There is nothing quite like starting off summer vacation with a little trip to California! It was just how I hoped it would be, relaxing and low key. It was nice also to experience a different part of California I have never been to before. Here's a run down of the week (sorry it's gonna be another long, day-by-day post):
Rach, Kylee, and I left in the afternoon to head for Cedar City where we would stay the night. I don't know what it is, but I don't feel like I can just drive pass Cedar without stopping and staying. It wouldn't be right. We got there in the early evening and met up with our kind friends who we were staying with. We all decided to get some dinner and see a movie. Pizza's from Pizza Factory sounded good so we went through the drive through and ended up getting the "kevin surprise" which was only getting one of two of the pizza's we ordered. Definitely a surprise indeed. If we weren't already cutting it close for the movie we would have gone back for the other. After some persuading the boys, we all went to see Something Borrowed. GO SEE IT! Just a warning: emotionally prepare yourself. We ended the night eating treats and having good chats with good friends.
We woke up early and headed on to cali. We made great time and arrived in Santa Monica in the early afternoon at rachel's cousin's house where we were staying. She was married with 3 darling kids and was so nice to let us stay with her and her family. It was the most beautiful house and neighborhood and we had a room and bathroom all to ourselves. Cutest family in the world (more on them to come). Since we got there early enough we decided to go explore Santa Monica a little. We went up to the shopping and found a 2-hour free parking lot. We walked around the shops, made some purchases, and ate at this cute little restaurant called Johnny Rockets. Our server made ketchup art, he was so talented.
Our 2-hour limit was almost up, but we weren't done shopping and exploring. So, we drove out of the parking lot then right back and started our 2 hours all over again. Anything to save money. After some more shopping and looking around we decided we wanted to go down to the pier. After another re-parking, we crossed ocean ave and headed to the pier where we road the ferris wheel and watched the fishers. Exhausted after a long day of driving and walking around, we went back to the house and hit the hay by 9 pm.
Beach day! We naturally woke up bright and early due to our early bedtime and the cute mom had breakfast all set out for us. We packed up all our stuff and headed to the beach. Because of the wind and our lack of sunscreen, we just spent about a half day on the beach and then went back up to the shops for the other half. When we got back to the house we were in our room getting all cleaned up and the youngest boy in the family came and knocked on our door and invited us to eat dinner with them. My heart literally melted he was so adorable! So not only did they provide breakfast for us, but dinner as well. So nice. We ate dinner and all went through our days saying our high's and low's. By this point we had started to notice the intense burns we received that day... oops! I never learn because I do this every time, get fried the first day. So we thought it might be a good idea to take a day off from the beach and go explore downtown LA. And that's just what we did!
Hello LA! First stop: the Walk of Fame. There were over 2400 stars and I wish I could have seen them all. I got so caught up in looking at the ground I didn't even notice the cool buildings. People have stars all the way from the Beatles to the Victoria's Secret Angels. We even got to get pics with Marilyn Monroe, Elmo, and a wax statue of Nicholas Cage that looked way too real. We walked around the front of the famous Chinese Theater where all the hand and foot prints are and we stopped by the Kodak Theater which made my that much more excited for so you think you can dance (11 DAYS!!!).
After the walk of fame we learned that the Hollywood sign was pretty close so of course we had to go find it! We used rachel's handy dandy droid that directed us right to it.
We were loving seeing the sights so we thought why not hit up Beverly Hills as well? There were the most incredible houses and we kept our eyes peeled for some celebs but unfortantely, no luck.
We headed back to the house before traffic would hit and put on our matching sweatshirts we got that day. I read my book out on the lawn for a little and then the family invited us to dinner again. We ate and then decided to drive around the neighborhood because it was so pretty and with the hopes of bumping into Tom Hanks or Julia Roberts who apparently lived fairly close by. Again no luck with the celeb spotting. We ended the evening watching Blue Crush (it seemed only appropriate) and had another early night to bed.
All day beach day. We went a little more prepared this time. Found all day free parking, packed a cooler full of drinks and lunches we packed, borrowed some beach chairs, and had more sunscreen. It was a little overcast but it was absolutely perfect. Not too hot and we knew we were still getting sun. We read and listened to music all day.
After the beach we told the parents that we would watch their kids if they wanted to go out that night. So we did! We had a little movie night and it was sooooo much fun and I just adore these children. We made a delicious crumb cake that kylee brought, made popcorn, and piled a bunch of pillows and blankets in the rec room to watch the first Harry Potter. Oh man I miss them already!
We planned to have a repeat of the day before. Packed our drinks and lunches, brought our beach chairs and books, ready for a day at the beach. Unfortunately this day wasn't just overcast, it was down right cold! After a while of being cold on the beach and trying to plan out the remainder of our time there, we decided instead of waking up early on Sunday and driving back all day we would just leave right then and drive for home. We packed our stuff back up, went back to the house and said our goodbyes before the family headed out on their afternoon together, cleaned, and hit the road! We did the whole drive arriving home around 2 in the morning.
What a wonderful week it was and what a kind and sweet family to be as good to us as they were. And what a treat to come home to this beautiful weather!!!