california dreamin’

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I remember, years ago, dreaming about going to Hollywood with my friend Annick to visit the land of our all-time favorite movie, Pretty Woman, renting a convertible and cruising down Rodeo Drive!  Well, sadly it never happened, but at the same time, Thank God we never went, because after spending a week there, let me tell you one thing: what a freaking mess it is to drive in LA!!!

So, we decided to travel to California and Las Vegas back in January.  I love planning trips, the excitement, the dreams and all the things you will do!  I never imagined LA was going to be this BIG!  We had a great flight, the boys were awesome; they just love going on a plane. They were so quiet, and happy, and relax, and sleepy.  Don’t worry, I did not exaggerated on the GRAVOL, I just followed their Doctor’s recommendation, or course!

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So we arrived in LA, all excited, ready for our big trip.  Once Brian got our minivan keys, we were ready for our driving journey!  My mom had rented a AirBNB for the week near Venice Beach, so that’s where we drove first.  We had guacamole and drinks, talked about our flight, about LA, and then we left to explore the city!  First stop: Venice Beach.  The beach was just gorgeous, with water for miles, beautiful sand, and a perfect gleaming sun.  We walked on the beach and Logan face planted the moment he started running for the Ocean!  It was hilarious!  They had a great time finding the smallest of seashells and just being pushed by the waves.  We should’ve spent more time at the beach on that first day, but we thought we would have time to come back; which we didn’t.  Next we explored the Venice Beach Boardwalk, an experience in itself.  Let’s be honest here, Venice Beach is not what I expected… let say there’s nothing glamorous about that place.  It was first on my list and now it may be last if we ever go back to LA.  We had snacks and walk for a few miles and then we started to get jet lag.  We had seen enough, so we drove to Anaheim, where we were actually staying.

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The boys fell asleep within 30 seconds, Jojo within 10 minutes, and we made it to Anaheim in no less than almost 2 hours with the never ending traffic.  We found our room, we unpacked, we freshened up, and with a second wind, we were now headed to Downtown Disney for a great diner at Napoli’s and a very late night on the town!  We had been up for almost 24 hours by the time we went to bed that night.  But after a short night of sleep, we spent the day at Disneyland.  One of my favorite place on earth.  When can I go back?

On Saturday, we had the chance to attend the most beautiful wedding ever.  Betsy and Andrew got married in LA.  The church was beautiful and the venue was out of this world.  We will never experience anything like this ever again.

Of course we had a few bumps on our way to the church!  We had an hour drive to the wedding, and as always, we were tight on time.  The boys were loud and agitated all morning long, but luckily for us, we had a dvd player in our rented minivan and the boys were really into that new movie we had bought that morning: Star Wars Lego, so we didn’t hear them for the first 45 minutes.  The last 15 was completely different thought.  Liam started to feel sick, while on the highway, right before our exit: ‘maman, I think I’m going to be sick’… Brian just said ‘F***ck…’ and looked at me in despair, knowing what was coming.  We were in our wedding attire, the boys were in their wedding attire, we had no wipes, no water, 2 pj’s and one plastic bag from Target because of that Star Wars dvd we had bought earlier that day!  So yeah, well said, f*ck

I got out of the passenger’s seat, unbuckled Liam, brought him in the back seat, I sat on the floor, my dress gathered around my waist, taking him out of his clothes as he was now so pale… and then it came all out… most of it in that Target plastic bag, all of this while driving at over 75 mph!  It was a nightmare.  I took one of the pj’s and wiped him with it!  Thank God we were only minutes away.  So we made it to the church, got out of the minivan, found a wedding guest who was nice enough to give me a bottle of water, cleaned him up, and dressed him up.  In no time he was top shape and we were ready, with even 5 minutes to spare before the wedding!  It was such a beautiful ceremony.

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Before going to the reception venue, we had an hour or so to burn, but I had a plan.  An In-N-Out plan!  So Logan and I got ourselves crazy good burgers while I took one of my favorite picture of the year!  Boy I could use one of these right now!  In-N-Out burgers are the best.

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We ended up in Santa Clara and drove by the ocean, until it was time to climb up that mountain to get to the reception.  That’s when I found my new fear of heights!  Ouff… we had to stop at least 5 times while driving there, as I had to put my feet of the pavement and take a few breaths.  But once we got there, it was paradise.  Felt like a movie.  Wedding out of dreams, at the Blackberry Creek Farm, where California meets Italy.  The food, the flowers, the dishes, the sky.   The bride and groom were gorgeous.  We dined under the lights in a valley surrounded by big trees.  All the details were thought of.  The boys played in a tree house, with a chandelier inside… my kind of playhouse!  And my kind of wedding!  In the end, we had such a fabulous time.  Thanks again for having us!  This place was just perfect: http://www.kellygulch.com/

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On Sunday morning we drove to Beverly Hills.  We snapped lots of pictures of boutiques, street signs and famous places.  I finally drove down Rodeo Drive (not in a convertible thought, but in our nice minivan!).  Then we visited Griffith Park and Observatory to see the Hollywood sign.  That new fear of heights reached another level that day while driving up there, and I was not able to enjoy the view from atop the mountain.  So we drove back fast enough to sea level, where I’m very comfortable!

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We made our way to Santa Monica Pier.  Wow.  The sky was clear, the sun was bright, it was so crowded, with music and people everywhere, yet, at the end of the pier, everything seemed to be so calm, and so peaceful.  This was Brian’s favorite moment of the trip, he seemed so happy to be there.  I have tears thinking about that moment  we spent over there, just staring at the never ending ocean.  It’s like we were alone in the world, it was just breathtaking.ca15

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We then played a few arcade games, won a few Shopkins for the boys, and watched a few performers along the way.  The beach was too crowded… we tried to swim, the boys wanted to go in the ocean again, but the waves were too strong.  We just stayed there for a few minutes and then packed up our stuff with a few pounds of sands in our swimsuits and we were on our way back to Anaheim.

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We had diner at The Cheesecake Factory… it’s good thing we don’t have one of those here…I would live there.  DELICIOUS food, and those cheesecake, huh… just kill me now!!!  No let me eat my cheesecake first, then kill me!

Monday was our last day in California.  We went to Disney California Adventure.  You can read about our time at Disney in one of my previous post.  The boys are now asking daily when are we going back there.  I don’t have an answer.  But I know it will happen again, eventually!  We had such a great trip, but we didn’t even have time to see half of what we wanted to see.  Next time we’ll have a convertible, lots of time, and we’ll drive from Napa to Disneyland!

Sunsets and palm trees, we love you.

 

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