Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Making Lemonade out of Lemons... Spring Break 2015

It started on April 1st because of course it had to happen on April 1st.  The email from our airline stating that their pilots might go on strike so our trip to Hawaii might get canceled.  So if we wanted to get a full refund for our flight we could.  This had to be a joke right?

I need to be real for a minute.  Probably for me more than anyone.  I don't stress about the future very much. I am not one of those people who can't sleep over the world economy or how I am going to die someday.  That's just not me.  I stress over stupid things, immediate things, short term things.  Like....when we are late for something important, my wheels fall off.  Or if we are having a dinner party all the food needs to be prepared at the exact right moment.  My wheels literally fall off.  If any of my family are reading this they'll laugh because they know this runs in my blood, I love my Grandma Hyla to pieces...... am so grateful for everything she has given me.... but her automatic melt down or malfunction mechanism in short term stress..... sure wish it would have skipped me.

Now I state this because this short term stress happens before any big trip to anywhere not very familiar to me, especially when not driving.  (ie. anything not along the I-15 corridor) Mexico a couple weeks ago.... or back East.... or Europe I was a nervous wreck.  So of course Hawaii was no different.

So the night before we were supposed to leave for Hawaii we were in St. George at my parent's condo.  We were supposed to fly out of Las Vegas the next morning.  I looked at the weather of Honolulu.  Quick geography lesson again, Honolulu is on the leeward side of the island, Laie or North Shore, the windward.  Other words, Honolulu is in a gnarly rainshadow that makes it the perfect Hawaiian destination because it is almost always warm and perfectly sunny.... Almost is the key word.  I looked at the weather while we were suppoed to be there.  Here is what it looked like.

Nothing worse than cloudy and windy with a bit of rain mixed in.  My dreams of laying on the beach and sipping on pina coladas were ruined.  My stress levels were incredibly high.  So, I begged Jason to let us cancel the trip.

Luckily for us....... the April Fools joke gone bad (I am positive it wasn't an April Fools joke but still) was going to play in our favor.  We canceled our flights, got a full refund, canceled our other reservation, and were off to California within an hour.  Sadly, California was not what Jason was expecting but once again, luckily for us, it turned into a fantastic spring break all the same.

I should add we had already had an unbelievably magical weekend in St. George.  There really is something magical about St. George around Easter.  For that one weekend I don't know if there is a prettier place in the world.  (Ok, that's an exaggeration but I love it!  Kinda like Provo at the 4th of July.)  Anyway, so on Saturday in St. George we did all our favorite things,  I already talked about my amazing run in the previous post, then we went rock climbing at Chuckawalla, then we ate lunch at the St. George Art Festival (a very very fond memory for me), went frog hunting at Red Cliffs with Chad and Maddie, and ended the night with out favorite pizza from Riggatti's.  Yes, a practically perfect day.

So Sunday we headed down to California.

Monday morning I went on a run around Glendora.  There is something so amazing about running at almost sea level...... I felt like a machine.  After Jason and I headed straight to the rock quarry in Riverside.
The rest of the day was spent to just hanging out, talking, and of course lots and lots of laughing.

Tuesday
Jason headed down to visit his parents in San Diego.  I had a pretty nasty virus so I stayed in Glendora and relaxed on a beautiful raining California spring day.  We went thrift store shopping where I bought a fantastic pair of black pumps!  It's so funny... Thrift Store shopping in LA is such an art.  You have to know exactly what stores to hit and when and you have to understand their coding system.  My fantastic pumps.... practically brand new that sell for $90.... were half off that day so I got them for $6.95.  If only we went to more.  Instead we went home and made spring sugar cookies.  It was a lovely day.

Wednesday
We decided to go for an adventure Wednesday.  Jason looked up a rock climbing area up Malibu canyon we decided to check out.  Of course being so close to the Getty Villa I made reservations for us to go.... but our rock climb/hike was so amazing that we never made it to the Getty in time.  So the place we went.  It was insanely beautiful!  It has been used for multiple movies and TV shows like MASH and the rock climbing wall we went to was used in the original Planet of the Apes movie.  But anyway, these trails were UNREAL beautiful while we were there.  It was so lush and green with fields of yellow wildflowers everywhere.
then we started following a creek towards the end of the canyon with beautiful trees.
and at the top of the creek was this beautiful pond/ swimming hole surrounded by cliffs that everyone was jumping off of.
  
