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New Years Eve

Posted by Beth Belk Jan 2, 2008

We went to this bar Turquiose down the street from our place and it was so fun. We had dinner there and then came back to the house for some cocktails before the party started. We had this bottle of vodka we'd bought a few months ago but I had done self checkout so they didn't take off the safety cap. Scott studied engineering so I gave him the task of figuring out how to get the cap off.




He was hard at work for at least a half hour. A few bent screwdrivers and a power drill later, he was victorious. Notice that by this point, he even had a cheering audience in the background.





And you know what New Years means...Rachel's Birthday!





Wait, I thought he was my boyfriend...





Some other pics for my homies...







At home, giving Stella her New Years kiss





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We've returned the last of our friends to the airport so the '07 holiday season is officially over. And so are my travels for the time being. Time to focus on employment. Cross your fingers because I should be definitively employed (or unemployed) by the 7th. If I am unemployed, I'm going to have to lobby for some sort of compensation because four interviews and a trip to the sheriff's dept is a lot!


So, I know you're all itching for the recap of the holidays. People even requested to be on the blog again. I'm flattered! Ok, first, Christmas!


I drove out to Salt Lake City with Stella and she got to see her first snow and meet her new best friend, Pal. There was heaps and heaps of snow. This is a view from my aunt's window.




I, of course, had not brought my skis because REI has been holding them hostage. But Stella and I would play outside in the snow often so we still got to enjoy it. Stella also got to meet Pal, my aunt and uncle's Husky sled dog. They were the best of friends. Despite his advantage of 20 - 40 pounds, Stella dominated him. She's quite the diva.





We also worked on learning to catch a frisbee because tennis balls are not so easy to find in powder. Our biggest obstacle is that Stella wants to catch it with her paws instead of her mouth. I take that back. Our biggest obstacle is that I stink at throwing frisbees. Our second biggest obstacle was that the frisbee became Pal's preferred chew toy. Our third biggest obstacle was that Stella thinks she's a person.





On hour seven of my drive back from Salt Lake my car broke down somewhere in the Mojave desert in Nevada. I called to get a tow truck and everyone kept asking me the zip code of the where I broke down. Do people actually have that info handy?!? Long story short, I wait in the freezing desert for two hours and then try the car again and it's working fine. I call the guy at the dealership to let him know that I'm going to try for San Diego and just take it to a dealership when I get home. He says "that's fine but if you break down again, no one here is going to help you out." Hey, Adam at the Barstow Toyota dealership - you're a jerk!



Then I came home and all of mis amigos came into town. That was great fun! Here we all, all firmly planted in La Jolla.





We went to check out the wineries in Temecula. Below is a bunghole! Seriously! You put the bung in the bunghole. I guess Beavis & Butthead were more sophisticated than we realized.





And a pic from the ride home...The funny part is that Julia had been awake saying how crazy it was that Scott could pass out head forward. It looks so uncomfortable. Two minutes later, she passed out in the exact same fashion.





Our next super fun activity was hiking through Torrey Pines.





Rachel started to get a little tired so we had to some air guitar to perk her back up again.








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Back at home

Posted by Beth Belk Dec 13, 2007

This is going to be brief. I'm back at my parents for a few days. I forgot how great it is to come back to your parents. They make you dinner, offer you breakfast, I even brought some dirty laudry back - all the way across the country!


So I was just raiding the pantry for a snack and wanted to show everyone the kind of pantry I grew up with. My dad is quite the bargain shopper so from time to time we'd have, what I consider, an excessive amount of a certain item that was on sale the last time Dad visited the grocery store. Sometimes it would work out in my favor and we'd have a two month supply of Oreos. Today, the item was not quite as "snackable."





3 people.



I know you're asking yourself how many people live in a house with 20 bottles of salad dressing in the pantry.



Love you, Dad!



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Posted by Beth Belk Dec 11, 2007


Two weekends ago we headed to Vegas for a half marathon that we had done last year too. It's a great race. Totally flat, run through chapel - oh, I got married, didn't I tell you? You can drop my gift in the mail whenevs.


You could definitely tell our posse was from SoCal. We all showed up in shorts and flip flops and froze our butts off. Did you know that in some parts of the country, the temp drops below 60. And people still live there! We're perplexed...





The half marathon went well. Dom and Katie (first two on the left) got PRs. My time wasn't super but that run through chapel was pretty congested. The wacky nurse friends on the right side of the picture not only finished 13 miles, but also in parallel finished a handle of vodka.



Other than that, it was a pretty tame weekend as weekends in Vegas go. The night before the race we took it easy and wandered around the Luxor (that's where we were staying). The Luxor kind of stinks. The day after the race, we went to watch the Redskins...which was depressing. Then we slept because we had woken up at 5 am for the race. Then we saw Mystere which is amazing! You should see it. Later that night, we were supposed to party but my legs couldn't handle the heels so I just ponied up to some nickel slots instead.



