Dear Lord, where do I begin? I guess I should start by saying that I shed an enormous amount of tears the entire time I wrote and edited this post.
It was the best trip ever for so many reasons. One being that my girls have never flown before, another is that Ross hasn't ever visited Cali and last but not least, two of my very BEST friends and sorority sisters (my BIG & LITTLE) live there. We got to share every minute of our trip with them. Yes, I want to share our adventures with you, but at the end of the day, this post is for my kids, one day they will see what I captured during our stay and will hopefully remember these moments not only through the photos but in their heads. I hope your enjoy.
We landed in Long Beach and felt the cooler weather as soon as we stepped off the plane. I highly recommend this airport and flying Jet Blue. It was a CHEAP, non-stop flight from Austin, the staff was amazing (we got to tour the cockpit), the leg room was phenomenal, FREE DirectTV the whole way and actually got off the plane not having to walk down a tunnel. The girls were beside themselves and so was I! Ahhhhh, we love you already, California!
We spent our first evening at our friends' beach side casa in Dana Point; poolside, wine, homemade spaghetti (thanks, Sharon) and more hugs than I have given in years. There was a major power surge (apocalypse) that night, so we hung out in the dark with candles and the moonlight glow...right up my alley. A moment to remember for sure!
Friday morning we headed to the Santa Monica Pier. Cliche, I know, but if you are a tourist, you have to go there. The views, amusements, food, scenery, beach, rides, dolphin watching and temps will definitely draw you in. We stayed the night in L.A. and visited The Grove. I had ONE celebrity experience, Rebecca Gayhart (you know McSteamy's Wife & Noxzema Girl). We dined at the Farmer's Market, so fun, Austin needs one of these. We did a little shopping, cruised with the top down along Hollywood Blvd and snapped pics of the Hollywood sign. Thanks, Erica for letting us crash. Diablo wasn't all that bad. (Insert inside joke)
Saturday we made the traffic hell ride back to Dana Point from L.A. and plopped on the beach for the rest of the day and the next! I swear we turned into total surf bums. I couldn't get over the weather, waves and gorg views. If we didn't LOVE our fam in Texas, we would move to SoCal in a New York minute. I mean, I think my kids fit right in....look at those poses!
Saturday night, my local buddy, Sharon, knew the ropes/tricks and reserved us a private fire pit on the beach. Holy heaven!! Smoked dogs, burgers, Pandora tunes, smores, college buds, kids giggling, salt water, chilly beach air and lots of inside jokes...is this really happening? Can this be life 24 hours a day? Oh, how I wish! We may or may not have hit the hot tub afterwards once the kids were passed out cold...only the ones present will know for sure. No pictures. No proof.
FYI, Sunday was another beach day & grown up dinner. See Wednesday's post for that.
Monday we got to Disneyland at 10:00 AM and didn't walk out of the park until midnight. Yes, we spent 14 hours there, thank the Lord for BOB strollers!! I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. The kids were troopers and didn't want to leave. We rode every "good" ride, thanks to Sharon's expertise and "fast pass" knowledge, we rocked that park like a Guns & Roses concert. Our faves; Star Tours, Space Mountain, Tower of Terror and California Screamin'. For the record, I cried yet again during the Main Street parade....to see my girls' eyes when those "princesses" blew them kisses and waved directly at them, that moment is one I will cherish for the rest of my days. They were in their own wonderland...we all were.
And then it happened, Tuesday rolled around faster than we expected and it was time to head back to Texas. Do not think we didn't go out in style. One last trip to the sea to indulge in food, more waves, sunshine, palm trees, beach poses and sand. Tears streaming the whole way to the airport and during our 2 hour flight delay. The Lord was trying to tell us something...maybe it was to stay another day, week, month, year or for the rest of our lives.
I will say, we will be back, hopefully next year and to make this California adventure an annual tradition.
This pic below is why I am crying as I type. This sunset was taken right in front of my friend's house. Can you imagine looking at this almost every single evening? Yeah, me too. At least I can savor it on my iPhone...every single day.
I will leave you with this :12 second photo video. I hope the time lapse pictures turn out. It was my first time playing with this "editing" function. It kinda sums up the whole weekend...JUMPING FOR JOY!
I have a few amazing bloggers for you today. Get excited to make some new friends....ones I actually call my own!
Nicole with A Dash of Gold....oh my word....can you say PRECIOUS? Yes, you can! She is such a fun blogger and actually has a pretty Bad-A giveaway going on right now. Go enter. Besides free stuff this girl can rock a single bag like you have never seen and has NO worries that she is shouting it from the rooftops! And she is proud about stepping out of her comfort zone and will make you laugh the whole way through. Make sure to read this denim jacket story....I swear you will giggle out loud. That's what I heart about this girl....she has some serious fashion sense, but is so dang adorable with her commentary! Make sure to stop by her blog for a dash of gold.
Oh, Fran...Fran...Fran...Fran!! Her and I go waaaaaaay back. I love her. Absolutely adore her. She is a girl on a budget and is as real as they come. Her style is simple, real and for the everyday. I promise that when you visit her blog that you will relate. Plus, she inspired me to clean out my mess of a closet with this post. She is on her way to new and exciting things...and I could not be more happy for her! Go get 'em!! She has been traveling the world for at least 5 months! Okay, kidding, just the past few weeks before she starts med school. I have been so jealous! And in case you are looking for a 30 Before 30 Challenge, Fran has a fab list going. Check it out.
Allison with a Nestful of Love is another lady near and dear to my heart. we have been blog buds for quite some time. I have adored following her travel adventures. And believe me, the post I just linked to isn't even the beginning. And she also has some serious style and knows her stuff. In fact, she has an amazing jewelry giveaway going on now. Be sure to enter this one too! She has such a genuine heart and you will see that with every post she writes. She has only been married for fours years and has given us all some SERIOUS martial advice. You go, girl! And thank you! Go and explore all of her posts...I swear Allison will draw you in with her real life experiences & even a dash of fashion.
Happy weekend, friends. I actually have ZERO plans for once. I am LOVING it. Time to catch up on sleep, laundry and serious couch time. See you bright and early on Monday! Peace!