Wednesday, April 27, 2016

California here I come...

...right back where I started from!

With my surgery completed, we decided to get the heck outta here, and hijack Pat's work trip to Los Angeles.  I needed a vacation and to just get away.  Everyone has been so kind and wonderful to me here, but it's hard to talk about it with people when I'm still reeling from the loss myself (and the subsequent surgery fun).  I couldn't really swim in LA since I'm still recovering (and didn't want to attract sharks), but the renewal and freedom of laying on a beach was like medicine for my soul.
I actually cried when we got back home, which surprised me. Winters here are really depressing and cold for me.  I usually feel grateful for where I live and grateful to be home, but this time when we got home I just felt the sadness of the winter, and the loss of the pregnancy again, and all I'd just been through for the last months.  I wish everyday could be the beach in LA in April.  The weather couldn't have been more perfect.  We visited several beaches from Redondo to Venice, glimpsing Santa Monica as we headed out.  Manhattan Beach was our favorite and just 10 minutes from our hotel.    And my mom, sister and family all came!  Here's Pat holding a troubled Junie Bean.  She's not sure about him.
But she loves me!  She was so cute and I got to hold her a lot!  She is super smiley and pretty easy going. Leia and Charlie were super excited about her.  She does not like her mom and dad to leave her though! And if she saw them, she told them!

The beaches weren't packed at all, as you can see.  But still a few surfers, a few volleyball players, and sun bathers... and a few friends for our kids!  It was perfect.

View from the pier at Manhattan Beach.  We could stand right above the surfers who were way out and watch them do their thing.  Sadly a surfer was lost while we were here.  It was all over the news and the lifeguards and helicopters were searching for days. Right in this very spot below.

This is the first time the kids experienced a beach with nice sand that wasn't freezing.  We all loved it. They had the best time making forts, sand castles and such.

We brought this tent thing to get some shade.  Steph and T had one too.  I was watching everyone like a hawk so they wouldn't get sunburned and then I got the worst sunburn!  I missed covering my back with sunblock.  It felt so good to lay there in my swimsuit soaking up sun, darn it all.

 Swimsuits, shorts and sandals everyday!  Charles got his first pair of "plip plops" (flip-flops).

Whale watching at Palos Verdes near the lighthouse.  There were goats here and the most beautiful houses.  I almost bought one on the spot, but forgot my millions at home.  But once I get those millions... I'll be back.

California may be on the cutting edge of stupid in many ways, but it is the most beautiful state, and I'm proud I grew up there.  I miss having everything grow and flourish like the garden of Eden.  My kids were saying it was too green and needed more brown.  What have we done to them!!!  Even just going to the grocery stores near our hotel was an experience.  Beautiful palm trees, flowers wrapping around every post, warm spring air that is neither too hot nor too cold, and the ocean view.  I just felt like dancing! It was magical.  It was that same warm air I stayed out in 'till late at night when I was growing up.  Now I go to bed at 7pm because I'm always freezing!  In the winter here you freak out if someone knocks on your door at 6pm!  Who could be out this "late" at night in the dark and cold?, we say to ourselves. 

The kids also enjoyed the hotel pools!  We considered going to Disneyland, but since we'd have to get a loan to afford that place for our family, we just beached and swam.  It was much more relaxing; the perfect vacation.

Walking along Venice Beach, seeing all the people. 

And we even found out that they had beach wheelchairs for Grandma, but we never got to use one.  It was just too difficult in the end. We wished Grandma had been able to do more with us, but we at least got to see her when we normally wouldn't have, thanks to this work trip, and thanks to everyone driving down and taking the time to meet us.  Hotel, food, gas, entertainment, time off work.  It was a sacrifice, and we felt very loved that Grandma, Steph, T and June came.

Dad's Wingman.  Pat had to work two days, but got to be with us for a lot of stuff.  Charlie got this fun wagon full of beach toys!  When I got home I heard a study about how Texas is the best place to earn a good salary, but have low cost of living, so you can really get ahead.  New Mexico is in the middle.  California is the worst.  It was saying salaries in Ca may be higher, but cost of living is so high that you can make 75,000 and still just survive.  But of course, with my millions, this means nothing to me!  I will live in Palos Verdes!


Steph said...

I love this! I think it was therapeutic for us all, at least in some way. it really was one of the best trips and SO relaxing. I wish we could do it more often (minus the drive).
We love you and miss you!!

Karisa said...

Yay! And yes, minus the drive!

Christy said...

The sun is so therapeutic! Ben and I were talking last night and I was telling him how when I lived in Utah you couldn't always get fresh fruit. He couldn't believe that every place doesn't have the variety of fruit and veggies we have. CA really is awesome! I am glad you got to visit. I am sorry it was so hard going home. No fun. We were thinking about going to the ocean this summer and you have totally inspired me. I am going to do it! It will be wonderful! What a fun tent thing for the beach too. I think my sister has one of those. What a great idea. I was just going to bring our little 2 man tent. I am sending lots of hugs your way. Love you.

Just re-read this before sending it and realized how jumbled my thoughts were. LOL. I thought about trying to change it but I am not sure it is salvageable. You will just have to enjoy my jumble! :) Sorry.

Karisa said...

I thought it was perfect! Thanks Christy! Set up right by a lifeguard with all the little ones you have. That was my only fear. And sunburns. But it is wonderful!