Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wish We All Could Be Californians

This post has a lot of pictures, and a lot of editing difficulties. Just go with it. 

I love when I'm off track. This three week break couldn't come fast enough for me.  This has been a challenging start to the school year. Anyway, on my off track, I headed to Southern California to spend time with the Fifield family.  My friend, Bernardo (who is visiting from Brazil), also came along for the ride.

We drove down Tuesday night after I got off work and stayed at Jenni's house.  I slept in the bed next to Zoe, and bright and early, I had a little body crawl into bed with me. Zoe never wants to snuggle! She snuggled with me and talked, and talked, and talked about kindergarten, her friends, and her birthday. She was so cute! Even though she woke me up super early, it was a moment I'll cherish. I'll take all of those I can get!

Wednesday, we drove from Monroe all the way to our destination, stopping only for gas and lunch.  We arrived just in time for dinner. It was funny because Axton was crying when we got there. He *said* it was because he wanted to wait for us for dinner, but he may or may not have not wanted to eat in the first place. I'll take him wanting to wait for us, more specifically his favorite aunt, me. That cute kid!

While in California, Kristin and Matthew did a fantastic job of hosting us.  We did a lot of fun things. Thursday we went to The Farm with the kids and saw all sorts of farm animals. The coolest things was the pigmy goats climbing above my head. They were in the trees and going from tree to tree by walking on two by four boards. 
Axton ran right OVER this puddle. 
One morning we went shopping to some of the outlets, and on our way home we stopped at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. We enjoyed the gardens and walked around the outside. Here I am standing with a piece of the Berlin Wall. 
Who doesn't love cute baby faces?

Thursday night, Matthew took Bernardo and I to the driving range where we practiced our golf swings and looked pretty ridiculous, I'm sure.  Going to the driving range is something I've always wanted to do, silly as it sounds. Mostly, I think I liked just taking a whack at those balls.  I did find, however, that it's not about hitting the ball with all your strength. Also, I had to lose my softball swing to swing the club correctly. I had a really fun time and even hit the ball pretty hard. Thanks, Matthew!

Friday during the day, we packed up and went to the beach with one of Kristin's friends and her baby.  We had sandwiches in the car and then just enjoyed the beach. After rocking Jayli to sleep, I just relaxed on my blanket, read my book, and then walked in the waves.  I built some sand castles with Axton, and then buried him in the sand. What a silly kid! It was a fun and relaxing day.

Friday night we went camping.  Well, the kind of camping where you go, roast hotdogs, make s'mores, and then come home and sleep in your own warm bed. Kristin and I made potato salad and got everything ready to take. We drove about fifteen minutes to a place that offered day use sites and had a fun dinner and picnic. The best part was playing on the playground with Axton and roasting my hotdog.  I'll admit--I didn't know how to tell when it was done, so I just burned it. Better safe than sorry. Besides, I like it a little crunchy. Haha! That was my first hot dog in a loooooong time. Long time.   Then we came home and played bowling and golf on the wii.  Matthew and I are pretty competitive when it comes to that, but I was pretty good. Not going to lie.

Saturday we packed up and headed into Los Angeles.  We went to the Griffiths Observatory, saw the Hollywood sign and took some pictures in front of it, and saw all the exhibits. We then had lunch at Tommy Burger (not that great) and headed to Hollywood Blvd. to see the stars on the sidewalks, the hand and footprints in cement, and all that jazz.  I now know why they do all the premiers at night and with a red carpet and lots of lights. That place looks incredibly dirty during the day. I really didn't feel like putting my hands down anywhere. An experience, yes. Would I do it again? Probably not.

We then headed to the Santa Monica Pier.  It was beautiful! The weather was perfect, and it wasn't too crowded. We walked up and down the pier, sat and watched the waves for a bit, and enjoyed the ocean view.  Kristin and Matthew had an artist on the pier do chalk drawings of Axton and Jayli. Axton did such a good job holding still! I held Jayli while she had her picture done, and Kristin, Matthew, and Axton rode the Ferris Wheel.  We ended the day at home with pizza and watching sports. A long but fun day!

Sunday was church as usual.  Bernardo got to speak with some people who were from Brazil, so he enjoyed that.  I was in charge of Jayli while the Fifields taught their classes and such.  She pretty much slept the whole time. She was such a sweetheart! I think my favorite thing is just to hold her and rock her to sleep. Love that girl.  After church and dinner, the Fifields and I went to a local park and took some cute pictures of their family.  Axton decided he did not want to participate. It was kind of frustrating and hilarious at the same time. Oh, and I guess I should have known it would go well when seconds before I took the first picture, Jayli barfed all over Kristin.

Monday night, Kristin and I were able to go and see the movie The Help at a local theater. Movies are kind of pricey in California, but I guess you have to just go with it! We got popcorn and everything. Let's face it--we don't get out together often! The movie was excellent--I've now seen it twice.  I enjoyed it more than I have any movie in awhile. It was nice of the boys to babysit while we had a girl's night out.

Tuesday Bernardo, Axton, and I drove down to the Los Angeles Temple and toured the visitors center and grounds.  Axton was so stinkin' cute. He loved the kids activities in the visitors center. He only wanted to do that and take pictures.  But, that kid did not want his picture taken! He gave the big old frowny face, as you can see in some of these pictures.  The cutest thing was when we were walking around the large reflecting pool at the front of the temple. We were talking about how old you had to be to go in the temple. He asked, "Michelle? How old do you have to be to put bath toys in there?"  Haha! I told him it wasn't for bath toys. I think he was kind of disappointed.  We had lunch at KFC, and then headed back home.

Axton at the Visitor's Center. He looks so grown up!
When we got back, Axton had a special request. He just wanted to go and ride the escalator at Macy's.  Last time I was here, he wanted to do the same thing, except he called them the Scary Stairs. This time he said (in his small little voice), "They're not scary, Michelle. It's an escalator."  Well, I'll tell you what--when a three year old decides he wants to run up and down the escalator--it's a little scary for the adult!  We had to ride them three times. I had said he could ride them two times, but then he asked, "Well, how about three times?" Three times it was.

Later that night, Kristin and I went back to Macy's where I bought some of my favorite jeans (Hydraulics), and then we shopped a bit around town after dinner.   It was me, Kristin, and Jayli. The boys had gone to the church for activity night. I love just shopping with my sister, even if we don't buy anything.  Spending time together is the best.

Wednesday morning, we left bright and early at 6 to head back to Utah. After driving all day, we finally made it back home at about 8.  Long day and long drive, but definitely worth it!

See you next time, Fifield family! Love your guts!

1 comment:

Kristin said...

We love your guts too and love when you come to visit. Thanks for all the great pictures!