Busy first weekend in California!

Hello world! This is our first blog post from California (actually first blog post ever). Nick and I arrived in Cali on Saturday August 25 and it’s been a total whirlwind since then getting set up, finding a cell phone provider, shopping for apartments, and running errands. We’re in corporate housing until October 9th but it turns out that corporate housing doesn’t even come with one kind of salad dressing!! They set us up with toilet paper and towels, which I guess are the important things, but we had to go out and actually buy peanut butter, salad dressing, olive oil, salt and pepper, and other essentials.

We’ve had a few adventures since leaving Canada. Nick in particular has been very busy running around town, picking up our bikes, scouting out neighbourhoods, getting a bank account and drivers license, and just in general taking care of business while Pam just sits in her office all day staring out the window at the palm tree lined streets of San Jose.

We got to spend some time adventuring together this weekend though! First up, we had some amazing fish tacos on Saturday at the food court in Valley Fair Mall, which is not far from downtown San Jose. Fish tacos sound dirty but they are actually super delicious!! Especially with a little lime squeezed on top. Actually, in general all of the food here has been top notch. It helps that the entire state is a huge farm I guess.

Fish taco

Next up, we went grocery shopping, which is actually much more exciting than it sounds because everything is so amazingly cheap here!! You can pick up four gigantic amazing NY steaks for just $28, and a bottle of shiraz to go with it for under $5. We actually didn’t go for the Yellow Tail but opted for a 2010 J Lohr Shiraz, a bottle which goes for $20 in Ottawa, but we picked it up for around $9. You can also get an extra 10% discount if you buy 6 bottles at Safeway, or use one of the crazy coupons they give you every time you buy something (we must have three coupons for $2 off Barefoot).

steak Wine heaven

That evening, we walked over to a restaurant called Paolo’s nearby. Our friends had given us a gift certificate to this restaurant for our wedding. We knew they had done a lot of research and we were super excited to try it out! It. Was. Amazing. We won’t bore everyone with food descriptions but wow. If anyone in San Jose is looking to try a great Italian place with fantastic food and service, try Paolo’s!

Cute couple Duck mousse Linguine with clams Nick's pasta

Finally on Sunday (yesterday) we went for breakfast and then for a long drive up Mount Hamilton to check out an observatory that Nick had spotted from our place. At breakfast we ordered a Bloody Mary and a (HUGE!) Mimosa at EIGHT IN THE MORNING!!! This is very exciting to us Ontarians who typically can’t order an alcoholic breakfast beverage all the way until 11am, which is practically lunchtime! We told our server this and then overheard her telling all the other staff who gasped and then looked our way with sympathetic eyes.

8am booze New favourite hot sauce

The drive up to Lick Observatory was a bit harrowing but had some great views, and the free tour of the telescope offered every half hour was well worth the winding roads and crazy heights! We won’t spoil anything about the tour beyond that because we’ll probably take our guests up there when they come to visit from Canada, but it is a VERY cool place.

Lick Observatory  View from the top 36 inch refracting telescope

And that was it for our busy first weekend as California residents! This coming week will be another crazy one as we need to sign an apartment lease before we head back to Ottawa for a week on the 13th, as well as pass our California driving tests and take care of a number of other errands. Even though we’re busy though, we’re having tons of fun and the weather here just can’t be beat!

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