Friday, May 13, 2011

Anniversary trip

My tricky husband schemed a little plan to take me to California to see some of our most favorite friends- Chad and Erika (a big thanks to Uncle Sam and Uncle Jack for making it possible). All in celebration of being married for 15 years! I was very surprised - overwhelmed when he told me 2 days before departure. SO for 2 days I continued to be overwhelmed as I cleaned and packed the kids and packed for us and got medication to help little boys not wet the bed and wrote out schedules and worried that everyone would obey and be delightful for my friends that graciously agreed to watch them. In between the hustling I found moments to get very excited about 5 days of get-away and fun friends.

Once to the airport- before the crack of dawn on Monday- I was filled with excitement. Big Boo to Southwest Airlines open seating policy and a bigger boo to the people who seeing a married couple trying to find seats together wouldn't offer up their aisle or window seat to accommodate.

My whole body was happy when I saw the view from the Ontario airport outside of LA.
I was even happier to see Erika pull up - with balloons coming out of the window and 3 kids in car seats in tow! My heart melted the moment I saw 5 week old Johnna Rae. James was super cute and welcoming but Jessa was very unsure of the stranger sitting close to her. I worked hard at trying to make her like but didn't really make progress until I pulled out my iPhone and let her see some of the kid games I have on it.

Being with Chad and Erika was the greatest gift. They are AMAZING parents and I remembered how HARD it is to have 3 little ones who need constant training.

On the way home from the airport we got In And Out Burger which then fulfilled my list of things I wanted to do (see mountains and eat at this much talked about burger joint)

 I thought is tasted great but don't see what all the fuss is about. I'd take Rally's over it any day (are there more even out there?? sniff sniff).
Look at this cutie who wanted to sit by me all week. He is precious!!
Also - it must be said that part of getting to go meant that Jason would have to answer his phone for anything business related. Not ideal but totally understandable. SO - for a lot of the trip he looked like this...
On Monday we hung out at their apartment - read books to the babe and got caught up with E while we waited for C to get off work. We stayed up crazy late and laughed a lot (this will be a theme for the week) and went to bed happy and nourished to the soul.

Tuesday we strolled around downtown Redlands, saw their old coffee shop, ate at a great bakery/restaurant and them drove up into the mountains to Big Bear. I was not expecting CA to be this beautiful!!

Once in the deserted little ski town we strolled around shops and played by the lake. Every view was beautiful and it was SO PEACEFUL!
 And how crazy to go from sweating in the 90+ degree heat to needing to bundle up from the cool mountain air. Jessa in her adorable hat...

 Isn't he handsome...
 I held the baby as much as I possibly could. Glad Jason grabbed this pic...
 15 years later.. and still so in love...

We ate a lodge sort of restaurant. Our generous hosts did not allow us to spend a penny on this trip. We were so blessed by them!

On Wednesday evening the grown ups (and Johnna) shopped around at Victoria Gardens. I might have loved two shirts on the Anthropologie clearance rack that Jason bought them for me.

Then we ate at the most fantastic restaurant!
 Similar to the Melting Pot - each table has a grill in the middle.
 Then they bring endless amounts (as long as your have a sugar daddy to but you the all you can like Chad did) of delicious things to cook and eat. It was so so super yummy.
 But I did not eat this little guy since it really looks like a little guy...
 We were so happy to find such a neat place to enjoy each other that night.
 On Thursday we went to Pasadena to Hunting Library and Gardens. It was BEAUTIFUL. The art museums were stunning but my favorite was the rose garden which looked liked was the set for every Jane Austen book tuned movie. (And actually has been used in hundreds of movies - like Iron Man 2, The Wedding Planner, My Best Friend's Wedding, National Treasure 2 and Memoirs of a Geisha to name a few)

Jason and I also hit the Huntington Library where we saw a Gutenberg Bible and one of the earliest copies of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. I was so excited and took pictures for the kids because we had just studied these two things in history.

The big bonus was that it was FREE DAY. Well, that's not really the bonus - if you don't have advance tickets (which we did not) you cannot get in on free day. But a sweet man had pity on us when he learned we were from Oklahoma and let us in for free anyways. Sweet!

Chad had mentioned that he thought we were in the neighborhood with the house from Father of the Bride. So, when we left we headed out to find it.
 Isn't this just every girl's dream house? Jason wanted his picture in front of it...
We went to the world famous (only to coffee snobs) Intelligencia Coffee
And then, I had to go all the way to California to go to my first IKEA. We ate dinner there and walked all through.

And finally on Friday we went back to downtown Redlands and ate at a gourmet pizza place. I had mashed potatoes and broccoli on mine. And I feel fancy because of it. :)

The day (and nights and wee hours of the morning) were filled with encouragement, laughing, talking, YouTube clips, and more laughing. How I wish I could convince them to buy the house 2 doors down from us that's for sale. They are truly forever friends. I already miss them.

I thank my wonderful husband for all his planning and sacrifice. And my Anniversary treats were not over here... the Melting Pot and the Mayfields are in my near future!!!


  1. AWE, looks like so much fun! Glad you got to get away and enjoy each other and your friends.
    Also. . Father of the Bride house -outstanding!! :)

  2. oh man, what a GREAT gift! We went to Paris this year for 4 nights- on a budget- but it was GREAT fun :). I miss you so so much. We HAVE to get together next year. WE HAVE TO!! Did they take you to that great burrito stand in Redlands???