monterey and big sur

i am not so good at giving gifts. they stress me out. it’s just not my love language. for example, poor tyler got three shirts for his birthday, two of which were just…. gray t-shirts.

since he was turning 30 this year, i had to redeem myself somehow, so i did what i do best. i planned a surprise trip! i told him to get a friday off work and not to scheduleanything for the weekend. he tried to guess where we were going all month long, but i wouldn’t give any clues. i’m a jerk, what can i say.

we packed some bags, i was completely vague on what he should bring, we loaded up the car early friday morning and i drove west… totally throwing him off the trail of where we were going until we pulled into a park n jet! at airport security i gave him his boarding pass right before we had to hand them to security. i had toyed with the idea of blindfolding him and making him wear headphones the entire flight, but figured TSA would not be so keen on my charade.

so anyway, we ended up in san francisco! but that wasn’t our destination. once we got there we loaded up a rental car and proceeded down the coast to one of my favorite places in california- monterey. DSC_0218we spent the long weekend exploring monterey and big sur. it is the most beautiful country. there’s greenery and crashing waves on the beaches and tide pools and oak trees. and seafood and sunsets. my perfect vacation.

neither of us had ever been to big sur, so we drove that stretch of the pacific 1 that morning and saw all the beautiful vistas, climbed trees, and hiked around for more views. it was amazing! i took a lot of photos and tried to narrow them down, it clearly didn’t work. so here are a bunch of them

here are two of the great views- the first one is the most photographed spot in big sur with a waterfall going directly into the ocean, and the other is the view from the 17 mile drive.

a couple more on the ocean at 17 mile drive, and a photo i took of the coastline from high up in a tree.

point lobos state park is a great stop on the big sur circuit. lots of easy hiking around and pretty overlooks. and! you can’t forget the lone cyprus, which we are pictured with above… even if it is just a kind of overrated tree being held up by stilts and wires so it doesn’t fall over and die.

sunset in carmel, two goons freezing during said sunset on the beach, and more point lobos park.

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we had a great trip! up until tyler almost made us miss our flight home because he drove the wrong way over the bay bridge instead of towards the airport because he was too excited to play a song he knew that mentioned the bay bridge instead of watching the navigation. it’s cool. i mean what’s a good trip without a little drama?

EDIT TO ADD: after reading this post, tyler informed me that i didn’t add enough detail to the bay bridge debacle. for instance, the song was called, “jungle” by andre nickatina. and he was feeling the music so much that he was completely oblivious to the fact that we were going the wrong way until our time to destination had doubled. and we had to wait in traffic for 45 minutes in order to pay a toll to cross the bridge again, this time going in the right direction. and we hemmed and hawed about whether or not we should just make a break for it and go through the auto toll lane and get fined instead of waiting in line… and how when we finally got the car back to the rental place, the gas tank was completely empty and we basically threw the keys at the rental car guy, grabbed our bags, and ran to the gate. thanks for jogging my memory, tyler.

march 2018

and i think a couple pics from february, too.

like these ones. i feel like i didn’t even get around to looking at my photos from spain until march, so here’s a couple more.

here are two pics that really encompass february and march fun times!!!!! me shoveling snow in my pajamas and tyler and i brushing our teeth in our matching shirts. our bathroom isn’t big enough for both of us to brush standing side by side, so maybe i had one foot in the bathtub in this pic or something. who knows.

contrary to popular belief, i still have a couple friends! here we are at the wedding of the century!! britni and clayton got married in march, and it was great. brit is one of my oldest and best friends and i am so happy for her. we both met our now-husbands on tinder the same summer (lol) so i have been invested in this relationship from the get-go. tyler is happy that i finally have a friend who is married to someone with a dirtbike.

aaaaand nurse friends going to see matinees on weekdays! haha. honestly the best friends a nurse can have are other nurse friends with the same whacked out schedule. we both use the same nurse scheduling app so we can see when each other are off and i live for the afternoons when i get the “what are you doing i’m bored” texts.

oh look, we are eating things. my mom sent theeee best peanut butter cookies from boise in our birthday package, and here we are sampling them… i don’t know. i find some pretty strange photos on my phone. the second is us and a nutella ice cream cone…. so good… if you’re in salt lake looking to upgrade from your mcdonald’s soft serve, normal ice cream in trolley square will do it for you. and then next we have toast. hummus, hard boiled egg, caper. toast is the best food. try it.

