Our super short 45 minute flight from Vegas to LAX went by fast. We grabbed our bags at baggage claim and jumped in the car with Michelle and her boyfriend, Jason. It was fun to catch up with them during the drive…they gave us scoop on the stuff we had missed while traveling abroad.
A couple of hours later, we arrived into the small town of Ojai. We drove straight to the main resort where the bride was having the girls hang out poolside with champagne in hand. The boys took the car and checked into the hotel while Michelle and I chatted with the girls. Amber, the bride looked relaxed and happy…her big day she had been planning for what seemed like forever was finally here.
After our girl bonding time, Jason came and picked us up to bring us to the hotel. Giff evidently was taking a nap. I was pounding on the door and calling his cell phone but no answer from him. After knocking on the window (since the door wasn’t working), Giff looking like a zombie awoke from his deep slumber and finally opened the hotel door. Perhaps only 2 hours of sleep in Vegas was catching up to him!
After nap time, we got ready and went to the rehearsal dinner with our friend Kim. Dinner was in the yard of a little pizza shop in old town Ojai. It was the place Bobby and Amber went on their first date…too cute.
After dinner, we all went to a bar down the street with an excellent live band. We had fun sharing a few beers with friends and catching up…but were careful not to be out too late since the wedding is tomorrow.
The wedding was beautiful and so romantic…I think just about every girl watching the ceremony had tears in their eyes. After the ceremony we had a few drinks at the cocktail hour before being seated for dinner. The al fresco dining was classy and the balls of lights stringed above our heads added a nice touch. We ate, drank and chatted the night away until the wedding reception came to a close.
Of course the party didn’t stop there, we all made our way to a local bar. We were only there for a short time when a few of us decided we were hungry and needed some late night food. Our friend Kristina was leading the way…she knew of a Mexican restaurant around the corner. It ended up being the most random fiesta being held in a parking lot with mystery meat tacos being dished up. Some of you may be thinking…probably not such a smart idea to eat mystery meat at 1AM in a parking lot, but not us. We all got in line and ordered until we were full.
Nothing like random minced meat to digest as we made our way back to the hotel and fell asleep. We had a great weekend in Ojai…good times with good friends.
Feeling a bit sleep deprived and dehydrated from last night’s cocktails…we rolled out of bed and met some friends for breakfast at an old-school diner in the town center of Ojai. After breakfast, we drove back to LA with our friend Kim…who drove us to our car which was being stored at Giff’s uncle’s house. After catching up with Giff’s uncle Tony we drove our car to Hermosa Beach to visit and stay with our friends Jen and Tim. We have a long list of stuff to do tomorrow before we go back to Las Vegas to meet my brother for his 21st birthday and first time to sin city!
Published by Brandey Kabat
What I like: Dark chocolate, yoga, fresh squeezed juice, laughing, hiking, wine, travel, food, lush products, being warm, having long hair, the ritual of drinking something hot first thing in the morning…
What I don’t like: When people smell their fingers, pushing elevator buttons, confrontational situations, not being able to fall asleep quickly at bedtime…
Most random job ever: Plastic surgery consultant
As for my love life: I met my husband mid way through my junior year in college, as soon as I laid my eyes on him I was attracted to him. In fact, I made the first move which was a bit out of character but there was something about him…probably the fact that he was smokin’ hot!!
Where from and where to: I grew up in NY, went to college at The Ohio State University and then headed to CA after graduation. My boyfriend (Giff) and I had a map, a borrowed van and used stuff from his mom’s basement aka a vacuum, silverware, old Christmas ornaments etc., and about $1000 each. We thought it would be a good idea to head straight to CA since neither of us had been. Being we didn’t know anyone there nor did we have a job or job interviews set up or a place to live…I would say we did it the hard way! However with a bit of help from Giff’s mom who flew out to put us up in a hotel, bought me a suit for interviewing and co-signed a lease to get us a place to live we eventually found jobs and an apartment and have been in CA for 10 years.
