Tuesday, January 29, 2013

More Southern California sun

The rest of our trip was spent visiting family and friends in the South Bay area. We enjoyed church with Tom and Britt followed by dinner and watching the kids play at my Grandma's house. It was so special for me to see my kids enjoying the same fun that my cousins and I did as kids at my Grandparents' house. With an air hockey and pool table and literally hundreds (maybe thousands!) of family photos lining the walls, you could stay and Grandma's forever and never be bored. And of course she had the cookie jar stocked just for us :) We took a walk the next morning up the hill near her house and saw amazing views of L.A. to our right and San Pedro/Long Beach behind us.

You can kind of spot downtown L.A. between the tree and the bushes - lots of tall buildings clustered together.
Great Grandma and Lucy being silly!
I also got some special time looking through old photos with my Grandma and hearing stories of her many adventures over her nearly 80 years of life (don't worry, Grandma, no one looking at these photos would guess your age!). After breakfast we embarked on a little drive around Palos Verdes with stops at the Wayfarer's Chapel and Point Vicente. It was such a gorgeous, clear day and though we didn't see any dolphins or whales, the Catalina coast was enough for us.

Outside the Wayfarer's chapel. My cousin Cindy had a beautiful wedding here!
Lighthouse where Solange and Nik tied the knot. So many happy memories!

Catalina in the background

Looking for whale tails.

Next was a visit with my brother to fill our bellies at the most amazing hole in the wall Mexican restaurant followed by a trip to the beach. The beaches here in Oregon are beautiful with their rocky coastlines and many trees, but nothing beats the windless sunny expanse of Redondo or Hermosa's shores. I was pretty much in heaven as I watched the kids play in the water and soaked up the sun while catching up with Tom.


The last stop of the day was my sweet high school friend Sara's house. It was the perfect evening of relaxing with good conversation and a home cooked meal. We slept like logs after our day in the sun and woke up to a visit with the sweetest and softest pet chinchilla ever. I just adore Sara and her husband and am so fortunate that they have family in Portland so we get to see them at least twice a year :)

Winston the chinchilla
Lucy is so excited!

The kids with Sara in Portland last summer
We couldn't pass up one last California lunch at In-N-Out and a quick drive by my old childhood house. I have turned into that nostalgic parent who will take every opportunity to share "I remember when..." stories with my kids. The house still has the white roses my mom planted in the front yard and a basketball hoop over the garage. They've since replaced the cracked front window, though I will always remember how that crack happened :) It was a perfect vacation, but coming home was pretty perfect, too. I am so thankful for the memories we made on this trip and also for the memories we're making everyday at home. I wonder what Maryn and Lucy's "I remember when..." stories will be.


Anonymous said...

I love your blog posts...best Christmas (New Years?) present!! but no pressure! The pictures of Cali make me so homesick...was glad to hear that the white roses are still there :)

Solange, Nik, Caitlin and Oliver said...

So glad you guys had a sunny trip out here. Your girls are so beautiful!
Thanks for the shout at at Point Vicente, by the way :) Almost 7 years for us. I always think of your wedding when I go to take Caity to her ballet class. It'll be 10 years this summer for you guys, right? Time flies!!!
I bet Maryn and Lucy's "I remembers" will include "mom was awesome and took us to so many fun places, played with us all the time and made us feel so special".

Katherine Willis Pershey said...

I'm so behind on reading blogs. Wow, does Mary look beautiful. I got teary just seeing her face. I miss her and everyone from SBCC so much.

Everyone else is beautiful, too, of course. :)