Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

After our rousing win, it was time to get ready for Thanksgiving. This year, Scott and I hosted 21 people in our not so big house! That said, it was perfect and I wouldn't have changed a thing. I figure we had the two most important and food! Well that and lots of turkeys (to eat and to decorate with). As I mentioned in my birthday post, I was born on Thanksgiving. This has led to 26 years of my mom collecting turkeys for me. This year, they all made their way to San Francisco to decorate our house for the big day. I will spare you pictures of ALL of them, but here is a peak:
Table #1 (the bread basket in the middle is a turkey)
The Thanksgiving tree (oh, yes, there is such a thing)
End table with a little turkey buddy and some turkey coasters!

I will summarize Thanksgiving by saying it was a gorgeous day with a lot of organized chaos that ended with a tremendous meal. Scott cooked his first turkey (I bowed out knowing I didn't want to be responsible if the turkey didn't turn out) and made homemade gravy which were both spectacular. I was in charge of potatoes, french onion dip, cheesecake and day of logistics (furniture moving, decorating, cleaning, etc...). We could not have done it without the help of the entire Retchless clan and were definitely thankful to have them all here. On to pictures...
Beth chased down a neighbor on the street to take a family photo.
Lola and her cousin Michelle
Scott and Sean working in the kitchen.
Scott's mom (aka Granmere) and her Grandkids minus Tess and Nolan (we missed you all!).
The Retchless ladies...clockwise-me, Stacia, Renee, Beth and Charlene
Thumbs up...we did it!
Scott too!
Now this is an effective use of space!

Many more pictures but that gives you an idea of our fun filled Thanksgiving!

Day Before Tomorrow Golf

Wednesday the holiday festivities began. Well, at least for the Hyland family! Tommy invited Scott and me to join his family in their annual golf tournament.

We joined 20 fellow golfers for a little par 3, 9 hole. I say little, but that is plenty of golf for me! I was spent by the end (plus, it is REALLY hilly and a not so easy course).

Tommy represented the Hyland's on our team as the rest of us were crashing the family event! Cru, Todd, Scott and me rounded out our fivesome. My accomplishment for the day was definitely just making contact with the ball and if it went in the right direction or even remotely far that was a bonus! I wouldn't say I was terrible, but I did bring in the looooooooowest score on the team. Lucky for us that didn't matter and we were crowned the WINNERS!
Yes, mine has all of the 6s on it.
The winning team!
Tommy accepting the cup.
Victory drink
On to Cru...
and Todd...
and me!

Thanks to the Hylands for a great day on the course!

Happy Birthday...Me!

Well, I am another year older. Don't feel any different so far though! Being born on Thanksgiving, this holiday is always one I look forward to. This year my birthday didn't fall on Thanksgiving but it still felt very festive. I tend not to be a big birthday person. Don't get me wrong, I like it, I just don't love it the way I love the entire season spanning from Thanksgiving through Christmas. So, this year, I decided that all I wanted to do was go out to dinner with Scott, Kyle and Chrissie. Something low key but full of fun, food, and friends! We visited an old favorite...A16.

I don't think I have blogged about A16 as we used to go more when Scott lived a few blocks away. It isn't exactly easy to get into but I made sure to book about a month in is THAT good. I made sure to get good and dressed up...curled my hair, put on my new sweater dress and boots (birthday presents from Scott) and was ready for a night out! A night out it was! Dinner was tremendous. We had delicious appetizers of burrata and prosciutto and my funghi pizza was to die for! It was the perfect way to spend my birthday and I am looking forward to a repeat performance next year (minus the Kellie Pickler debate ;-) ).

We should rewind quickly...the night before my birthday I got a call from Chrissie:
Chrissie: Are you home?
Me: yes
Chrissie: Are you going to be home?
Me: yes
Chrissie: ok, bye

About 25 minutes later the entire Strand fam showed up at our door with a birthday surprise! It was the perfect way to kick off my birthday celebration.
My birthday card from Kayla and Tanner. Have we been over why I am called Mine (and it is not because Kayla thinks I am hers)? If not, let me know and I will tell the story.