Our story: After moving out to CA and living together for about 3 years we got engaged. He popped the question while down on one knee on the beach at sunset after we finished our picnic he had packed of bread, cheese, shrimp cocktail and wine. He even had the ring in a box that had a light shining down on it when opened so as it was getting dark, this amazing man was asking me to be his wife as he handed me a huge rock…Yes! Yes! Yes!
In 2005 we were married (I am biased but our wedding was absolutely amazing). By the end of 2005 we were new home owners. 2006-2009- we were both happily married, attached to our 3 cats and were focused on building our careers.
Giff and I got pregnant mid year 2009 with our first baby but what should have been one of the highlights of our life was soon distracted by the news I received at the doctor’s office.
The lump in my breast that had been dismissed the year before as nothing was now being diagnosed by a different doctor as breast cancer. Thankfully Giff is a persistent person and when we went in for our ultrasound (to hear our baby’s heartbeat) he brought up the request for testing to be done on the lump rather than dismissing it based on feeling it.
The going gets rough: Things began to move so quickly at that point, it was hard to breathe. I was 30, pregnant with my first child and going into surgery to remove breast cancer. I was about to go through what would be the worst year of my life. The plan had been discussed, we were going with the most aggressive regimen possible- double mastectomy, port surgically placed in my chest, chemotherapy, drug therapy and radiation. We also had to terminate the pregnancy. This cancer was estrogen positive and the hormones were actually feeding the cancer. That little angel whom was the cause of our going into the doctor saved my life.
Giff was my rock through every step…interviewing a team of the best doctors, memorizing which medicines I needed to take and when, driving me to chemotherapy and sitting next to me while I was so scared, telling me I was beautiful when I was bald, and so many other things…words cannot express. When you say your vows, in sickness and in health…you would never guess sickness of this magnitude at this age would be in the near future. In addition to this hardship, Giff’s dad died of a complicated prostate cancer the day we came home from my surgery. I could not hold my husband as he mourned for his dad because of the pain I was in from the mastectomy. How did Giff handle all of this pain at one time? How was he so strong for me? He is amazing. Giff’s dad was one of those people whom you naturally wanted to be around…his smile was contagious, his love for life was invigorating and he listened so intently when you talked in a conversation with him. He made you feel special. We think about him often and will miss him so much.
My family and friends were also by my side…my mom flying out from NY several times to help us with cooking and cleaning and holding my hand. It must be one of the most awful things in the world to watch your baby girl be diagnosed with breast cancer. My girlfriends also flew out to take care of me and help with anything they could. Other friends living closer would come by just to sit and talk or watch movies. There were so many cards, letters, flowers, cookies, and other gifts that came from all over the country. It’s amazing to have such great people in my life. In addition to my amazing circle of friends and family, there were the strangers with whom crossed our path. Whether it was a letter in the mail from a breast cancer survivor, the anesthesiologist who called Giff during my surgery crying happy tears that the cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes, or our fertility doctor who promised to watch over our frozen embryos as if they were her own. There were so many small gestures that made such a big impact on our lives.
Looking at the bright side: Thankfully this was caught in stage 1, had it been caught a year prior by the first doctor I had gone into about the lump, it may have been caught at stage 0. Please learn from my lesson…insist the lump be tested – a lump cannot be diagnosed by touch. They were able to cut all the cancer out and after I finish the entire regimen including a pill I take over the next 5 years, they said there is a 95% chance the cancer will never come back.
Our exciting future: We’ve decided to re-prioritize, we are taking 400 days starting February 7th of 2011 to travel the world! We will travel to new places, eat new foods, taste new wines and meet new people. We will focus on healing ourselves both physically and mentally. This will be one of the best years of our lives.
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2 Replies to “Day 214-217 of 400 – Ojai, California”
Our wedding your made your blog!!! So cool. We feel so very honored that you guys came back from your travels for our little ol’ wedding in Ojai. We had a great time, but wish we could have visited with you more. We love you guys and hope you are having the time of your life. Can’t wait to see you guys and hear all about it when you get back. Enjoy!
I am just so excited that my name made your blog. We had such a great time that weekend and it was wonderful spending time with the both of you. Our house is always open to you two. You guys look like you are having such an amazing time in your travels. I can’t wait to hear all about it! Miss you!