Love and Food in the Big D

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

On shaky ground...

So.. it’s a good thing we went to Disneyland when we did cause if we had waited for this particular day, we would’ve been disappointed. I couldn’t even BELIEVE what happened that morning as we were having brunch… I experienced my very first EARTHQUAKE!!! It was INSANE!! I can finally add and then quickly CROSS OFF “Experiencing an earthquake” from my list of things to do/experience before I die. Lol. How nuts!! Apparently California hadn’t even had one in like eight years or something.. and the ONE weekend that Chad and I go, the FIRST weekend I meet his family, THAT’S when there’s an EARTHQUAKE?!! It was certainly memorable that’s for sure. Luckily there wasn’t much damage across the city and it actually just felt like I was walking on a tight rope/plank bridge. There was a huge initial shutter, almost as if the ground gave way from underneath us then…nothing. Right then Chad and I looked at each other from across the table with confusion before it clicked. Earthquake! Almost instinctively, Chad jumped up, grabbed me and led me to a doorway where we braced for the second wave of shutters. The next set lasted several seconds rocking the picture frames on the walls and making the chandelier in the house go NUTS! After it was all said and done, we stood there a moment in shock before his Aunt came out from wherever she was hunkered down to find out if we were ok. We were fine. Shaken and maybe a bit stirred…but… A-OK!! :)

Balboa Island..
After the fiasco of the morning had subsided, we carried on with our day without much hiccup. We made a brief stop at Christy and Ryan’s apartment before heading to Balboa Island with Chad’s mom. We weren’t there very long, but from what I saw, it seemed like a super cute, but VERY EXPENSIVE tourist trap. Quaint little shops with odds and ends that could easily make anyone’s wallet lighter. Very, very cute place to waste away an afternoon though… hmmm… maybe when we win the lottery. :)

Newport Beach..Our next stop was another family bbq with Chad’s dad and his side of the family. After saying our initial hello’s and doing the standard introductions, we found a second to sneak away to cruise along the waterfront on some old school bikes.

Coming back from our ride around beautiful Newport Beach

Sweet baby McKenzie, Logans little sis

My future nephew Logan... munching on watermelon

Chad, being a good influence.. lol
Having a little run in with Christy and Ryan's dog Jack Schmitt :)

I swear there wasn’t an UGLY place ANYWHERE in sight. And believe me, I LOOKED. Again, we ate, stuffed ourselves silly and ended the night by making some smore’s over the fire pit! Mmmmmmm…. Ooooeeeeyyy, Goooeeey GOODNESS!!! :)

Monday, July 28, 2008


Day 2 in California:
My first ADULT visit to Disneyland! I felt like a little kid again. All the same anticipation I’m sure I had felt as a child waiting for the day my parents took me to see Mickey, was building up inside me again as we got closer and closer to the Disney entrance. For the most part, it was just as I remembered it as a kid. With the exception of the rides, the feelings that place evokes were all the same. I’m a dork. Lol.. I know this, but we really DID have a fun time. We spent almost the ENTIRE day there… with the exception of meeting his mom for breakfast at a quaint breakfast joint earlier that morning. I LOVE YOU MICKEY!! You’re my HERO! Lol… ;)

Standing in front of the castle..

My goofball <3>

Like a kid in a candy store.. :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Not long after we had planned our trip to the valley for Cynthia’s wedding, we had begun our quest for decently priced flights to California (so I could meet Chad’s family!!! : ). Having just been there in March (and not scheduled for his next visit until his usual time over Christmas), his family soon realized how serious our relationship was getting. Luckily for me, they are the most unbelievably loving and supportive family anyone could ask for. All they really seemed to care about was Chad’s happiness…and truth be told, that’s all I really cared about also. ;) He was happy with me, so they were happy that we were together. His mom, his aunt and all his extended family seemed to embrace me right from the start and things just seemed to fall right into place.

Although we were only there a few days, it was GO time as soon as we stepped off the plane.

July 27, 2008

-We wake up at the BUTT CRACK OF DAWN. Due to my nerves and excitement, sleep was no longer possible past 4:30am so we began our trip at IHOP with a quick pre-dawn breakfast before making our way to DFW airport.

