Tag Archives: home

Wisconsin’s Getting Ready for Us

I’m so excited to for our trip back home! I can’t wait to see everyone and get a good dose of all the things I’ve missed. I’m all packed and ready to go, and I’m about to go to bed early so I can rise and function for our early flight in the morning.

This morning in my preparatory excitement I checked the upcoming weather for Green Bay. (I am my father’s daughter.) I was surprised to see an incredible lineup:

Can this be right!?

Spoiler: No.

I checked the weather again tonight, just to be sure. I haven’t been away so long that I’ve started trusting Wisconsin weather reports. That’s when an entirely new forecast finally revealed itself.

I knew it.

Within the span of a day everything has changed! Oh geez. There’ll be rain, obviously. Thunderstorms even. It’s like Green Bay knew we hadn’t seen a thunderstorm in months and was more than ready to surprise us with one. Wow, thanks!

Looks like we’ll be going from this:

poolside

This very afternoon at our pool.

To this:

But then again, maybe not. What’s the saying? If you don’t like the weather in Wisconsin, wait five minutes? Yeah, maybe it won’t rain at all. I’m keeping my hopes up. No matter what the weather, the trip back will be awesome. Can’t wait to see everyone!

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Author: Jack

One Month Until We’re Back in Wisco

Hell yeah!

A month from now we’ll be taking our first trip back to Wisconsin since moving out to California. We’re visiting in August, so hopefully the weather won’t be too much of a shock. (It’ll be the weather during the winter holiday visit that we’ll have to watch out for.) We haven’t seen rain in months, so we’ll melt if it rains while we’re visiting. Darin actually mentioned just last night how much he’d love to have a thunderstorm. Me? I’m all good with the constant sun.

Some things we’re looking forward to on our visit back home:

  • Seeing friends & family, obviously. We’ve timed our visit so that we can enjoy Miranda and Pete’s wedding reception before they sail around the world together. (God, they’re cool.) That will account for our Saturday evening, so we’ve got another few days to fill with a ton of other stuff. Stuff like:
  • Breakfast at Lox, Stock’n Bagel with the family and the Press-Gazette crossword. I hope they have the scones I like that weekend!
  • Drinks at Lorelei. I’m hoping Dave and/or Bart are working, because they make some killer beverages. Hell, Bart just nods and knows what I want. I hope they haven’t forgotten me!
  • I want to go gaze upon and judge the size of the new Pro Shop expansion, which looks utterly ridiculous. Maybe I’ll score another hat, since my last disappeared at that ultra cold playoff game. Then again, what the heck am I going to do with a winter hat in CA? Maybe I’ll buy a tank top. Or another pair of awkward shorts with “PACKERS” emblazoned on the butt so everyone here can wonder what that’s about.
  • Speaking of the Packers, we’ll be in town for the first pre-season game on Friday night. Maybe they’ll play it at the Lorelei and we can kill two birds with one stone. Too bad it’s an away game, or I’d want to go.
  • Darin had mentioned wanted to grill out with his family, and I’d like to grill out with mine, too. That, or have some of my mom’s lasagna. It’s the best lasagna there is. Either way, having some home-cooked food would be awesome. We cook out here, but it’s not the same. It’s not infused with love.
  • Old Fashioneds – we miss them. Bars out here don’t know what you’re talking about when you order one. Occasionally, they list them under specialty cocktails, but they’re mostly bad. We’ve only found one place out here has decent ones, and they’re $10 a pop. (My brother makes better ones anyway. I’d give him $10 for one right about now. Sheesh.)
  • The lazy Wisconsin pace. Out here, there’s a gazillion people all trying to get from point A to point B on the same damn highway at any given moment, honking and being upset. Everyone is go, go, go. I seem to remember there being a bit less commotion in da Bay. Less to do and more time to do it in, because you don’t spend half your day in traffic. Sign me up.

I’m super excited to get back to Wisco and see everyone. We’re looking for someone to take care of our cats while we’re gone, but other than that our plans are all set! When we pack, we’ll have to check the forecast for the first time in months, so we know we’re bringing the right clothes along. I’ll probably even bring a jacket, because anything goes in Wisconsin!

4 Comments

Filed under Author: Jack

Road Trip to Cali: Day Three

The homestretch!

Day three we woke up in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Our view from the hotel room was pretty spectacular – just ask the cats.

The cats enjoying the mountain view

The cats enjoying the mountain view

A more human-centric view of the mountains

A more human-centric view of the mountains

We packed ourselves back into the champion of the trip –

The heroic CR-V

The heroic CR-V

– and we were off again! The Salt Lake City area was really beautiful, with tons of mountains and little cities. It’s a place you’d want to live, until you find out about how the whole area is going to be torn apart by a giant earthquake any day now. Super glad we were just passing through. So look at the scenery (before it gets rent apart).

