Tuesday, December 28, 2010

the thanksgiving weekend adventure part 2.

i did not realize how many things happened in such a short amount of time!  continuing on...

after we finished our own black friday shopping we headed back to the hotel to see what the rest of the family was up to.  the original plan was to hang out near the beach friday and then saturday wake up and head to pasadena to revisit memory lane and stats.  when we got back to the hotel we realized that things were quickly changing, as they often do in my family.  there were so many things we wanted to do and just not enough time.  we went to lunch with my aunt and uncle, while deciding to forgo the original plan and go to pasadena/stats that day and go to the swap meet on saturday instead.  i wasnt sure how ready richard was for this adventure, but he was all in, especially with the hour nap we took on the way up while mom drove!

once passing the panda we got lost driving around downtown pasadena trying to remember which street stats was on.  upon finding and fighting with my sometimes lame brother we were ready to enter.  now by this time stats had been built up so much for richard.  we used to go all the time growing up, it was my favorite christmas store on the planet.  it has everything you could ever want in a christmas store.  it was to the point though that i was afraid he was going to be disappointed when we took him in there.  we kept telling him how fantastic and amazing it was, what if he thought it was the lamest place on the planet?  i was so excited to share that and the whole pasadena experience with him, but wasnt sure he was excited at all.  living in las vegas as long as we both have you cant really take a person home and show off your whole life.  this was going to be my chance, the same chance he had when we went to florida over the summer.  it really was the whole weekend, my chance to show off my family and previous life.

once we got into stats he was totally engulfed.  everywhere you looked was amazing displays and more christmas decorations than any place i had ever seen.  he loved it, thank goodness.  we only bought a few decorations, the cash register can total up quite quickly there, but they were going to be great in our apartment.  we later ate at a fantastic italian restaurant with my family, nice to get away from the big huge family.

saturday morning we got up bright and early to go the orange county swap meet.  mom and kyle had decided we should all go together.  i walked across the street from our hotel for coffee and a few breakfast goodies, while richard moved his car into the ralphs parking lot.  there was only 1 vehicle allowed in the hotel parking lot and he didnt want to pay the meter all day to keep it on the street.  so off to the orange county fairgrounds we went.  now this is not your ordinary etchy sketchy swap meet.  this is a magical land with real furniture, serious name brand perfume, sunglasses shops at every other booth, cars, backyard landscapes, socks, california t-shirts, and kitchenware.  i love wandering around this place and if you get there before 8am its free.  this was another place i was afraid richard would not like.  he would get bored or not find anything or think it was all to expensive for a traditional swap meet (which this one in its location is anything but).  but he loved it!

afterwards we decided that we needed to hit rogers garden, another one of my favorite places, but we were hungry.   we needed to hit chick-fil-a at some point that day, because they were closed on sunday, and richard had to have it when were down there.  so we convinced my mom and brother to go while my dad drove up to where we were to go to rogers garden.  he even got a souvenir shot. 
shortly after we joined dad at rogers garden and was totally impressed with all the new things they had come out with this year.  now mind you this is not a place you expect to walk out with a lot of things either.  its more of a look and marvel along with a few things you can actually afford.  richard did however find one of the coolest christmas trees ever, an itree.  like made in conjunction with apple.  you could actually hook your ipod up to it would coregraph the light blinking to the music, it was awesome.  and i got a souvenir shot at rogers garden.
we finished up fairly quickly after, we needed to head to grandpas house for turkey day part 2.  see originally we would do thanksgiving on thursday, well then family started to move to other parts of california or out of state and it became harder and harder to do it on thursday.  so we created saturday as our big official get together out at a restaurant so no one had to cook twice.  we have been doing it for close to 5 years now, expect this year was going to be at grandpas house again, it was a little weird.  we all trekked over there and hung out for the evening.

