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California, here we come!

December 2, 2012

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This has been a wonderful year for seeing some of my favorite people. Adam and his lovely lady, Suzy, visited me in March, one of my dearest friends since preschool, Mandy, got married to her college sweetheart, Billy. And I was able to revisit my college town, Columbia, Missouri, with two of my favorite dudes — Jake and Mike.

Friends

Plus, I’m going to visit my friend Beena — after four dang years of not seeing each other — her husband, Daniel, and her cute newborn, Ashoka John Green, when I go home for Christmas!

So when I found out my bestie from college, Abbeebee, was heading west to spend a week seeing all the wonderful sights in California, I was ecstatic. Having spent more than four years out here, I frequently tell her about all of the wonderful friends and people I have met. It was so great for her to get to see Lodi, Sacramento, the beautiful Pacific Ocean and the City by the Bay. We spent the week with such a good mix of fun activities and relaxing down time. Here are the highlights from Lodi and Sacramento and then, I’ll do a whole post on our last three days of tourist activities.

We started the week off right with a late night In-and-Out Burger run straight from the airport. Because what’s more California than that place.

In-N-Out

The next day we rented some kayaks and headed out to Lodi Lake and the Mokelumne River with my friend, Andrea. We took tall boys to drink (classy!) and then after that we went to dinner at Chili’s, which is kind of our place (classy again!)

Kayaking

We saw several wonderful license plates, including our favorite saying and Abby’s initials.

License plates

We went to The Dancing Fox, ate blue cheese pizza and drank coffee (sometimes you need weird combinations like that), and visited with my friend, Sara.

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And we spent part of a day wine tasting. Lodi has dozens of tasting rooms, both in Downtown and at wineries in the area. We talked about ice wine at Jeremy Wine Co. and then went to Oak Farm Vineyards, where I have never been to taste before. We even took a little walk to check out their beautiful property.

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Winery

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We then spent an evening and a lazy morning with Lauren at her aunt’s house where she was housesitting. I was so incredibly excited for these two important ladies in my life to meet and to enjoy some downtime on the farm.

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Donkeys

For the first time, Abbeebee made scrambled eggs with farm fresh eggs. They were delicious.

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Puss Puss, the cat, really liked Abby and was excited to have another member added to her staff (since your only job while housesitting there is to make sure this sweetheart is content).

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Then, we drove up to Sacramento and spent a night out at some of my favorite bars. It was so nice to have girl talk. The third place we went actually had metal detectors they waved up and down us before we went in. I said, welcome to California!

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The next day we brunched in the warm California sun with blood orange mimosas at The Shack, Abby got to check out the Mercantile Saloon with Patrick and Paul and we walked around the Capitol and the International World Peace Rose Garden.

Coffee

Flower

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On the last Sacramento day, we enjoyed grilled chicken and veggies on the grill with Patrick and Paul and their pups. The first couple of days were a relaxing way to start a vacation.

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Dogs

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