Tuesday, February 27, 2007

San Francisco

Ok, so I am noticing that lately I am starting off every blog entry with, "I know its been a long time since I've posted anything.." but it's been just a bit crazy lately that I haven't been able to catch up. So this week and weekend, I plan to post a bunch, so keep visiting!

A couple of weeks ago, (man, I can't believe a couple of weeks have already come and go), I went up to San Francisco to visit my friend Cecilia, along with my brother Roger and the rest of the San Fran gang. Cecilia and I planned our trips there to SF at the same time so it worked out very nicely! We packed a lot in while we were up in the bay area and got to spend time in Oakland and Berkley as well.

I got up on Saturday and Jon was actually in town for the weekend as well! We stayed at his brother Dave's house (and wife Alli) in Oakland and had a nice time hanging out at the house, went to one of their friend's house party and walked around the market on Sunday by the water. They have a cute, cozy home and I just loved the hard wood floors and the awesome backyard with the killer hot tub! It was so nice to spend some time with them. We even went for a run in the neighborhood which was really hilly and was steeper than it looked! On Saturday night, we went into the city and had dinner all together and met up with Roger and Jacqui... it was a ton of fun and so good to see everyone!
After the weekend, I had my meetings for work in the city and after work one day, I was able to finally meet up with Polly! She came with me out to dinner but because there were so many other people around, it was hard to get any one on one time with her, but I am hoping to do that again the next time I am there. Polly- this time, I am staying with you so we can just hang out and chat all night! Can't wait to see you guys in San Fran again soon!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Happy Mardi Gras... a day late!

Well, I wanted to post yesterday a big shout out to all my New Orleans pepes to say Happy Mardi Gras and that I am sooo sad that I am missing it this year. This is the first time in 13 years that I have missed a Mardi Gras- can you believe that? It's crazy not having Lundi Gras off, much less Fat Tuesday. I actually spent my Lundi Gras with my friend Jay Heneghan in Santa Fe, New Mexico (we know each other from New Orleans) and woke up on Fat Tuesday to the sweet sounds of "Mardi Gras Mambo" that Jay put on as I got ready for work. It was nice to be there with her on Mardi Gras day to at least be with someone who really appreciates the day. And another big shout out goes to Jay for the awesome margaritas and food on Monday night and letting me crash at your awesome pad! The most fun was listening to you play the piano and jamming on the guitars with Jim when we got home.... good times.

So I am feeling a bit homesick these days talking to friends back home who were going to parades, eating king cake and dressing up on the big day to parade around uptown and the quarter. Just wanted to say thanks for all the nice phone calls to wish me Happy Mardi Gras and know that I am thinking of all of you guys and will make a point not to miss it next year!

The funny thing about Mardi Gras was that even in New Mexico, people were throwing Mardi Gras parties and wearing beads in honor of the day! They do recognize out here.... that's what I'm talking about! Hope everyone had a fun and safe Mardi Gras!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Eels on Wheels : Austin, TX

Cp sent me these pictures of a time when I visited CP after Hurricane Katrina hit and I was displaced.... I actually went to Houston to visit my brother (where he was displaced) and he wanted to go up to Austin to visit a friend of his that lived there. It just so happened that my friend CP lived there as well so we ended up going to visit them. While I was there, CP invited me to dive with him at this dive shop that was putting on "Eels on Wheels" which was basically a program where they help parapalegics and even quadrapalegics experience scuba diving. In the pool, they had a table set up where you could play games underwater like "Connect 4", cards and many other games. This was also the first time I met Amy and Bill, again all of whom I went to the Galapagos Islands with. It was so nice to meet everyone and do something I have never done before. These are just a couple of shots from that day and I hope to be able to do this again someday soon.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Congrats Amy and Bill

I want to give a shout out to Amy and Bill on their engagement and I really wish I could make it to the wedding.... it just happens to be on the same day as my girlfriend's wedding in New Orleans! It was so great to see them when I was in Austin a few weeks back.. I've been really bad about blogging the last couple of weeks and still have a lot to catch up on, but I'll get there. After we had lunch, they drove me to their new home that is being built and almost completed! It is gorgeous and the layout reminded me of my house in Lakeview-- it was scary how much it resembled it. It had an open floor plan and a floating bar that was just like my old house. Anyway, it was beautiful and I loved how much land they had and the cool bike paths right in their back yard. It's going to be awesome for Tyler and I hope to come back again when the house is finally done!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Kenneth and Rese

