali and promptly asked my Sis-in-law to take me to the nearest Starbucks! Oh sweet nectar of the gods did it tasted so good!
One thing I don't think I mentioned is that this trip was a surprise to my sister. She knew my step-mom was coming to visit but she had no clue that I was coming. So we decided to surprise her with a nice dinner out. So we went to the Stone Brewery. They have a beautiful outside seating area and the most amazing menu! This picture was just inside the front door. This giant "stone" was beautiful! And wearing sandals in February, while sitting outside to eat was a definite bonus!
Tikka chicken spicy Marsala with quinoa and veggies. I didn't know what tikka chicken was (and still don't) but it was just about the best thing I have ever eaten! The Marsala sauce was indeed spicy but not over the top. The quinoa and veggies were delicious! I ended up mixing the quinoa and veggies in with the Marsala sauce and that was amazing too! We split a bottle of wine between the 4 of us girls (my sister, my sis-in-law, my step mom, & myself) and that was amazing too! The wine was by Paco & Lola and it was very delicious!
My sister-in-law said they had some gardens just down a walkway from where we were sitting so we went to take a look. It was beautiful! This picture does not even do justice to the gardens. The area pictured above is known to hold weddings and lots of reception type parties. There were a few tables down that little walk way and then a pond and a few chairs that you could just sit and relax. The frogs in the pond were super loud and obviously happy with the cool but beautiful evening! This place was gorgeous!
And it was the absolutely perfect place to surprise my sister (in the middle). She walked in, did a double take, and said "What are you doing here?!?!?". I was super happy to give her a giant hug! I haven't seen her since she moved to Cali in September and that was far too long to go without hugging my sister!
Have you ever surprised anyone with a trip? Have you ever gone on vacation alone?