Tag Archives: anniversary

Saturday in San Francisco, Part Two

After our morning at the Farmers Market and the Embarcadero, we made our way to Pier 33 where we would be taking a ferry to Alcatraz. When Chip and I went to San Francisco last fall, we were in the middle of the government shut down, which meant all national parks (Alcatraz included) were closed. Thankfully the government had their act together (more or less….) during this trip and we were actually able to go tour the island. The ferry ride was a lot shorter than I had expected, part of me had expected it to be as long as the one to Nantucket, but before we knew it, we were arriving at the dock. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Alcatraz, but I have to say it was a lot more interesting than I had anticipated. The audio tour was just the right length and provided so much information on the history of the jail, complete with stories about different inmates there and the various attempts to escape.

On the ferry

On the ferry

Dad spent most of the ferry ride outside checking out the views

Dad spent most of the ferry ride outside checking out the views

Watching a race as we got to Alcatraz

Watching a race as we got to Alcatraz

Getting into Alcatraz

Getting into Alcatraz

Famous Alcatraz inmates

Famous Alcatraz inmates

Chip checking out one of the solitary confinement cells

Chip checking out one of the solitary confinement cells

Inside the old library room

Inside the old library room

It was a little windy...

It was a little windy…

Our view of the city from Alcatraz

Our view of the city from Alcatraz

We finished our tour at Alcatraz around 3:00. Once we got back to San Francisco, we took a very tight cab ride to our rental home (see the evidence below) before packing up and heading to our hotel. Saturday was actually my parents’ 28th anniversary, so we spent the evening having dinner at E’ Tutto Qua. Looking back on our trip, that was hands-down the best meal during our time in California. It was so genuinely Italian that as soon as we walked in the door we were greeted by a loud “Party Lopez? Over here” and then a bunch of Italian shouting between waiters as we got seated at our table. Anytime we would serve ourselves more wine, the waiters would walk by shouting “Salute!” or would otherwise be speaking Italian to each other about food orders. The manager even came by at one point and told us all about how he created some of their signature dishes (order anything they recommend. It’s all delicious). The environment was great, the food was amazing, and it was so fun getting to celebrate my parents’ anniversary together. Cheers to you, mom and dad!

To confirm: Teresa and I are hanging off of the seats.

To confirm: Teresa and I are hanging off of the seats.

Starting dinner off with some champagne

Starting dinner off with some champagne

One of our very Italian waiters

One of our very Italian waiters

Happy anniversary!

Happy anniversary!

"E Tutto Qua" - And that is all!

“E Tutto Qua” – And that is all!

We would be visiting The Hess Collection during our time in Napa, so we decided to try their wine at dinner. Definitely some good wine!

We would be visiting The Hess Collection during our time in Napa, so we decided to try their wine at dinner. Definitely some good wine!

Sure do love my dad

Sure do love my dad

Cheers!

Cheers!

Alex and Teresa at dinner

Alex and Teresa at dinner

Cheers to 28 years!

Cheers to 28 years!

Three Year Anniversary

Yesterday marked three years since I married this guy:

My groom

My groom

Hands down one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Traditionally, the third year is considered the leather anniversary. Seems kind of weird, but we were given a description of what this means and I just love it.

The third wedding anniversary is often when a couple is aware of the durability of their relationship. That is why leather is the traditional gift for this celebration. Leather is a material that is durable, warm, strong, flexible, and has a sense of resiliency to it. These are qualities that help a marriage thrive.

Reading this description had us thinking about this past year of marriage. Our first year was fun and full of us figuring out daily life together. Our second year helped us grow closer together and deepened our marriage. But this third year has been our favorite. We don’t feel like newlyweds anymore, we feel more and more like a team. Together, we accomplished and got through a lot this past year. Chip passed the final level of the CFA giving us so much more time together this spring and will surely help us in the future. We were able to go on a bunch of different trips together. We did more projects around the house and remodeled our bathroom with the help of our families. When I decided to leave my job in November, Chip was my biggest supporter and has been so excited for me in this time off. We celebrated our birthdays, the holiday season, friends’ weddings, and so much more together. We like to think that we did become more resilient this year and continue to build a strong foundation for all of our years to come.

For our anniversary, Chip surprised me with a homemade breakfast yesterday. I slept through his alarm and didn’t even notice him getting out of our bedroom (it takes me a bit to transform from a zombie to a functioning human being). I heard our front door open a couple times and honestly thought that maybe he had left for work without saying goodbye (note: he never does that, so not sure why I even thought this was possible). Anyway, I saw that it was only 7:00 and was curious what Chip could be doing that was making so much noise. Y’all. I came out into our kitchen to see him preparing a feast of French toast, scrambled eggs, and fruit. He had even set out our wedding china for us to eat outside together. My heart was so full (and soon so was my stomach).