Danger Zone Mountain

Danger Zone Mountain

Kenny Loggins should write about this city.

Kenny Loggins should write about this city.

After we left the Salt Lake City area there was a whole lot of straight roads that went on forever. I started getting drowsy, so Darin and I stopped to fuel up and switch drivers. We found this gem of a gas station with everything you could ever want:

"Red hot deal's on Utah postcards"

“Red hot deal’s on Utah postcards”

And a bunch of asses.

And a bunch of asses.

Naturally, the asses were part of a petting zoo. In the middle of nowhere. At a gas station. So I had to check them out.

Bonus ass.

Bonus ass.

Couldn't stop laughing.

Couldn’t stop laughing.

Darin took us the rest of the way out of Utah. Here’s a little video he took that illustrates both the beauty of the scenery and the reason I was drowsy.

Realizing the unsafe boredom, we set up a point system for tumbleweeds. If you hit one, 1 point. If you could get one stuck in the grille of the CR-V, 5 points. They were pretty large and in charge of the road. Darin won hands-down with something like 6 points to my 2. None ended up stuck in our grille, though we saw others who had conquered them so mightily.

A point missed!

A point missed!

Things got to the point where we were jonesing for another stop, but then the wind picked up and we were engulfed in some kind of dust storm.

Like hell we were stopping in that.

Like hell we were stopping in that.

So we rode it out a little further and switched closer to the Arizona state line.

Which looks like this.

Which looks like this.

They celebrated Darin.

They love the D.

They love the D.

Arizona was pretty incredible for the whole two seconds we were in it, especially during the first bit. We ended up inside of some really huge mountains on a dangerous, under-construction road.

Construction is universal.

Construction is universal.

The scenery was hella distracting.
DSC_0736DSC_0739DSC_0756

Here’s a video to give some scale:

Then after that….Nevada!

Which looks like this.

Which looks like this.

Most of Nevada had nothing of interest, except Vegas, which we took zero photographs of. Darin has never been to Las Vegas, so I got caught up pointing at things and not taking photographs. As you may be aware, Las Vegas is in the middle of the desert, so there was nothing else to photograph. I’m serious.

That means that – YES – it’s the time we’ve all been waiting for! OMG CALIFORNIA!

Oh, those panels? Those are the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility. Here’s a better look:

The facility consists of fields of heliostat mirrors focusing sunlight on receivers located on centralized solar power towers. The receivers generate steam to drive specially adapted steam turbines. For the first plant, the largest ever fully solar-powered steam turbine-generator set was ordered. The facility formally opened on February 13, 2014,[1] and the three units should be fully operational before the end of 2014.

The facility consists of fields of heliostat mirrors focusing sunlight on receivers located on centralized solar power towers. The receivers generate steam to drive specially adapted steam turbines. For the first plant, the largest ever fully solar-powered steam turbine-generator set was ordered. The facility formally opened on February 13, 2014,[1] and the three units should be fully operational before the end of 2014.


Way cool.

We were so excited! We didn’t know that we still had to cross a ton of the Mojave Desert, including DEATH VALLEY (so called because you will DIE of BOREDOM).

Death Valley

Death Valley

Once again it was super windy. Probably because we were in the DESERT with NOTHING around. We got low on gas, and ended up stopping at one of the super sad gas stations off the highway, surrounded by trailers and broken dreams. (Seriously, who would live out there?) It was so windy you’d almost lose the door of the car when you opened it.

The saddest, windiest gas station Superman ever visited

The saddest, windiest gas station Superman ever visited

We also switched drivers at that point because the hours of desert driving were getting to me so badly. Darin took the rest of the trip, including another hour of desert, during which we were forced to go through an Agricultural Inspection.

Seriously.

Seriously.


It looked like a toll-booth. Check the rear-view.

It looked like a toll-booth. Check the rear-view.

We made it through without incident, but the guy with the Uhaul next to us was getting questioned pretty intensely. Hope that guy made it. Really wonder what they’re trying to protect the desert from, since nothing could live out there.

After the desert came another slew of, yeah you could guess it by now, mountains. Only this time, California ones.

California mountain best mountain

California mountain best mountain

Then things got crazy, we ended up on the 101 instead of the 66 (ask Darin), and I had no time to take photos until we were jammed in traffic just when we hit downtown LA. The sun was setting, the palm trees were swaying and the traffic was stalling.

Looks like we made it.

Looks like we made it.

Another hour or so in traffic and we were in the new place. It was dark, we were tired, the cats were fed-up, but we finally arrived!

