Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Birthday Trip 2016!

Hey guys! As some of you probably know, Patrick took me to Disneyland for my 24th birthday this year and both of us got some great photos that I wanted to share with you all, as well as a little about the weekend itself (even if this post is super belated)!

Normally in February southern California isn't particularly warm-- in fact, we thought that my birthday weekend would be a great time to go to Disneyland because the parks are usually dead during the cold, rainy winter. However, apparently we booked our trip for the hottest weekend of the winter. It was in the low to mid 80's the entire time we were there, which brought the people out and also made us both grumpy (to those of you who said we'd hate the cold, rainy Portland weather-- HA. WE LOVE IT. THE WARM IS TERRIBLE GIVE ME THE COLD AND WET), but we still really enjoyed the trip!

We flew in on Friday morning and went straight to the parks to wander around for a bit. By 1pm we were both tired, cranky, and really hot, so we headed to the hotel for an early check-in, a shower, and a nap. For dinner we went to my favorite restaurant in Anaheim (outside of Disneyland)-- Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.! We even got to see our favorite waiter, Gabe, who unexpectedly picked up a shift for someone else!

We were super excited to see that the 60th Anniversary decorations are still up! I really hope that they keep the shiny castle shingles :)

It's A Small World

Where we got engaged! I don't think I'll ever be able to eat there again because nothing can top that day

On Saturday we expected the park to be moderately busy because of the weather... But not nearly as busy as it was (apparently there was some sort of Annual Passholder Event). I was already struggling to wake up and no amount of caffeine in the world was helping, so a busy park probably would have given me a panic attack. We rode the shuttle bus into the park, saw how long the lines for bag check were, and decided to stay put on the bus so that it could drop us right back off at the parking lot. Instead, we ended up going to San Clemente to walk the beach trails a bit, then we stopped at the Mission Viejo mall to wander around, and finally we stopped at In-N-Out for lunch before heading back to the hotel so that I could nap and try to get my energy level up. Saturday was a bit of a bust, since I woke up with a strange fever and felt miserable for hours (which may have been related to my inability to "wake up"), but we did go out to a nice dinner at McCormick & Schmick's after I was feeling better!

Our view from North Beach in San Clemente

It was gorgeous! We spent most of the time watching the surfers.

Our delicious lunch. I've been craving In-N-Out for months and insisted on it when we went down for this trip.

Animal style everything.

Before dinner

On Sunday we got a lazy start to the day. I woke up to two birthday cards from Patrick and a card from our cats, then we got ready and spent most of the day in the parks! We ended up leaving midday to go back to the hotel so that we could check in for our flights and get ready for dinner because jeans and a t shirt won't cut it for Carthay Circle! We had a fabulous dinner at Carthay out on the second floor patio, which we had mostly to ourselves during our entire meal! Afterwards we wandered around a bit and found our darling friends Lena and Victoria who we haven't seen since we moved.

I have to say that the best part about the trip for me is how much I missed Oregon. Did you read that correctly? You sure did. Being there reinforced how much I love Oregon and how much I truly disliked living in California. I know that it seems to be a dream of a lot of people to move there but it was definitely not a good fit for me. I like nice people and decent drivers and decently priced gas (or, well, decently priced everything) and weather that changes-- that is not what you get in California! Oregon, I love you!

I can't wear the regular Mickey head earrings because they're made of metal that I'm allergic to so I finally gave in got a pair of the more expensive ones for my birthday.

We happened to be in DCA at just the right time so we got to watch the Pixar Parade!

Patrick and I went on a wild goose chase to find this damn BB-8 sipper but I have to admit, it is pretty cute.

Our view from our table at Carthay!

My button, dress, and nails all glowed in the black light on the Monster's Inc. ride! 

Lena and Victoria! We were so excited to see them!

Before the night ended we waited to watch World of Color but it was cancelled due to high winds, so instead we ran to The Little Mermaid ride and ended the night on that note :)

I think that the most exciting thing about being 24 is that for the last year (being 23), I was the same age as my Babcia (great-grandmother), whose birthday is on leap year so she has only had 23 "real" birthdays. For the next 20 days I will be older than her, then we will be the same age again for just under a year because she has another "real" birthday this year, and then I will be older than her for the rest of my life! It's amusing to me, at least!

I have to say that overall I had an incredible birthday, spending it with the man I love and taking full advantage of "birthday rules". Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday!

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Great Ring Fiasco HAS BEEN FIXED!

Hey guys!

So some of you might remember The Great Ring Fiasco of 2015, so I'm writing to tell you all about how it's been fixed! Here's the rundown of how the events took place:

February 2014: Patrick orders my engagement ring (which I picked out) and proposes.

November 2014: After already having gotten married in Las Vegas, Patrick orders the wedding band that goes with my engagement ring and gives it to me for Christmas.

February 2015 (Take 1): We send my rings in to have them soldered together.

February 2015 (Take 2): My rings come back from the jeweler and they are soldered together incorrectly (and very sloppily). They are sent back out.

February 2015 (Take 3): My rings come back from the jeweler soldered together incorrectly (just in a different way this time) and the jeweler has made unauthorized changes to my wedding band by chopping it to pieces and re-soldering it together in the shape that he feels it should be in (which I did not realize at the time). There are gaps in my ring where you can tell the jeweler cut it (which I didn't understand because I didn't realize that the ring was re-shaped). Distraught, I ask for a new wedding band. My request is denied. My rings are sent back out again.

February 2015 (Final Take): The rings come back and the wedding band is still misshapen and looks nothing like the photo that I based my decision on purchasing the rings off of, but at least the gaps are filled in. At this point, I'm beyond frustrated and I've been without my rings for over a month so I begrudgingly place the rings on my finger and they stay there until January 2016.

December 2015: We go out to dinner with some friends and one of them reminds me of something that she told me before-- she worked for Kay Jeweler's for a while and she urges me to contact customer service about my rings. I email them that night.

The Final Solution (January 2016): While I was in Michigan, a new engagement ring and band were sent to my local store. When they arrived, the rings were sent out to be re-sized and soldered together. The customer service rep. took it upon herself to make all of this happen behind-the-scenes with brand new rings so that I wouldn't have to go without my own rings while the process was happening. They happened to be finished just a few days after we returned home from Michigan, at which point I went up to the store and checked them out. I wasn't happy with the rings (which the Kay's girls and the jeweler himself predicted) because apparently the photo that I based my purchase off of is not accurate to the specifications of how the rings are supposed to be soldered together, however they did not want to make any unauthorized modifications to my rings because that is exactly what caused the problems last time. I was confident that they finally understood what I was talking about so I gave my approval to have them sent back out so the band could be slightly re-shaped. When they came back a week later, they were absolutely perfect and all I had to do was give them my rings in exchange for the brand-new ones!

This is the photo that I based my purchase off of, which shows the engagement ring and the band that was specially made for it (the band doesn't go with any other rings that Kay's offers). Photo credit to Kay's.

This was my ring after the modifications that I was really displeased with. As you can see, the band curves right around the engagement ring but there is actually supposed to be some space between the point of the band and the "notch" that it "fits" in. 

My new, bright and shiny rings, made just the way I always expected them to be! 

I'm super thrilled and I can't thank Kay's Customer Service rep. Kassandra for being so attentive!