Friday of last week Ben called and asked me if I’d be interested in staying at the Presidential Suite of the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco for a night while he had to be there for company business. I agreed immediately as long as I didn’t have to call him Mr. President. Originally we were only supposed to stay on Tuesday night but last minute they needed him there a day early so we got to stay Monday and Tuesday night and OMG YOU GUYS! PRESIDENTIAL SUITE!
This was pretty much a once in a life time opportunity. The cost of this room PER NIGHT was almost TWICE our MONTHLY mortgage. It flabbergasts me that there are people that have that kind of money to spend and I certainly didn’t mind getting to pretend to be one for a few nights.
I didn’t get great shots of most of the suite because they were showing product in the downstairs portion that I couldn’t photograph but I got some the second night after they had cleaned all that up. I had SUCH a great time getting to explore San Francisco all on my own for the day but will save that for another post. For now, take a look at how the 1% live.
This is just inside the front door looking right. It’s one of two sitting rooms and farther back is the dining room.
Here is the same room standing across from the front door. The door on the right is a half bath and the door on the left is kind of a “butlers kitchen”. Seriously.
The bag on the table contains a piece of pecan pie and a gigantic chocolate chip cookie. Just saying.
Here’s the dining room which was kind of a mess because Ben’s coworkers and a bunch of reviewers had been in and out all day long. That window on the left had a great view of The Metreon where we are always going to see IMAX movies and the Moscone Center where Apple likes to announce all it’s fun new toys!
This is the living room, bar, and front door. Behind me is the stairs to the only bedroom.
Here are the stairs and the massive window that I spent HOURS staring out.
And here is the bedroom. It was FABULOUS! We spent quite a bit of time laying in bed and staring out the window not quite believing that we were actually there in that room.
And lastly, the bathroom. THE BATHROOM. Apparently the 1% like warm butt showers.
So there ya go! I still can’t believe we had the opportunity to stay there for FREE and I’m glad that I’ve been better lately about not WORRYING (work, dogs, Cassidy) and saying YES to things that I’d normally pass by because of all those silly things that will totally work themselves out. Work isn’t going anywhere (I have 180 HOURS of PTO!) and Cassidy is more than capable at 15 (almost 16 OMG) of taking care of the dogs for two days while we are gone. When I was her age I was staying home for longer times alone with a dog, cats, AND a 6 year old little brother to take care of!
I’ve dropped about 12,039,429,348 hints to Ben to try and get more chances to do demos and go to trade shows so that I can tag along more. There is one in Spain that I’d LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE if he were able to go because work would pay for his ticket and hotel room and all we’d have to pay for is my ticket! YES PLEASE! Fingers crossed!
2012 has not been a banner blogging year for me. Mostly because I feel like NO TIME! TO DO THIS! JOB! TEENAGER! HUSBAND! DOGS! LIFE STUFF!
There’s always funny stuff that happens that I feel like I should share with you guys but then I sit down to write in and then SIDETRACKED! PINTEREST! FACEBOOK! READ ALL THE BLOGS! NOW IT’S TIME TO SHUT THE LAPTOP AND I HAVE NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT!
Like the other day on the way to breakfast I was telling Ben how I want to be a Jedi Knight for Halloween one year. I want the long flowing cape that glides perfectly over the ground.
Me: They must have very good blood repellent too because Anakin totally killed all those sand people on Tatooine for torturing his mom to death and NO BLOOD. Ben: He killed them with a lightsaber. Me: Well, yeah. Ben: They cauterize the wound with heat! You know how they work, right!? Me: Seriously. Ben: WHAT!? YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN SCIENCE, ANNA!? Me: *blink blink* Ben: IT’S SCIENCE!
Anyway! I only have three real New Years resolutions.
1) Blog more. Write. Don’t write. Post pictures. Post conversations. Just POST. SOMETHING. OFTEN(er).
2) Live a more healthy lifestyle. Run a 5K, run a half marathon. Run them with my husband.
3) Take more time off. Romantic weekends with Ben. Girl’s weekends with Cassidy. Fun family trips. You get the idea. More QUALITY down time.
So here we go with one!
CHRISTMAS! IN PICTURES!
There were lots of presents. I was really lucky and got to open them with people I love.
My mom opened her present first which I wrapped, then put in a box which I wrapped. I love doing that kind of stuff. It’s her Gryffindor scarf that I started knitting last Christmas and I was a little scared if she didn’t get the ACTUAL scarf this year I’d be written out of the will. I finished it the night before. WHEW!
Which is a prefect segue to one of my gifts which is a center pull ball yarn winder. LOVE IT! Ben and I were pretty tight with the budget this year because our “big present” to each other was a new TV that we got earlier in the month. But he hit a HOME RUN on all the gifts. I’m not going to list them all because I kind of hate those kinds of posts. If that’s your thing, cool! LIST AWAY! But I feel like kind of a bragging asshole. So yeah, BALL WINDER!
Cassidy got a lot of Teenager Stuff. Mostly clothes and books because cloths are books are serious business.
Ben got a cat litter box! (There was a console racing game inside!) (Don’t worry, I used an empty box and wrapped the game then taped it inside the box then wrapped the box!) (PS – Sometimes I still question how I managed to find a man to marry me.)
Cameron got a new Retina Display MacBook Pro! Which he paid for half of! And my mom and he bought a month ago! Then she wrapped it and made him wait a month to open it! My mom is notorious for doing that. She is a MASOCHIST! At this point he pretty much stopped realizing anything else in the world was going on because: NEW PRETTIES!
Kumo and Danica were spoiled too. My mom had one of her friends buy them a bunch of treats from a really fancypants store in Carmel.
And we got them some small bones to enjoy.
