Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Restaurant Week

I thought I'd talk about our fun experience last weekend. Right now here in Arizona is "Restaurant Week"

What is Arizona Restaurant Week?

"2010 Arizona Restaurant Week will give local, regional and national food lovers the opportunity to enjoy a prix-fixe dinner for $19, $29 or $39 per person (unless noted: excluding beverages, tax and gratuity) at a number of participating high-end Arizona restaurants. Arizona Restaurant Week’s goal is to position Arizona as one of the top culinary destinations in the nation by increasing awareness of the many dining opportunities available in the state, as well as stimulating business and revenue for restaurants throughout Arizona." - ARW website.
We were invited to go with our friends Brian and Catherine. We had gone with them last year to a restaurant called "Bloom", and it was such a fun/delicious experience, we had to go again.
Here is a picture that we have from last year. Buick was at this location taking "red carpet pictures" to promote their new car. Cheesy but fun.

So this year, Brian and Cat chose to try "The Mission" in Old Town Scottsdale. It's labeled as "modern latin cusine", but lets just call it amazing!

We walk in and can't really see anything. It was really dark. Jokes flew around about it being a swanky vampire bar. Then the waiters opened the shutters that were right in front of Brady and I and we were blind for a little bit, but it quickly got dark outside. Leaving to look at our food by holding up the single tiny useless candle to it, so we can see what we were eating.

We started out getting chips and salsa, which we later found out, on the bill, was not complimentary, as all latin restaurants are. Usually. Right? But that would be the only strike of the evening.

The appetizers were amazing. Brady and I both got this:"Almejas al Vapor", Peruvian clam stew + rock shrimp + chorizo + aji amarillo + roast corn + pan de yucca. It was so yummy. I could have had a huge helping of just that and left happy. I belive Brian and Cat both got "Duck Carnitas Gordita", roast garlic aioli + ancho plum gastrique. I thought Brian was going to die, he loved it so much.

For our main meal Brady and I both got "Chorizo porchetta", pork shoulder + house made chorizo + rosemary + cotija + white bean puree + sweet garlic crema. It was really good, the sauce was amazing and the pork was cooked just right. Brian got "Pecan grilled New york" smoked tomato + chiletepin + manchego + grits, which he also seemed to really like. And Cat got the "Black Grouper" white bean succotash + crayfish + aji rocoto.

For dessert, us girls got this:Pumpkin Bread + creme + butterscotch + pepitas + vanilla bean ice cream, which was amazing! I would totally get it again. Even the guys loved it.

Brady and Brian both got this:Espresso Churros + Ibarra chocolate ice cream shake, which was also delicious.

I would recommend this place to anyone and would love to go back some day. I also loved the fact that this restaurant was supposed to be a $39 per person place, but got advertised as $29 per person. Ha. You could see the disappointment on the waiters face, especially since we didn't order any drinks, not even soda.

Another successful year of Restaurant Week.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Random thoughts, fact, and figures

I bought maternity clothes. I went to Motherhood Maternity since they seem to have the best prices. On Saturday I went and bought 2 dresses and a pair of jeans. Love the jeans. When I tried the dresses on at the store, I thought they looked great. The next day I planned to wear one to church, but I put one on and saw not a pregnant me, but a fat me. I had a little break down. Brady consoled me and I wore a skirt that fit ok, but I'm sure I won't be wearing it again for a while. I'll have to try the dresses again next week.

Yesterday, I got tired of not being able to button any of my work pants, so back to MM I went and bought a couple pair and a few shirts as well. I'm wearing the pants, but they're still a little loose.

I talked to a girl on Sunday during Relief Society, we've never really talked before and she seems about my age, if not younger. She asked if I had kids, and I told her, one on the way. She asked how far along I was and I said, 21 weeks. Her eyes got really big and said, you don't look pregnant at all. After my break down over my body that morning, I didn't know whether to take that as a compliment or if it added insult to injury. So I just said, "yeah? I guess so."

I've gained 15 pounds in this pregnancy so far. I feel every ounce of it when I climb the stairs at work to the 3rd floor. I just hate using the elevator.

This movie made me cry.

But so did this show

I'll blame the hormones.

I have a co-worker on my team who is also pregnant. Our due dates are only one day apart. Which is pretty cool. We're both having boys. We swap stories and experiences we're having.

