Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jet-Lagged from Cali (354 Days to Go)

So the past two weeks have been crazy busy.  First my bridesmaid and college friend, Kim, came in from out of town.  She also brought with her news: she's finally picked a state for her wedding and a date: New Jersey and May 5th.  So, we're basically getting married a month apart.  It made me realize that in a nine month span, I will be in three weddings (one of which will be my own), and attending at the very minimum at least one more.  Every one of these four weddings is being held in a different state.  So, talk about your travel costs.  It'll certainly be an exciting year, that's for certain.

Layover in Phoenix, AZ at sunset
Then, this past weekend, Jeff and I were in California, the San Francisco Bay area for a working vacation.  We were invited by one of the manufacturers for scuba equipment to come out for seminars and workshops that would help to orient us better with all of their product lines but also get a behind the scenes look at the production plant and also upcoming products.  It was fantastic to get out of town, just the two of us, even if it was a semi-working vacation.  Granted, the company is probably regretting the fact that they covered every single bar tab the entire weekend.  I think Jeff and I only paid for food while we were in the airports.  I can tell you one thing about the group of people that we were with, we liked margaritas--a lot.

It was great though.  The other shop owners were all fantastic people.  Even though we were the youngest, we weren't outcast or looked down on at all.  In fact, we were pretty well respected in the discussions.  I was usually the bold one who'd try on the new equipment.  Trying on a new pair of fins is a lot like shopping for shoes.  Comfort, style/functionality, and color are the trifecta.  This pair of fins had everything and it was only the prototype.  I begged Jeff to get the next prototype on loan for our honeymoon.

Oceanic Factory Floor: Sewing Dept.
Long story short, our honeymoon will be in Puerto Rico and thus warm water.  My gear is set up for cold water dives.  So I have a pair of open heel fins that need ankle high boots to be worn.  But in warm water, a full foot fin that doesn't need any socks or boots is preferrable.  Lets face it ladies, it's like going to the beach wearing cowboy boots if I went with the gear I already have.  The prototype fin actually diminishes the need for having two different foot pockets on fins which would be awesome!  That and the fin itself looks very cool and sylish.  I wish I could say more, but I can't and I most certainly couldn't take pictures.
Enjoying some aged Port
While we were out there, we got to go to a wine tasting at Bent Creek winery.  It's actually a brand that's carried in the Pennsylvania state liquor stores, which surprised me a little bit when I found out where we were going.  The wine was amazing.  Especially when you start realizing that some of the wines had a relatively high percent of alcohol.  One of the other shop owners joked that we were essentially all sitting around doing shots--after swirling, sniffing, and observing the color carefully.

Bent Creek Winery
After the tasting, Jeff and I walked through some of the vineyard on our own taking in all of the terracota rooftops and European architecture in that valley.  Not to mention the gorgeous classic cars.  Because the weather is so moderate and relatively dry, classic cars keep in pristine conditions out there.  It seemed like everyone had driven up to the winery in their classic model convertible.

One of the winery's work trucks.  Yes, work truck.

Granted, some people make some major modifications to their classics.
Everett & Jones B-B-Q
Our last night there we went to a bar-b-que joint in Oakland, Everett & Jones.  It was really good food--authentic Southern food.  The shop owners from Georgia, Florida, and Louisiana all agreed.  To top off the evening, there was a live blues band that started to perform too.  So while we enjoyed our pecan pies for dessert after conquering huge stacks of ribs, we got to listen to some blues and take stock in some outrageous pimp suits that were in attendance.  The singer, was quite a character and was having a good time flirting it up with all of the women in our group.  Especially since one of them was from Louisiana and really getting into the music.

Just check out that red
pimp suit in the background!
It was a good trip.  We got on each other's nerves a little with traveling.  I'm a stickler for getting to the airport early while he's very "eh, it'll work out."  Also found out he's pretty claustrophobic when flying too.  It was a good experience for us as a couple.  It now makes more sense to me as to why he insists on driving 2,000 miles round trip to go to his cousin's wedding in Oklahoma.  I just wish that he weren't so road-ragey.  But apparently driving that far is less stressful than airports to him.

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