I know I haven’t posted anything in FOREVER, but I had no idea it’s been since AUGUST since I’ve posted an update!! My apologies for that. I can’t believe it’s been EIGHT months! I guess I’ve been busy, but mostly just not very inspired. I’d be lying if I said my life was all perfect and happy-go-lucky right now . . . .things have been difficult lately, and there have really been some pretty hard times especially as of late, but there have definitely been fun times and exciting events/trips from the past 8 months. Let me go back and try to remember some things . . .
I took Martti to the LA county fair. We went on the opening “free day” they were offering if you arrived before a certain time. The place was absolutely mobbed, of course! Martti said he had NEVER seen such a huge parking lot in his entire life . . . definitely nothing you’d ever see in Finland 🙂 We had a fun day hitting up rides, eating all kinds of “BAD” foods, including Martti’s fascination — chocolate covered bacon (Martti kind of liked it, I was a bit grossed out by it!)
In the beginning of September, my good friend, Ann, scored some AWESOME center box tickets for the Hollywood bowl during the time some of her close friends from back home were in town, and invited me as well! We were surrounded by more “rich looking” people, dressed up in suits and dresses, dining on pretty fancy fare. We enjoyed our wine and snacks, and was pretty cool to have such great tickets and fun girl time together!
Then, in the end of September, Ann scored some awesome Hollywood Bowl tickets again–this time for a movie screening of The Sound of Music–and passed them onto myself, Martti, and our friends Brad & Deb. We had tickets RIGHT ON THE STAGE, which was actually almost TOO close to watch such a huge movie, but we definitely weren’t complaining. It was quite a cool experience, and definitely something Martti (or I) has never experienced before!
October was a very busy month! Wedding, Oktoberfest, Halloween, and a nice private dinner in celebration of martti’s birthday!
My close friend, Beth, got married!! Hurray! Martti and I flew back to Wisconsin in the beginning of October and spent a day with my family upon arrival. This was finally the FIRST time he got to meet my family!–which was a bit crazy since we’d been dating about a year and a half at that point. Finally! And boy… what a whirlwind! My dad picked us up, went to lunch, then over to mom’s house and later dinner with Grandma, Michelle & Brent, and Jim. Next day we were off to Chicago and had a great time doing the “tourist thing” all day, even though it was raining. Martti LOVED the city, regardless. Next day enjoyed a beautiful wedding (and unfortunate dark/rainy weather), and spending some great time with friends from back home. Nothing like throwing Martti into a “meet everybody important in my life back home” all in a few days!!
As many past years, I planned a BIG Oktoberfest party, equipped with a 50-passenger bus and a food-beer -music pre-party on our rooftop patio! This year was definitely the MOST stressful planning-wise, as we had numerous people drop last minute, and random people added at the last minute. In addition, we had a crazy cross-eyed driver and more drama associated with that, but in the end, it all worked out & everybody had a fantastic time!
In the end of October, of course it was time for HALLOWEEN! My favorite!! This was Martti’s first Halloween ever, and we both got a kick out of dressing him up as “Vince — the slapchop guy” (crazy/funny infomercial guy), and I went as wonder woman. The Friday night of Halloween weekend, we went with some friends to some supposed-scandinavian-halloween-party at some chi-chi bar in Hollywood. Long story short, the entry was SUPPOSED to be free with drink specials, but in the end the bouncers were being HORRIBLY RUDE and as%%les, wanted to charge Martti $20 to get in, and THEN demanded to take away my wonderwoman rope (just simple twine from the hardware store) AND Martti’s $20 slapchopper thing. We ended up just leaving without going in, and the whole experience really soured us both about the whole “hollywood scene”… although the night ended up great when we met up with some other friends at a laid-back bar.
Holloween night, we went to see the movie Halloween IN HOLLYWOOD CEMETARY!! What a crazy/weird experience! And afterwards went over to my friend, Marty’s Halloween house party. Lots of Halloween fun this year!
Lots of fun, but smaller events— scored some great Lakers tickets (thanks again Ann!), went to a murder-mystery party, took a limo ride for a friend’s (Julio) birthday party down to a fun event–MEDEIVAL TIMES! haha, that was pretty hilarious more than anything! For Martti’s birthday I had gotten him tickets to a Billy Joel/Elton John concert for November, but the concert was CANCELLED!!—which was unfortunate and inconvenient because we also had plane tickets (to san francisco) and hotel reservations, but we were able to postpone everything . . .
Meanwhile, we celebrated our year-and-a-half anniversary at a nice Spanish restaurant that Martti found, was a nice night together! November ended with a nice Thanksgiving dinner with my close friends (our little LA “family!”), which was also a first for Martti, since they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Finland either (or most other countries for that matter!)
Had a unique party-event-celebration for Ann’s birthday which consisted of about 8 of us going indoor go-carting. Now, I’m not talking about these little outdoor wisconsin-dells go carts. These were like crazy RACING go carts, helmets, private races for just our group, and time trials and all! It’s too bad for me, though, I was having massive neck problems that day going into the whole event, so I couldn’t enjoy myself as much, but everybody had CRAZY fun, and Martti was like crazy-mad-racer and was spinning out a lot of the other drivers, it was pretty funny!
