Yes, you just read about our 7th. Whoops. I meant to blog about this all last summer, and it just didn’t happen. But it was so special and memorable and happy, I just can’t leave it in the past!
Matt works in business-to-business sales, providing pretty much the best customer experience you can imagine. Because he’s so awesome, one of his customers last year, as a thank you, offered to get us in to Club 33 at Disneyland. My momma and I are SUCH Disney-philes, it’s hard to find something at Disneyland we haven’t done… unless it’s a secret restaurant where you have to be a member to get a reservation. There is really nothing like being given the VIP treatment at the Happiest Place on Earth.
We borrowed his dad’s convertible T-bird (thanks dad!), and pulled up to valet at the Grand Californian, which is the beautiful craftsman-style hotel at California Adventure. We were met by the special guests coordinator, who gave us our park-hopper tickets, itinerary, and World of Color passes in a fancy envelope. Normally you have to get a fast pass for World of Color, but she assured us that we could walk right up and have the best seats in the house. I am not a person who desires fame and fortune, but if this is how celebrities get treated at Disneyland, I’ll take it.
Our reservation wasn’t until 7, so we did a few of our favorite things in the parks. Soarin’ Over California is pretty much my favorite ride of all time. While we were in line, we realized we’d spent anniversaries at lots of the places you glide over during the ride! So now our goal is to spend an anniversary at every one. For year 8, I’m rooting for canoeing down Redwood Creek, or a hot air balloon ride in Napa.
We went back to the hotel and changed – even though we live within driving distance of Anaheim, not having to drive is a nice little luxury.
Back to the park, went on the Haunted Mansion because it’s Matt’s favorite. On our way, he captured this picture:
The look on my face? Is because I had just realized that we were going to Club 33 for our 6th anniversary, and 3+3=6. I love those kinds of numerical coincidences (our wedding was 7/3/04, 3+4=7, we were both 21 when we got married, 7×3=21, there are 21 diamonds in my wedding set… I could go on forever.)
After the ride, we proceeded to the restaurant and rang the secret doorbell for our reservation. If you’ve never seen it, Club 33 is in New Orleans Square, right next to the entrance for the Blue Bayou (the restaurant you float through on Pirates of the Caribbean.) You’d never notice it unless you were looking for it; it’s a green door with a small sign that says 33. I’d walked past it a million times before I knew it was there. You ring the intercom, they ask for your reservation name, and then you are whisked in the door (while other people wonder where in the world you are going!) Seriously, look for people who are oddly dressed-up in New Orleans Square, it’s likely they have a reservation.
We took the french lift up – it’s a fancy little elevator that Disney had specially commissioned. The whole restaurant is filled with interesting Disney artifacts – Matt took pictures of lots of little details, but there are better ones all over the internet that weren’t taken with a camera phone!
Dinner was lovely – amazing food, although a year later I can’t remember what we ate! The service was outstanding – they make you feel SO special, and I think they appreciated that we respected the dress code and didn’t wear shorts and flip flops. :] Fantasmic happened just before we ate dessert, so we went out on the balcony and had a perfect view, above the crowds who didn’t ever realize we were there!
After dessert, we realized we needed to BOOK IT to make the World of Color show, all the way over in California Adventure. We were practically running in my very unpractical shoes, and I never would have made it except that we stopped and bought me flip flops near Indiana Jones, begging random strangers to let us cut in line for our anniversary and giggling like teenagers.
If you go to Disneyland any time soon, DO NOT MISS the World of Color. It’s like the fountains in front of the Bellagio, times a million, plus Disney. Breathtaking. I think we described it best here. :]
For anyone who is engaged and trying to set a date, may I recommend getting married on a holiday weekend? Our anniversary is July 3rd, and I love love love that it’s tied with the 4th of July. Even if Matt has to work, we can always do something great because the next day is a guaranteed holiday. Some years we’ve planned a lot, gone on trips, done fancy romantic dinners, etc., but this anniversary was laid back and relaxing, and we spent it with friends. It works, this year. Anniversaries have a lot to do with your stage in marriage – when you’re newlyweds, everything feels extra special and exciting… and sort of private, right? After 7 years (wow!), we are comfortable in our own skins; we cherish each other, love time alone together, but a weekend with friends in a place we love sounded just perfect.
Saturday we went to a beautiful little wedding on the beach – nothing like watching other people get married to make you nostalgic about your own wedding. Then we packed up the car and headed down to San Diego; my friend Sarah grew up there, and her parents have an adorable house with a guest cottage, surrounded by fruit trees. Idyllic. We met up with Sarah, Jenessa and their husbands for dinner at Coronado Brewing Co. (awesome for vegetarians! Get the hummus and the veggie burger, both were super tasty.)
Sunday we slept in (whoops, no church!), and when we went in to the main house, Sarah’s mom had made breakfast, including orange-grapefruit juice and pomegranate syrup, from their own trees! We basically got spoiled rotten. :] We bought tons of food and spend the afternoon grilling, eating guacamole (25 tiny avocados for $5!! from a stand by their house), and lying around in the shade. Everything about their house and this day reminded me of my grandpa’s house, and the 4ths of my childhood – yay for nostalgia.