work. i’m still a nurse. here i am hiding in the bathroom away from my crazy patients and the call lights. with bunny ears because i am festive and it was easter sunday. aaaand guess what? i am finally on day shift! i will sort of miss these sunrises greeting me after a complete crap shift. they always gave me some semblance of hope.

and then march meant one thing- birthdays! i turned 27 and tyler turned the big 3-0. we didn’t take a single photo together but i did get some pics of him eating, so i guess that’s something. we went to hamachi for his birthday and provisions for mine. i spent my day not working (!!! woo hoo) and just going to the gym and catching up with friends. for tyler’s birthday i concocted a birthday surprise trip i will talk about in another post. the best birthday gift though for me was a letter from elder ball!

and that was march. looking forward to spring’s actual debut, getting outside, and sleeping normal hours.

february 2018… basically just spain

as of february 10 we have been married one year. we decided to go to spain for our anniversary and planning the trip and anticipating showing tyler all my favorite things in spain made winter bearable.

we didn’t have much of a plan, but tyler was convinced he wanted to drive around the country and see as much as possible in nine days… and by the end, i think we were both wishing we had taken things a bit slower! we got home definitely needing a vacation from our vacation! but it was so awesome. i loved having my worlds collide by taking my husband to some of the places that had shaped me. and seeing him try to understand castillian spanish and figure out how to order food and what the hell a “bocadillo” was ended up being quite hilarious.

so! our trip. we started out in madrid. we flew in on a red eye, got wifi at the coveted mcdonald’s free wifi station, and walked around a bit. we were incredibly tired, so we got churros con chocolate from san gines, the BEST in spain, and headed out on our road trip. we spent the night halfway between madrid and barcelona and slept for about 15 hours.

the following day we drove north towards figureres, the home of dalí and his art. we stopped at montserrat, a monestary in the high spanish mountains. i wanted to see the view i had missed when i was there in 2010. it was beautiful. and by the time we were heading back the fog had rolled in and the rains come. we had made it just in time.

figueres was a town i had never been to, but ended up loving. we stayed right next to  a church in a cute apartment that overlooked el museo dalí. we spent our time there eating tapas, walking the city streets in search of coca light, and visiting the museum. it was a sensational delight, truly. i recommend it completely. here’s tyler’s “art outfit” and “art appreciation stance”

our time spent in barcelona was short and COLD. haha we made the best of things and walked around the parque guell for the view of the city, then down to city center for a tour of la sagrada familia. also, more great food and expensive parking. sagrada familia was fantastic, even better than i remembered. it is still not complete, but much different than 8 years ago when i was there. it is so beautiful and indescribable, you must go. and we will have to go again too because we accidentally watched the entire video in catalán instead of english or spanish, so we definitely missed some important parts.

our next day was a travel day in which we had to cover a lot of ground in our volkwagen polo, so we stopped in multiple cities along the way. valencia for orange juice (duh) and then alicante for the beach, sun, food, and people watching. it was actually warm there, so i was incredibly happy and my spirit renewed. and i got to take off my ugly black coat so i was happy. that night we stayed in granada and had a lovely dinner of paella for el dia de san valentín!

in the early AM the next day we piled our stuff back into the car and drove to el caminito del rey, which is a hike along sheer cliffs that tyler had wanted to do. it was scary. i like to try everything and heights usually don’t get to me, but this place took my breath away. it was beautiful country though. and tyler was happy, and we were outside, so overall good? besides the terror.

our next stop was ronda. favorite part of the trip for me! ronda is small town high in the mountains of andalucia. hemingway loved ronda, and wrote about it a lot. it is also the home of bullfighting. ronda is built up on a cliff, and there are multiple connecting bridges all around the city that are so lovely. below the city are farms and olive groves for as far as the eye can see. it was such a relaxing, beautiful stay. we explored the city by foot and by car for all the best sites. also, we found a grocery store where you could squeeze your own orange juice from the BEST oranges and i felt like i had won the lottery. from ronda we took one day trip to marbella, which is on the sea to the south. lots of boats, finery, and money clearly run the city. it was a fun trip to see how vacationing europeans live.

and on our last day in spain we drove to alcalá de henares to see my poveda familia!!! it was almost nerve wracking driving to see them! tyler said he felt like he was going home to meet my parents. haha being in alcalá was great and strange. seeing streets i had walked down a million times and places i had forgotten about was a real trip! and i only got us lost once.  🙂

we ate dinner with fernando, pilar, and the whole gang. they recently sold their house and renovated the store they owned into a house, so we spent time going through and seeing everything, right now to the closets’ interior. it was great. both their sons and their families came, so i got to see everyone and try to understand everyone’s accents. between tyler and i, we did ok. it was so great to see everyone again. they are completely the same, only fernando has a few less teeth. after dinner we went on a walk through the city, and tyler couldn’t believe the dining options we was having just then. i think he thought i was holding out on him. haha! guess we will need to take a trip back to alcalá soon.

the next morning it was back to the USA. such a great trip, i already want to go back.