I don't know if you've had the pleasure of driving through the desert to Vegas but it's pretty entertaining. There's a lot of Ron Paul propaganda out there amongst the sand dunes. And! There's a street called Zzyxx Rd. No joke! Seriously, look at it. Where does that road go? And how do you pronounce it?!?





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Catching Up

Posted by Beth Belk Dec 11, 2007's been a while. Sorry, Sony, I have been neglecting my responsibilities but really, Dell is to blame! My parents were in town over Thanksgiving and I was on my computer uploading some pics or something and all of the sudden my computer starts making these weird staticy noises. And then the speakers got really hot. And then it started smelling like smoke. So I did this online chat deal with Dell customer care and they told me to power down my computer before I did myself harm and wait patiently while they sent a replacement. I'm not in to masochism so I abided.


Now, I have this new all black computer. It's fine. I really liked my old one. Not to mention that all my pics and music were on it and the "easy transfer" cable seems to earn it's "easy" title because it transfers like half of what's on your computer. Mainly because the misers at iTunes protect everything which is also annoying because I can't transfer music over my iPod because my iPod also has a case of the sizzles. Apparently, me and Stella's propensity to drool on electronics are not working out in my favor.


Ok, I have finally tracked down all the Sony software and loaded it onto this computer so I'm good to go. I also did some research on GMT so I think that my photos may actually be assigned to the correct time zone going forward!



So a lot has been going on in my last few weeks of unemployment. After Napa, my fam came into town for Thanksgiving which was fun. Then we went to Vegas for a half marathon. Now, I'm getting packed up to go to DC for the weekend. It will be the first time since I moved out here that I'm going for fun and not for work!



NAPA cont.



I already have a Napa post so I can keep this brief. Napa rocked. I didn't learn so much about wine as about drinking wine. But it was beautiful and the people were super friendly - not pretentious at all. It was a very good time. Here are some pics...



At the Raymond winery...





In front of the wine making statue at our resort





Me destroying Dom in bocce. And he says he's Italian...





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Posted by Beth Belk Nov 20, 2007




Last weekend, we went to Napa and I love, love, loved it!  Driving around all day and trying wine is the life for me.



We stayed at the Meritage. It's a really pretty resort with a vineyard on the grounds.  They dug this big cave into their hills where they do tasting every night.  This was my maiden wine tasting voyage and apparently we did not hit all of the hoity toity wineries.  But I'm not really into hoity toity so that's all right with me.



First, we hit Napa Cellars/Folie a Deux.  I definitely recommend it as a first stop if you're inexperienced like me. The guy behind the counter was so nice and didn't make me feel like a moron.  There's the ones that make the Menage a Trois wine you may have had before.  And it gets its name because it uses three different types of grapes so get your mind out of the gutter!





Next on our blitzkrieg was Raymond which I don't think I'd heard of.  Well, let's be serious, unless it's two buck chuck, I don't know a whole lot about wine.  It was bigger and more impersonal but we had fun.  There were these funny old guys from Memphis next to us who kept harassing the bartender (what do you call those people?) asking where the party was later.






Oops. Gotta run.  My computer is smoking...



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My soccer team actually requested a shout out on the blog so here you go. A team pic after our last game.  Good job, guys!  I'm so glad to play with a group of people who really understand that winning isn't everything





And since we're so frequently late to the games, here's a map of where we play. Maybe it will help everyone get there a bit earlier next session.





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Posted by Beth Belk Nov 14, 2007

Seattle was great fun. I loved it. I had my usual plane troubles because it's never easy when I fly somewhere.


I got up at 4:45, got a cab to the airport and United was packed. I hate United! I can't believe they had a line out the door at 5 am. So I finally get to the desk (because I have a paper ticket) and they tell me that my connecting flight was cancelled and I have to go to the back of another line to rebook. In an unusual slight of luck, I ended up on a non-stop flight on Alaska Air instead.



My other standard Beth moment was when I was leaving the hotel to go home. I'd gone down to get breakfast and needed to charge the meal to the room (i.e. Dom's company).  I realized that I had no idea what room I was in and Dom had left for his meeting. I went to the front desk and told them that I had forgotten my room number but knew it was on the 6th floor.  She told me I was in Rm. 332 and the hotel only had four floors. Oops!



We were all over the place. It was some serious sightseeing. Our friends out there made excellent tour guides. Here's all the place we hit (kind of - I didn't adjust my camera for daylight savings so it didn't sync right with my GPS).



We did all the touristy stuff. Saw the space needle, went to the fish market, saw some rain and houseboats. Went to the original starbucks, first Nordstroms, drove around UDub and I drank a lot of coffee. The food was delicious too. We went to this sushi place, Umi's - amazing. Our digs were pretty sweet too. Our friends have this gorgeous house on the Sound.



On the Sony side of things, I was a bit frustrated with my schwag. A lot of my pics came out blurry - probably because I was trying to use all the features instead of the standard picture taking mode. The GPS is also really picky about finding a signal. If I'm indoors, in a car, even if it's in my pocket, it can't find a signal. We even have a pic of Dom holding it out of the window of that car so it would work.



