Monday, May 20, 2013

Refreshed and Relaxed!

This last week has been absolutely wonderful for our little family!  We were able to get away from the stress of the last few days months and just really relax!  Now that we are is the stress.  We are still very much coping with the loss of Marie, but this vacation went a long way in healing us all!!  (Until Rapunzel was featured on World of Color...but I won't ever be able to watch that movie without thinking of our own little blonde princess!)  Malachi has been counting down since 65 days before our vacation!  I couldn't really find a Countdown I I made this one! 

We started our vacation last Monday night by getting our rental car and getting everyone's suitcases loaded up!!  (Everyone includes us, Malachi, Karter my "nephew", Lolli, Pop, "Uncle" Tanner and "Aunt" Liz and Logan's girlfriend, Amanda.  We met Logan there, obviously)We chose to get a rental car because our little car had taken that drive twice and we didn't want to put another 2500 miles on it!  And...can I just say was TOTALLY worth the $255!  We had a beautiful Impala with a HUGE trunk!  Which came in handy so we could load all the luggage and everyone else wouldn't have to fly with it!  (Oh...and if you're wondering why we drove and everyone else's because they drove back in my brother's truck.  If we hadn't taken a car, we wouldn't have had room in my brother's truck!) 
Here's a little stow-away!  He actually spent the night with my parents Monday night because we got up around 1:30 Monday morning to go throw Thomas' paper route and then get the heck out of dodge!  We finished the paper route around 4:00 and were leaving Canyon by about 4:45.  The sun came up just as we were leaving Tucumcari, NM. 

Unfortunately, for my husband, we left on his birthday.  Fortunately for him I hadn't forgotten and got him a series of cards to open on our drive!  And...he got to spend that whole day with his awesome lucky is he? 
 I also let him sleep quite a bit!! 
We pulled into our hotel in Pasadena around 6:00 probably (so about a 14 hour drive) and we went straight to the Santa Monica Pier!  Thomas had been talking about wanting to do one of these genie things like on the movie "Big" so he was thrilled to see one when we got there!!  He told me if I woke up with a kid next to me in bed the next morning that I would know what happened!  Thankfully that didn't happen.  Although, if he'd woken up as rich as Tom Hanks...that would've been okay!  ;o)
I think it's safe to say that the sunset over the Santa Monica Pier was much prettier than the sunrise over Tucumcari, NM!  On a side note (and because this is our family's journal), it was FREEZING there.  I had to dig out one of my Mom's sweatshirts and Thomas had to BUY one for $36 because it was SO cold with the wind coming off that ocean! 
Oh...and see the boot?  Yeah, my sweetheart of a husband tore a tendon in the bottom of his foot the Thursday before we left!  Thankfully he did okay with all the walking we had to do and the actual damage wasn't that bad!
Here's the famous ferris wheel!  Unfortunately, at 8:00pm, the entire pier shut down.  Restaurants, stores and attractions ALL closed.  I do NOT understand that - there were TONS of people there.  Seems to me like they are missing out on a TON of income from tourists!  We were pretty disappointed, but we were exhausted too.  
We got one last picture together and then headed back towards our hotel and dinner.  We ended up having dinner at an Outback Steakhouse which happened to be about 4 miles from our hotel, but still on the same road!  We finally crawled into bed around 11:00 that night California time, 1:00am Texas time...meaning, we were up for 23 hours straight!  I didn't do that in college and don't foresee myself doing that again anytime soon!  (Well, maybe when we go to church camp with 50+ teens in a month...)
The next morning we were able to get up and head out and about Hollywood!  We went to the Griffith Observatory to view the Hollywood sign and walk around!  You can't see it well, but the Hollywood sign is actually between us in this first picture!  It was cool to see and we can say we've been there!  Definitely a been there, done that moment!
We left there and went to The Grove, which is a swanky shopping center.  It had Michael Kors, Janie and Jack and Coach stores alongside Anthropologie, Pottery Barn Kids and others!  However...we weren't there for shopping at all!  We just window shopped and people watched!  They were filming "Extra" while we were there and they asked us to be in the audience.  Maria Menounos (I totally had to google who she was) was there and she had some co-host chick.  The other chick walked out in a completely sheer shirt with nothing but a lacy black bra on underneath.  I couldn't see us teaching our young youth girls to be chaste and modest, but standing there endorsing this show with women that clearly were not modest!  It would've been cool to be on TV, but not as cool as actually living what we try to teach our young girls!  If A.C. Slater, A.K.A. Mario Lopez had been there, we MAY have stayed!  (I kid)  (Maybe)
There WAS a Dylan's Candy Bar there and it was SUPER cool!!  Every candy you could possibly imagine!  The architecture and decorating were awesome!  We had just spent about $20 bucks on chocolates at See's Candies so we didn't actually buy anything at Dylan's!  But...again...we can say we've been! 
There was a sweet little dancing fountain and two adorable old ladies saw us trying to take pictures and offered to take a couple for us! 
 LOVE this man of mine!
After a yummy light lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, we headed to Rodeo Drive!  (I also had to google that in my "famous shopping street in Los Angeles" if you can't remember!)  It'll come up! We didn't actually get out...we just drove around in our rented Impala amongst limos, Mercedes, BMWs and Range Rovers.  I totally felt like Ellie May Clampett!
Unbeknownst to us...we were headed straight by this famous sign!  So...I had to get a picture out of the sunroof!
 We also drove by Hollywood High School!  LOVE Judy Garland! 
Next up - we picked everyone up from the airport and headed to the beach! This beach was NOT warm...the water was FREEZING, but we remembered that from last year so we didn't really dive in like we did then! Pictured here are Aunt Liz, Uncle Tanner (Logan's best friend and his wife), Malachi, Karter (my "nephew"), Lolli and Pops!
 Our family's footprints!  (I promise we all have pinky toes...although it doesn't look like it here!)
 Malachi and Karter playing in the water!

And Malachi pottying!  We were WAY too far from a restroom so he just walked right out into the water!  I realize that's gross...I get it.  But things die and decompose in that ocean every day...I'm not thinking a little potty is hurting anything...and this picture was just too hysterical!
 He wrote his own name in the sand!
 And then he wrote mine! 
And finally - we ended the beach visit by watching the sunset over the pier!  So beautiful!!  We went to the Cheesecake Factory again that night and got in bed to prepare for Disney the next day!!!

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