(Not us... because we were about climbing)

So we spent the majority of our time here....
But this place was unbelievably beautiful!!!!!!!  I had no idea it was so close and so insane.  *Disclaimer, speaking of insane, since CA is in an insane drought I am sure we were lucky to be there when it was so green and lush and beautiful.  But man it was beautiful.
After we drove down the canyon and had lunch in Malibu.  Malibu is such a weird little town but I just love the view as you drive down the PCH back to Santa Monica.
Of course we knew that trying to get across the valley back to Glendora would be a disaster at this point, but just in case you don't believe me.... here's what the traffic looked like.  It would have taken us almost 3 hours to go 45 miles.  Oh LA someday I hope you learn how to solve this problem.  Until then, I will be content hanging out until the traffic dies down.  I had never been to Venice Beach or the Canals so we headed down there.  I have heard that Venice Beach is one of the most entertaining areas... entertaining being a very nice word for dirty, filthy, scummy of all the LA beaches.  Sadly, it was super duper windy so there weren't many crazies out.  Sure many shops were set up with a "dr" to get you a marijuana card but other than that, it was really quite lovely.  
I loved this man who brought out his piano to play.  Yes, a baby grand piano.

The Venice Canals were beautiful, charming, wonderful houses.  I wish we had more time to explore because the more I know of LA, the more I love it.


Thursday
We made our official beach day Thursday and went to in my humble opinion the best beach in southern California for what I love.  Corona del Mar.  It was a lovely day.....


The waves were pretty calm so I thought I'd bust out my cap and goggles and try and swim in the ocean.  Raine and company were shocked because in all the years of going to the beach with me, they had never seen me swim in the ocean.  (I'm terrified of waves since the Huntington Beach Rip Tide incident of 2003.)
Raine even videoed me because she was so shocked.  But sadly, I was too scared to swim in the actual ocean so after a few laps came back in and did laps when Jason and I went to the other side of the beach a while later.  While Jason made great new buddies rock climbing I swam laps, then had this beautiful view the rest of the time.

After we went to Balboa Island to each lunch and window shop.  I sure love Balboa Island.... the flowers, the sailboats, and the charming little houses that are worth more than my life time salary.
Next we headed to Fashion Island.  Some of my favorite things at this outdoor mall is the beautiful ambiance and the Nike and Penguin stores.
 At the Nike store they did a whole video evaluation on how I run and what type of shoes I should be wearing.  I thought it was super duper cool.  Next it was finally head to the happiest place on earth......... of course I had to smile at the traffic.  OH LA, someday I really do hope you figure out how to fix this problem.
It took us an hour to drive 15 miles.......... but it was so worth it.  Just to get that close.  To hear the music.  To smell the delicious smells.  To feel the excitement.  I absolutely love it.

I know, kinda cruel to do it to myself....
But Downtown Disney is almost as magical as the park..... and is pretty impressive for absolutely free.

I just had to hold one..... oh the nostalgia. 
So we decided to eat dinner while there.  It was pretty darn impressive dinner and desert for $11.24.

I am pretty proud of my sprinkle cone...... it cost $1.24.  Now that is impressive for Disney.


Friday
This day will go down in history as one of the best days of my life.  But first.... I wanted to hike the Hollywood sign.  I convinced a whole crew on this adventure.  Definitely a fun activity in LA I had never done.


But the best part happened in the awful Friday afternoon traffic headed east on the 2-10.  (Rookie mistake by the way, everyone knows to avoid the 2-10 east on a Friday afternoon. Thousands of LAites heading to Vegas for the weekend.) Anyway, it was Jason, Caitlin and I riding in the car when Jason got a phone call from an unknown number.  It was Rebecca from Roseman Dental School.  Jason put her on speaker phone so I could hear as she congratulated him on being accepting into the Rosman Dental class of 2019.  It was INSANE.  I get teary eyed just thinking about it.  I cried.  Jason cried.  Heck even Caitlin cried.  But I plan on writing a whole post on this........ but my favorite part is I text my entire family the good news.  My mom called almost immediately but she had to instantly hand the phone to my dad because she couldn't stop crying.  I just love them so much.  I am so unbelievably proud of Jason.  But like I said another post.....

It was great fun getting back to Glendora and celebrating the great news with a traditional tri-tip dinner followed by another tradition.... a person who wants to marry into our family has to audition.   Someone had to audition that night.  (It is a horrible horrible tradition watching a person totally squirm as they sing for the whole group. Seriously horrible, but man I love it!)  (Jason didn't have to sing, he just played the piano and showed videos of BASE jumping)

Saturday
We headed back to Cedar with a yummy stop in Vegas.

Then we had another yummy Tri-Tip dinner and an Easter Egg Hunt.

So I'll admit, when my short term crazy stress ended, I was super sad we didn't go to Hawaii.  I am sad we didn't experience something new.  But man oh man..... this will go down in the books as one of the highlights of my entire life!

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