Brady and I are going to do cloth diapering. It may sound crazy, but I'm doing it more for economical reasons. We're buying them slowly until we have as many as we feel is necessary. I was always leery of the idea until I listened to a podcast talking about. They sold me on the idea, and Brady was on board with no problems with it. We're going to use the Bum Genius One Size 4.0. They have the best reviews.

I have no idea, what else to do to prepare for this baby. When should I buy stuff? After the baby shower? I don't even know what is essential things to register for. What brands are best? I don't want to go over board on a bunch of stuff that I'll never use.

I'm trying to decide on whether to take birthing classes. It costs money, which is precious to us these days, but maybe I'll learn a lot more than what I'm reading in my book.

I hate blogging on a PC.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Dishin' It

It's a Boy!

We're very excited! It's crazy too! I'm going to have a son! I'm going to be a mom and have a little boy that will be my son. I can hardly believe it.

We weren't all that surprised that it was a boy since we were given a very strong hint at our 12 week ultrasound. When we were there, the technician said "I know it's early, but do want to know what I think your having?" We said yes. She said "a boy". It did seem pretty obvious in the ultrasound pics. And even the doctor that day agreed with her. But since she said that's still too early to be 100% sure, we shouldn't go buy all blue yet. So we only told some people and decided to wait until this ultrasound to announce what it really was.

We'll announce the name if we ever nail it down as official, since we have one in mind.

Brady asked me what color theme we're going to do for the "baby room". Look, I'm not a decorator. Never have been. You can look around my house and see that I'm not one to do color themes. Or a theme in any way. I do like color. I'm not into the whole neutral color thing that everyone seems to do nowadays. It looks nice, but I like seeing reds (obviously), blue, purples, whatever, at the same time, and I'm sure my children's rooms will be the same way, until they're old enough to take over decorating their own rooms themselves. I do have a cute idea that involves colored paper and cute shapes over the babies crib. I can't wait to know where I'll be living and what room to do this in.

Oh here's the gift my mom bought for my future boy.
Isn't it adorable? I'm loving the Classic Pooh stuff. If I do a theme, that's what it would be.

Cute little rattle

I think it's time for some maternity clothes. I have one skirt and one dress that fit ok, but since I have 20 Sunday's left (weird), I think I need to go out and buy a couple that I can grow into. I was looking online and I couldn't believe how expensive maternity clothes are! Come on! I'm only going to wear this stuff for 6 months or so, I hope.

Man, am I just rambling, or what?

Monday, September 6, 2010

A last minute trip

Last weekend, Brady and I decided to go to Disneyland for a few days. It was a last minute decision, and for me, last minute means, one week notice. We also didn't tell anyone. We liked being sneaky and knew we would get an earful from certain family members that would be TOTALLY JEALOUS! And I was right. MWAH ha ha ha.

Why would I go to Disneyland while pregnant? Because Disneyland is fun, even when you aren't riding one of the roller coasters. I decided to take my SLR camera to take awesome pictures. But since I'm not a dedicated photographer, I didn't get very artsy, and only carried it around the first day. That thing is heavy.

We left on Thursday after I go off of work.We drove into this pretty setting and ended up getting pounded on with rain and strong wind, and next to semi trucks. Luckily I was driving, so we were guaranteed to be safe.

We got to Anaheim a little cranky. It was late and we were tired. We camped again. Hey, it's fun and a huge money saver. We got set up and went to sleep and rose to a beautiful day for Disneyland!

The wildest ride I could ride was "Pirates of the Caribbean". We went on that after first riding "Jungle Cruise" nothing like horrible puns to start your day. We even did "Tarzan's Treehouse", we had along day to fill without the help of thrill rides. View from Tarzan's Treehouse.

We made reservations to eat at "The Blue Bayou". They amazingly had a table available for the very beginning of lunch, right next to the water. Sweet!
Yummy food to come!

The fun thing about sitting next to the water at this place, is that you have people going by on the boats waving at you. Brady had fun humoring them and waving back.

Next was a ride on the "Mark Twain Riverboat", something I hadn't done in many years.
A view of the canoe ride from Mark Twain. And yes, we did this too!
Fantasyland was a must for us, so we rode on "Peter Pan", my favorite, "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride", and the carousel. We even did the castle walk through, which was also recently updated and really cool. Seriously!

As it started to get hotter in the late afternoon, we did a couple things on Main Street like watch all of the penny arcade movies, and go into the movie theater. We went and saw "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln", which was pretty good since they had recently updated it.

