Sunday we were busy packing, getting the kids packed and shipped out. My husband was packing like a girl. He was driving me nuts. I have three people to pack, he's on his own. He kept coming out in the living room with something on, asking my opinion, and if he should pack it. Then he'd go back to the room and few minutes later do the same thing all over again with a different outfit. I told him to just pack what ever he wanted. He explained he couldn't do that as I had the big suitcase. Of course I do, I have six pairs of shoes to bring, all my bathroom supplies, and several different outfits (at least 2 or 3 per day), so of course I need the big suitcase. So I told him, "yes, that looks fine, bring it and quit being such a girl."
I ended up staying up pretty late Sunday evening and into Monday morning. Between excitement of the trip and anxiety of flying and both of us being so far away from the kids for a whole week, I got very little sleep. I finally got to bed around 2:30 or 3:00 am. I had to wake up at 5:30 am to get to the airport on time. So I had a good nap.
Our flight left Monday morning at 8:00 am. The lines to check in and go through security were huge. It was a good thing we got there with plenty time. We had some time to grab breakfast and make our flight. Since I had gotten very little sleep the week before and that night, I slept really good on the airplane. We had a quick layover in Phoenix. Just enough time to get off the plane we were on and catch our connecting flight to California.
We made it to California and got our rental car, then headed to our hotel at Laguna Beach. Our hotel was pretty nice. It was on the Pacific Coast Highway, and we had to cross the street and go down a walkway and a bunch of steps to get to the beach, so the first thing we did was head to the beach. Ken hasn't been to a coastal beach in over 20 years, so he was really excited to be on the ocean. It was great. I was posing for a picture, when I got taken out by a gigantor wave. I totally did not see it coming. I was too busy posing and telling my husband to make sure to get a good picture. Yep, he got a good picture alright. A still shot of impending doom.
I couldn't figure out why he kept looking at me and shouting something. "Ugh, just take the picture would you?". The next thing I know, I'm being sucked out to sea and having pounds of sand invade my swimsuit. I managed to get out of the wave and get my bearings in time to get hit by a second wave. That wave took my beach hat out to sea. My sweet hubby went & got it. At first we didn't think we could get it, but it finally got swept back up to us. So the beach hat is saved!
After we were done getting beat up by the sea, we went back to the hotel to get out of our wet sand filled suits. I swear two pounds of sand and rocks came out of my swimsuit. I was picking sand out of my hair and my ears for the next day.
Tuesday we decided to head to Huntington Beach for the afternoon. We went out onto the pier, walked around, did some shopping, watched the fisherman and surfers, and then sat out on the beach and went swimming in the ocean. The waves at Huntington Beach were much nicer to us. The waves rolling in weren't as harsh coming into shore. We got some good sun and had lots of fun feeling like giddy kids.
We ate lunch at a nice restaurant near the pier overlooking the ocean. We ended up sitting at a table next to some Hollywood big wigs. They were talking about all the different projects they were working on. They sounded like a busy group of people. They really didn't seem to care that we could hear their conversation either.
We got back to Laguna Beach and we walked down the beach and just walked around and enjoyed the scenery. We didn't try to take on the waves. We'd had enough of that already. We saw one of the most beautiful sunsets I think I've ever seen in my life.
Wednesday we headed to Temecula, CA for my niece's wedding. We got there pretty early, so we made a stop at my sister's house since it was right on the way to where we were headed. We had a good visit and then headed to our hotel (Pechanga Resort & Casino which is also where the wedding was taking place). We got checked in and then I made sure that my mom and grandma got checked in OK as well. Once every one was settled, Ken & I headed to dinner. After dinner, I met up with my sister Patty and my baby brother Ed. We called my mom to come meet us in the casino, so we went gambling. I won $50 on the first nickle slot machine. I put $10 and whammy! Big money...show me the money! My sister Patty sat next to me and her nickle machine ate her $10 faster than you can say ten dollars.
