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Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Visit From Oregon

We are so grateful to my parents, who drove all the way down from Oregon to bring us our other car. Not only did we get to spend some time with them and introduce them to our new home, but now we have two cars, so I don't have to get up before the sun and drive Kelson to work. It is lovely. We had a great time during the four days Mom and Dad spent with us.

Since we won't be going home for Thanksgiving this year, we decided to make a little early Thanksgiving dinner for Mom and Dad. Kelson and I had grand adventures with turkey, brown rice stuffing, and various other holiday foods. To top it off, I made a pumpkin trifle.  Yum! I think we did pretty well for our first time cooking Thanksgiving dinner.

On our first day exploring the city, we went to Old Town San Diego. Our first stop was the Mormon Battalion historic site. It was an amazing museum, and we learned lots of things that I didn't know before. Dad got to dress all up in soldier garb.

While Dad carried the gun, Mom and I relaxed in the wagon.

The next day, we went on a trolley tour that took us all over the city. It was a wonderful way to learn about the history of my new home and see all of the places I can go back to later.

Arrr  Matey!
We love you, Mom and Dad!  Thanks again.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Veterans Day at Knott's Berry Farm

First of all, my Veterans Day post would be incomplete without a huge thank you to all of those who have sacrificed and are sacrificing now to keep our country safe and to protect those who can't protect themselves. As I have had a little taste now of what it is to be a military wife, this Veterans Day is much more meaningful to me than it ever has been in the past. I also want to say thank you again to all of the retailers who made it possible for us to have an awesome Veterans Day, including Knott's Berry Farm, TGI Fridays, and Chili's. We had the awesome opportunity to spend a day at Knott's Berry Farm for free. It was pretty busy, so we stood in a lot of lines, but it was still very fun.

We started our day out with a bang on the Pony Express. It was a weird roller coaster-type ride. You leaned forward, so you were going head first.

After that, we slowed things down with the Calico Mine Railroad. It is kind of like the "Its a Small World" of Knott's Berry farm. The ride is slow, safe, non-thrilling, and full of corny, old animatronic figures. That's what makes it great. Classic. I think Kelson was lulling me into a false sense of security for the next ride he wanted to go on.

He wanted me to go on this. Are you kidding me? You can only see a little bit of it, but it was a serious, loop-the-loop, flip head over heels 15 times in 30 seconds, faster than lightning, feet dangling in the air roller coaster.  I had never been on such a thing in my life. Apparently I love that boy, though, because I consented.
This is how we both looked at the end.  It was so much fun! Of course our eyes were watering and we both walked like we were intoxicated for a few minutes, but it was worth it. We went again right at the end of the day.

Speaking of classic rides, the log ride was our absolute favorite. We both loved it when we had been there as little kids, and it was still great. It was all decorated like the North Pole for Christmas. We went on this one twice too.

TGI Friday's gave Kelson free lunch.  Thanks!

Slowing things down again on the railroad tour. It looks like Kelson is advertising something.

On first glance, it looks like Cinderella's carriage, but it is actually a little hearse. Creepy.

Getting ready to get spun around really high in the air.  Fun! This time Kelson was the nervous one.

We flew around in circles 300 feet in the air. The view of Anaheim was fabulous.
Our day at Knott's Berry Farm was so much fun! Thanks again!

Sea World!!!

Kelson finally had some leave last week, and we made great use of it. There are lots of amazing deals going on right now for military folks in honor of Veterans Day, and we made good use of them. Our first adventure was to Sea World, where we received free admission (thank you Sea World!). I can't believe it is only 15 minutes from our house. So cool!

Hello stingray! It looks like it is smiling at us.

We started out our day on the Journey to Atlantis. Good thing it was warm outside, because I got rather wet.

The last time I went to Sea World in San Diego was when I was eight. Aren't I cute?

The starfish are still pretty much the same 15 years later.

We went to the 4-D pirate movie. Everything comes right out of the movie at you!

Look out Kelson! Shark!

Being a Wednesday, the park was pretty empty, so we had no problem walking on to all of the rides and in to all of the shows. We didn't stand in lines at all. We loved the dolphin show, but the sea lion show was probably our favorite.

Lame self-photography I know. Notice that we are super wet. We went on the Atlantis ride two more times right at the end of the day and got thoroughly drenched. It was a great day. Thanks again, Sea World!

Finally Settled in San Diego

There is a reason this blog is entitled "Sea to Shining Sea." Not only does it cleverly incorporate patriotism and the ocean (you know, that whole Navy thing that we do), but it describes what we have been doing for the last year.  I figured out the other day that in the past year, between the two of us, we have flown cross country at least 12 times. We have covered all four of the extreme corners of the United States. We have lived in or visited Oregon, Maine, Key West, and now San Diego. For someone like me who has never moved in her life except for going to Utah for college, this is a new, exciting, and terrifying experience. On the days when the stress of it all overwhelms the exciting part, I have to remind myself how blessed we are. We live in a beautiful place, we are less than an hour from Kelson's grandparents, and I am seeing and experiencing things that I never imagined that I would. Now for a few pictures from our first week in town...

My first view of downtown San Diego.

 Our first priority was to find a place to live. We were blessed to have a place to stay in the interim. Kelson's grandparents live in Escondido, and we slept in their home gym for a little over a week. Thank you so much Grandma and Grandpa!
After a few stressful days of apartment shopping, we finally settled on a place about 10 miles from the base that we really like. It was a huge relief to finally have a place to live and to start unpacking all of the stuff that has been boxed up for 6 months.

After we chose an apartment, Kelson decided that I needed a break. He took me on a day trip to the charming little town of Julian, which is up in the mountains above San Diego. It did me a lot of good to get out of the busy city and enjoy the scenery. They had the cutest chapel I had ever seen. It looked like a little old schoolhouse.

Julian is famous for its pies, so of course we had to have some apple pie at Mom's.

That night was Kelson's grandparents' ward Halloween party, so we had fun passing out candy at the Trunk or Treat. I'm afraid we were a complete failure in the Halloween costume department. It was a little tricky with all of our stuff still being packed up in boxes. Next year we will come up with some awesome costumes.