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We rang in the new year in Santa Cruz with some good friends before hustling back down to Pasadena to finish furnishing and settling into our new apartment. We perused Craigslist constantly and drove all over east LA to pick up our finds (mostly lamps). We settled in the best way we know, by joining a gym, restarting swing dancing classes and having our friends over for as many dinner parties as possible.
In January, Cam went on a girls’ trip to Maui with some of her oldest friends. They had a wonderful time reconnecting on the beach and in the pool after years without much time together. We vowed to do it again soon and the plotting for the next girls’ trip has already begun.
Other highlights from the end of winter included traveling up to the Central Coast to attend the Bedford Mushroom Festival, Al taking our nephew Nathan to the Huntington Gardens and Cam finishing paying off her student loans!
In the spring, we ramped up our wedding planning efforts with rental mockups, wine tastings and lots of detail planning. We did have a break in wedding planning to have our combo bachelor/bachelorette/Camille’s birthday party in Las Vegas, which was an absolute blast! We explored Omega Mart (an immersive art exhibit), then the boys played black jack while the girls had a nap before we all went dancing together.
Shortly after, we started babysitting our niblings much more as Jason needed to go to the East Coast for some job training. It was bittersweet to see him go, and we were ready to be there for Karla, Nathan & Talia. At the end of April, we took a trip up to Aromas to attend a friend’s beautiful wedding and spent most of the rest of the month hunkering down to finish up planning our own wedding!
A week before the wedding, we headed down to San Diego with an absolutely stuffed car to wrap up our last planning tasks, do our beauty appointments and greet our friends and families as they arrived for the celebration.
To Camille, the wedding weekend really began at her henna appointment on Thursday evening. She sat still for four hours in the house rented by her family to get her hands and feet decorated. On Friday afternoon we went to the house we had rented for the wedding party to greet our friends as they arrived. In the evening, we hosted a welcome dinner and henna party for our wedding party and close family. We spent the next afternoon at a nearby brewery for the welcome event. Camille’s friend Rei was able to get a delicious, beautiful wedding cake off of Buy Nothing, so we cut the cake and drank some beer. Right after the welcome event we shuttled the wedding party up to the top of Mount Soledad for the rehearsal dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant from when we lived nearby. Robin, Rei, Crystal and Jay, Maia and Eve all gave beautiful speeches.
The wedding day started bright and early when our hair stylists and makeup artist arrived. We spent the morning getting all glammed up and excited for the wedding day. Most everything ran smoothly, except for a snafu with transportation and some missing blackberry liqueur. We took our wedding portraits at the house and then headed to the venue! We had an absolutely fabulous time celebrating and dancing with our friends and family. One of our favorite parts was the speeches given by our wedding party: Adam, Bri, Sam and Jason.
Right after the wedding, we were off on our honeymoon in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Unfortunately, we spent the first four days of our trip sick (no, it was not COVID, although we did both come down with that during 2022). Lucky for us, we had taken extra time for our honeymoon, so we still had a decent amount of time to relax and explore. In Playa, we lounged on beach chairs with drinks, swam in cool cenotes, explored Mayan ruins, and ate many, many tacos. We spent the last few days of our trip on Cozumel at the lovely Hotel B. There, we snorkeled over the reefs and bummed around our accommodation's infinity pool.
We spent much of the summer with our friends and family, enjoying LA and enjoying leaving LA. We had friends over for pool parties and helped Karla do swim lessons with Nathan and Talia. Al took a few trips to Google Offices in LA and SF, where he got to meet some collaborators for the first time. On a trip to SF, he spent quality time with friends, including a fun hike on Angel Island. At the same time, Rei joined Cam at Palomino – a country music festival at the Rose Bowl.
In July, we got the chance to attend our beautiful friends’ beautiful wedding in Sandpoint, Idaho. We worked remotely for about a week from Sandpoint. Other than the wedding, we hiked, biked, and ate the best fried potatoes of our lives. Karla, Nathan and Talia followed Jason out to the East Coast and left their wonderful cat Houdini in our care until they got settled.
In August, we took a couple of trips to San Diego to celebrate Al’s grandpa’s 96th birthday with the family, and to say goodbye to friends who moved to Seattle. Al look a trip to Boulder, Colorado to meet up with colleagues over a craft beer. We also took a trip to attend Aromas Day, which Crystal and Jay were very involved in planning. On the way up, Al gave Cam her birthday present, which was a two-night stay at the Swiss Belle room in the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. We roamed our old stomping grounds and ate their delicious pink champagne cake for breakfast.
We began the fall with another trip to San Diego for Cam’s company offsite and a friend’s dance performance. Al got COVID and spent a couple of weeks recovering before we got back on our feet.
At the end of September we traveled to the East Coast, partially for Al to meet with coworkers in New York and partially to deliver Houdini back to his people in Baltimore. We packed in the fun on this trip, touristing in Baltimore, attending Broadway shows (some good, some bad), celebrating Al’s 30th birthday with friends and watching a jazz show at Birdland.
We were home for only a couple of days before jetting up to San Francisco for Camille to attend a conference, then jetting back down for Al’s birthday party in LA. We had it at the Vintage Synthesizer Museum, followed by dinner and drinks. Since we knew we’d be moving at the end of the month, we packed in the LA fun. We went to a talk on the history of Pasadena, attended the Huntington Garden’s Halloween party and saw a showing of Nosferatu at a historical theater with a live score. We celebrated Halloween weekend with our friends and then they helped us pack up our apartment.
On November 3 we loaded the moving truck and drove from Pasadena back to Aromas, where we just dropped off our things before heading out to the East Coast again.
We started our trip in New York, where Al presented at the PyData conference and celebrated our 10th (dating) anniversary. We took the train down to Philadelphia, where some highlights included a tour of Liberty Hall, great vintage shopping and a visit to the Philadelphia Magic Gardens, a beautiful mosaic art environment. After that we headed to DC for a couple of great days of museums and a tour of the Capitol on a rainy day. In DC we picked up our rental car and drove out to Culpeper, Virginia, in the hills below the Blue Ridge mountains. We spent our time hiking in Shenandoah National Park, discussing “Digital Minimalism” by Cal Newport, and going both whiskey and wine tasting.
After that we drove to Baltimore. We spent time with Jason, Karla and the kids, and Crystal and Jay joined us all to celebrate Thanksgiving at Karla’s brother’s house. The gathering was huge, loving and delicious, we had a lovely time.
We’ve tried to lay low for the month of December, which for us means only two trips. Al had a work trip to Mountain View, on which Camille tagged along and met up with her team in Oakland. We spent a lot of time moving things into our storage unit and getting our space in Aromas set up. We had a gorgeous (but very small) Christmas in Yosemite and rang in the New Year with some very old friends in Joshua Tree National Park.
The early 2020s are looking much brighter from where we're standing. 2022 was such a fun year, full of celebration, delicious food and wonderful people (you!). We're glad we get to share our lives with you. Here's to an exciting 2023!
Camille & Alex
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