-We are met and whisked away by his sister Christy and her two adorable kids Logan (2yrs) & McKenzie (6mo).
-We arrive at his mom’s place and have yet ANOTHER (this time gourmet style :) breakfast of eggs w/spinach and feta & tasty bagels w/cream cheese prepared collectively by everyone in the room. We sit out on the back porch overlooking the most gorgeous view I’ve seen in a long, long time as we enjoy our food and each other’s company. Perched on top of a southern Californian hill, I just couldn’t get over the perfectly breezy, sunny but cool July weather!
-A few hours later Chad rangles us up a car so we can do a little sight seeing before making our way to his aunts house for a family bbq.

-We hike along the beach for a bit then make our way to see the St. Regis hotel nearby. Just one word to describe that place. WOW!

-A bit of sightseeing aside, we finally find ourselves at his Aunt Denise and Uncle Bob’s house. We are greeted by warm hellos and welcoming hugs. Being a family of foodies, it takes all of TWO seconds to fill our bellies for the THIRD time in about 6 hours.. lol. We eat, we laugh, we mingle and eventually find ourselves blissfully tired and pooped out from the day. It was a GREAT first day in California that's for sure!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Best of Big D..

July 24, 2008
Following closely on the heels of “Taste of Dallas”, D magazine hosted their annual Best of Big D event at the Galleria this year…and guess who was working it?! My honey!! Representing The Oceanaire, Chad prepared and offered tid bits of their creations to a couple hundred select guests. To my joy, Chad invited me (as HIS select guest ;) to come along and enjoy the evening full of food from even MORE yummy restaurants in and around D-Town. The only difference was… this time, THESE were the HOITY TOITY restaurants…;) These were the restaurants where the tasty morsels we were enjoying that night were much more than a few dollar menu items at your local Mickey D’s. It was FABULOUS! Not wanting to go at it alone, I recruited my ever willing coworker Erin to come along for the ride. She’s always eager to be my hot date to restaurant/foodie type events…. Especially on a night when Chad was working the room. Thanks Erin for being such a trooper. Lol..

Working those mini crab cakes!

My coworker Erin and I :)

After a few hard hours at work, Chad called it quits at the event and headed back to the restaurant to enjoy one last final taste of heaven with us before calling it a night… MMmmmmmm… lol.

Ohhhhhhh... YES! Our dessert was actually as big as a HUMAN HEAD!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Taste of Dallas..

July 11, 2008
It’s surprising the shear amount of “STUFF” Dallas has going on at one time. I’ve been in this city for a little over two years now and still find new stuff going on every day! Much to my excitement, one of those unique Dallas events involved FOOD!!.. It was called Taste of Dallas, and my cohorts at work and I decided to check it out. Mmmmmm.. Yummy treats from wonderful places and restaurants around the DFW area, all in about a 3 block radius. Now seriously, what could be BETTER?!!

Figuring out the DART line..

Taking a break to enjoy our goodies..

What a hot day!!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The party continues..

In an attempt to impress the rest of the valley clan, Chad and I (but mostly Chad ;) hehehehe) prepare a tasty treat for a small-ish party of TWELVE! I guess in Chad's restaurant world, twelve is nothing, but to me, this was a small feat. It was a successful feat, but a feat none the less. :)

Chad showing me the ropes...

Getting Gordon Ramsey on me.. ;)
Tags, wanting in on the action..

Sweet, Sweet Baby Addie :) Almost 2 and a half months old!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Fourth of July weekend :)

The months that followed were SUPER BUSY for Chad and I. Less than two months after we started dating, Chad went down to the valley with me as my date to Cynthia and Kris' wedding. The weekend of festivities began with a rehearsal dinner/fourth of july party at Red Gate. Talk about a sight to see! A party out in the boonies... not a city light in sight and forty five minutes of our own personal fireworks show.... oooooohhhhhhh... .ahhhhh... puuurrrrdddyyy...

The actual wedding proved to be quite entertaining as well. My dorky/cheesy friends thought it would be real cute to try and embarrass us by initiating Chad into traditional mexican wedding dances. :) Gotta give the guy props for being such a good sport about the whole thing... :) Who knew white boys really COULD dance?!.. lol.