My last month in California before the road trip and the big move

There I was, Andrew had taken off for Paris and I still had one more month left.  We had already gotten rid of most of our furniture and only had smaller things left to wrap up.  I still had one more month of work and then I would be departing on my road trip back to Missouri!  But I’m getting a little ahead of myself…

All of our friends that we had made over the past 5 years wanted to hang out before I left and even though I mentioned before that we only had smaller things to wrap up, it still amounted to a lot of time sifting through the piles (plus I was still working at my job and passing on my responsibilities at Newport Bay Conservancy).  I remember telling Andrew how stressed I was trying to see everyone before I left.  His response was “Oh I’m so sorry that everyone wants to hang out with you.” – that really put it in perspective.  I decided that I should be happy and not stress out so much over it.  Plus he had a lot more on his plate than I did on mine.

My first big meet up before I left was with Erica and Gem.  Erica and I had been hiking Crystal Cove for the past year or so (it had kind of became our ritual hike every 3 months).  The hike is 4 miles down to the beach and then 4 miles back up.  That day I decided that I would complete my Landon Plunge in the ocean!  And believe me, it was cold!  So much fun with these girls, going to miss hiking there!

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I had also promised my friend, Mary, that I would join her on one more NBC kayak tour (Andrew and I loved kayaking the Back Bay).  If you’ve never been on a kayak tour, I highly suggest you go.  It is a perfect way to spend a Saturday or Sunday morning and it’s not too expensive (check out details here:  http://newportbay.org/education/weekend-kayak-tours/).  Or better yet, look into becoming a volunteer for Newport Bay Conservancy 🙂  It was a perfect day on the water.

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After kayaking, we went to Taco Mesa for lunch.  Very good food!  I’m sad that I was just discovering Taco Mesa for the first time that day, because I would have definitely made it a regular occurrence if we were staying in the area.

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The following day, my friend Kristin was in town.  So we headed down to the beach for her to complete the Landon Plunge!

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It was so nice on the beach that day, too bad she had to head back up north and I had things to do.  And by things to do, I mean meet Gem, Peter, and Erica at Kéan Coffee for Cards Against Humanity!  We were there for over 2 hours and it was so much fun.  One of the mangers for Kéan actually came out and told us how nice it was to see people sitting in a coffee shop playing a game together and not just on their phones or other electronic devices.  We kept asking ourselves why we hadn’t been doing this regularly.  Oh hindsight…

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Later that night, Gem and I headed to a hockey game!  Go Ducks!  It was my first game ever, and I don’t really have a team that I root for, so I just went with the home team and they WON!  Gem had gotten tickets from her work and they were box seats, so I’m pretty sure that all other games (as far as seating goes) are ruined for me, but I hope to go again someday.  I really enjoyed it!

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That following Wednesday, my fellow NBC volunteers held a going away party for me at Yard House.  Such wonderful people, I enjoyed spending time with them and have learned so much!  Although I must say that I was upset with the waiter because I was the only one who got carded for an alcoholic drink 😉

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Then on Friday (4/18) was the going away party from Toa.  Before we headed out to happy hour, my boss Andrea had a surprise presentation/sing-a-long to Aladdin’s “A Whole New World.”  If you know my boss and you know me then this makes perfect sense.  I was really touched by the presentation and will miss working with the team.  I really learned a lot about myself from working there.  For happy hour we headed to Yard House again, because apparently that’s the place to be 🙂  At the restaurant we proceeded to sing “A Whole New World” again, so maybe we had a few too many drinks 😉

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My last big adventure would be with Erica and Alex.  They were going to WonderCon and had asked if I wanted to tag along.  I still had so much to do, but I definitely wasn’t going to miss out on this!  They both dressed up as Mandalorians – their costumes looked great!  Everyone wanted a picture with them!  It was fun seeing kids so excited to get their picture taken with them.  It was great walking around seeing all of the different costumes, displays, and merchandise they had at the event.  Sadly, we didn’t listen to any panels that day, but I don’t really feel like I missed out.  Maybe I will partake in that the next time I go.

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I did meet up with many others, but if I were to talk about them all I would just begin to bore you 🙂  Now the only thing left to talk about is the ROAD TRIP!  But I will save that for another time 🙂

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We’re moving to France???

Who knew that everything could change drastically in just one month?!  We had just signed the lease on our apartment in December 2013 for one more year.  After one year, we had planned to play it by ear on whether we would stay or go.  But in January, a little monkey wrench was thrown into our plans.  Long story short, Andrew accepted a Head Chef position in Paris, France!  We would be moving a little earlier and farther away than expected.

Moving halfway across the country is challenging (which we had done 5 years ago), but across the world was a whole different ballpark.  We had initially decided to put most of our possessions in storage, but after a bit of thinking I thought it would be best to just get rid of most of our things and start fresh.  Luckily my husband reluctantly agreed and thus we began the process of sifting through what we would keep and purge from our lives (our family back in Missouri agreed to let us store the few possessions I could fit in my little Toyota Corolla – thank you!).  Lots of our friends and family bought or took things off of our hands (Janh even came by and filled up a duffel bag full).  It felt good to see everything go to a good home.  Our friends Toby and Jenny even let me come over and try to sell a few things at their garage sale.  That was a lot of fun!

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A few days before Andrew left for Paris we decided to have one last bonfire with all of our friends. We had met so many great people over the past 5 years and were happy to see most of them make it out (for those that didn’t make it we did manage to see each other elsewhere before we left).  Andrew made delicious tacos over the fire.  This was by far our biggest turnout yet.  All we had to do was tell everyone that we were moving, who knew those were the magic words 🙂  At the end of the night there was a hit and run accident in the parking lot near the beach where we were having the bonfire (some people having a fight over something).  Then the cops came in their helicopter to say goodbye, how sweet of them (we got the spotlight and everything).  I think the guy that was hit by the car was okay though, so that’s good.  We also are pretty sure that we saw a mermaid that night…yep definitely a mermaid.

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Andrew’s day to leave was on March 24th.  We made the rounds that day.  Stopped at our favorite place to get a cup of coffee (if you haven’t been to Kéan Coffee then you’re doing it wrong) and also had lunch at In-N-Out.

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We arrived at the airport and went to check in the bags for his flight.  I learned that there is a maximum weight for bags (you don’t just pay more if it is over).  Andrew scrambled to move things around and remove a few items from his bags so they would meet the requirements. What a mess, but in the end it all worked out!  Andrew was off for Paris!  I would not meet him for almost two more months.  I still had a lot of work to do, people to visit,  and had an epic road trip planned!  But that’s for another blog post 🙂