2011 Birthdays: Amy's 34 & Patrick's 37!

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Thursday, October 20, 2011 9:24 AM

This September 23rd, I turned 34 in style, with a dark chocolate raspberry mousse cake at staff meeting, a special surprise of getting to have lunch with my cousin Eric, his wife Leigh Anne, and kids Emma & Caleb while they were in Pasadena for a visit, opening gifts in the afternoon, and dinner at Cafe Beaujolais in Eagle Rock. I indulged in a lovely cauliflower soup to start, a divine parmesan encrusted halibut with champagne sauce to middle, and profiteroles to end.  Though Patrick's choice of creme brulĂ©e for dessert was definitely the better choice there.  It was a perfect Amy birthday!  (Though with limited photographic evidence.)

Then, since I had a Friday birthday, we escaped to the mountains for the weekend  & enjoyed some family time with the Odens & some nature.  Although (perhaps due to all the rich food the day before) I was miserably ill with pregnancy sickness, everyone made the best of it & let me lie on the couch (in between sprints to the bathroom) as much as I needed.  Definitely memorable :-).

For Patrick's birthday, we were more adventurous!  We took advantage of some flier miles which got us a place for the night in San Diego and spent a Saturday at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

There were babies everywhere...here, a baby water buffalo...

Loved the lions!

The very new baby elephant.  This drew a huge crowd.  Patrick also made a super cute video of it, which you can see here:  http://www.youtube.com/user/dualravens#p/a/u/0/c2m_PmRSEmw

Baby gorilla...

I'm about 3 months pregnant here (it was still largely a secret)...and having a good (that is, not too sick) day!  We found that getting me out doing things was a great way to curb the nausea.

 A birthday drink to end a lovely day!

On Sunday, we found ourselves with a free morning while waiting to meet up with Patrick's long time friend Peter so we decided (since we were right there) to take a tour of the Maritime Museum, a collection of ships that sit along the San Diego harbor.  Patrick loves ships & sailing so he was thrilled - and especially that one of the ships was the HMS Surprise, a replica built for the movie Master and Commander.  I was enjoying it until I got slammed with an aggressive wave of pregnancy sickness...and even being out & about wasn't able to stifle it this time.

Later that day, we enjoyed a fun visit with Peter, who gave us a driving tour of San Diego's wonders, enticing us even more to move there (it's on our list of preferred re-locations).  We also got to meet the intentional community of believers from his neighborhood, which was cool to see after hearing about it for a couple years now.

between adventures

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Wednesday, October 12, 2011 10:28 AM

"The feeling of being between adventures is a destination itself.  It may seem like a braver traveler wouldn't have to wait in the stillness of the empty crossroads, but it takes a different kind of boldness to skip the comfort of an abitrary destination and enter the quiet land of uncertainty, as if you wanted to send yourself a postcard from there.  It's a daunting passage along the heroes' journey that some people never dare enter.  But if you can hang at that empty crossroads and bear the boredom, that's when the magic roads appear out of nowhere.  But to get on those roads, you have to be willing to stand in the middle of nowhere for a while."

-- David Wilcox --

9/11/11 concert

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Monday, October 10, 2011 6:41 PM

On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, we decided to forgo the TV specials which would have us sobbing & heartbroken and instead we jumped in the car and headed to Marina Del Ray.  A saxophone player, Craig Durst (and his band 2AZZ1), that Patrick likes was promoting a tribute concert for that afternoon in Fisherman's Village.

As soon as we got there, we were so glad we had come.  The music was fabulous!  Craig's wife Mary is the lead vocalist and - man - that woman has got some pipes!  They played some originals as well as classics like Low Rider and Old Time Rock & Roll.  They had drawn a crowd of young and old, people of all colors and shapes and sizes.  People got up and danced - some much better than others, but all entertaining!  Everyone there was just so cute and free-spirited and there was a great happiness among us, which felt like a very triumphant way to spend this anniversary.

At one point, Craig played the National Anthem as a sax solo.  Even though we were outside and right on the waterfront, you could've heard a pin drop while he was playing!  It was breathtaking and so moving!

 During intermission, we checked out the natives...pelicans are such curious creatures!

As I mentioned, there were some pretty wacky entertaining dancing folks at this concert (Patrick & I like to do reenactments to make each other laugh).  But this little lady - in the video below - was among the most precious.  She made my heart smile!!