I just thought I'd send a little relief our parents way...luckily my mom is good at hiding her nervousness because she knows I would be driven mad if she was constantly asking me questions/flipping out/portraying how nervous she was about us moving. She has been very good and even calm! From the comments on the last blog, I gather that she has been releasing all of this on her friends, Rula, Mari, Kat, etc. Thanks ladies--you are all good friends. And ALSO thank you because I don't think I could handle any of the stress that comes with questions. Even here at work, when people are constantly questioning me, I can't take it!!!!
Anyway, we now officially have a place to live. I think this might hit a nerve on my mom's superstitious side (as it did me), but I have gotten over it and decided it's probably actually really lucky. We will be living on the 13th floor on 13th street in unit 1306. Now, mind you, 13 is my least favorite number for obvious reason, and 6 is my second least favorite. But, we've got 3 13's going on here and Nicole has managed to convince me that I'm being ridiculous. And, I think I am, because when you check out our new place, you'll see it's well worth it:
We flew out to Chicago on Sunday to look at some apartments and interview for jobs. The search went well and we've started to narrow down the areas of the city we would like to live. The job hunt is good because there are apparently a lot of companies in Chicago that need people to push the keys for eight hours each day.
More details to come plus all of the wonderful tales of our drive across the country.
"We regret to inform the whole of San Diego that, due to building restlessness in our young hearts, we will soon be departing sunny California for the flat, frigid winterscape of Illinois. Although we have thoroughly enjoyed our time here, we both feel we are ready to try something new. The 4 years we spent in San Diego amounted to so much--we learned about a whole new world that we will never forget and will always love! We will be departing at the beginning of February and arrival is TBD. Our roadtrip across the United States has a length yet to be discovered.
We will take no further questions on this matter until more information has been obtained. Thank you for respecting our privacy."
-Tara and Justin Adams
How quickly things change.
The last time I (TARA...NOT Justin) blogged, we were saying goodbye to two friends moving off to Costa Rica. Now, as I write this, we are saying goodbye to ALL of our San Diego friends as we make our way to frigid Chicago.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't slightly depressed about returning to the midwest. Not only is it hideously ugly at this time of year, it is also extremely depressing and gray. I hate to say this, but as much as I love my roots, I will never LOVE winter, which may cause the majority of our future to be spent in a warm climate somewhere. As a matter of fact, every cell in my body is trying to resist returning to the gray urban sprawl. Alas, Justin and I are a restless pair and, for now, we're ready to try something new!
So, we lasted 4 years in San Diego. Chicago could be shorter, longer, who knows! I have a list of at least 5 other places I want to live (both in AND out of this country!) but for now, this is the right move.
So, until further notice, that's all you're getting. I'm savoring every moment of my last few weeks in shangri-la. Now, here are the answers to some FAQ's:
1. Why are you moving?
Well, we are both horribly sick of our jobs, and we're both young, and we're both childless. So, what better time to hit up something new before we settle down like old grandmas for life?
2. Where will you live? Do you have a place to live yet?
If you haven't figured us out by now, you never will. We like to do things on a whim/at the spur of the moment. So no, we don't have a place to live, and we're not particularly worried about it. (Well, Justin's not. I am, a little. Ain't that the nature of the boy?) But, we're aiming towards River north, the Loop, Lakeview, or Lincoln Park. As long as I can get to the beach fairly quickly and I have room for all my crap, I'm good to go.
3. Do you have jobs?
Again, no, not yet. We've both had numerous interviews...I'm on round 4 at two different companies, and Justin's got companies throwing money at him left and right to fly out for interviews. So, at the risk of sounding cocky, we will probably have numerous jobs. Again, not too worried! Ah, to be young and careless again!
4. Are you insane? Why would you move out of San Diego to come back to THAT?
Although I ask myself daily if we are insane, and at every interview I am also asked if I'm insane (hopefully this is not deterring them from hiring me), i like to believe we are perfectly sane. As previously stated, we just like many different flavors. Besides, if I can't wear a **** pair of boots without sweating, it'll be a good day. And we can always come back.
5. What about your condo?! Didn't you just buy it? Aren't you just settling in?
Yes and no. We did just buy it...two years ago. Yes, time passes that quickly. And, we're still going to own it, because we've already rented it out, to some nice girls from Michigan, incidentally. So, we can come back if we miss it. And if not...you might all be in luck and have a vacation home some day in your future. For now, it's costing us nothing to keep, so why not?!
