Posted in Life

Do you know the way to San Jose

For my husbands 40th birthday I bought us tickets to San Jose to watch the Oilers vs Sharks hockey game. It was quite the trip and all took place within 48 hours. Here’s how it went.

Waking up at 3:30 am to get ready to be at the airport for an international flight was the first challenge. We had coffee and let the dogs out and got out of the house by 4:30. Our flight to Seattle was only about 50 minutes and we had a 3 hour layover there which allowed us to grab some breakfast and stretch our legs. We arrived in San Jose at 12:30. Uber is readily available there and we were able to catch a ride to the dive motel I booked (it looked way better online and had a 4 star rating through I should’ve used Trip Adviser like I normally do…oh well.

We arrived at Caravelle Inn and Suites and the front desk lady look perplexed when we walked in and asked to check in. “My boss doesn’t allow me to check anyone in until 3pm, I may be able to get you in at the earliest at 2 but my boss will give me shit for doing so.” Luke and I really wanted to take a nap and recoup from the early wake up, but what can you do? We decided to see what was around and walked about 4 blocks one direction and realized there is really nothing near us. We ended up at a sushi place across the street from the motel and ordered two rolls, some sashimi and miso soup and Sapporo (Japanese beer). The menu here was hilarious, rolls were named “sex in the city”, “orgasm”, etc.

The restaurant was closing for the afternoon so we had to leave after we ate and we still had about an hour to kill before we would be able to check in. There was this sketchy dive bar beside the hotel and we walked past it and considered going in, but it made me nervous so we walked to the Holiday inn to see if they had a place to hang out for an hour….they didn’t. “Dive bar it is” Luke said.

We entered and the place was dark, and dingy but not as sketchy as I had expected and we order two gin and sodas. I’ve worked in bars throughout my life and always tend to watch bar tenders work. This girl grabbed the bottle of gin and started pouring….and pouring. She had to have put 3+ shots in, nearly filling the glass half way before putting the soda in. I took one sip and cringed “I gotta wait for the ice to melt before drinking this” I said to Luke. We hung out and slowly sipped our strong drink and chatted about our plan for the evening.

We were able to check in at 3 and felt pretty gross from airports and dive bars so showered and prepared to head downtown. We took an Uber downtown around 5:30 (the game starts at 7) and wandered around hoping to come across anything of interest.

We got to the SAP center and grabbed our seats to watch the game. I won’t talk about the game because our team played horribly. They lost 7-2 (so disappointing).

After the game we wandered down to an Irish pub to grab some grub and a couple of drinks to drown our sorrows over the loss. We ended up meeting a several people and really hit it off and chatted and hung out until nearly 2am. So now we’ve been up for almost 24 hours and we took an Uber back to the motel and crashed. We got up around 9:30 am and got ready to check out for 11. We had breakfast and since our flight home wasn’t until 4:30, we decided to go to the Winchester mansion. If you haven’t heard of this place, the back story is quite interesting. I won’t go into details here but check out this link Winchester Mansion.

We get back to the airport and wait to board our flight. We land in Seattle and have another 3 hour layover and arrive home at midnight. Luke and I both had to work the next morning and let me tell you, we were exhausted. So that is a recap of 48 hours of travel and adventure. If I were to give travel advise regarding San Jose, I’d say check out the Winchester mansion and perhaps the Tech museum, and take Uber’s everywhere. The people there are really friendly so don’t be shy to strike up a conversation.

Posted in Life, travel, trips

Little trip to Edmonton

We flew in Thursday night. Nice little 50 minute flight. Luke and I tend to play scrabble on short flights to see if we can finish a game or not. He beat me this time, mind you I helped him place one word that prompted a 40+ score. (I’m very competitive so it grinds my grits to lose…sorry hun). Anyway we got in and had a late dinner, there’s a one hour ahead time change from where we live and crashed.

Next day we had a plan of seeing family if we could, and also picking up what we needed for Saturday night dinner. Also go to the Oilers vs Flyers game at the Rogers Centre that night.

We stopped at a pub before the game and there were at least 20 dudes all wearing various quality Santa suits. I had to ask what was going on and they said “we’re just a bunch of Santa’s going to watch hockey”. At one point they were all chanting “CHRISTMAS, CHRISTMAS, CHRISTMAS”. The final score was 4-1 for the Oilers. Woot woot!

Saturday was Christmas dinner day. We had to plan an early Christmas just to be sure everyone could make it to see each other. (I’ll tell you all about my insanely large family at some point) I was supposed to be the sous chef to Luke but didn’t help as much as I had promised. I got involved in playing with the kiddos and wrapping gifts and drinking a bit to much wine. We all wore onesies (see picture below) as planned and played games.

Overall it was a lovely weekend getaway and I love my family very much. See below for some recipes we used for sides and punch. Happy Monday.

Christmas Punch: if you make this the day before the flavours infuse much more

• 2 bottles dry sparkling white wine

• 1.5 cups brandy

• 2 litre bottle of ginger ale

• 2 litre bottle of real cranberry-juice

• 2 cinnamon sticks

• 2 oranges cut into slices

• bag of whole cranberries

Brussel Sprout side: you can ratio this to whatever you like, taste as you go. The point is to bring it all together but differentiating the individual flavours as well.

• Brussel sprouts

• cranberries

• pecans

• honey and balsamic vinegar