Scenery Rating: 8 (Points for even more mountains, the power plant, Vegas. Points detracted because OMG DESERT.)
Driveability Rating: 8 (Score reduced for even more wind, and the danger-zone mountain roads.)

1 Comment

Filed under Author: Jack

Scout Trip 2: Scout Harder

On Sunday Darin and I again flew out on separate flights to LA.  My trip turned into a mega-hassle, having been mysteriously booked a flight with two layovers.  One of my connections got hella-delayed, resulting in a 4-boarding pass, 1-ticked off Jackie trip.

Paper trail of frustration.

Paper trail of frustration.

Darin got a whole day to work, and once I arrived we just went to bed.

Dorks at The Grand leasing office.

Dorks at The Grand leasing office.

Nine AM was our first showing at The Grand, right next to Darin’s future office, where we weren’t horrified, but weren’t impressed either. We didn’t get to see the actual unit up for rent – just a model – and the unit we would’ve rented had a balcony that only got about an hour of sun a day and had a pretty sad view overlooking more balconies. The common areas were also in need up updating. We left feeling like the only way we’d rent The Grand was as a last resort.

The nonsense Galleria outdoor mall and its "roof".

The nonsense Galleria outdoor mall and its “roof”.

Darin left to go to a meeting, and I wandered around The Galleria – an outdoor mall with no real “roof”.

As soon as D was finished we bought him some new shoes at DSW in the Galleria. (It took way too long – he was a total woman about it.) On the verge of passing out from starvation, we headed over to Mel’s Drive-In for a very delicious lunch.  We talked about our high hopes for the AMLI, our second viewing.  (Our original noon appointment had cancelled, so we were waiting for our 2:00 at this point.)

Walking up to Mel's

Walking up to Mel’s

The interior at Mel's

The interior at Mel’s

Darin and his milkshake, which brought quite a few boys to the yard.

Darin and his milkshake, which brought quite a few boys to the yard.

After Mel’s we headed over to the AMLI – a huge grey and purple-ish behemoth of a building right on Sepulveda.

That's the AMLI - right on Sepulveda.

That’s the AMLI – right on Sepulveda.

I absently remarked at how it wasn’t very welcoming and made me kind of uncomfortable, but we went ahead with the tour. The unit available was a “first floor” interior unit, which apparently translated to “kind of underground and really dark”.

This was taken during our 2pm tour, on the actual "balcony".

This was taken during our 2pm tour, on the actual “balcony”.

Take a look – that’s “afternoon sun” out there on the subterranean patio.

Other features included a super tiny workout room that I would never use, a small pool in the shade, and oh yeah – a horribly depressing lack of windows. AMLI was even more saddening to us than The Grand had been, and was immediately removed from the list.

shoe swap

Shoe swap.

We were disheartened at our search so far to say the least, and with only one showing left at five, we were at a loss. Darin was also hurting from his new shoes, and decided to remove them and return them.

After the shoe swap we headed over to Whole Foods (across from the AMLI) and got some ice-cream type desserts. Eating our feelings lessened the pain a little.

Stress-relief noms. Note that Darin's is bacon flavored.

Stress-relief noms. Note that Darin’s is bacon flavored.

As depression kept creeping in we decided to regain our mental stamina by hitting the hotel pool. It was a good idea. Maybe even better than good.

The hotel pool cures all apartment-hunting woes.

The hotel pool cures all apartment-hunting woes.

Refreshed and ready to go with lower expectations, we headed out to our last viewing – a privately owned condo on Cedros.  Darin encountered his spirit animal on the way there.

cheetah

Darin and the cheetah statue of destiny.

Once we got to the condo we were pleased at how normal it looked: not pretentious like The Grand, or dungeon-inspired like the AMLI. A quick tour told us all we needed to know, and we found our place! (Link to the original Craigslist posting.) Since a tenant was currently occupying the space I wasn’t able to take any interior shots of the unit, but I was able to get these quick shots of the property:

condo1

Darin waiting outside the main entrance.

The common area included a nice, clean-looking pool.

The common area included a nice, clean-looking pool.

And there's our future balcony!

And there’s our future balcony!

The unit itself was up-to-date and well-lit. While I’d never really call a one bedroom “spacious”, if there was such a thing I believe this place would be it. The balcony is street-facing, so none of this sad, interior view stuff. Appliances are included (there’s in-unit laundry!) and there’s a nice gated parking garage with a spot for our bikes. It was everything we wanted, and the guy renting it was really, really awesome. So we’re signing the application ASAP. Finally contented, we went out to celebrate. Cheers to our new place!

Cheers!

Cheers!

(Seriously goofy cheers face.)

(Seriously goofy cheers face.)

Mission accomplished!

2 Comments

Filed under Author: Jack