Mmmmm...birthday cupcakes! We managed to eat about six Monday night!

Thanks again Crick, Kyle, Kayla, and Tanner!

Tuesday morning I made sure to take advantage of my birthday and slept in while Scott headed off to work. When I woke up, I found these all over the house...
Most clever placements...on the english muffins and in my wallet! What a great fiance!
Thanks to Scott for a wonderful birthday!

*sorry, no pictures of year!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Twain Harte

This past weekend Scott and I headed up to Twain Harte to see his mom. For those of you unfamiliar, Twain Harte is located about three hours east (and slightly north) of San Francisco and it sits at 4,000ft. It is a cute little mountain town that is the perfect weekend getaway.

Friday night we headed out to dinner at Seven Sisters at the Black Oak Casino. Dinner was very yummy and it was great catching up with everyone. After that we hit the floor. Scott and I aren't very big gamblers so we watched Nick and Kristina play a little black jack, pulled a few slots, and decided we didn't want to lose so we headed downstairs to...BOWL!
Yes, we put on our fancy bowling shoes and took to the lanes. I would like to challenge you all to think about the last time you bowled?! And no, wii bowling doesn't count! Turns out, I am not completely terrible and neither is Scott. He beat me in all our rounds? games? Not sure of the correct lingo here. We had a surprisingly obnoxious amount of fun. There is something great about playing a game that no one is especially good at so when you actually get a strike it is a celebration EVERY time.
Something tells me that ball isn't going where I want it to!
Scott's got the leg kick dialed in!

Nick and Kristina eventually figured out that bowling is much more fun than gambling and they came down to join us. Really, they came down to find us and got sucked into a game!

All tough before the bowling began!
Nick was an amazing bowler! He can put spin on a ball like the pros! Scott is the "S" with 138, I ended up with 113. Not a bad showing in my opinion!

Saturday we took a little journey to Columbia, California. I know, you're jealous! Columbia is an old ghost town now but used to be a gold mining town. It is hard to imagine living life in that way. I kind of had a Gone With the Wind moment walking around "downtown".
While we skipped panning for gold we did make a stop in the candy shop to pick up some yummy treats!

After all our exploring was complete we snuggled up in the house for the evening. Quick movie review...The Ugly Truth...TERRIBLE! There is nothing good to say about this movie. Crude, boring, obnoxious, and the acting was less than good. Not worth the 90 minutes of your life it will take to watch it.

Stay tuned for birthday and Thanksgiving coverage...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

For lack of something better...

Well, this weekend has been rather uneventful. I AM NOT COMPLAINING! It was a welcome break from the past 11 months of craziness. We did a little wine tasting at the Strand Fam's house on Friday...suffered on Saturday as a result. Watched a lot of Mad Men. Did some shopping, work clothes for Scott, birthday presents for me, and that pretty much covers it.

I was playing with the photo booth on my computer tonight and found these...

No, we did not get some rare Swine Flu side effect. Just a little fun on our flight to Hawaii in September. Wouldn't you LOVE to be the lucky person sitting next to us on the flight?!

Hope everyone has a great week...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Don't Judge Me

Growing up in Chesterfield, MO there was not a lot of opportunity or need for public transportation. Sure, I rode the Amtrak once to Jefferson City for an adventure but never as a means to actually commute. Then, I moved to Boulder, CO. Boulder has been described as "10 miles surrounded by reality". With a 10 mile area to cover, public transportation was never essential. If you can't drive, a cab can't be more than $10!