6. Won't you miss Nicole and Mark? Won't you be so sad?
Yes, of course, but we are trying to recruit them to make the move with us, cause McDonald's headquarters is there and I totally think they'd enjoy -25 degree wind chills. Plus, Mark could totally boat and fish on Lake Michigan. Seriously though, we will visit back and forth forever more, but I do not look forward to saying goodbye with glee.
7. Why did you wait until now to tell us?!
Because we weren't sure until now! But, now that we ARE sure, we're out like a light! Deal with it. You don't always have to know EVERYTHING the minute it's decided. Geez.
8. WHAT ABOUT YOUR CARS?!?! YOUR STUFF!??!!? HOW WILL YOU MOVE?!?!?! WHAT IF YOU GO BANKRUPT!??!?!!?!? HOW WILL YOU GET THERE?!?!
Geez, calm down, will you? You really need to stop panicking. We aren't. We're selling one car, driving the other across the country, and living with only one car, cause....seriously, who needs a car in a city with a well-built mass-transit system? And we have a moving truck coming to load all our crap and drive it across the country for us. It's fine! Chill.
9. Ok, so I think I fully understand. But seriously, what's the real reason you're moving?
OK, I'll be honest. The truth is, we're moving because Justin bought me season tickets to Michigan football as a gift and I obviously wouldn't be able to go to any of the games if I lived here. So we HAD to move SOMEWHERE...close enough to MI but JUST far enough away.
If anyone gets the urge to hit up a game, make sure you call me, cause we will NOT be using all those tickets. But, we will never give them up either. And yes, i can see the jealousy in your eyes. Watch out.
I can't breathe for the fiiirst time. No, really, I can't!!! I have been sick for four days. Ever since Michigan trip noted in last post. Apparently the gigantic lack of sleep and constant alcoholic consumption did not bode well for me. Either way, we've managed to use the rest of the time off from work for some decently fun activities, as follows:
1. Our friends Chad and Erin are moving to Costa Rica in a week!!! Chad is Nicole's brother and Erin is what I like to call her future sister-in-law. How cute are they!?
Actually, how cute are WE!?
Hot, I know. Bye Chad and Erin!! HAVE THE BEST TIME EVER! Good luck in the BURB.
2. Moving on...the next fun thing we did was, obviously, New Year's Eve. HAPPY NEW YEAR by the way. (Did anyone out there notice you didn't get a Christmas card from us? Yeah, sorry about that. After the gigantic number of thank you notes we had to write, that just wasn't happening. Better luck next year. And thanks for thinking of us, don't stop sending them!) Anyway, we hit up BIG NIGHT SAN DIEGO at the Sheraton the San Diego Bay. GLORY BE, 3000 people crammed into 2 ballrooms and a tent, drinking their lives away. Sadly, I was sick, so Justin drank triple overtime in honor of me. But we all still ended up looking pretty cute:
Notice how my hair grew a foot in like two days, since the previous post. Also notice how big of a difference 4 years can make--this is us from New Years 2004!!!! Why do Mark and Justin look the same and Nicole and I do not? And HOW WEIRD is it that we stood in the same order NOT on purpose!?
Like ,seriously, do I look 12 or what?! And do Justin and Mark look like literally no time has passed? WTF? Nicole is marginally different due to hair but GOOD GOD I dont even look like ME! OH, and in case you were wondering, that stray on the far left there is Andy, Justin's boy from Michigan!
3. I saved the best for last. And I do mean best. Need I say more:
Lloyd carr is so cute. I could literally die. I cried for 10 minutes after they won this game. Anyone who did not watch this game in its entirity needs to immediately obtain ESPN Classic and find out when it will be replayed, because, mark my words, it WILL BE an Instant Classic. Beating the Florida Gators is a glorious accomplishment, even moreso when it's Lloyd's last game. And my boss is a Gator. Ahhh the glory! I'll be wearing my Michigan gear on Friday. And, just so you all know--I almost didn't even watch this game. That's right, Tara, who BLEEDS Maize and Blue, almost didn't watch because the idea of reliving any sort of misery even CLOSE to the loss to Appalachian State (Thank you Justin for the LOVELY gift of tickets to that game...me and Leah really appreciated being at the biggest loss in college football history) was too much for me to handle. Luckily, I overcame that. Not that it would have happened. I probably would have lasted a good 5 mins trying not to watch and then caved.
Anyway, GO BLUE, cause you rocked the little house and the Big House is ready for a fresh start next year with Rich Rod. R2 in A2!! WOO
4. We're both back at work now. Here ends our vacation. Time to take a long long nap at my desk.
Tara here. Anyone who is shocked by the fact that it's me YET AGAIN, please feel free to raise your virtual hand by making a comment.