Before we opened presents I fed everybody Reid Family Tacos, homemade refried beans and Mexican rice. It was kind of cool because my dad in Oceanside made Reid Family Tacos and my cousin in North Carolina made Reid Family Tacos and even though we weren’t together, we shared a family favorite! After presents we ate some homemade apple pie.
OH! And I just can’t leave out the best Christmas gift of all which were these blow up boxing gloves I gave to Ben. We’ve named one set Conflict and one set Resolution. I think they are going to get some good use.
PS – Sorry for the poor quality. Cassidy SMSd me a downgraded version and I wasn’t able to grab the full version before she deleted it. KIDS!
HEY, EVERYBODY! How was Thanksgiving!? Did you eat a lot and then feel sick and then eat a lot all over again?
We got up bright and early so Ben could work out before the day’s festivities and I could take the dogs out for some exercise since they were going to be cooped up with us in my mom’s house for most of the day EATING ALL THE THINGS. I tried to get some running in but the high school had some kind of sports practice going on so I ended up at the dog park and there were some sketchy dogs I had to keep an eye on.
BEFORE any of that though, I started homemade dinner roll dough. Did you know that roll dough has to rise? I was a from scratch making virgin so I was not aware that dough needs to be WARM to rise till it was time for it to actually GET BIGGER. And our house was freezing. So I started load of laundry in the washer and ran the dryer hoping it would warm the laundry room enough. It did not. Then the Internet told me to wrap a heating pad set to low around the bowl and BAM! That bread rose in about 20 minutes. MAGIC! Thanks, Internet!
They turned out pretty badass just in case you were wondering. Well, except the one tray I put on the bottom rack of the oven because I wanted to bake them both at once. They were burned. Live and learn!
Anyway, dinner! Dinner was good, of course. My little brother injected a turkey with butter and bacon fat then deep fried it. He also made a bacon and Bourbon pecan pie. Well, he made two and I brought one home and threatened a pox upon anybody that dared to eat any of it. Ben ate a piece Sunday night and woke up Monday morning hardly able to move from severe neck and back pain. JUST SAYIN’.
When Ben and I got home Thursday night we decided that for the rest of the weekend we needed to have a contest to see who could be the laziest. I think it was a tie because no fucks were given and nothing productive was accomplished. Well, unless you consider leveling your Warlock from 83 to 84 productive and that probably really depends on who you ask.
And that leads me to a different topic for a different blog post for a different day.
Ben is pretty awesome at a lot of things. LOTS! Like, he’s very good at never EVER leaving a toilet seat up. He’s a champion cookie eater. And he’s the best dog cuddler you will EVER MEET.
But one thing he’s far above average at is driving. We joke back and forth quite often (mainly I joke) about who is a better driver but he is hands down one of the best drivers I’ve ever gotten into a car with. And I don’t just mean every day driving around town. I mean like, get him on a track and he will give you a ride like you have never had before. The times I rode with him I often hopped between THIS IS TOTALLY AWESOME and OMG WE ARE GOING TOO FAST TO MAKE THAT TURN then followed that up by I AM GOING TO HURL GET ME OUT OF THIS CAR!!
Watching these videos often makes me nauseated. When you are in the car, those high speed turns, the force of the car fighting against what all the laws of nature say should not be possible… the video just doesn’t do it justice. It’s a pretty awesome feeling.
Ben hasn’t driven like that since his accident. I know he misses it. It’s in his nature.
So Monday when he sent me an email about going Karting with some of the guys from work I was like YES! GO DO THAT! Because Ben after driving fast is the best kind of Ben to be around.
I was totally kidding.
But I had no doubt that he’d come home with these:
It’s a good thing too because he’s also an excellent source of heat on cold nights. I can’t imagine how much it would cost me to have to try and stay warm if he wasn’t around.
Most people who know me know that I’m agnostic. I have a science mind. I believe proof. If you can prove to me that Santa Clause is real, I will believe it. I believed in Santa Clause when I was a child, but I stopped a long time ago. For the same reason, I do not believe in a higher being.
Show me proof! Show me the REINDEER! Show me the bunny that lays Easter Eggs! Show me the pot at the end of the rainbow.
SHOOOOOOWWWW MEEEEEEEEEE THE MONNNNEEEEEEEEYYYYYYY!!!!!
Sorry, I got carried away.
So most people who know me would probably be really surprised to know that these two things below are two of my most prized possessions in the world.
One is a Bible given to me by one of the most amazing women I’ve ever had the honor of knowing. It was a Christmas present. Less than a year later she was gone forever.
After her funeral I collected all the funeral programs I had and tucked them in there. Since then I’ve added a few more. One for her husband, Gerald. One for Julie’s amazing father.
I still look to this book every once in awhile because while I think a lot of it is bullshit diatribe, I think if you look to it with the right perspective and in the the right light, it can be a good source of wisdom.
The Rosary was a gift from my dad and step-mom when I was in high school. It’s made out of rosewood and smells DIVINE. As good now as it did the day I got it. I remember in my private Catholic school learning about the mysteries of the Rosary. I remember how I hated that class even though I found the study of religion somewhat fascinating. I remember how EASY life was back then even though in my 16 year old mind I was certain that life would NEVER BE MORE COMPLICATED THAN IT IS RIGHT NOW.
When I see it now, I remember to take a deep rose scented breath and that no matter what, life could be harder, life could be easier, but life is just life. It’s never so bad that you can’t handle it.
Everybody has their “fire list”. What would you grab out of your house if you had 1 minute. And yes, my cell phone and my laptop are on that list, so are my favorite clothes and my camera but just above all of those other possessions are these two things. With these two things I will always remember where I’ve been, who came before me and that the future is always out there in front of you, full of promise and more people to love you along the way.