Wednesday, August 29, 2012

EA Tortilla in Cali!

Our last visitor for the summer was my cousin/one of my best friends/matron of honor, Andrea! When Andrea was little her parents would try to get her to say her name, An-dree-ah! But all she could get out was the last bit, EA, and so began her nickname. And when you're from Texas so close to Mexico, the easiest thing to rhyme with EA is tortilla of course! So she is ea tortilla!

She was supposed to come in Saturday night but sadly her flight was canceled and she didn't make it in until Sunday around lunch time. After a quick bite to eat at Burr's Soda Fountain, Mitchell drove us out to Amador County in a friend's Mini Cooper for a little wine tasting. I bought a Living Social deal for a winery out there and wanted to use it while Andrea was in town!

Amador County is beautiful and a great way to start the trip!

Haha, how could we pass up an opportunity to take a photo like this??

Oh Mitchell, we're switched!
On Monday, Mitchell had to go up north for a work trip so Andrea and I hung out in Sacramento. We went to Old Sacramento, which is the touristy, historic downtown of Sacramento. We stopped at a Mexican restaurant I'd been wanting to try for a drink then made our way home and had homemade quesadillas and watched a documentary.

When Andrea was in college, she spent the fall semester of her senior year studying abroad in Paris. While she was there she made some lifelong friends, one of whom lives just north of Napa and was on summer break from dental school. All of that equals a necessary day trip to Napa Valley on Tuesday to visit Amanda!
Reunited after 2.5 years! They hadn't seen each other since Andrea's wedding in March of 2010!
After wine tasting at V. Sattui, we bought a bottle of their wine, some cheeses, a baguette and chicken salad and had a picnic lunch outside. Yum!

Walking along the vineyard! We may have tasted some of the grapes on the vine! So close to harvest season!

Haha, if you're gonna take a picture with my phone when I'm not looking, don't be surprised if it ends up online! ;)
Sweet friends at Menage a Trois winery!

Cousins at Sterling Winery - so beautiful up there!
We made our way back to Sacramento that night and crashed pretty early. On Wednesday, Andrea was such a trooper and hung out at the house while I went to my "establish new patient care" doctor appointment. When I got home, we walked to McDonald's and got a coffee and a Diet Coke and then walked over to the park by our house. Andrea told me all about the goals she has set for her life. She works for a yoga-inspired athletic wear company called Lululemon. They are really big on goal setting and Andrea explained to me the process of setting goals for your life. It starts with envisioning your life and then setting 10 year, 5 year, 1 year and 6 month goals for yourself. Sounds like something we should do more often, right? :)

We met Mitchell for lunch at a restaurant by his work called Ink and then took our last picture together before I took her to the airport!

Andrea, I had so much fun having you out for a visit! I can't wait to see you again!

6 Days with Liddy!

After my parents left to go back to Houston, my 17 year old sister stayed with us for another six days. Mitchell and Liddy have been good friends pretty much ever since they met (I think it's a baby of the family thing). Liddy and I were close growing up because we're 9.5 years apart and the older we get, the closer we get. We were excited to have her stay with us and I think we got to do some pretty awesome things...

After dropping my parents off at the airport on Thursday night, we had dinner at my sister's favorite restaurant...

Friday morning, Liddy and I lazed around the house and then in the afternoon took off for the Jelly Belly Factory tour! 

Saturday morning, Mitchell joined us for a trip to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. Liddy and Mitchell were pumped about the roller coasters but I have to be having a "brave" day in order to not be nervous about riding them. My feet were definitely sweating the whole way there. BUT, I rode all the rides with them and even sat in the front of the roller coaster when they wanted to see all the drops and in the back when they wanted to go the fastest/highest!

A trip to a theme park would not be complete without a funnel cake!

When we got home that night, Liddy helped make dinner by learning how to dice bell pepper and jalapeno! I almost didn't want to warn her about how to properly remove jalapeno seeds without getting it all over your hands and then in your mouth and eyes but I decided I didn't want to hear whining all evening. ;)

Sunday morning we went to church and then after lunch went out to a beach along the Sacramento River. The water is ice cold!! Literally, it is fed by melted snow so no swimming for us! We laid out on our towels and read our books.

Monday, I had to volunteer at the pregnancy center for a few hours so Liddy hung out at the house by herself and probably watched too many episodes of Breaking Bad. ;P When I got home around 1pm, we had "Movie Monday" and watched Bridesmaids and Tangled in the afternoon and then 50/50 once Mitchell got home. Liddy painted my nails for me because she is a pro at nail painting.

On Tuesday, Liddy and I went back to San Francisco for the day since we mostly stayed on the outer edges of the city with my parents. First stop was the Painted Ladies! Do a YouTube search for "Full House Opening Credits", click on the first video that comes up and compare the picture below with the last scene of that video... identical!