Was so surprised to see our patio table set like this!

Was so surprised to see our patio table set like this!

Who doesn't love fresh flowers

Who doesn’t love fresh flowers

My only contribution to breakfast: slicing the strawberries

My only contribution to breakfast: slicing the strawberries

I love that our first time using our crystal glasses was to drink some OJ

I love that our first time using our crystal glasses was to drink some OJ

Can we have breakfast like this everyday?

Can we have breakfast like this everyday?

The rest of the day wasn’t as exciting, I took Wrigley for a walk and then quickly went to the gym to try to save myself from that French toast making its way to my hips. I also had a dentist appointment in the afternoon. Talk about living the wild life, right?

For dinner, we decided to go to one of our favorite restaurants to celebrate: Dough. We just can’t get enough of this place. Their food is amazing and we love how much fun we have every time we go there. We also went there waaaay back for our first anniversary.

Wine from our two year anniversary trip to Napa

Wine from our two year anniversary trip to Napa

I could eat this pizza everyday

I could eat this pizza everyday

Three years!

Three years!

Chip, thanks for being you. Thank you for loving me even when I don’t make it easy, for all the ways you make me laugh, for helping me grow, for comforting me whenever I’m upset, for always pointing me back to Christ, for all the ways you love Wrigley, for doing life together. Here’s to many more years ahead.

May 7, 2011

May 7, 2011

Three Year Housiversary

Yes, I just made that word up. But it totally works, right?

Three years ago, Chip and I bought our very first house right before getting married. I joke that we didn’t have enough on our plates between both of us working full time, planning a wedding, and Chip studying for the CFA, so why not add buying a house to the mix. The real story is that as we were looking for rentals, a realtor asked us to consider buying. We really didn’t have very much savings between the two of us so we had never even thought that was an option for us, but after this realtor walked us through the requirements for an FHA loan, we started looking at homes within the range we could have a mortgage loan approved at. I don’t remember the whole process very well, but it felt like we had soon found our house and after a looong bout of paperwork, we were homeowners.

I can’t believe we’ve already been in this house for three years. Apart from the house I grew up in, it’s the longest I’ve ever lived somewhere after moving into new dorms every year for college and then an apartment and town home following graduation. Sometimes it feels like we just moved in, other times it’s like we’ve been here for forever. We’ve enjoyed having friends over and making this house our home and still have lots of projects we would love to do that will keep us busy in the coming years (I’m looking at you, laundry room).

To celebrate our three year housiversary, we decided to have a nice home cooked meal this past Friday. Chip had the day off for Battle of the Flowers, so we were able to go on a nice long walk with the pup in the morning, pick up a few more plants at Millberger’s, and grab lunch at Habanero’s before coming home and doing a little bit of yardwork. Once we had finished raking, planting, and watering everything, we went grocery shopping and then came home to cook dinner together. Let me tell you, I love having date nights at home. Sure, it’s fun to go out to a favorite restaurant and not have to worry about washing the dishes, but it is so fun for us to be in the kitchen together and take our time eating outside with some wine. This time, we decided to make pasta bolognese from Giada’s Everyday Italian cookbook (will try to post that recipe soon!). Our dinner was so good and we’ve been enjoying the leftovers for lunch these past couple of days.

Love my sous-chef

Love my sous-chef

One of my favorite wineries from our trip to Napa

One of my favorite wineries from our trip to Napa

While having dinner, we had fun remembering some of our favorite house projects (planting our garden for the first time is up at the top, followed by re-doing our bathroom) as well as some not so favorite moments (like the time our living room flooded…). Overall, we love this home and are so thankful to be living here. Here’s to many more years ahead!

Eating outside is my favorite

Eating outside is my favorite

San Francisco: Part One

Chip and I just got back from a great trip to San Francisco and Napa. If you’re thinking of taking a trip to northern California, here’s my advice: GO. It’s absolutely beautiful and was so much more fun than we had expected. October is definitely an ideal time to go with the perfect weather and changing seasons, so plan a trip now!

