Tuesday, 28 April 2009

LA Bliss

Los Angeles was wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. I've been so lucky to be able to go home twice within about 4 months, and it makes me sad now because I don't know when we'll be able to go back again. Hopefully next summer, for Ursela's wedding. I think it should be in the Bay Area, which will be great, because I've been meaning to do the drive up PCH with Ronan the past 3 trips, and we never seem to have enough time! Even for this trip, it just flew by, and we were doing stuff every single day for 10 days. You always need a mini-vacation after your proper vacation.

We arrived Friday night, and enjoyed some La Cabana with Dad, Heidi, Lauren and her new man, Andy. Saturday, we spent the day in the sun, and went to the Farmer's Market with Jen, near the Grove.

Sunday was Easter and it was great to see my Grandmother, aunt and cousin. My sisters were pains and declined to attend, but it was nice to be in Malibu. And while we thought we were over our jetlag, falling asleep at 7.30 made me realise we most definitely were not!

Monday, we went to Universal Studios, and it was so much fun! I haven't been since I was 10, and it's totally different. I was bummed they got rid of the Back to the Future Ride, but Krustyland was pretty cool, too. A lot of it has been so commercialised (hello, it's basically an advert for all Universal Studios films), but I was so surprised how Access Hollywood basically sponsors the tram ride.

Tuesday, we went whale watching with Heidi. I say whale watching, but 'common dolphin' watching is perhaps a bit more appropriate. Friggin hell, death winds on the boat! But Ronan was having the time of his life whilst Heidi and I clutched to anything we could to stay upright! That night we had a nice double date with Jen and Nick at Kifune - man I was craving some tempura. You just don't get nice Japanese food in Brighton. London, probably, but not Brighton.

Wednesday was windy, too, so our beach plans got postponed as did our mini golf tournament. But lunch with Dad was nice, as was dinner at Tata's. Thursday, we made it to the Getty Villa with Nana, Mia and Remi. I don't think I've been since I was about 7, and they closed it to refurbish it. It had re-opened by the time we went back for Christmas but we never made a trip over. It was pretty cool, especially the outdoor bits in the sun, but the art was a bit limited. They've stuck to Greco-Roman-Etruscan art, and I love Greek mythology, but after a few rooms, you feel like you've seen all you need. Also, the 'Roman Villa' feel is a bit tacky, and would probably look a bit more in place in Vegas. By contrast, the new Getty complex is just stunning, built completely in marble, with a huge variety of art, and an amazing garden and view of LA. I'm glad we had a chance to go, but next time, I'll probably be back at the new Getty.

Thursday night! BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE!!! Heidi was so amazing and had spare tickets to see the Boss, so we went with her, Dad, and a few of my my dad's friends, and even Pat. Pat's going through chemo/radiation for tonsil cancer, and actually planned his sessions around this show. We were definitely not disappointed. Not a bad seat in the house, I guarantee!

Man by Friday, we started to realise it was all almost over! Ronan and I did a swim sesh with Lauren and Andy at the SMC pool. It's so strange, that's where I used to work out, everyday, sometimes twice a day, for about 4 years. But I stopped swimming with TSM when they closed the pool for refurbishment, and I just never made it back once it re-opened. It's a really nice facility; if we move back, I'd definitley do master's workouts there. It was great to get in a proper swim workout (er, or splash about...) outside! I even got a hint of my former swimmer's tan - let's see if I can keep this up in Brighton!

Friday night was the rehersal dinner, and Saturday was the big day! Karina's wedding didn't start until 5.30, but we needed to be there for 4 for pictures. We got to do a nice big brekkie at Dad's beforehand. The wedding was absolutely stunning. The nicest, most beautiful wedding I've ever been to, most definitely. And it was great to see family, too, and introduce Ronan around to people. Even if they couldn't get his name right. At all. We got Roland, Roman and Rowan all night, but no one seemed to be able to manage a Ronan. It's okay. Ronan's dad called me Clara for about a year.

Finally, Sunday, we had a post-wedding BBQ at the Siam's, and it was hot. I mean like 100 degrees F/ 35 degrees C hot. And I love it! We chilled by the pool and ate yummy fruit. On Monday, we just went to the beach, and took in the warmest weather we'll probably have all year. A long flight back home, but it's always nice to sleep in your own bed.