I can tell Brady kind of wanted to go on a ride and since "Splash Mountain" had a Single Rider line, I encouraged him to go. But just as we were getting there, Brady pulled me onto the "Davy Crockett Canoes". We ended up sitting right up front. We were excited and really wanted to paddle since we see most people just sit there while the cast members do all of the work, and we feel bad. So we got a workout. It was fun.

We went on the Winnie the Pooh ride for the first time. It's full of randomness and I'm not surprised that it's not more popular (HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!, inside joke). There was a couple in front of us on the ride that turned around at one point and asked if they could take a picture over our heads. We said yeah. They said it was because there were left over head mounts from the Country Bear Jamboree hidden in the Pooh ride. He pointed it out and we turned and looked and sure enough!
It was these:

We went Tomorrowland for one reason, to see...It was sooo cheesy awesome! I could have done without the new chair moving thing. But it was hilarious to see, especially with Brady. This is not his kind of thing. Unfortunately, the 3D quality isn't that great and so we couldn't bear to see it again on this trip.

Brady: "It's a CUBE!"

We watched the fireworks show that night, which was kind of a snooze, the music was too soft and there weren't enough fun firework explosions going on.

The 2nd day we did California Adventure. I didn't have my camera most of the day so not many pictures to show. We thought that they were opening at 9am so we get there at that time and the gates are still closed. Turns out that they weren't opening until 10am. But we waited in the line that was already there and at 9:30 they opened the gate to allow people to go get their "World of Color" fast pass ticket. Something you have to have, to see the new night show. So we headed to where they tell us and it's a long line. Good thing we go there so early. We only had to wait for about 25 minutes, but the line got A LOT longer the next time we saw it an hour later. But they do the show three times, so it's still worth the wait.

The first thing we rode was the Merry-Go-Round, with the swinging seats. It was early enough that we were able to get our own. It was fun and man do those things swing!

We rode "Soarin over California" which is always awesome. We even got fast passes for later when it would be more crowded. We saw "Muppets in 3D" and cute little stage show we stumbled on called "Drawn to the Magic". Since it was near by we even went on the "Monsters Inc" ride for the first time. It was lame.

For lunch we got delicious bread bowls. Then we headed over to Paradise Pier to see how Toy Story Mania was. The wait was 45 minutes (Ugh! They need fast passes!) We decided to not go in at that moment. Brady went into the bathroom and I called my mom. By the time I got off the phone with mom. The wait had gone down to 30 minutes! Sweet! It moved fast. I love that ride, and games are so much fun.

It was now 3pm and we were tired, so we went to our car, laid the seats back and slept until 5pm. It was the best thing ever!

We got back in the park and ate a simple dinner at the Fresh Market. We watched people get wet on the Big Bear River Run. Hilarious. And I took some pictures.
Hey that's nice picture, but...

Oh Yeah! Camera skills!

We headed to our line for "World of Color" and we were in great spot. We were almost dead center and not too close to the water, but not too far away. Showing up early for the tickets paid off.

Waiting for "World of Color"

World of Color pre-show. I know, you can totally tell what's going on.

I didn't get any pictures of the show. I wanted to really enjoy it without worrying about getting a good picture. Plus the mist of the water would hit us. This show was amazing. I was really impressed. It doesn't have a story like "Fantasmic" but the spectacle is awesome. It's crazy how high that water goes up and the effects they were able to pull off. And pyrotechnics like Disney's never done before! This show is highly recommended. See it the next time you're there.

I didn't take this picture, but I tried to after the show.

California had this thing going on at night called "Glow fest". We were wondering what it was, and it turns out that it's a big dance they have every night. It's a like a night club in the entrance to DCA.
The next day we went back to Disneyland to do a the few fun rides I could do, Pirates and Haunted Mansion. Brady went on 'Indiana Jones" by himself as well as "Splash Mountain". It was fun to be able to see him go down the drop. He was sitting in the back with a bunch of young college kids and I could hear him yell in joy as they went down. He got pretty wet on one side.

Brady decided that he wanted to go on the River Run at DCA right before we left, so we walked all the way over, but the wait was 35 minutes. And he didn't want to wait that long. So we ate a churro and left.

It was a fun trip, even pregnant. It makes me excited for when ever we go next time and I can go on what ever ride I want. But it also makes me really appreciate Disney for not making just thrill rides. It was also a good trip for just Brady and me, before we become responsible parents.

Miles Driven: 700
Churros Eaten: 6
Bathrooms Uses: Lots!
Lincolns' Seen: 1
Swollen Feet: 2 (3 times)
Fun?: Yes.

Goodbye California