we left pretty early heading back to laguna and decided we all wanted to go out for a drink.  richard and i stopped at ralphs across the street to move his car in front of the hotel because you did not have to pay for parking after 7pm, and we figured it couldnt be good to leave it over night.  i dropped him off and went to park moms car.  he met me back in the parking lot pissed as all get out because his car had been towed!  he instantly started yelling and throwing things on the floor, and blaming me that i had told him to park in there.  now yes, i will take some responsibility that i did say to park there, or we could go and try to find a place in the neighborhoods above our hotel.  my parents were walking back from parking my dads car and saw what was happening, my dad turned into an instant im right dad mode with, well shouldnt have parked there.  while they were no help i walked away trying to find richard, who was still pissed as all get out at me and the whole situation.  i convinced him to go into ralphs and ask if they know the towing company phone number so we can try and track down his car before we need to leave the next day.  meanwhile my parents came over offering to help and what did we need.  we needed to borrow moms car if we could track down his mostly, and mom offered to take me home the next day if richard wanted to leave that night, which i was praying he wouldnt leave without me.  he called the number they gave him and someone actually answered.  we were able to go that night, which was a miracle they were open 24 hours.  he clearly needed space, still throwing things and really upset, so i went across the street to the hotel parking lot and told him to let me know when he was ready.

no car ride had ever been so silent as it was on the way to the towing place.  after getting lost and finally finding it we had to call someone to let us in.  as if the ordeal wasnt sucky enough, the car is in his dads name and the new registration had not arrived at the apartment by the time we left for the weekend, so we werent even sure they were going to let us have the car.  luckily the guy did not ask for any kind of car info, just ricahrds id and cash.  we got into our respective cars and drove back to the hotel with tears in my eyes the whole time, sure he was going to blame me forever.  i had asked my family if they could give us the room for a little bit so we could talk and they could leave us alone.  they decided they were going to go to wahoos fish tacos and then we could meet up with them to go to the bar.  once we got back he had decided he was going home that night, he needed to work the next day, and honestly i think he was still really mad at me.  i couldnt imagine him driving home like this and without me.  i finally convinced him to sit down with me on the bed and just think for a minute.  well thinking turned into a little bit of talking, which turned into more talking, and crying-on my part.  i had been determined to leave with him, whenever he was leaving.  i felt if he left without me, we would be in serious trouble.  after the talking and the reassuring of both of us and our relationship, thankfully, he decided to stay.  he also dropped being so mad at me, and i finally caught on that it was a lot more at the situation rather than just me (its the natural girly thing to do).  he realized that you can make a mistake and i wasnt going to leave, it was going to make us stronger.  and i realized how much i truly love him and that he was really opening up to me.  this was a big step for us, able to turn something that was potentially really sucky to something that didnt need blame on either person.  besides, we could always blame ralphs and the towing company instead.

my parents came back to pick us up and tried their best to make light of it all.  richard realized they were just trying to make him feel better, and laughed a little, i think he thought they were going to make the situation a blame on him.  he was going to come out, have a drink, or 7 with us and we would go home together rather early in the morning. while out with my parents, brother, and aunt and uncle, we both let it go.  he turned to me at one point and thanked me for being me and caring and believing as much as i did.  i looked at him in that moment and knew that we were going to be ok, we were going to get through this.

we drove home the next day with an uneventful trip.  we also realized this was the first trip we were taking together and would be able to go home together.  no dropping each other off at our own houses, we could go home together.  and that night we would be able to sleep in the same bed, we couldnt in the hotel, we arent married yet, you know.  now it was time for our next adventure, decorating the apartment for christmas, the first one in our place together.

Monday, December 20, 2010

the thanksgiving weekend adventure part 1.

while it is my favorite time of the year, thanksgiving is one of the best things about it.  instead of trying to coordinate a gathering at christmas, in my family it is the one true time of the year that we get together.  we have been going to southern california to my grandparents forever, the only time i remember anything different was the year we went north, and it felt really weird.  we drive down late wednesday night once dad got off work and stay until early sunday.  when i went away to college i always flew there, no question.  once i started working in retail it all changed.  the first two years i would literally went down for about 24 hours, long enough for the actual day of thanksgiving and then quickly came back for black friday.  last year i started at a new store the week of thanksgiving and couldnt go down to california at all.  so this year i was so excited to finally see my whole family again.