 

 

january 2018

what a month. it felt more like spring than anything else, but little did we know, snow was coming.

at the beginning of the month we continued our yearly tradition of seeing temple square lights after christmas… like on the day they turn them off. we like to live on the edge. in regards to food, i’m still cooking it up in tiny kitchen. another day, another pizza experiment. if your new years resolution is to eat more salad then i recommend this. also trader joe’s pizza dough is the best around. aaaaand, new year, new glasses. considering that i need them to see and they fall on the ground of hospitals frequently, i needed a cheap upgrade.

one weekend we went snowshoeing with some friends up at alta. it was so beautiful and actually felt like winter, something that we appreciated indeed. they’re getting married in march so it was fun to listen to brit’s wedding planning all while knowing that i won’t ever go through that again. phew.

and, january meant sundance! one of the best parts about living in utah is volunteering during the film festival. there are lots of perks and i just really love park city. this year i was on a theatre crew at the library theatre. that meant i spent my time telling people to follow signs and scoot in to the middle because it was going to be a full house. very fun. adults cannot follow directions. i saw lots of great films and a few big names. aaand i got the coveted volunteer jacket that is a big deal to no one other than sundance volunteers but i still wear it proudly… along with my geeky credential, pictured above. also isn’t thins the most picturesque view out the bathroom window??

mom came for a visit! i love seeing her. we went to settebello and saw the greatest showman. she slept on my couch and every time she has to sleep on that dumb thing i am more motivated to get a bigger place with a real bed for my poor mother. also i helped throw a bridal shower for britni! and i spent way too much time crafting this backdrop and making a banner that i should have just bought but thought i could be the DIY queen for once. it says love at first swipe. don’t worry, no one else got it either. but they met on tinder so at least the party girl thought it was funny!!! and a saturday spent in provo. i feel like such a granny every time i go there and i am among thousands of bright eyed bushy tailed college students. we went to pizza factory and ate carbs on sticks. does it get any better! tyler is modeling said breadstick.

besides that, i worked a lot and got some big news!!!!!

BYU rejected me from their NP program. lol.

i took it hard for a couple days but then decided it just wasn’t in the cards and continuing to work will be good for me and my resume. better days ahead!

we will end with my two best january creations.

my awful rat’s nest hair after working all week and living the bun life right before a good washing, and totchos.

totchos, you ask? tater tots with layers of cheese, beans, and soyrizo. with sour cream and guac. because sometimes you gotta clean out your fridge. try it!!!!!

december 2017

the holiday season is such a blur, this year was no different. i mean, maybe it was a bit blurred because i went back to night shift halfway thorough the month…?

bi-annual haircut happened this month. haha thank you, lex. and! i got to hang out with the world’s current cutest baby with the best cheeks. hanukah this year was celebrated in style in the kimball household. lox and eggs on homemade latkes. good enough to turn you jewish! this next photo was the christmas tree at work. the place was decked out, and one of my coworkers even made a rubber glove tree. that there is dedication. tyler’s family came to visit for a weekend and brought a new chair for my niece. as soon as she opened it up, the first thing she did was pose on it. HA! and, of course this year we got our tree from harmons… because they are the cutest ones, and just barely too tall, which i find endearing. we promptly strung popcorn and it was the cutest tree, imo.

also, here’s a picture of a biscuit i ate and my biscuit date. the restaurant smelled so heavily of bacon that after we left, MY HAIR SMELLED LIKE BACON. vegetarian nightmare. also, i opened all my christmas gifts early from my parents. because that is what you do as an impulsive adult. here i am, smugly modeling my new hat and sweater to send to my mom. she was not impressed 🙂 AND this weird awkward foot photo is one of my favorites because it signifies that both tyler and i were home at the same time during the EVENING and those events are far and few between these days, thanks to very opposite schedules. sigh.