Anyway, Justin and I just returned from our yearly trip to the warm fuzzy mitten we call home. I thought I'd quickly write a recap, particularly because my lovely cousin Natalie noted in her Christmas card to me that she wanted to be included in the "deranged" family blog...i think it was deranged. Anyway, it was something along those lines. So I thought I'd oblige. The GPS tags below show our respective parents' houses and the surrounding area. Love those glaciers.
The George family had our yearly family Christmas party this year courtesy of the Middlebelt Georges. Seeing as my mother spins into a small panic when hosting parties, I tried to help as much as I could. The outcome was decent save for some panic about seating--but really, who DOESN'T want to eat at a TV Table in our basement?! Right!?!?!?
Anyway, enough of that, you were all there so really, what do you care? But Nat, at least you got called out and pictured in this lovely blog.
We had the Adams family Christmas shortly aftervery fun! We went to Real Seafood in Ann Arbor ( GO BLUE GO BLUE GO BLUE!!! And, just so we are all awareI got The Hills on DVD. Dont' be jealous.
Patrick, Tara, Kelly & Justin on Main Street in Ann Arbor
Christmas Eve in Plymouth
Anyway, the rest of the break was mildly uneventful. A lovely Christmas, happy days, wonderous gifts, etc etc etc. We did wake up one morning to a sight rarely--wait no, NEVER seen in San Diego. It was a full-on ICY morning...branches covered in ice, grass, everywhere you looked, ice. Very cool:
P.S. I just want to mention that due to a gigantic snowstorm,it took us 12 hours to get home from Michigan. And you all wonder why we don't come back more often?!?!?!??!
As Tara mentioned, I recently paid a visit to Eastern Europe for two weeks. My company manufactures cell phones in this region and a quality problem was discovered with the model I'm working on. To test the true "global" capability of my Global Positioning System, I took pictures in each city I visited, including the layover stops on my flight (Zurich on the way to Hungary, Frankfort on the way home). Check out the map...
Once I landed in Budapest, I picked up my rental car and drove off into the countryside. My destination was Komárom, a small town on the Hungary-Slovakia border and home to both Nokia and Foxconn production factories.
I spent the whole week working in the Foxconn factory but was able to escape for the weekend to Vienna, Austria. The trip was only 150KM, check out the map below. The city was beautiful and I captured a few of the highlights here.
The Christkindlmarkt at Vienna’s City Hall (the Rathaus).
The Votivkirche Church
City Hall from the park
I returned to Hungary for another week of work and continued to sample new local eateries each night. Several of my hosts were actually Slovakian and enjoyed crossing the border (Danube River) at night to the more lively, Komarno. Here we are eating a traditional Slovakian dinner in a restaurant located inside the old fort. Items I was encouraged to sample included Tripe (cow stomach lining) and Knuckle (pig ankle). Good thing there was beer to wash it all down!
The Bridge connecting Komárom, Hungary to Komarno, Slovakia
Dinner with Ervin and Juraj (Mike Myers look-a-like!)
A few other random shots from my trip. Enjoy!
An old WWII fort
The road to my hotel. I haven't driven on snowy roads in years!
Well, Lauren and I (Tara AGAIN...SHOCKING RIGHT?!?!?) did not taste any of the famous San Francisco Treat, Rice-a-Roni, on our trip, but we did sample some delicious meals. We will get to that later.
Let me start by saying that I am glad quite a few of you have commented on my glorious writing style and how fabulously entertaining I am, because you are going to get a lot more of me. This is because Justin does not seem to have the time to write blogs for the project he has volunteered himself for. Therefore, for the benefit of him being able to keep his glorious new camera, GPS finder, webcam, etc., i have taken it upon myself to be a sweetheart and do his job for him. Now if that isn't dedication, I don't know what is.
Anyway, I digress. Lauren and I ventured to San Francisco for the weekend while Justin was off gallivanting around Eastern Europe and eating such delicacies as bone marrow and venison. (More on that later in the week). The first stop we made was in Fisherman's Wharf, where we checked out the Harbor Seals...
Such hosses, and so smelly, but so cute. Whilst on Fisherman's wharf, we tried some San Francisco seafood, some San Francisco donuts, and some San Francisco cookies. SICK!!! Needless to say, this weekend was NOT one to diet. Here we are in Fisherman's Wharf...
Kind of cute if I don't say so myself. It was a gorgeous day, but quite windy and cold!