On our two year anniversary this past May, Chip and I spent time talking at dinner about how much fun it would be to plan a trip to San Francisco. Neither of us had ever been to this city but had always heard great things about it from family and friends. So after dinner that day, we went to Barnes & Noble and bought a couple of travel books to get us started. We were hoping to take this belated two year anniversary trip earlier in the summer, but things got busy and planning the trip kept getting put off… my bad. Knowing that Chip’s vacation black-out period would be starting in November, we were determined to make this trip happen by October so we wouldn’t have to wait until the new year. I had already done most of our research earlier in the summer thanks to our Fodor’s book but had yet to set official dates for this trip or find flights and hotel for us. So after spending a Saturday doing some research online last month, we finally had our trip booked. We had been saving some American Airlines giftcards my parents got us for our birthdays a couple of years ago and thought this trip was the perfect time to use them (thanks again, mom and dad!!). We found some great prices for flights leaving out of Austin, and considering how much cheaper these flights were over the San Antonio options, we decided that the drive up to Austin as well as the long-term airport parking costs would definitely be worth it. Finding our hotel was a lot trickier. Our two biggest obstacles were: 1-finding a hotel for the consecutive days that we would be in town and 2-finding one that wasn’t ridiculously priced (there are some really cute hotels in San Francisco, but whoa, were their prices painful to look at). After looking through the Fodor’s book and reading reviews on Trip Advisor, we decided to go with the Coventry Motor Inn on Lombard Street. It isn’t a fancy hotel and is a little outdated, but it really can’t be beat on price and location.

Planning our trip

Planning our trip

We left for San Francisco last Wednesday. We finished our packing in the morning, dropped Wrigley off at Lucy’s Doggy Daycare and then drove up to Austin with enough time to grab lunch before our 2:00 flight. We got into San Francisco around 6:00 that evening and took a Super Shuttle to our hotel.

We decided to take it easy Wednesday night and walked to Tacolicious for dinner after seeing some reviews on Trip Advisor. This place was way better than we had been expecting. We got there at just the right time and were seated right away while groups after us had to wait out in the San Francisco cold for a table. The food was amazing and probably one of the best meals we had while in the city. We started with some fried plantains (I can never resist those) and a great chicken tortilla soup. We then split a few small tacos that Chip still can’t stop talking about. If you go to Tacolicious, be sure to try their carnitas taco. It will change your life. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures from our dinner there; for one reason it was extremely dark in the restaurant and I didn’t want to be “that tourist” with the bright flash going off and for another reason, I was fighting a cold and just didn’t feel that great, so I let myself be lazy on documenting our first meal in San Francisco. Might not be the best excuses, but we really did have a great time at dinner Wednesday night.

More to come on our time in San Francisco!

More on our two year anniversary

This past weekend, our friends Riley and Becca got married in Tennessee. We were so excited to celebrate their love and spend time with so many friends. I’ll be posting about that fun weekend in Nashville soon, so stay tuned! Having just celebrated our two year anniversary last week, it was so great to hear once again what the Bible says about marriage during Riley and Becca’s ceremony.

Our marriage is a covenant made between Chip and myself and our Father in Heaven. I am so thankful to be married to a man that finds this covenant incredibly important and am grateful for how committed Chip is to making sure we never forget to rely on Christ everyday, regardless of how easy or hard life is. Marriage is a wonderful gift that challenges us to be selfless and serve each other and I am so glad I get to share it with this guy.

As a quick follow up to my last post on our anniversary, here are a few pictures from the day.

Chip was super sweet and dropped off a huge flower arrangement at Bromley for me to enjoy at work all day. It made my desk smell amazing and it was pretty fun trying to figure out how to get these flowers home.

Flowers from Chip

Flowers from Chip

Flowers

Flowers

We went to Piatti for dinner and had a nice meal together. With Chip’s study schedule, we don’t always get a whole lot of time together right now, so it was great to just slow down and talk and laugh without having to worry about finishing dinner in time for Chip’s evening study session (thanks for taking the night off of studying!). We also brought a bottle of wine from our trip to Fredericksburg last year for our first anniversary. We are definitely going to have to get this wine again!! So. Good. The food was pretty tasty and our waiter did a great job taking care of us. Once he found out it was our anniversary, he covered our corkage fee for us and even gave us an extra dessert (thanks!!)

Wine from Pedernales with dinner

Wine from Pedernales with dinner

Celebrating two years!

Celebrating two years!

After dinner, we spent a little bit of time at Barnes & Noble looking at travel books. We’ve always wanted to travel more together, so we’re going to try to go to San Francisco and Napa sometime in the fall as a belated anniversary gift. Can’t wait!!

Planning for fall 2013!

Planning for fall 2013!

Two year anniversary

Today is our two year anniversary… hooray! After the learning curve of our first year of marriage, I feel like we’ve grown a lot this past year, both as a couple as well as individually. I am so thankful for all that we continue to learn from each other, from family, from close friends, and from the community in Redeemer. All of you may not realize it, but you really do have an impact on our lives and we are so thankful for each of you.

Thanks, Chip, for being such a great husband to me. For always making me laugh. For serving together. For encouraging me to experiment with different recipes. For spoiling Wrigley. For being a pro at mowing the lawn. For being my voice of reason and biggest supporter. For being my best friend. Here’s to many more years to come!

