Sunday, April 20, 2014

California vacation!

Ever since Paul started residency, we have been saving up vacation. He has 15 days vacation during the year, and in the first 6 months, he only took 4 days off. Then we learned that he would also get paternity leave when the baby come...which in the end, meant that in January, February, and March we needed to take 9 days vacation or else he would lose it. 

So one night while tossing and turning in my uncomfortable, pregnant state, I got the idea to surprise Paul with a trip - by ourselves. I knew I couldn't completely surprise him...he would have to know we were going somewhere since I would be asking him to take 5 days off in a row. But I could surprise him with where we were going. At 3 am I planned out a good chunk of the trip, and almost even got out of bed to impulsively buy the plane tickets. But then I remembered that it was 3 am, and, although my idea was good, I had better wait til morning, and make sure that Paul really could get 5 days off in January. 

I picked to go to L.A. This was a little risky - Paul does NOT like huge cities and REALLY hates driving in huge cities. I knew that in order for it to work, I would have to plan things pretty well, and steer clear of bad traffic and super crazy parts of town.

It ended up the perfect vacation...if I do say so myself. We drove to Iowa to drop the kids off at Laura's house, flew out of Des Moines, and off to LA. I kept the destination a secret from him for months - and he only found out while we were were in Iowa when my brother-in-law spilled the beans. At least that gave him time to adjust to the idea of being in Southern California.

We stayed near the 3rd St. Promenade. We tried to get a nice picture, but it was too bright. With jet lag, we woke up really early (even though we slept in according to Wisconsin standards) so we wandered around lots of mornings looking for places to see. We found a shop with hundreds of old Singers as decoration.

And we stayed at a funky art deco hotel right across from the Santa Monica Pier. Yes, we were loving the 55 degree weather and wearing shorts.
We at a lot of good food...we ate way too much on this trip and I'm sure you'll get tired of looking at food pictures. But it really was amazing. This was the best Italian meal of my life.
We went to the Getty Museum, something that has been on my bucket list ever since I was at BYU. It was such an amazing museum. We went one afternoon and spent two hours in one building, and realized we'd have to come back the next day to see the rest. I'm glad my husband loves art too! He was usually moving at a slower pace than me!

View of LA


After our first day at the Getty, we drove through Hollywood (just to say we had been there) and Beverly Hills, to arrive at the Griffith Observatory. It was cool...but Paul being an astronomy undergrad, I think we had higher expectations. The didn't have any of the big telescopes open, so frankly it wasn't that interesting for us, since we had seen a lot of that stuff at BYU. The view of the city was great, we saw Saturn, and could make out the outline of the Hollywood sign - the dang lights were broken so we couldn't really see it.
The next morning, again we woke up before anything was open, so we wandered down the Santa Monica Pier. Too bad I was 6 months pregnant...I would have loved a roller coaster ride or something more exciting than a lot of walking. But we were still happy to be out of the cold Wisconsin winter...we loved checking that the temps were always below 20 degrees while we were gone.

And then back to the Getty...

From there, we left LA, and took the scenic route along the Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Barbara.
Again, amazing Mexican food.
Again, waking up early, so we walked out on the wharf. We loved Santa Barbara. Paul was convinced that we should move there someday, and immediately started looking online at real estate...and immediately got discouraged. So Cal is an expensive place!
We were limited as to what we could do because of my belly, and because SB is pretty laid back, so we took a drive farther up the coast, and then looped around to drive through the hills around SB. We stopped in Solvang...the quirkiest town I've ever seen. It's a little slice of Denmark nestled in the hills. There is even a fountain to the Little Mermaid.
But the Danishes were amazing.
The clouds finally lifted when we got back to Santa Barbara...we checked out the mission...
...and then the courthouse. Awesome views of the city, ocean, and hills. We really were just thinking about Shawn and Gus the whole time, and how none of the show was actually shot in SB. But it was still fun.
On our last morning we went on a very leisurely bike ride up the Cabrillo Bike path. Weird being on a bike that brakes by pedaling backwards...it's been years and it took a while adapting.

And we stopped for a burger, just to say we did. All in all, a relaxing, delicious, much needed trip, which would only have been better if we had another week, and if I weren't pregnant. It's always refreshing to spend so much time with Paul one-on-one. I really believe getaways are the best for marriages!
The girls, meanwhile, had a party with their cousins, which was topped off by Hattie losing her first tooth. We missed it by about 10 hours. There are plenty of more teeth to come!

1 comment:

Marci Deegan said...

Awww! Those are really great photos. It's really nice to see you guys taking a break by yourselves. Parenting can also be taxing, that we sometimes all need to take a break. It's nice that you made the move to surprise your husband. I’m sure he’s very touched.

Marci Deegan @ Twin Pine