this year was also going to be interesting, because richard was going to come with me and meet the whole family.  he had met and spent time with my parents a ton.  and had met my dads parents, but this would be the first large family gathering he would participate in.  my family is a little nuts, as are all families.  i would leak a little bit of information here and there to richard as thanksgiving got closer, just enough not to scare him.  we decided that we would drive down early thursday morning and be there around 12 noon.  he had to work the night before and it seemed silly to drive down and midnight and be tired the whole next day.

i was really nervous to take him down there with me.  this would be the first time my family would meet a serious boyfriend i had been with for a significant amount of time, and we lived together.  as if i wasnt nervous enough, we had been fighting what seemed like more than normal that week.  it was just little things that didnt even matter, but for some reason that week they did.  i snapped at him about stupid things.  so he would get mad and i would just get more mad cause he was.  then i felt like an idiot for even snapping and it would take me a long time to apologize.  and being the amazing boyfriend that he is, would always tell that it was ok, when i knew it wasnt and i was just being mean for no reason.  i was almost afraid he was going to say he didnt want to go and would just stay here.  thank goodness he still went.

this thanksgiving felt very different for multiple reasons.  i was bringing a boyfriend, we were staying in a hotel, we didnt all drive down together, grandpa and myrna were doing thanksgiving and saturday dinner at their house, and still grandma was not here with us.  she passed away in 2004 and whenever we go down, it still feels weird she isnt there to celebrate.  luckily grandpa found a really great new partner named myrna, who definitely keeps him on his toes. 

once we finally got down there we went straight to grandpas house.  we arrived just about the same time as everyone else.  as we went in, i was getting really excited to show off my boyfriend, and i think richard was just getting more and more nervous.  the family took him well and never really drilled him with questions.  he spent a lot of time watching football with the guys and i spent a lot of time with my other uncles, aunts, and cousins.  there was lots of new family drama to catch up on.  i kept checking on him to make sure he was ok, and he did really well holding his own.  which i by the way, never had a doubt.
later that evening we went down to the hotel in laguna with my parents.  we had convinced them to let us stay with them and save everyone money in hotel.  it was a tight fit to say the least.  we had brought richards air mattress with us, one because there were 5 people in the room, and two because he and i couldnt sleep together.  we escaped the family for a little bit and walked around in hopes of food, didnt find much though.  i really just wanted to go to bed so we could get up early to experience our 1st black friday shopping, but he wasnt tired at all, and it was nice to just walk around with him.

the next morning at 3am the alarms started going off so we could get up and start the shopping!  this was going to be quite the adventure, number one it was my 1st black friday on the customer side.  number two he and i were going by ourselves.  number three 2 of my other aunts, mom and cousin all decided they were now going to go experience black friday since we didnt let them go with us.  we left pretty close to 330am and after getting lost and having to turn around and miss the 4am opening of target, we made it to the costa mesa target with a pretty empty parking lot.  we were stoked, thinking we had found the best target.  turns out that store specifically didnt open till 7am!  this meant we were already late and now were going to definitely miss out on the $3 grill cheese maker i desperately wanted at any other target.  we found another one super close and actually closer to south coast plaza.  we entered and made mad dashes to the electronics and kitchen areas.  my mission was to see the tv on dvd sales and his mission to find the $3 grill cheese maker.  i found sex and the city 2 for $10, but no big bang.  he came up empty handed with a grill cheese maker.  we were trying to decide whether we were going to brave the line for sex and the city 2 when we saw a huge george foreman grill on sale for $28!  we definitely decided to stand in line after that.  then while standing in line i found big bang season 3 for $13 along with 2 other movies for $4 each.  i also found the entire series of friends on sale for $10 per season and legit had all 10 boxes in my hand with richard looking at me like a crazy person, i realized i may have gotten a little caught up in the craziness.  i put friends back and joined richard back in line to pay for our awesome finds.  target was definitely successful.

we moved on to south coast plaza where we really didnt find that many lines.  i think the line i stood in at starbucks was longer than any line we stood in for a store.  i made great purchases at victoria secret and h&m where richard said the best thing to me, "you can never have too many coats."  (i think you may need to understand my obsession with outerwear to fully know why i loved that so much, but its ok.)  many stores werent even open and the line at gap looked like a club with a bouncer to get in.  we made our way across the street to old navy where i just shook my head and chuckled the whole time we were in there, reminding myself how glad i was to be on the other side.  we even braved best buy, which by 9am wasnt even bad at all.  we walked to our car with our fantastic purchases we damn near could have sold our rockin parking spot and gone back shopping for more.

