So, we went to California, without our kids! It was pretty amazing in so many ways, from the ease with which our kids relaxed into Mimi's home for six whole days, to the ease with which she accepted them; the smooth flights, gorgeous weather, beautiful wedding, wonderful friends and our readiness for home at the end of the week. It couldn't have worked out better. The one bummer of the trip was that my camera broke on our first day out there. Rob's phone takes great pictures, so we could still document the trip, but you'll notice way more pictures of me than usual.
We spent two separate afternoons in San Diego, at Seaport Village, the Gas Lamp District, and Old Town San Diego. Then, hopped in our rented Mini Cooper (my new favorite car!--you should see the thing pull a U turn! And while I'm thinking of it, how did people ever travel before GPS?)
We drove north out of the city until we saw a place to sink our toes into pacific sand. "From one corner of the US to another" --kid in front of us at the rental car place.
I was stunned by the difference in landscape. Southern CA was much more desert than I expected, and the succulents growing everywhere were a surprise to me. There were jade plants growing as hedges in front gardens, and amazing cacti blooming along the highways. I've never really been a succulent fan, until now. There's something sexy about a succulent (aside from the name) don't you think? Maybe you have to be an adult to appreciate them.
We spent the first two nights at Hotel Laguna, built in the 1930s directly on Laguna Beach. It was stunning. Old architecture, sweet little tile bathrooms and classy furniture, real brass room keys, and a back staircase to the outdoor dining and beach. We had coffee on the board walk shortly after sunrise, and watched the surfers from the beach front patio over breakfast. I ran on the beach, and boogie boarded on huge (compared to east coast) waves, in surprisingly cold water--though nothing like our icy Maine Atlantic. We kissed more than we have since our wedding day.
Then we headed inland for two days to celebrate with some of our favorite guys (Rob's childhood friends, and my high school pals) and their wives who happen to be some of the funniest women I've had a chance to hang with. Eric and Tauna's wedding was sweet. Their minister was a beach-volleyball friend who told their love story in laid back California style for 20 minutes, then said, "but you came for a wedding right?" And married them. The ceremony and reception were held at a vineyard in Temecula, CA, with views of the mountains, rows of grapes, and a DJ with real turn tables, who really mixed it up--second only to the band at the "Beer Garden" from the night before who rocked Adele, Vanilla Ice, and The Commodores equally well. We even managed to convince the groom to break dance.
We arrived home sleepy but happy. It was sweet to spend a whole week appreciating my Honey. It's really easy to let our relationship take the back seat to parenting. This trip was a good reminder that kids sit in the back for a reason! Of course, now that we're back to the daily rhythm, keeping that in mind will be another story.