Moving on...to get home from Fisherman's Wharf, we decided to take a rather untraditional method. Already that day we had ridden in a car, plane, BART/Subway, and a Cab. Mind you, we had only left my San Diego house 5 hours earlier. That's a lot of transportation for one day! So, to head back, we decided to take the famous Trolley.
Is this Mary Tyler-Moore-esque or something to anyone? I totally feel like we should be on the intro to friends in this photo. Anyway, we boarded the trolley and immediately Lauren made a new friend, who also enjoyed taking photos of himself--the conductor.
To this day, I don't know his name, but he took a liking to Lauren and proceeded to call her his girlfriend throughout the entire trip. He repeatedly yelled out "How you doin up there honey!" every time we stopped. The people on the ride were very amused. Here they are together...handsome couple, I do say:
HOT! The ride was enjoyable until we reached Union Square, where we proceeded to shop for at least 6 hours straight. By the time we were done, we were both dead exhausted, but still had dinner reservations and needed a DRINK badly. So, we got dressed up and headed out to Betelnut for Mojitos, First Crush for giant amounts of Tapas, and a bar I can't remember the name of in our hotel for dinks.
Ok so these are the last photos we took of the trip. We did a lot after this but it mostly consisted of shopping sooo....not interesting. I leave you with a glorious sight that was seen whilst on the trolley...
Yes, the University Club, where the flags of all members' colleges are posted. Don't be jealous that I went to an Elite and glorious university. It's not my fault I'm a genius.
So as Justin started to explain, we took a trip to Arizona over Thanksgiving weekend. After our lovely roadside stops at the Desert Tower and such towns as Yuma, AZ (I cannot believe people live here, fyi), we finally found ourselves in Scottsdale.
Scottsdale is like a gigantic retirement home. Although beautiful, it is also one gigantic stripmall/Supermall after the next. It is also completely dead after 9pm. So, on our first night there, we ventured out to the "Town Center" which was an oversized partially outdoor Somerset. We ate at a place called Cowboy Chow and then moved on to find the most horrible thing I have ever seen:
Yes, that there is an Ohio State helmet, along with a Florida Gators helmet. Lest you forget--last year, these two teams played in the National Championship in the Fiesta Bowl IN Arizona. Which Michigan SHOULD have been in if they hadn't been sooo afraid of a rematch between OSU and UM. Anyway, I digress. How we stumbled across the Fiesta Bowl museum is beyond me, but needless to say, it was not a pleasant experience. And this year, we play the Gators in our new year's day bowl, which I'm sure will add up to yet another loss on Michigan's lovely 2007 resume.
The next day ,we headed off to Sedona, which is by far the most beautiful place I've ever seen. These pictures do it no justice. The colors were much more vibrant, deep reds and oranges that just aren't visible here. The map shows the "off-road" area around Sedona that we explored!
We took a PINK JEEP ride to get out to all these places (very masculine for Justin FYI). We climbed rocks and boulders and ventured to the backwoods. Ok, maybe not, since this is a giant tourist attraction....but still.
Please note that we are wearing boots, scarves, gloves, etc etc etc. It was NOT warm, contrary to popular belief. It was blistering cold and windy. And by cold I mean 50 degrees. So what if I'm from Michigan?
Overall, a glorious trip had by all. And, the firesky resort was beautiful. Here we are enjoying it.
--Guest writer Tara Adams because Justin is in Budapest Hungary and has no contact with the outside world, even to do his blog, so his lovely wife must take over all responsiblities for him
To take full advantage of the extended Thanksgiving weekend, we took a roadtrip to Arizona. We left early on Friday morning after the wonderous meal on Thursday evening. After about 80 miles heading east on I-8, Tara spotted a billboard for The Desert View Tower and Mystery Caves. We couldn't pass that up! It turned out to be the last remaining roadside attraction from the olden days when everyone had to drive to their vacation destinations. Here is a picture of the tower, and us at the top.
The 'Mystery Caves' turned out to be tunnels and paths through boulders and wind-shaped rock formations, some of which had been sculpted and painted by an out-of-work engineer (hmmm) during the Great Depression. Here are some of the sculptures.
A ways further we crossed into the famed Imperial Sand Dunes. We spent New Years out here a few years ago with Mark and Nicole riding desert vehicles, watching sand drag races and drunken bon fires, awesome! These dunes are also famous because the desert scenes from several movies such as Star Wars and Lawrence of Arabia were filmed here.
On the other side of the highway you can see what the dunes look like on any given weekend during desert season, piles of campers, trailers and desert toys!