this year we spent christmas in santa barbara. my first california christmas! it was so nice to have no snow or cold. and sun! and beaches! december ravaged southern california with the thomas fire right up until christmas. in fact, tyler’s family was under mandatory evacuation until a few short days before we arrived. of course, they all acted like it was nothing? just a little ash on the cars and “THANK YOU FIREFIGHTERS!” signs everywhere. if it was me, i would have been a nervous wreck. guess that’s the california lifestyle? haha

christmas was great. have you seen that meme that is like, “december 1-26 you’re full of christmas spirit. december 27-january1 you’re full of cheese. thereafter you’re just fat”. we LIVED that meme. and we ate so much cheese. tyler and i put together a pretty great charcuterie on christmas, it was awesome. new traditions! i even got new cheese knives from my inlaws.

most of our time was spent hanging out together. here we have some mistletoe hanging, christmas morning action shots, tyler and his new tools (seriously spoiled by milwaukee santa), and my favorite shot of my child husband. isn’t he objectively the cutest?? also, this last photo is my sister in law and my father in law… the photo is of my father in law as a young man and his dad. so, ya know. four generations and the SAME JACKET!  i guess this just proves you should never throw away ANY clothing?

and then i made us go outside. christmas walk! and the beach at montecito. this is the area that was completely ravaged by the mud slides last week. it is the most beautiful area, we are so sad. 😦

and that’s it, folks. all of 2017 has been accounted for. thanks for reading and sorry for the foot photos.

november 2017

 

this month held us a lot of changes and reminded me that i have a lot to be grateful for.

my biggest hurdle this month was taking the GRE. i don’t think i’ve written about any of it, but all fall i prepared to apply to a master’s program to become a nurse practitioner. this entailed a lot of paper writing, document finding, and studying for the big dance… the GRE. i was super nervous and spend much of my free time at work practicing math questions and studying vocabulary. i took the big test the first week of november and submitted my application a couple weeks after. i don’t know if i should even be writing all this because i don’t know if i got in, and the program is competitive, but whatever, this is life. i didn’t think i did much of anything besides prepare for that and work this month, but my camera roll proves otherwise, i guess.

like… this one. enjoy this photo of tyler in waders. haha

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also, amid my school application, i also decided i needed a different job. i liked being a nurse at the previous hospital, but in late october i started itching for change and growth. a few applications later and i had accepted a job offer in the ICU at another hospital. taking on a new job has proved to be challenging, but it has been overall worthwhile. i stayed on per diem at my old job, so it wasn’t really goodbye, just “see you twice a month”. and i got an excuse to buy new scrubs! haha

a new job meant that i didn’t have to work thanksgiving this year, so we made the trip to boise to be with family. it was great to be home, since i haven’t celebrated that holiday with my family in what felt like at least 10 years. we did all the ball staples, including a nice thanksgiving day walk by the river and a trip to the hot springs the next day… and eating communal leftovers, of course.

on the way home we took a detour to see shoshone falls in our unplanned matching outfits complete with the road trip uggs. thanks for being our photographer, linds.

in november we also managed to snag cheap flights to california, so we went to santa barbara for a weekend to visit tyler’s family. it was a great break with a trip to solvang, surf, trips to the fish market for the fresh caught stuff, hikes, and foot massages.

and some “mom takes pics while the kids surf” shots

 

 

october 2017

this post is so overdue that i myself am having a hard time remembering what we did this month? pictures have jogged my memory, and a full calendar of work schedules promptly reminded me.

the biggest thing happening in october was payton’s mission farewell. he is now in yakima, washington doing his mission thing. before he left i took some mission pics of him, which both he and tyler made fun of, but i like them. also, my mom kept all the printed copies on her kitchen table as a shrine to my brother, so it definitely was not done in vain.

also, diana came to visit me from florida! it was so great to be a tour guide of sorts in salt lake, although it gives me anxiety. i was just happy she came when temps were still in the 50s and you could see the mountains sans inversion. we got in many fall activities while eating nothing fun because she was on whole30.

wow there’s a lot of leaves in this post.

and then it was halloween! diana went to halloween crossfit with me, and our “pocahontas and john smith” costume quickly morphed into something more of a farmer and an indian. whoops. for a family party i dressed up as a psychic only to enter the party to find no one but myself and the tiny children had dressed up… and then for real halloween i stole hospital gowns from work and we went as psych patients to our trunk or treat. it was all very entertaining.

the rest of the month was just general real life. tyler and i tried to spend a little time together, even if that just meant a trip to costco, between work days and nights.  we narrowed in on our search for home purchase, we both got new cars and sold our old ones, and i studied feverishly for the GRE. and i baked, allegedly.

and there were a couple good views, on the way to work and while giving flu shots, and visits with good friends

and onward to november.