Sarah’s husband is a total beer geek (and is quickly turning Matt into one!), so for dinner on the 3rd we went to the restaurant at Stone Brewing Co. I WISH I hadn’t eaten so much at lunch – by the time we had appetizers, no one was hungry, but they had some vegetarian options that looked amazing (Wild Mushrooms over Penne, anyone?) We sat and drank and laughed and enjoyed each other and the perfect weather for four hours, and I couldn’t have asked for a better anniversary this year.
Monday we were treated to another amazing breakfast, and Sarah’s mom let us pick fresh fruit of their trees to bring home! Then everyone else headed back to LA while Matt and I met up with his little sister, her boyfriend, and some of their friends. Oh gosh, I am so drastically not in college anymore, but it was still fun despite the fact that we were the only people at Pacific Beach over 25. Case in point – music at the shore club includes the opening guitar chord from the 90210 theme song. Matt and I both get excited, and then realize we are THE ONLY ONES who recognize it. At least we’re in this getting older thing together. :]
We ended the day at the beach in La Jolla. The three of them had a little adventure involving rocks and a riptide and had to be rescued! I am much more cautious. :] Post-beach, we went back to their hotel which overlooked the water and had a great rooftop balcony. Perfect spot for fireworks!
My favorite part of the Fourth of July by the beach is getting into warm clothes and snuggling up for fireworks. This was the best display I’ve ever seen, with the best man I’ve ever known. I am so so blessed to be living this life.
I’ve been having such a lovely summer, it turns out these are my most frequent posts! I’ll update about our anniversary and 4th of July soon, but for now…
Fill in the blank Friday, hosted by the little things we do.
I wasn’t hungry before I started reading, but now I. am. starving. Hyperbolically.
I’ll probably write more about it soon, but Matt and I decided to cut lots of things out of what we eat this summer, in the interest of putting more nutrients and less garbage in our bodies. Among other things, we are not eating dairy products, white flour, and sugar.
This recipe clearly doesn’t make the cut.
In theory, you could healthy-ize it by using stevia or agave nectar, almond milk, and whole wheat flour, but that would be doing a serious disservice to what I claim are…
The Best Cinnamon Rolls Ever
(recipe found on recipezaar.com, ages ago, and changed a bit to fit my tastes.)
- 1 package dry yeast (1/4 ounce)
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 4 cups flour
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- For the rolls, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl.
- Add sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and flour, mix well.
- Knead the dough into a large ball, using your hands dusted lightly with flour, or the bread hook on your stand mixer.
- Put in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approx 21 inches long by 16 inches wide. It should be approx 1/4 thick.
- To make filling, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
- Mix the softened butter with cinnamon and brown sugar, and spread evenly over the surface of the dough.
- Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge.
- Cut the dough into 1 3/4 inch slices, and place in a baking pan, lined with parchment paper (my preference) or lightly greased.
- Cover and allow to rise a second time until rolls fill the pan.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown.
- While the rolls are baking combine the icing ingredients, and beat well with an electric mixer until fluffy.
- When the rolls are done, spread generously with icing. But I didn’t have to tell you that. [:
My birthday is in less than a month! Since Matt has been waiting for literal months to start the new job he was hired for, we aren’t doing much fun shopping right now… but list making is almost just as fun.
It should be clear by both my blog theme and this Polyvore set that I’m really into grey right now. I swear, it was an accident! I was just clipping things I like, and then I logged in to Polyvore and was astonished that there was only one thing with color on it. At least I’m consistent. (: The watch and the bike are tied for my favorite things.
1. The last thing I ate was this Sweet Potato Veggie Lasagna. SO FREAKING GOOD.
2. The next thing I’d like to eat is hot chocolate chip cookies. But this is the summer to lose the almost 30 pounds I’ve gained since we got married, so AWESOME VEGGIE LASAGNA IT IS! Not depriving myself, just valuing nourishment over pure pleasure.
3. The best things in life are chocolate chip cookies. One track mind, right now. (: Besides those, friends who can make you laugh when you want to cry.
4. Something that makes me supremely and utterly happy is the mentorships/friendships I’ve formed with some of my students this year. The girls I’m closest with are going into their senior year, and they’re well on their way to becoming amazing, inspiring adults. I always tell them that I adore them now, but I can’t wait to be friends with them 10 years from now.
5. Sports are only something that has interested me recently. I’m not athletic (was a dancer, once upon a time…), and I don’t really love watching professional sports, BUT: I LOVE watching my students play what they love. I know kind of a lot about so-cal high school football these days.
6. I miss my teacher besties! Two of the girls I spend the most time with are out of town, and I have no one to lay by the pool with. sad dot com slash left out (If you’ve never watched Very Mary Kate, CLICK THE LINK.)
7. Right now I am a) reading blogs, drinking mediocre wine, and listening to O Brother Where Art Thou from the other room, and b) thankful that Saturdays are for cycling and the farmer’s market, and not for teaching summer school. (: