Tuesday, June 22, 2010

From the Beach to the Lake to the Pool

Teaching 4th grade for many years made me really appreciate that California has 4 natural regions that we can enjoy. The coast, of course, which we are enjoying even more as we start of our summer. The mountains - how nice is it that we can drive 2 hours and be up hiking through the evergreens and water skiing on mountain lakes. The desert - where we can soak up the warm rays of the hot California sun while lounging by a pool or playing a round of golf. There's also the Central Valley, but that isn't part of this story...even though we ate lots of delicious California fruit while we were on our vacation!

We just got back from our first family vacation of the summer and we enjoyed both the mountains and the desert within the week. We vacationed along with the Mayer family - Chad, Valerie and their kids Eden and Beau. Chad and Val are one of the couples in our church small group. Lately we've been trading off date nights with them and our kids get along great.

We started off in Lake Arrowhead and stayed at Larry and Patti's house. We relaxed at the house, hung out in The Village, played in the kids' park, and fed the ducks. We went on a hike in the Children's Forest and climbed up to the top of a fire tower. We spent a day out on the boat and relaxed on our own little island beach. It was great!

After a few nights in the mountains we headed to the desert and spent the rest of the week at the Westin Mission Hills Villas, a fabulous spot where the kids enjoyed the pool, the dads golfed, the mom's shopped, and we were all worn out at the end of each day. The pool had a water slide that was pretty awesome. Nicholas went down with Chris on the first day and it was a little overwhelming. It took a lot of convincing to get him to go down one more time. Samantha on the other had went down a total of 7 times! That was even after her first ride got so crazy she hit her head on the side of the tube. She loved it!

Other than me coming down with strep throat, it was the perfect vacation! Luckily I didn't get the worst of it until we got home and then I spend the rest of the weekend in bed while Chris took care of the kids by himself on Father's Day...he's the best dad ever! Here's Samantha trying to pack herself in the suitcase after we got home. I think she wanted to go back on vacation!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Down the Shore and to the Big Apple

It wasn't that there wasn't anything going on during the last 2 months that caused there to be nothing to blog about. Actually there was too much going on that left no time for blogging. That leaves me with the daunting task of putting way to much into one post, or...it may end up in 2 posts

Back in May, Chris and I left the kids with the grandparents and took a trip to the East Coast. Chris was a groom's man in Brad and Erin's wedding on the New Jersey shore. We had a great time enjoying the beach, the boardwalk, good food, and old high-school friends. It wasn't quite what we expected after hearing all about the kids on Jersey Shore. It ended up that all the festivities took place in a dry county. It kept the beach very mellow and family friendly. Luckily they allow temporary liquor permits for events such as weddings, etc.

From NJ we heading to the big apple for the weekend with our friends Mark and Emily. We had a lot planned, and I think we accomplished what we set out to see and do. Ready? Go...we went to the Top of the Rock, had drinks on the roof top bar of the Peninsula Hotel, we drank coffee at Dean & Deluca's, shopped 5th Avenue (while trying to avoid the Israel Pride Parade - there are a lot of Jews in NY!), took a horse-drawn carriage ride around Central Park, walked through Central Park, ate HUGE sandwiches at Carnegie Deli, picked out fun candy at Dylan's Candy Bar, loved Billy Eliott on Broadway, ate a bagel with lox in Grand Central Station, took the Metro downtown, strolled along High Line Park, ate meatballs and homemade ice cream sandwiches at the Meatball Shop, took a walking tour of the Brooklyn Bridge, viewed ground-zero, ate fries at Pomme Frite, pizza at Vezzo's, dessert at Serendipity, cupcakes at Magnolia...we did (ate) a lot!

The first weekend of June, I did the wedding flowers for Chris' hair stylist Vicki. She had a really fun small-yet-not-so-small wedding in her backyard (with 130 people!). She went with an island feel with green orchids and white peonies, sand and shells, and a pop of pink peonies for her sister as bride's maid. It was a fun small job!

Okay, that's all I can get in for now...stay tuned for the Arrowhead/Desert vacation on the next post...coming soon!