Took a trip to Colorado

During our trip to Colorado last summer

One of this year's Christmas pictures

One of this year’s Christmas pictures

May 7, 2011

May 7, 2011

 

Anniversary weekend!

As I mentioned in my last post, Chip and I celebrated our one year anniversary on May 7th. In honor of our first year of marriage, we decided to take a quick weekend trip to Fredericksburg. For those non-Texans out there, Fredericksburg is about an hour outside of San Antonio and is known for its hill country beauty and various wineries. We really hadn’t spent any time in Fredericksburg prior to this trip, except a quick afternoon at Wild Seed Farms last spring, so we thought it would be a great little city to spend some time at for our first anniversary.

Off to Fredericksburg!

We made our way out to Fredericksburg last Saturday 5/5 around noon and went straight to Pedernales Cellars (thanks, Katy, for the recommendation!). While we both love wine, neither of us had ever been to a wine tasting so we didn’t really know what we were in store for. Pedernales has a great and attentive staff and takes walk-ins for tastings, like most of the other wineries in the area. So we made our way over to the wine bar when we got in and met Robert, who guided us through a great first wine tasting! He was extremely informative and descriptive in all of the different tastes to the wines. Pedernales also offers tours of the vineyard every 20 minutes or so, so after our tasting we went on the tour and learned all about the wine making process. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll work on our own vineyard (hopefully in Italy!) :)

Enjoying the patio at Pedernales!

Tour at Pedernales

In true Texas hospitality, the staff at Pedernales encouraged us to check out some of the other vineyards along the highway and recommended Hilmy as well as Four Point O. We couldn’t ignore the advice of the experts, so off we went to these two wineries! Both are fairly new and also had great and attentive staff. We particularly liked Four Point O Cellars and would definitely recommend it to friends. They had a really open design to their space and just provided a great overall experience. We also made a stop at Becker Vineyards afterwards, which is probably the most well-known winery in Fredericksburg.

Afternoon at the wineries!

At Hilmy Cellars

Enjoying our tasting at Four Point O Cellars

Tasting room at Four Point O Cellars

Cellar tour at Becker

After our time at Becker, we made our way to Trois Estates to check in and get ready for dinner. One thing we learned from planning this quick trip was that bed and breakfasts get filled very quickly in Fredericksburg and most reservations should be made a good four weeks out (as opposed to three days). We were so lucky to find an empty room at the lodge at Trois Estates! The property was very pretty and felt like it’s own town, but the stuffed game in the lodge freaked us out a bit…

Yikes.

But there were a lot of cute signs around the property which were perfect since there was a wedding going on that evening!

Awww…

We drove back into Fredericksburg for dinner and had an extremely delicious meal at Crossroads Saloon & Steakhouse. We chose to sit outside and take advantage of the surprisingly pleasant Texas May weather and try to catch a glimpse of the super moon (sadly, we didn’t get to see it!). We both ordered the salmon, which was probably some of the best I’ve ever had. We definitely recommend this restaurant if anyone is looking for a special place to eat!

Dinner in Fredericksburg!

We spent a surprising amount of time Sunday morning trying to find a place for breakfast since most of the brunch spots were for bed & breakfast guests. After driving around for a good 30 minutes, we found Fredericksburg Coffee and Tea and had the best breakfast we could have found! Seriously. It was delicious…

Awesome breakfast

Once we finished breakfast, we went over to Grape Creek Vineyards since it got a lot of recommendations by the other vineyards. The grounds here are absolutely beautiful! Their tagline is “Tuscany in Texas” and they did a great job trying to capture the Italian essence.

Driving into Grape Creek Vineyards

Ready for another wine tasting!

At Grape Creek

After our tasting at Grape Creek, we went to Wild Seed Farms and bought some flowers for our front yard (we still need to plant these…. oops). We had a great time in Fredericksburg and are looking forward to our next trip there!

Anniversary dinner at Dough

The following day (Monday) was our actual anniversary, so we decided to have dinner at one of our all time favorite restaurants: Dough! We’ve gone here several times this past year and love it more each time we go there. The pizza is phenomenal and went perfectly with the last bottle of wine we had left from our honeymoon cruise.

After dinner we went back home to eat our thawed out one-year old wedding cake. We had been excited to try our cake out since we loved it so much the actual day of our wedding (Cathy Young makes some awesome cakes!). Unfortunately, it really didn’t taste that great a year later just like we had been warned… but the dogs didn’t mind! Oh well, we still technically followed the tradition even if we didn’t eat much of it :)

Happy one year anniversary, Chip!!

Chip trying out the cake

The dogs loved it!