our next stop realistically was phillys best for the most amazing cheese steaks and chicken phillys on the planet.  we just had to make a walmart detour, it was only 930 in the morning.  on our detour though, we ended up buying a christmas tree.  it was just like the one we had been looking at in vegas.  richard kept saying we can just go buy it on sunday when we get home, but i kept saying, why go out when we can buy it now and be done.  in the end the tree rode all the way home in the backseat.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

the christmas decorations.

this is my absolute favorite time of the year.  hands down, without a doubt.  right before halloween until the new year is the best part of the calendar year.  most people think that it is a little crazy that i worked in retail for 3 holidays and still could get this excited.  this happens to also be richards favorite time of year, thank goodness.  last year we spent our 1st christmas together and it was so much fun.  this year though, he will be living with me,  a whole new type of experience for him.  insert large laughs and eye rolls here.  i like to go all out, decorating the day after thanksgiving, listening to christmas music right before thanksgiving and wanting to completely change the whole house to match the season.  i have always looked forward to the day when i would one day have my own place to decorate.

when richard and i talked about moving in together somehow our talks always made their way to christmas decorations.  we agreed and disagreed pretty equally with the other person.  i however, was not really sure how this was going to work.  we decided instead of "saving" all of this imaginary money to buy christmas things, we would start buying a couple things each week after halloween.  i always think i am going to save, then i find other things i want, forget about the saving, and now end up buying way more things than i should have on both fronts.  i thought this was an excellent plan.

we began looking the next weekend after the halloween party.  most places already had christmas decorations out, so this was an easy task.  we had to start with the most important thing, the tree.  we werent ready to buy, but knew we needed to agree on something to start with.  when the discussions first started richard was positive we were going to have a white tree.  are you kidding me.  christmas trees are green, lets just say we decided on a green tree.  we knew that we did want a fake one, but which one would come later.  the next discussion was the type of lights that went on a tree.  now, not only did he want a white tree, he wanted white lights to go on the tree.  once i finally convinced him on colored strands, he then decided we could just buy single colors and put that on the tree.  oh how i had to hold back!  i am all about the multi-colored and at least some need to be blinky.  that was a whole other discussion, because blinky would drive him crazy.

by this point just about all of my friends and family knew about the discussions we were having about just the tree and laughing hysterically on the side.  then we had to decided on pre-lit or not.  i was soooo far against that as well.  you must put your own lights on the tree.  finally we came to the decision to combine our two ideas.  we would have a green tree, with mostly multi-colored lights, only one strand of blinky (ps they were 150 count, yes), and one or more strand of white.  i wasnt really sure how that was going to look, but we will get to that next time.

while all of these discussions were going on, we were shopping around for other decorations.  we did a lot of looking and not much buying.  it seemed like richard just would not commit to buying anything.  now, i am all about looking and knowing what my options are, but it gets to a point where we cant go look at target anymore, because they still have the same things they did 2 days ago.  there were quite a few things we disagreed on in this category too.  i am all about color, if you couldnt tell from the previous tree discussion.  i am totally stoked that christmas decorations are now including pinks, purples, whites, blacks, oranges, and blues.  richard, not so much.  he is very much a traditionalist gravitating towards the red/green/gold themed items.  now luckily for me, these items have become somewhat more modern so i couldnt completely rule them out.  plus i love the new updated classics they are coming out with now.  not just an old looking train, but one that has new colors and graphics.  garland made out of christmas balls.  and table cloths that are no longer just gold sparkly.

as we did finally start buying we knew we didnt really have anywhere to store these things.  so they least it was all centrally located! 

it all started to come together then.  richard accepted that i would buy a few out there things he wasnt used to yet.  and i accepted that he would always love his white lights.  plus none of it really mattered when he told me that of course we are decorating the day after thanksgiving!  the little piddly stuff doesnt really matter.  and really who cares if he wants to buy single colored light strands, its going to look fantastic in the windows.  and i learned i need to compromise a little on christmas decorations, there are 2 of us living here silly.
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