We eventually made our way down to the bay and went to the Exploratorium which is a hands-on science museum. Inside they have a Tactile Dome which is a maze you have to make your way through in complete and total darkness. You can absolutely not be claustrophobic or scared of the dark going through it. We were fine going through it together but if I had been in there alone, I probably would have panicked! 

At the Exploratorium, we stood in rooms too small...

...sat in chairs too big...

...drank out of toilets...

...hugged a tornado...

...took a picture right in front of a water droplet...

...any guesses what is happening in the next picture?? Look closely and see if you can figure it out! I'll tell you below the picture. 

We are sitting opposite each other with a mirror between us, except that slats of the mirror have been taken out so you alternate seeing through to the other person and then your own reflection. I am taking the picture and you see the top of Liddy's head, my eyes and half of my nose, half of Liddy's nose and mouth, my cell phone taking the picture, Liddy's black shirt and then the rest of my hands! Cool, huh?

After making it home from San Francisco, we watched a little tv with Mitchell and a took a sad face picture because Liddy was leaving the next day. Haha, Mitchell is asleep!

Last picture with my little sister before taking her to the airport to fly home by herself for the first time!

We loved having you, Liddy and can't wait to see you again!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Schoelmans Visit Cali!

Towards the end of the summer part of my family made it out to California, but they didn't come solely to visit us. My sister, Liddy who is a senior in high school this year was competing in Junior Olympics for water polo. Stanford was hosting the event so we spent four days down in the Palo Alto area. It is a gorgeous area of California and since we had lots of down time in between games, I got to really know the area.

Don't mess with her!

Walking around the Stanford area in between games

Half Moon Bay

One Infinite Loop in Cupertino! We are geeks on our iPhones.

Santa Cruz with the infamous boardwalk behind us
After the tournament, we made our way up to Sacramento for four days with my parents. We did all kinds of fun stuff... Lake Tahoe, Amador County wine tasting, Muir Woods, San Francisco, you know, the usual. ;)
Lake Tahoe in the background

Dipping our toes in Lake Tahoe

They are taking cycling to a whole other level

Wine tasting at Helwig

Our last stop. Can you tell? :P

Muir Woods!

Beautiful little sister with some incredible redwoods behind her.

Hiking along the trails in Muir Woods

Lunch in Sausalito overlooking the bay. You can see San Fran in the background

Golden Gate bridge

Walking along the Fisherman's Wharf

The seals are back at Pier 39!

Last night for the parents in Cali - at The Shack!
We had so much fun and hosted the most number of people in our house yet. Poor Liddy was a good sport and slept on the couch until my parents left. Luckily for them, Liddy plans to compete in JO's next summer so they'll be back to Cali soon. Next year will be in Orange County so I can't wait to explore SoCal.

Thanks mom and dad for coming to visit us in California and being great guests!

Friday, August 24, 2012

I have jobs!

Due to an uneventful few weeks and ~3 weeks of visitors, our blog has been left high and dry! It's time for an update on my job situation.

Job #1: Substitute Teacher for Natomas School District
After receiving my California substitute teacher credential in June, I applied for a substitute position at a school district nearby. I'm not sure how this works but you just kinda submit all the paperwork and they hire you. I feel like their policy is if you're willing to jump through our hoops to get hired, we'll hire you. Okay, so I am a substitute teacher now. Yay! I received my first call for a job while my cousin Andrea was here so I wasn't able to accept but at least I know I'm in their system. I suspect it will take a while to get my name out there and get more job calls.

Job #2: Field Assistant for Great American Opportunities (fancy title)
Remember when you were doing fundraisers in junior high and elementary for magazines or cookie dough? Well my friend Michael (married to my best CA buddy, Allyson) is the guy who runs the fundraisers for schools. Remember the big assemblies with money wheels and money machines? Yep, that's him. Well he needed part time employees to be present on days when the students come turn in their orders and receive their prizes. That's me! Today was my first day and it was right up my alley. Fast-paced, quick thinking and requires great organization skills. PLUS I forgot how much I love teenagers. They're goofy but so much fun!

Potential Job #3: Sexual Health Educator for Alternatives Pregnancy
Remember how I'm a volunteer counselor at a pregnancy center? Well schools will ask them to come and give seminars to their students about sex education and since we do it for free, we have more demand than Alternatives can meet. After a nonchalant talk with the director of Alternatives about this, I told her I would love to help out whenever they go. She got all excited about my offer plus the fact that I am a high school Biology teacher and threw out the possibility of hiring me part time to go do these seminars. Awesome! That was a few weeks ago so I need to talk to her again, but if it worked out, that would be so great!

Funny how I haven't had any job possibilities in the first 6 months of living in California then in about 3 weeks, I had 3 opportunities. Ah, I definitely feel like it's an answer to prayer. I've had a few low, low days about being alone for so much of my day. But yay for a busier schedule now!