What a great weekend! A short road trip to Orange County made for a very busy and fun weekend for us. I’ve been dreaming and talking about a trip to Ikea for months now and Ryan and I have been desperately trying to find a good time to do it. A time where we could accomplish a lot with one trip and a time where we could borrow a car big enough to haul everything home in. We somewhat spontaneously decided last Monday that we should go over the weekend, and in Ryan’s typical fashion, combine it with going to a show in L.A. And, since it’s my hometown area, we decided to combine that with a visit with some very dear friends of mine.

We left the freezing (quite literally) and fog-covered valley early on Saturday morning and drove down to the windy, yet warm, hills of Anaheim Hills. Despite the roaring Santa Ana winds (I don’t miss those at all), the 50-degree temperature difference felt wonderful to us! I didn’t realize how much I’ve been missing seeing the sunshine. The valley fog has been relentless this winter! And, it’s been so cold and depressing outside. I think I’m finally starting to believe in Seasonal Depression.

We all ate lunch together, stuffing our faces with burgers and fries, because we needed the sustenance for what was to come. The Ikea in Costa Mesa is phenomenally huge… HUGE, I’m telling you! I was pretty much overwhelmed within 2 minutes of walking in the door. Thankfully, our friends Tommy and Erin are wonderful, patient and so much fun, and put up with over 2 solid hours of shopping. Shopping at Ikea is not like shopping at Target. There are gigantic show rooms, tags with special numbers and locations, instructions, catalogs, silly Swedish names, swarms of people, marketplaces and warehouses. It’s insanity and like a crazy scavenger hunt all at the same time. We found almost everything we needed though, and so much more. I loved it before, but I think I may have a bit of a love affair with Ikea.

After that, we were pretty much exhausted so we headed out for a coffee fix at Ryan’s Heaven, also known as The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. It’s one of Ryan’s true loves in life and he will quite deliberately search for one when we travel. I’ve been to one in about every city they have one, it seems. It was delicious and helped perk us up a little bit.

We headed back to the house for the afternoon and early evening, vegged out, took their adorable dog Sobe for a short walk and then relaxed with some drinks and hors de oeuvres. I guess a few drinks turned into a few more drinks because at some point we broke out the Wii and American Idol Karaoke Revolution. What is it about drinking and Karaoke?! After watching Erin and Ryan both rocked out, SOMEHOW, they convinced me to give it a try. I must admit, it was VERY FUN and embarrassingly enough, I think I want that game! And, though Ryan may not admit it, he wants it too. 😉
Much later that night (I’m so not used to leaving the house at 9 pm!) we headed out to The Hotel Café in Hollywood and saw The PawnShop Kings perform. They were awesome, as usual. The drinks… were strong… because by the end of the night, I was pretty toasted. Besides Ryan, our poor but responsible designated driver for the night, we were all pretty lit. Nonsense and laughter filled the car on the drive home, which included a typical late night stop to Del Taco. Mmmm! We pretty much crashed for the night when we arrived home slightly before 1 am. Even poor Sobe was exhausted!
We all woke up feeling pretty good (surprisingly) and it was a gorgeous day. We headed out for brunch at the Tustin Ranch Country Club. The grounds there are absolutely beautiful and the food was so good and completely what we needed after a long night. I also got to see and visit with Erin’s mom, who plays harp there. I hadn’t seen her in many, many years. It was nice to catch up, even if it was brief.

We had to head home after that for the long drive back. My heart fell a little when I hugged Erin and Tommy goodbye. I’m never good at the goodbye part, but this one was especially tough. I realize how much I care for them, how much history we have together and how much I’ve missed them over the years and how sad it is that we live so far apart. They would be great “couple friends” to have around. My biggest regret is that we forgot to take a photo together. 😦 But, as I said to Ryan, that gives us even more reason to come back soon. Hopefully, very soon.

We drove away from the sunny 84-degree rolling hills… back into 53-degree flat expanse of Kingsburg.

We couldn’t help but start putting together some of our furniture last night. It’s already looking so good around the house.
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