Now I live in San Francisco. Apparently everyone here just hops on and off buses, and trains like it is born into them. Well, I made it 10 months living here and just took my first trip down the tracks. Did I mention that a line runs literally 10 yards away from my house? On Tuesday I rode Caltrain down to San Jose to meet Scott for a Sharks game. While I could have taken the J to the N and then boarded Caltrain, I cheated a bit and took a cab to the train station (I said, don't judge steps). Final verdict...easy peasy and actually rather enjoyable. Thoughts...
  • Not near as bad as I expected. Idiot proof really!
  • Only moderately smelly-nursing home smelly, not BO
  • A great place for people watching
  • Definitely a breeding ground for swine flu (some guy downstairs was hacking up a lung-ewwwwww)
  • SO glad I got the single seat upstairs (I found this little trick based on my next observation)
  • If confused, follow the is kind of like watching a herd of sheep
  • This experience would have been more fun with someone else to photo-document it!
  • While my one time ride was fun, I am pretty sure it would lose it's excitement if I had to commute daily from SF to San Jose.
  • Caltrain needs wifi
  • Since there was no wifi, I read. What did I read? Time for another wedding detail...
MY GREECE TRAVELER'S GUIDE!!! Yes, we are 99% sure that we are headed to Greece for our honeymoon. This leaves me moderately obsessed with learning everything I can before we go. So far I have two books and just can't put them down. Too bad the language is so tricky or I might even try and learn it (ok, probably not, but let's pretend). If anyone has been or done a lot of research on the subject I would love to hear your "do's and don'ts" list.
My ticket. :-)

After reluctantly packing up my reading material, I found Scott and we headed out for dinner. Apparently San Jose got the memo that we are in a recession so we were left with few options. Lucky for Scott Amici's was going strong! So Scott's favorite pizza it was! I can't lie, it is pretty good. Not as good as Proto's in Colorado, but good (to be fair, they are different styles of pizza).

Then, off to the game! One thing you must know about me by now is that I love sporting events! I will even take the train to get to one! So a night at the shark tank was just up my alley and we had a great time. Plus, the Sharks won as an extra bonus!
This shark head comes down to the ice and the players skate out of it before the game.
We took about six of these pictures and unfortunately this is the best one. But...we were there!

Monday, November 9, 2009


The wedding planning keeps rolling along. While we haven't actually found a florist yet, the ideas are all locked in!

We are throwing out the traditional centerpieces in favor of something a little different. Here is a little peak. Obviously a florist will be able to add some better details and arrange them better, but you get the idea of what we are after.

Thanks to Chrissie for the flowers (is that what they are even called? Branches? Tree? Bush?)! I love the color and they are making a great addition to all the fall decorations in the house.

Seeing Red

Stanford red that is. While I felt a little guilty donning the color of the enemy (CU's enemy Nebraska, that is) I quickly got over it and settled in to the tailgating festivities.
It was a little chilly so my koozie from Paige and Matt's wedding came in VERY handy!
Our tailgating "footprint". We had to protect it from all the Oregon fans surrounding us. It got a little awkward when the lot was full but it was still just us :-)! Luckily...
Our friends showed up!

We had a great time BBQing, playing games, and chatting.

Future tailgating pros...Kayla, Paisley, Hanna, and Ella
Another event, another excuse to make fun cupcakes!
Scott manning the grill. The burgers, brats, and hot dogs (not to mention Aaron's ribs) were DELICIOUS!
Tanner preparing for the game!
LOVE THIS...Ian, Ella, Hanna, Paisley and Cort all walking hand in hand to the game.

The Stanford tree, the mascot. Although they are supposedly also the Cardinals. I originally thought this meant the is the color! Cardinal red. What an interesting school. I prefer the dancing tree to the color although it all left me a little confused. If you are interested in learning more about this, there is an abundance of information here.
The entire day was a lot of fun and I am looking forward to the next one!

The rest of the weekend was pretty mellow...we began watching Mad Men. ADDICTED! We can hardly hit "next" fast enough from episode to episode. We also took the princess on a nice long walk on Sunday around the Presidio and down Crissy Field. Not a bad place for an afternoon stroll...

All in all it was another fabulous weekend in California!