Matt and Ashley Marriano, Kael and Heather Alden, Sarah and Josh Rivera, Austin and Rachel Robinson and Mike and me! Such a great photo op.
In the Fall of 2010 Michael and I had the chance to go to Yosemite National Park with the Robinsons. It was so much fun and you can read all about it here. Well, this year at the end of September, thanks to the thinking and planning of some really great friends, we were able to go again and this time we had lots more people to enjoy the trip with!! I love Yosemite and I can't believe how amazingly gorgeous it is. I wish it were just a little bit closer so that we could go more often.
The weekend trip consisted of a 9 mile hike up to the top (and edge) of North Dome, some AMAZING meals planned and cooked by the Riveras, some yummy 'smores roasted over some much needed warm fires, and two fun car rides back and forth from LA to Yosemite. Heather and I walking along the edge of North Dome walking along the edge of North Dome
The girls sitting at Glacier Point
We hope that we can make this a tradition and go back again next year for a 3rd Annual Yosemite Trip :)
So many style and design blogs out there, but every once in a while a REALLY GREAT one comes along. I want to rant and rave about a new Style Blog that's been launched recently by my friend Paige Cordon, who I have to say, has the most amazing style and it always looks so effortless. :) And what's even better than a great style blog? A great style blog with a GIVEAWAY! So, check outhttp://whatmodernmomswear.blogspot.com/2011/11/giveaway.html and enter yourself in a giveaway and also read up on some truly wonderful style advice. :)
It may not be a surprise, but I absolutely LOVE design. I also have to say that thanks to Pinterest, I've lost many more hours each week "pinning" all of those great designs that I see. Well, a friend of a friend launched a great new design blog called The Rustic Alley. Allison is truly talented and it as quickly become one of my favorite blogs to stalk. You should check it out. Oh, and while you're at it, check out the AWESOME giveaway she has going this week. I know I want a 3 day, 2 night stay in a great condo in Tahoe. How about you?
Friday - An original Chinese garden entranceWell, I had an amazing summer that I will NEVER FORGOT!! I'm so happy that I was able to document all of our adventures and blog about them, even if it is mainly for myself. Thanks for reading along. And if you ever have a chance to go to China? GO!! It will change your life!!!
Yes, I ate a fried scorpion. I decided when I got to China that I was going to eat something outrageous and not long after, I decided that it was going to be a fried scorpion. Lucky for me, when my parents came to Beijing my dad decided that he was going to eat a fried scorpion as well. I had heard a lot about the Wangfujing market and I knew that it would be the PERFECT place to eat my fried scorpion because they fry pretty much EVERYTHING there from scorpion to rattlesnake to seahorse. We started out by trying a few "normal" things like seasoned lamb on a stick and some strange fried seafood, then my dad and I decided we were ready. I got some great pics of him eating his fried friend, but sadly there was a camera malfunction and I didn't get mine on camera. My dad offered to buy another one so I could eat it on camera, but there was NOTHING that could get me to do that EVER AGAIN. It tasted just like it sounds in case you are wondering... We decided to finish off with some candied fruit which was AWESOME and really took that gritty taste out of my mouth. Over all, I'm glad I did it, but I would never do it again. :)
Michael and I never really got the chance to visit the Forbidden City until my parents came into town. It was amazing, but unfortunately the weather was not in our favor. It would have been even more impressive I'm sure if it had also been a beautiful day outside. The Forbidden City was actually forbidden to anyone outside of the royal family and his servants. It is unbelievable how HUGE the forbidden city was!! We walked the entire length of it from south to north and wondered if it would ever end!
My parents inside of one of the squares. There were about 5 total.
Michael and I at the entrance.
Just outside Qianmen Gate.
Another one of the huge Forbidden City Squares.
At the North Entrance to the Forbidden City, where we exited from, had an amazing Chinese garden and was really neat to see. It was packed, so we could hardly get a good picture, though... I'm so glad I got to finally see the inside of the Forbidden City since I had passed it atleast 10 times while living in Beijing. :)
I loved having a friend in Beijing that I could get together with and I loved that Allie wanted to see all of the same city sites as me. On this particular occasion, we decided to stroll around one of the busy tourist markets just south of Tian'anmen Square called Qianmen, and test out some Chinese candy. Unfortunately, we were not too impressed with the Chinese treats but at least a couple of them were good. :)
Just because we weren't in the States for the premiere of Harry Potter doesn't mean we weren't going to be part of all the Harry Hooplah! We actually went to see the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at the big "Western-Style Movie Theater" for a midnight movie and it was soooo worth it. It really made me miss being home for the premiere of a great Hollywood movie, but having the experience in Beijing was worthwhile, especially since they have THE BEST movie theater popcorn! It was actually caramel corn and it was super yummy!! Oh, and did I mention the movie was in 3D? Awe-some!
Close to the end of my trip, my parents came out to visit and see some of the sights. I was excited to take them to see the Great Wall and this time we decided to go to another section a little closer to Beijing called Mutianyu. It was beautiful as well but had many more tourists. We had decided to take a private tour and this also included two factories, one to a silk factory to see how they make silk blankets and another to see how Chinese cloisonne is made. Both factories were really interesting and the Great Wall as once again spectacular. I'm glad I was able to show my parents around Beijing, as well.
My Parents on the Great Wall. Aren't they cute? :)
Another great site! This time I went to see the Ancient Observatory. It was located right in the middle of a modern city area and I found it incredible, even though it was pretty small. The site is home to numerous Astrological devices dating to as early as the 15th century!
Michael and I were married in March of 2004 in the Bountiful LDS Temple. I most recently worked as a middle school English teacher in West Hollywood and Michael just finishing up is FINAL year of Architecture school at UCLA. We adopted our beautiful baby girl Amelia in May of this year. We've had many great adventures in 8 years and we can't wait for more to come!