Kenneth and Rese
Originally uploaded by rizanola.
I was in Austin and met up with Kenneth and Rese, old friends from New Orleans! It was so nice to see familiar faces and the last time I saw them was when i was in New Orleans. It was so refreshing to see them and I just miss them both so much, I miss all my good friends from back home. Its really crazy that we are all over the country now, post Katrina. I know that I blog about this subject all the time, but its just unbelievable what has happened to all of us.

We talked about how much we try and live this "normal" life and "be happy", those memories of what happened seem to always linger. How much time is enough time to "get over it"... well, we just can't put a time limit on it. And that's ok. But it helps to talk to people who really understand what we went through and I can count on Kenneth and Rese to do just that. I hope to come back and visit more often! I hope that anyone that is reading that went through the devastation knows that we all feel your pain and that I am here for you.

As hard as things are, I just want Kenneth and Rese to know how proud I am of them to pick up and make a new life for themselves in Austin. You both are so beautiful inside and out and I'm glad to have you in my life. Don't ever lose touch and know that I love you very much!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Becca's Wedding : San Antonio, TX

I just got back from my good girlfriend's wedding in San Antonio- Becca and her new husband Chris! I've heard so much about Chris for almost 2 years and have never met him, so I was really excited to get to meet him.

I flew into Austin and CP picked me up from the airport... I felt horrible because my flight was almost 2 hours delayed! But I finally got there around 1am and we headed to CP's house to crash out and then get up early in the AM to head to San Antonio. The wedding was for 11am and we actually got there early so we rode around the Air Force Base to check things out and then to the church. The wedding was perfect. Becca's entire family who was present (her brother Austin is in Iraq) took part in the Wedding and were in charge of all the music. Her younger sister Claire and older brother Joe both played the piano and her parents sang. They even played a song that her brother Austin sang that was recorded when he was with the Ohio State Glee Club. Then Becca sang a song to Chris and it was so touching it made me cry. It was a beautiful ceremony.

Afterwards we headed to the reception at the Officer's Club where I got to finally catch up with my old girlfriends from Loyola! Here is a picture of Laura, me, Becca, Heather and Angela- all graduated from Loyola and its been a while since we have all seen each other, especially since Katrina because that was the one place that we would see each other.

Laura and John are now in Chicago and its nice because there are a ton of New Orleanians there in the area. It was nice to see Heather and her husband who now live in Galveston---I forgot how hilarious these girls were! They had me rolling all night... Angela and Rick were there with their daughter Isabella and Angela just announced that she is pregnant again! Congratulations to the both of them! It was also nice to see Julie who I have met once or twice in Atlanta actually who is a total sweetheart! After the wedding, we headed towards the River Walk where Becca reserved a couple of riverboats for the wedding party to party on the boat and have some food and drinks! It was a blast and was a great thing to do on my first trip to San Antonio- I couldn't have asked for a better way to see the city. And sadly, after the riverboat cruise was over, some of us continued the party on the River Walk for a few more hours until we retired. It was such a happy time to see all these old friends from New Orleans but also so sad that we were all so far from each other now and spread out all over the country. Congratulations to Becca and Chris! Your wedding weekend was a blast and thank you for making me a part of it. I hope to see you guys again very soon and hopefully Becca, you can come out here and stay with me in Cali for a weekend... I would love that!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

This is a tribute....

Cory singing to me.. on Vimeo
to my good friend Cory, who is always there for me no matter what! Its hard to believe that we are both from the same home town of Pensacola, Florida out here in Los Angeles but I am glad that he is in my life. He has really been a true friend and confidant and I can count on him for anything! I just want him to know if he is reading this how much he means to me and thank you for all you do for me. This is a clip of him singing a song (he wrote) the other night at my place.. I wish I could have gotten the whole song on video, but I at least captured this much. The words are pretty powerful and I thank him for sharing it with me.