Holiday time in December was nice, because Martti and I were able to jet back to Wisconsin for almost 2 1/2 weeks for Christmas!—and I didn’t have to take much time off work because I just telecommuted and worked from my mom’s house. It was nice for us to have time to just relax, enjoy family and friends, and finally enjoy each other away from the everyday stress of our lives and relationship. Some of the fun things we did included: saw the Nutcracker ballet, had a game night with my dad, his girlfriend, & my sis and boyfriend, watched a packer game at a bar, hung out with some high school friends, celebrated New Year’s Eve at Ho chunk casino in the Dells, and had fun at an indoor water park! Oh yea, and we can’t forget about the glorious SNOW!! 🙂
Took a trip to Las Vegas with Martti and some friends from my old job. This was Martti’s first time in Vegas, and we definitely saw and did a lot!! Drove up and down the strip at night, visited downtow and saw the light show (Martti played the poker tables for awhile with the guys too!), wandered around the insides of a ton of casinos (Paris, New York, New York, etc), watched the water show at Bellagio, saw the Lions at MGM, and we even saw a great Vegas night show— Criss Angel’s Cirque du soleil show, Believe.–which we saw for FREE by getting tied into some stupid timeshare presentation (took 2 1/2 hours, crappy, but we got 6th row center tix for the show!! for FREE!)
Took a trip to SAN FRANCISCO!!—for the Billy Joel & Elton John concert (the tickets were a gift for Martti’s birthday from back in Oct). Flew to SF for an extended weekend and had a great time! Took a cable car ride, wandered Fishermans Wharf and ate a ton of seafood, walked across the Golden Gate Bridge, took a boat ride around Alcatraz & around the bay, ate dinner in Chintown, and of course… the concert! Took the subway over to Oakland for the Billy Joel / Elton John Face2face concert and we were excited to be SO CLOSE to the stage! Row 20 floor seats!!! I was excited to be such a huge part of a memory that Martti will never forget! I enjoyed the concert even though I’m not the biggest fan in the world, but this concert and experience was definitely “legendary” in his eyes!
February was also full of fun small events . . . got dolled up in 80s gear for a fun 80s party with Elizabeth and Melissa, attended a baby shower for Tom (pistohl) and Allison’s baby, and went to see a finnish friend of Martti’s (Arno) play in Hollywood.
Mammoth trip! Drove up north 5 or so hours to Mammoth Lakes for a fun weekend of skiing and snow! Since I have been a bit scared the past few years with skiing, I started out REALLy slow… on the bunny slopes, and all the green tracks. I ended up going 1 1/2 days out of the 3 days we were there, but Martti skiied all three days. One of the days I did a little snow tubing with Ann and Marty, and that was a lot of (scary) fun! At night, our group of 12 had a ton of fun dancing and making great group meals, playing poker, and drinking some good drinks!
Other fun happenings in March included a fun girls night out for me for St. Patty’s day, BBQ gathering with our friends on our rooftop patio (yay finally getting WARM enough out!!) and a trip to SALSA AND BEER—the best meixcan restaurant ever!!—with some friends up in the Valley.
April has been a fun month! Started off with a nice Easter dinner at our friend’s Brad & Deb’s place . . . and we felt the Baja earthquake that day!! It was after Easter brunch and we were relaxing all together, and the building was actually swaying back and forth! Kind of exciting and scary at the same time… and it was Martti’s first earthquake!
The second week of April, we had a mutual friend of ours—Jenna–come to stay with us for about 5 days. We met Jenna in Spain at the school we were studying at… but Jenna is actually from Finland originally. One fun thing we did while she was here was drive out to wine country (Santa Ynez) for the day… visited the cute Danish town of Solvang, had a nice pancake breakfast, and visited a bunch of Vineyards/Wineries. Fun!!
For my birthday this year (April 21), we celebrated the weekend before by doing this fun “wine, cheese, and paint” gathering… 8 of us drank wine, ate cheese and bread, and painted pictures on canvas— a truely unique experience! Afterwards we met up with more friends at a nearby Irish bar… fun night! One of my gifts this year was to get my hair t and dyed professionally… so I went RED!! whoo hoo! The hairdresser actually straightened my hair for the day, also, and I’ve been keeping it up now and then because I’m really liking having straight hair 🙂
Meanwhile, this past weekend I headed out with Elizabeth and Melissa to LAS VEGAS for a crazy girls weekend! hooray!! Man, it was quite a much-needed escape from all the crap back at home . . . and we partied it up in the clubs every night, laid out by the pool and “lazy river” at our hotel (MGM) during the day, had some fabulous food, and really made some crazy and fun memories. Unfortunately, I was coming down with a cold when we left… so as the days went on I got worse and worse and ended up losing my voice and getting a nasty chest and sinus infection—which I still have—- but it was a fun weekend I would never want to miss out on!
This coming weekend: Phoenix! Going there for a work convention… excited, but hoping my sickness settles down a bit because I still sound like a frog when I talk!