I miss LA so much, but I don't know if I can live there again. I've never lived there as an adult, so part of it feels really foreign to me. I know we won't even think about moving there until after we have kids, but it's tough saying goodbye to my parent's. I'm such a wuss! How did I ever make it to England! :)

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Pre-Holiday Jitters!

Courtesy of alanbradyie.

There is nothing sweeter than logging off your computer at work right before a nice lovely holiday. That is exactly how I felt about 2 hours ago - the rush to make sure everything was finished, and being able to tick off the final thing on my to do list. My boss is so sweet, and left me a chocolate bunny to have for Easter when I can finally have sweets again!

We have all the pre-flight panic of trying to check in early (can't because we're flying Virgin, but booked through Continental), checking if I have my passport (I will most certainly check about 23 times en route tomorrow), making sure I packed my contact lense solution (check) birth control (check) dress for wedding (check).

But I just love that excitement in the air! So I've stocked up on pizza for tonight, eggs and veggie sausages for the morning and plenty o'beers to watch our last episode of The Wire for the next 10 days!

Last time we went to LA, it was for Christmas (not that long ago) and I had a great time, but it still feels weird going back. Like it's going home, but not quite familiar enough to be home. We're so lucky to be able to go back so soon, but I also know we won't be able to go back for awhile after this, so I have to savour it while I can. It's always really hard for me because I'm so close with my family and this just reminds me how far away I really am. Saying goodbye is going to be really tough because I don't know when I'll see them again.

We have lots on the agenda, including whale watching, mini golfing, Bruce Springsteen, wedding rehersal, cousin's wedding, post-wedding pool party and trying to stuff in friends and family! I also have to make sure not to slack on my triathlon training, so I'm going to try and get a couple ocean swims in if it's warm enough.

Hopefully, I'll be a bit better about taking pictures this time!

Monday, 6 April 2009

wooo it's been awhile

I have to throw my hands up and admit I'm pretty lame when it comes to keeping up with my blog. I keep thinking, 'oh gosh, I'll wait until something a bit more interesting happens' and then when it does, I'm too busy doing interesting things to blog!

The most interesting thing I've done since my last post is seeing Waiting for Godot with Ronan, Jon and Kate at the Brighton Theatre Royal last weekend. We were lucky enough to see the production with Gandalf and Capt. Picard, er, I mean Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart!

What a fantastic performance! I saw a production of Waiting for Godot back in LA when I was in high school, and I was really struck by the despair and hopelessness of it. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to see a production that was a bit more lighthearted throughout, and really concentrated on the bond between Didi and Gogo, because it made the final scenes so much more effective. All in all a wonderful day at the theatre!

This weekend was also really enjoyable. We planned on doing some spring cleaning before we leave for LA so we can come home to a clean house, but got slightly distracted and ended up at the movie theater to see Monsters vs. Aliens, in 3D! We even got Buddy Holly specs to wear! It was great hearing all the kids go, 'wooooah!' when things would pop out, watching all the little hands grab at the screen :) And it was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. Afterwards, we had the chance to meet up with Janine and Steve who were in Brighton celebrating their one year wedding anniversary (guess who else's is coming up soon? wink wink). Sunday was lovely and slovenly, and we had a yummy fry up in town and watched Chicago and The Wire (double dose of McNulty, score!)

Now we're getting prepared for LA, and I'm so excited about heading home on Friday! It feels really strange going back so soon - we'll have seen my parents twice before we've seen Ronan's parents, and they live a one hour flight away! But it's going to be a great trip, and I can't wait for my cousin's wedding.

On the triathlon front, training has been going okay. I haven't been great about sticking to my plan, but I definitely feel like I'm getting in proper training sessions, which is good. My swims are feeling strong, and my cycles are definitely improving. I feel strong and steady through them. Runs have been a bit more difficult - I'm getting better at the the distance, and can now run the full 6 miles, but I'm starting to get twinges which aren't good and are most likely a result of an uneven gait. Normally after about 1-2 miles, I get twinge below my left knee, and I've had a constant bruised feeling on the ball of my right foot for several weeks now. When I say constant, I do really mean ALL OF THE TIME, even just walking around in chucks or boots. It's really frustrating, but I'm going to take a week or two off from running and see if that helps at all. Luckily, I've given myself enough time that two weeks now won't seriously effect my training, and as long as I keep up the swims and bike rides, I should be fine! *fingers crossed*