Friday, January 25, 2008

Rose Bowl 2008

I am finally sitting down to do a post about our Rose Bowl trip. How do I even start to explain a vacation with 4 guys and me. It's definitely the first time traveling with all guys, but I would do it again in a heartbeat with my travel companions!! Our trip started in San Diego and we headed down by the ocean for a late lunch and then later the guys went out to Pacific Beach. The next day we headed to Torrey Pines State Park and walked along the beach and then hiked up some hills followed by a stop in La Jolla. The boys were even gracious enough to go to a Brewery while I got in some shopping :) That night we did dinner in Old Town (awesome Mexican) and then we headed out on the town to find the 3 single boys some ladies to dance with. Mission accomplished. We drove to LA on NYE and we were able to grab a drink with Adam's Aunt Karen and Uncle Steve (and Jackson). We rang in the New Year at an Irish Bar with a band that played jig music. We stuck it out until midnight and headed to the hotel to get sleep before the big game. Game day started early with a quick breakfast stop and then to the train that took us out to Pasedena. We saw a few of the parade floats and then headed for the shuttle to the stadium. There were people from Elmwood, IL on our shuttle so we talked a little Central IL talk. They knew where Manito was :) From the outside, the stadium did not appear as grand as I expected. There was a large ESPN tailgate zone going on and a large beer garden with $8 beers. After just one, we headed towards the official Illini tailgate on the golf course. On the way, Marc saw a guy from his work. They had large garbage bags full of ice and beer, so the boys all helped carry those across the golf course to our tailgate spot. They were really nice guys and we helped them lighten the load of the beers as the morning went on. The sea of orange was unbelievable!! I felt such Illini pride! After some beers and long jogs to the porta-potties, we headed into the stadium. It was a little crazy getting in and I felt like I might get trampled. Walking into the actual bowl part was so awesome! There was not a bad seat in the whole place and it was much larger from the inside than the outside. Again, we were surrounded by orange and seeing the team run out onto the field we were feeling confident. Although that feeling subsided mid-way through the 3rd quarter, it was still a lot of fun seeing the team and band perform knowing it was in front of such a large stage. Mika came over to our seats at the end of the game so we got to see she and her friend, Megan. After the game, Adam and I walked and walked and walked our way back to the main area of Pasedena. The town itself is so cute and has tons of stores, bars, and restaurants. We met up with a bunch of guys from Adam's house for dinner. The next day we hit Chinatown for lunch and then did a drive through of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. I kept my eyes out for celebrities but did not see any :( We went back to San Diego and stayed there one more night. Adam and I had the chance to visit with my sister's friends, Christine and Heath. They live in SD and have a little boy, Camden. The night we were there was the day before his 1st birthday. He is very cute and we enjoyed watching him play with his best friend (their dog). It was great to see their place and catch up! Finally, it was time to go home. Adam and I dropped Mike off at the airport and had time to kill so we headed to Balboa Park. Even though it was gray and chilly, we enjoyed seeing all the museums and walking around. SD is definitely a city I would like to return to. Unfortunately, it took us almost 12 hours to get home (gotta love flying into Chicago in the winter). We'd also like to thank the Southwest employees that all decided to call in that day so we had to wait an hour and a half for our bags once we got in a 1:00 AM. Despite the score of the game, it was such a memorable and fun experience! Here's to hoping for a return trip next year! I-L-L

Saturday, January 5, 2008

We're Engaged!!!

I am beyond excited to be writing this post!! For those of you that do not know yet, Adam and I got engaged on Dec. 21st. He had given me tickets to see Jersey Boys for my birthday. So on that Friday we went to dinner and then to the show. If anyone even remotely likes Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons....Go see this show if you have a chance!!! It was so entertaining and the songs are still in my head. Adam had told me that he made reservations for dessert across the street from the theater at Italian Village. I thought that was kind of odd but maybe this was just him extending my birthday gift. The waiter sat us at a private booth and then Adam went to the restroom and came back with a wrapped gift. It was a larger box (not ring box size). I was a little nervous opening this but found it was diamond earrings (which were really pretty). He gave me these as another b-day present but mainly to throw me off. It totally worked! We had dessert and then headed home in a cab (me thinking how it was going to be awhile before we got engaged). When we got out of the cab, Adam suggested we walk to the park next to our building. There is a gazeebo in the park and he proposed in there (he even got down on one knee on the wet pavement)! After a lot of crying I said Yes :) It was all very romantic and perfect. He did a good job picking out the ring and did his share of learning all about diamonds. I am still making calls to family and friends so if I have not talked to you yet, I apologize! Here is a picture we took right after the proposal! We're thinking spring 2009!