Here are some pics from the weekend.



Playing with fish at the market...(he let me keep that fish!)



With Josh in front of the Space Needle



Mt Ranier and their stadiums



Original Starbucks



View from Josh's place in typical Seattle weather



Pictures from the plane on the way home. The first is flying past the Golden Gate bridge and the second is landing in San Diego.



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Being unemployed...

Posted by Beth Belk Nov 9, 2007

is kind of boring! I didn't think that would be the case but I am bored, bored, bored. During the day, I get up (a little later each day), take the dog for a walk, make coffee, do the mega-sudoku in the paper, take the dog to the beach, come home, think about how I should do something productive, sit on the couch and watch the America's Next Top Model marathon instead, get a call to go meet some friends, change out of my pjs, walk to the bar, tell everyone how awesome it is to do nothing all day, wish that people could stay out later instead of having to go home because they have work the next day, come back home, wrestle with Stella, tell her I'm bored, go to bed. Oh, and we don't get mail to our apartment anymore so I don't even have mail to read. Apparently, that's illegal but our landlord doesn't want to fix the buzzer so the mailman can get into our complex. Slumlord!


Now, plenty of people have made the observation that I could use my time to look for a job or study and those are very reasonable suggestions. But it's my first week of unemployment and I'm still on the payroll so I think I deserve to be lazy for at least a week. Though I never thought I'd find myself blogging to pass the time...How about some pics? I'm sure I have some on this computer that I can attach and tell you all about...


Here's one from our girls only ski trip to Whistler last year. That's Julia, Rachel and Kate waiting for the the RAIN. It rained the entire weekend. I only know how to snow ski, not water ski so that was unfortunate. But, we persevered and still had fun. This year, we're headed to Jackson Hole (at least that's my vote!).





Here's a fun one of Luke, Dom's friend. Our soccer team makes a run for the border to celebrate the end of our season and Luke tagged along to Rosarito with us. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post pics with booze. The guidelines for blogging were mailed to me by Sony but I don't get my mail so let's just cross our fingers that they don't get mad and take away all my free schwag. Back to the pic - at the bar, these guys come around with a whistle, pour tequila down your throat and then shake you! Then you pay THEM for this unsolicited service. If you're one of the lucky ones, they even hold you up by your ankles and then shake you. Luke was not lucky that day.






Note: Binge drinking, especially with tequila, is not ok. There, that should cover my bases...





Dom wears short shorts! Here's one of the first tri of Dom's that I watched in San Diego. He won that tri...because he's always a winner to me. Awwwww





That was a nice walk down memory lane I'm headed to Seattle tomorrow so I'll have new pics with my gps stuff next week like I'm supposed to. Sorry, Sony!



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We won!

Posted by Beth Belk Nov 4, 2007

Yay, Redskins! It was a pretty pathetic victory but it will do. We went to Winstons - the best Redskins bar ever. They raffle off Redskins gear after the third quarter of each game (I won a t-shirt!), give out free shots after touchdowns (that was just one today if you're counting), and, when we play the Pats, they give out free pity shots to ease the pain. If ever you're in San Diego and want to watch the game, Winstons in OB is the very best! They're even dog-friendly. Stella is more of a Chargers fan but she still has a decent time. Check it out...



And I think this is really funny. The bar is cash only so we always have to hit the ATM before we go. It's a walk/drive through ATM.





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Posted by Beth Belk Nov 3, 2007

Hello! It's been a long time coming but I have joined the 21st century and started blogging. With a little bit of incentive Sony was nice enough to send me all these new gadgets for free so now I'm out and about enjoying my new found freedom and keeping it all very well documented. This is also my first GPS experience so it's nice to be able to keep track of where exactly I've been. Too bad it can't keep me from getting lost on my way home!


We've been in San Diego a year now but it seems we're away more than we're here. In the next couple of weeks, Dom and I are headed to Seattle, Napa, hopefully home (DC) and then wrapping it up with the Vegas half marathon. How did I ever have time for a job before?!?


Here's the lovely San Diego sky line from Harbor Island. The sky is still pretty hazy, don't know if that left over from the fires or just normal weather stuff. This also is part of the course for the America's Finest City half marathon. That was a brutal morning...but scenic.



Since we have the Vegas half marathon coming up, we're training this time and here is a pic to prove it. Dom and me after a few laps around Fiesta Island. I swear we were running before this. Scouts honor.



Fiesta Island is great for training. As long as you give the bikers their space. One of them plowed down a guy in my running group a few weeks ago. Ouch. It's also a great place for Stella (the best dog ever!) since there's lot of leash free space for her to frolic and practice her acrobatics...this is also a cool example of how that GPS unit is tracking where I take my pics.



And here's Stella. She's a year and four months now and very excited to have me around all day for relentless rounds of fetch. And I'm very excited to have her as an excuse to waste the hours away at the beach.



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