Personal · Travel

California Trip 2014

(hope you are ready for a photo saturated post…promise i tried to narrow them down)

So i’ve been back from CA for over a month now and have finally decided to blog the trip.  To say it was amazing would be an understatement.  I have been to CA one other time but it was for work and only got to go out and explore at night…and I only got to see my family for a few hours. This time I got to spend 10 days with them!!

The first 3 days of the trip were traveling…blllaaahhhh! It wasn’t terrible but I wouldn’t want to do it again! Day 1 mom and I flew to AR and day 2 and 3 were filled with driving.

We drove about 13-14 hours each day and when I say we, I mean ME! Mom drove about 2 hrs of the whole trip and Mimi and Papa were in a separate car. It was pretty neat to see states I had never seen before so I was very thankful for that.


2014-08-20_0003 2014-08-20_0002Pretty sure we screamed when we saw this sign…we were finally in the home stretch.

2014-08-20_0004Originally we hadn’t planned on seeing the ocean the first night there since we didn’t get in until about 8 or so but I was determined! I had just travelled for 3 days, was exhausted, and just wanted to put my feet in the water.   This is literally probably less than 1 mile from my uncles house…paradise.

2014-08-20_0005Day 4: Trish, Mike, Papa, Mari, Rob, Aspen and I went out on the boat! Most of us loved it but Trisha was holding on for dear life. It was pretty hilarious…i didn’t get a picture of it but I should have.



2014-08-20_0009After we rode around on the boat for a bit we explored Balboa Island which is adorable! I would love to go back and spend more time checking out all the cute shops and just looking at the houses.  They are so cute!

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Aspen and I had a selfie photo shoot 🙂 I just adore this little girl!


That night we all got changed and went out to dinner….we docked and dined meaning we all got on the boat and rode to dinner.  It was fabulous! The food I had while we were there was the best!

2014-08-20_0010Day 5: Fourth of July!! We went out on the boat again, watched the boat parade and did a little swimming. Then we came back to the house and cooked out.  Mari is always a wonderful host and cooked for us….she made SHARK! And I tried it….and it was fabulous! Would have never thought I would be able to say I ate shark!

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I’m so jealous that my family has this literally in their backyard! 2014-08-20_0046Day 6: We made the 3 hour or so drive north to Cambria.  I got to ride with the fabulous ladies, Mari, Kaela and Aspen in the fun girls car 🙂 Rob and Mari have been married for 6 or 7 years now and it was so great to be able to spend some time with Mari and Kaela considering we have only really spent a handful of hours together in all those years.  Ladies, I loved it! You two are wonderful, amazing, beautiful women and I am thankful to have you in our family and even more thankful for quality time with you.  Side note: I’m so mad I didn’t get a picture with Mari….we will change that next time I come to Cali!


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I sat on these rocks for a few minutes and just tried to take it all in and remember that feeling forever.  I want to never forget the feeling I felt as I stood in that moment in my life and realized I was perfectly at peace and was truly happy. I was surrounded by the people I loved the most and wish I could be back there in that exact place every day.

The air was so crisp, the water was so blue and it was just so peaceful.  I didn’t want to leave that spot.2014-08-20_0018 2014-08-20_0017Day 7: This was probably my favorite and worst day of the trip. haha. I woke up and had hurt my neck again. 😦 A week prior to the trip I had somehow sprained my neck but it was better before I left and then flared up again. ugh! I was going to push through the pain though.  This day Kaela and I decided to drive through Big Sur and up to Carmel. Thank you again Kaela for making the drive with me!! It was the one thing I wanted to do while I was there because pictures I had seen were simply breathtaking and I didn’t know when I would be back so I wanted to take advantage.  Plus it was so fun to have a girls day with Kaela.

2014-08-20_0020 2014-08-20_0021We had lunch at Pebble Beach! So gorgeous!!


Kaela insisted on getting this HUGE sundae and of course I didn’t object! Shortly after this was were things went downhill though.  2014-08-20_0024

I had brought pain meds from my doctor with me in case my neck flared up again and decided to take it with lunch….bad idea. Last time I took the medicine I was in bed all day so things were fine…this time I was out site-seeing and moving around…not a good combo! Poor Kaela had to deal with me getting sick. I still am so sorry and so embarrassed about that BUT trying to just laugh about it now! We had the option of going the easy highway home with no crazy curves but I said forget that…take the scenic route! Thankful we did! I finally started to feel better, the fog had rolled out and the drive was amazing.

All of these photos are literally right off the road!


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Funny store here….we had pulled over to take pictures of this gorgeousness and a guy said “Were you taking pictures of that huge bird?! What was it?” Were were like “HUH?!” haha we had no clue what he was talking about he said it flew right in front of us.  We were too worried about the pretty blue water.  Then looking at my pictures…there it is.  A big huge bird right in our picture lol! 2014-08-20_0026

Once we got back close to Cambria we decided to stop at Hearst Castle because the rest of the family was there.  First stop was the elephant seals…these things were HUGE!


Then on to the castle…It was beautiful.  I couldn’t imagine living in this place.

If you are interested you can read more about Hearst Castle here….

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2014-08-20_0027After the castle tour we had dinner in Morro Bay.

2014-08-20_0057 2014-08-20_0056 2014-08-20_0055Day 8: I wasn’t feeling well again…blah!

Mimi, Papa and Mom left for their drive back to AR.  I was supposed to drive back with them but said forget that and bought a plane ticket home so I could stay for 2.5 more days.  Best decision EVER!

We drove back to Corona Del Mar, Aspen asked Mike to ride the kiddie rides with him :), we visited Trisha’s friend Andi and Kaela and I walked down to watch the sunset, had dinner, and then she got me hooked on The Bachelorette! haha 🙂


Day 9: We went to Crystal Cove park and had a beach day!! 🙂 YAY! The whole trip we had been going nonstop and it was so nice to be able to relax on the beach for the day.


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2014-08-20_0036 2014-08-20_0032 2014-08-20_0031 2014-08-20_0030This little girl is such a character!


2014-08-20_0066 2014-08-20_0065 2014-08-20_0064Later that night we went into LA and had the best sushi i’ve ever had.  I don’t even remember what everything was called but I tried it all and it was so delicious.  I’m craving that sushi right now….yuuummmyyy!!

Day 10: My last day. So bittersweet.  I met up with Trish, Mike and Andi in Laguna and did a little shopping.  We also took a trolley ride around the town to get some site seeing in.

2014-08-20_0034After that I had to go gather my luggage and head off to the airport.  Leaving was so hard! I literally was fighting back tears. Thankfully I think I did a good job of hiding that from everyone.  I seriously did not want to leave.  I love my family so much and just wanted the trip to keep going on forever.  Yes, there were some tense moments, as there are with every family vacation but leaving and not knowing when I would see some of these people again was the worst part.  My family is literally spread out all over the US from IN, CA, TN and AR.  I know when I will see my TN and AR family again but have no idea when I will see my CA family next and leaving them knowing that was hard. BUT I fell in love with it so much I know for a fact I will be back soon.  Mimi, Papa, Mom, Trish, Mike, Mari, Rob, Kaela and Aspen…THANK YOU for such a wonderful trip.  Mari, Rob & Kaela, thank you for showing us wonderful California.  Can’t wait to be back!! Love you all!

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