Tuesday, April 12, 2011

An Update, Part II - Fun with friends!

2. Fun with friends! Though we did not travel much in the fall, David and I have been making the rounds this winter and spring. Here are the fun highlights from our trips:

We visited Amanda and Paul in January. You will notice that there are no pictures of Amanda - she was pregnant at the time and insisted she was not camera ready. (I personally thought she looked fantastic, but who was I to argue with a woman carrying a 3 pound bowling ball inside her stomach?)

While we were in Vegas (see part 1 of my update), David and I had oyster shooters at Rick Moonen's restaurant. These were so delicious that we decided to recreate them as an appetizer on Paul's birthday. Here is a photo of the boys learning how to shuck oysters and discovering a live crab inside of one of them.

Paul's more traditional approach to shucking the oysters was balanced by...

...David's more aggresive approach.

I am happy to report that (because this blog post is so past due) Amanda and Paul have welcomed a new baby boy to the Hoertz clan since our visit. Benjamin was born on March 29. What a cutie! I absolutely cannot wait to meet my godson! I am visiting Amanda and Paul again later this month, and will undoubtedly have more adorable photos of my favorite little one soon.

In February, I attended the Gordon Research Conference on Nitric Oxide in Ventura, CA. While I was on the West Coast, I also visited Kim and Brian in San Francisco, and met up with Victoria in Los Angeles. It was a very fun, but very tiring, 10 day adventure.

I will spare you the details of the conference and get to the fun parts of my trip, but check out this view in Ventura! The ocean was a 5 minute walk from my hotel and there were mountains everywhere.

Kim and I went to Palo Alto when I arrived on Friday afternoon. We had P.F. Changs for lunch, and (the famous) Sprinkles cupcakes for dessert.

When we returned from our outing, this pitcher of "special" lemonade was waiting for us in the refrigerator. (The last time I visited Kim and Brian, my flight was cancelled due to snowstorms back east, and Brian made me "special" lemonades to drink while I was on the phone for 3 hours haggling for a new flight. Needless to say, I was very mellow while dealing with what would normally be a frustrating set of phone calls. I now bug him to make this concoction every time I visit.)

In Los Angeles, Victoria and I took a Warner Brothers studio tour. I loved it! Above is where the outside shots of the Daily Planet were filmed for Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (though the Daily Planet globe is now in a separate storage facility). Fun fact that I learned while touring the lot - did you know that Lois's apartment was actually the apartment directly next door to to Clark's (despite the fact that on the show they lived in different neighborhoods)? If you look closely at one scene where she meets Clark outside of his apartment in season two, you can see her place next to his. Also, Murphy Brown's brownstone is on the same block, two doors down.

My camera battery was dying so I did not get very many good shots of the lot. We drove by Conan's offices and studio (but no sign of Conan or Andy, sadly), and also got to tour the set of Two and a Half Men (it wasn't being used at the time because production had already been shut down). Another fun fact - did you know that the tiles on Charlie's stairs on the set of Two and a Half Men are actually stickers rather than real tile? That way if one "tile" gets damaged, it is easily replaceable.

The highlight of the tour was getting to visit the real set of Central Perk from Friends, one of my all-time favorite shows. The tour guide let Victoria and me sit on their famous couch, which is the photo above. The weird part about this set is how close together everything is in real life versus how it looks on TV. The tour guide explained that because of where the cameras were positioned during filming, they could capture more depth on screen and make things look further away than they actually were.

Almost two weekends ago, I went to visit Elliot in NYC while David went to visit Bryan and Jen in Long Island. (The dog in the above photo is Figgy, Elliot's roommate Jenn's dog.) Elliot and I had an amazing time together. Right now he is currently starring in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar (congrats again, friend!), and I attended a rehearsal while I was in town. I know I am totally biased, but I must say how amazing he sounded singing the part of Jesus. I am so glad I got to see the rehearsal since I will not be able to attend the show, which is being performed Easter weekend.

Elliot and I also had high tea at the Plaza hotel, which was a lifetime dream of mine. It was breathtaking...like a trip back in time to the 1920's. (I half expected Gatsby to be at a neighboring table.) The tea / food was yummy too. There were so many little girls having Eloise-themed birthday parties when we were there that Saturday, and they were beyond cute. The Plaza Hotel is also right across the street from Central Park, so after we were done with our tea and our sweets, we took a nice stroll through the park in the beautiful spring weather.

Here is a photo of Elliot and me before taking the city by storm on Saturday night. We had an amazing adventure full of ridiculous and random behavior that could only happen when the two of us are together in action. I wish we lived closer so we could do it again more often. I love our "Sarah and Elliot" time together.

And the best part...the fun doesn't show signs of stopping anytime soon, as there will be more fun with friends AND family in the weeks ahead. My parents visit in two days, I visit Amanda and Paul for six days at the end of April while David goes on a brewer's weekend with Bryan in NH, and Elliot and I are headed to Boston together in May!!

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