Thursday morning after breakfast, my sister Patty, Ed, and I decided to try our luck again. I didn't have such good luck and lost $35 of the $50 I won the night before. Patty won $83 and Ed won $20. Oh well, we all ended up winning something, so that was fun. We just hung out at the casino and visited and had some good family time. My 101 year old grandma was there too, so we got a good visit with her too.
Thursday afternoon, we all parted ways and got ready for the wedding. While the siblings were gambling, Ken, and Patty's daughter and her friend all went and enjoyed the pool. I never did make it to the pool. I made it to the pool bar, but not the actual pool. I guess I was too busy visiting and gambling.
My sister Mary and her husband and two littlest girls showed up to our hotel room to get dressed for the wedding. They didn't stay at the hotel, so we let them invade our room to get ready for the wedding. The wedding was taking place on the outdoor waterfall patio at the casino. All the guests gathered in the lobby area and then we were seated outside.
The wedding was very beautiful. My niece Katie was such a gorgeous bride. The ceremony went as if they'd planned it for a long time when in fact they planned it in three months. The wedding was short, sweet, and to the point. They had photos taken after the ceremony. The wedding dinner and reception was held on the resorts top floor. It was really pretty up there and they had lots of big wall length windows that overlooked the mountains in the area. Dinner was really good, and so was dessert. The dance was pretty fun too. My 3 year old niece (the fwower goya as she told everyone) danced all night long.
Friday we all parted our separated ways. My mom, grandma, and brother headed home. My sister Patty, her daughter, and her daughter's friend went to Sea World ( where the girls got to swim with the dolphins. I can't wait to see those pictures.) Ken & I headed back to Laguna Beach.
On our way back to Laguna Beach, Ken & I stopped at San Juan Capistrano and we toured the old mission. It was very beautiful and serene in there. We also went to the new cathedral that they built outside of the mission. The alter is completely made of gold. It was such a beautiful place.
Our last night at Laguna Beach we went to the downtown area by the seashore and did some shopping. We bought souvenirs for the kids and I bought a really pretty painting from a local artist. Then we went and ate dinner at The Beach House and had some fresh seafood. Yummmy! It was really delicious. After dinner we walked along the shoreline back to our car.
That evening there was no sunset as it was too cloudy. So Ken & I grabbed a couple of towels and we walked down to the beach near our hotel and just sat on the beach and watched the waves roll in. We were sad that we had to leave the next day. But we were missing the kids, so we had a good reason to come home, even though we tried to think of ways to miss our flight and spend an extra day or two.
Saturday morning we packed up our things and headed back to the airport. Boo Hoo, we had to leave beautiful Southern California. We flew from Sana Ana California to Phoenix. We had enough time in Phoenix to eat lunch, since we never got breakfast before we left California. We got on the plane in Phoenix to come home. About 10 minutes of waiting to take off, the pilot came on the speaker system saying there was a computer malfunction and the computer had to be replaced, it would take about an hour to fix. We were instructed to stay on the plane. I put in my mp3 player headphones and took a nap.
Our flight home was the noisiest flight I've ever been on in my life. Lots of crying babies and grumpy old men. I seriously thought a fight was going to break out between one of the grumpy old men and one of the mom's of two of the crying kids. He told her very loudly not to bring children on a plane if they couldn't behave. She yelled back at him something and then they bantered back and forth for a while. Then she tried to get sympathy from the people and said really loud "can you believe this guy is for real?!" A little while later her kids started crying again. She got up to walk them around and said "Let's walk this way and stay away from the grumpy old man!" Nothing better than plane drama. Everyone on board was so glad we landed in MN.
Sunday the kids came home. It was pretty good to see them. I think they even grew.
The kids had a really good week with grandma and grandpa. They got to go fishing with grandpa and they helped grandma out too. So everyone had a great vacation!
Here are some pictures from the vacation and the wedding.