So eventually we made it to Scottsdale and then Sedona, but those stories will have to wait for the next blog!
So for Thanksgiving this year, we met up with Lauren and Angela (who was visiting from Florida!!) for Thanksgiving dinner. Early last week, Lauren and I struggled to figure out where we'd eat dinner. We wanted to find a place at least RELATIVELY close to being halfway between San Diego and Orange County so neither of us would have to drive exceptionally far. Well...we came up with Gordon's at the Lake San Marcos Resort and Country Club.
I think my first indication that this was a bad idea should have been a) It was a buffet b) It was at a country club in SAN MARCOS (just a quick FYI to those not in the know...kind of an old fashioned area) and c) The price per person was more like $25 as opposed to all other restaurants, which were $50 and above. Alas, we both figured this was the closest we'd get to "halfway" between us. And on our merry way we went....(View map marker for restaurant location relative to our homes.)
Upon arrival, this is what we saw (take note of the tables in the dining room BEHIND Justin):
Now, keep in mind, 4pm is not an odd time to have dinner on Thanksgiving. But, you'd honestly think we were there for the early bird special (get it? Bird? Turkey? Ha ha.). The multitude of people over the age of 65 even led Angela to wonder out loud if we, too, would be granted the senior citizen discount.
Alas, this just provided for some laughs. We visited the buffet way too many times....along with many of the other sprite restaurant guests...
And we were the cutest people there....
What more can you wish for???? HAPPY THANKSGIVING everyone!
I know that this is a blog about traveling and GPS cameras and such. And I know it's not MY blog per se...but what are you going to do. Stranger things have happened when you have your husband's username and password to his blog. So, I'm going to ask that we pause for a moment and address a few unrelated issues of interest to me, that will soon be forced upon you and hopefully, in turn, will become of interest to you.
1. Please check your calendar. If you are doing anything other than sitting in front of the TV and/or sitting in Michigan Stadium on Saturday, November 17th at 12pm EST, then you have problems. I don't mean small problems, either. I mean, SERIOUS ISSUES. You will be missing the glorious resurrection of Michael Hart and Chad I-must-throw-at-least-one-interception-in-each-quarter Henne. You will also miss the second consecutive week of dismal, sad faces on the Team Who Must Not Be Named.
2. If you do not own some sort of zoo animal costume, you should probably invest in one. As you can see from the below photo (all rights reservered, October 31, 2007, Sarah Hanyes), it makes for a righteous good time.
The mental stability of all of the above people is definitely in question.
3. Are clementines for real? I mean...seriously. Do they grow naturally? Or are they engineered to grow smaller and sweeter than normal oranges? It kind of scares me. I ate 3 today. What if they are injected with some strange hormone and they make me sick? And no this is not some kind of backwards way of saying that I fear we will be in the Capital One Bowl...on sunny Citrus Bowl-y Florida..instead of the Rose bowl. It's not that at all.
Tara and I visit Julian once every Fall season to get away from city life and spend some time exploring the "olden days". On our drive out we passed through many of the areas affected by the fires a few weeks ago. Our trusty Sony GPS unit tagged our photos on the map to show you where we drove.
Zoomed out to show Julian's relation to San Diego.
Detailed view of our route.
Along the way we saw the remains of several houses, very tragic. The land was scorched and not much was left. Here are a few of the pictures.
Eventually we made it to Julian where we visited the Eagle & High Peak gold mines for a history lesson and mine tour.
(Lovely work conditions for the miners)
Tara loves Jeeps!
The last stop before leaving Julian was a stop at The Julian Pie Company for Cider Mill Donuts, Apple Cider, Cookies and Cinnamon Pie Crust. Yummmm.
Sony is looking for active individuals who enjoy taking pictures and are enthusiastic about new technology, to help promote an innovative accessory in the digital camera industry - the GPS CS1KA. The Sony GPS unit records positioning data and using an online map service pinpoints the location globally with every shot on your digital camera, so you know exactly where each photo was taken.
I thought this sounded fun so I harmlessly filled out the application and forgot about it. Two weeks ago I received another email...
Congratulations! We're excited to announce that you have been selected (from over 3,000 applicants) to become a brand ambassador for Sony. After reviewing your application in detail, we believe your qualifications, interests and enthusiasm make you a perfect fit for the Sony GPS-CS1KA promotion.
Last week I received the following items in the mail...
Justin (& his loving wife, Tara) roam the countryside recording their escapades using state-of-the-art photographic and geo-positioning equipment (thank you Sony). Destinations include but are not limited to: California, Chicago, Michigan and Arizona.