Thursday, July 30, 2009

On Tuesday night, Ed and I had the GREAT treat of being given tickets to watch Serena Williams play tennis at Stanford University. We have made friends with a couple from church who live round the corner from us - she's a tennis coach and so got tickets through her work.

We were invited to the 'meet-the-players' reception before the match - and enjoyed scrummy nibbles while hearing many of the top female tennis players being interviewed only a few feet away from us...

Then we headed for our seats and were amazed as we were shown to a 'box' seat only 3 rows from the court in line with the net - it was FANTASTIC - we must have been no more than 2-3 metres from the players!

Serena was playing a Japanese lady, called Na Li, who put up a great fight and really made it an exciting match before Serena closed it out in 2 sets 6:4, 7:6 in characteristic style.

What FUN!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We have just had THE best 4-day-weekend in LA to celebrate Ed's 32nd Birthday... we have goggled at the incredible sights to be seen on Venice beach (like no-where else I have ever been!), eaten incredible meals (including the world's best burger - Ed was in paroxysm's of delight!), enjoyed beautiful scenery and idyllic white-sandy beaches, had our auditory systems pleasured by a live COLDPLAY concert (awesome!) AND had a 'magical' day at Disneyland... we can't quite believe it was only 4 days... we packed SO much fun in, it was GREAT!

Back to the mundane world of work and washing today... hey Ho!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I forgot to say that last week we had our first visitors from England... Dave and Emma Philips and their gorgeous girls Izzi and Millie. We had a wonderful time with them... Ed took Wednesday off work and we went to Stinson beach together. It was great to have friends from home sharing our life out here - helped to make it all feel more integrated...
We had SUCH a fun weekend!
We started Saturday with a 7 mile jog (nearly killed me!) followed by showers (much needed!), a breakfast of ENGLISH muffins (we have managed to find some that are NOT sweet! wahooooooooo!) and then we headed for the pool...

Looking at the sky, there were a few clouds and so the rest of California was staying indoors, which left the pool gloriously deserted and bathed in magnificent sunshine. We kept pinching ourselves that this was just a 'normal' Saturday... it felt like we were on holiday!

At about 3pm the clouds got high enough in the sky to cover the sun, so we showered (again!) and then my gorgeous man agreed to go material shopping with me... a sign he truely loves me! We found some material we both liked for cushions and so yesterday (Monday), I had a lovely day sewing... they are looking good!

On Sunday we decided to cycle to church - a formula which will be repeated... it takes about 40 minutes and is a gorgeous route along the bay. After church we joined a group of friends from 20's for lunch at Chipotle (a mexican fast-food restaurant) and then cycled home before heading to the pool again... we didnt stay long (our skin looked as though it had had enough sun the day before), spent some time indoors before cycling to our local tennis courts for a knock-up before a home-made curry ('sweet curry'... yes, Brooster, that's a shout out to you!)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

After a wonderful, but busy week, Friday evening seemed like a good opportunity to chill out and have some me-and-Nicci time. Many people would think that, if the plan is to 'chill out', golf isn't the best option - but to the golf course we went nonetheless. They have a super twilight rate of $24 at Palo Alto's municipal course and at the pro's shop we were put with Nick, a nice enough seeming chap in jeans and a faint whiff of the liquor about him. Nick is Bay Area born and bred and proud of it. At the 1st tee we were also joined by Dave, a friendly and sunburned ginger Irishman. We all tee'd off with mixed success. It was into the wind and a long par-4. Nick had a bottle of Corona with him. Dave was a chain-smoker. For me and Nicci, this was date night.

On the 3rd tee Nick pulled out a great big Cuban cigar and, having finished his Corona, cracked open a can of Bud Light. (Today we salute you, Mr Gasoline Barbeque Starter....). As Nicci offered round some dried apricots, Nick surprised us all by offering round his marajuana pipe, which we politely declined - that is a DEFINITE first! To our amazement, Nick's golf actually improved the more annebriated and stoned he became... it was actually great fun... made a change from the usual, overly-intense and hyperly self-critical golfers we often get paired with!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Yikes! I have just realised that we didn't blog about our Napa day trip which we went on the weekend before we went to England...

We drove up with David and Lee (English friends who are out here for a few years too) and visited 2 wineries - Duckhorn and Cakewalk... the first was excellent - really educational with GREAT wines (although hugely over-priced!) and (even more exciting) GREAT cheese!

The second was more touristy - the wine was not very good quality and the tour guide seemed more interested in cracking jokes and getting the group drunk than he was in the actual art of wine-making!

The vineyards are beautiful and, although the area doesn't seen to have the same amount of 'soul' as the french wine regions, it was still a lovely day out and well worth the visit...
Hey there!

Sorry for being negligent bloggers over the last few weeks! We had a lovely week in the UK the week before last - Ed was in England on business and I came along to catch up with friends and family. It was great to see people we love (although sad that we didn't have time to squeeze in EVERYONE we would have loved to have seen)... although, with hindsight a trip home 3 months in was a bit early - I have struggled to re-integrate back here and I'm missing you all heaps!

We have just experienced our first July 4th weekend - such fun! On Friday, partly in support of Andy Murray (what a shame that was!) and partly as a mark of rebellion against the whole July 4th celebrations, I wore the union jack boob-tube I was given before we moved out here...

We had some English friends over to stay Friday night so we could get up early and watch the Lions thump the Spring Bocs before Ed and I headed into the city for the Fillmore jazz festival - at least 4 stages of live jazz and streets bustling with quirky markets - SUCH fun!

At about 4pm we joined the 20's group from church for a bbq in the sunshine - we have agreed to join the leadership team for next term, so that really feels like a group of friends that we're going to invest in during our time here. We were too pooped to stay for the fireworks, so came home and watched them from our balcony instead - probably the best view in all of the bay area!

Yesterday we went for lunch with some friends after church and then caught some rays on the balcony before heading off to the city for 9 holes of golf with some of Ed's work colleagues - having left blazing sunshine at home it was a shock to meet thick cloud and an icy wind in SFO... Needless to say, Ed and I were not dressed appropriately and promptly froze - we have sworn to learn our lesson and never leave home without a warm layer since the climate can differ SO vastly even 20 minutes from our door!

Today I have cleaned the house and am currently waiting in eager expectation to welcome our first guests from the UK - Dave and Emma Philips (and their 2 gorgeous daughters). They are here until Weds morning. It will be SUCH fun to show some friends from home around our new neighbourhood... Ed is taking tomorrow off work so we'll go on a day trip... can't WAIT!!!