So like I mentioned yesterday, we spent our Christmas in California. It's been over a year since we were there and have seen some family members and thankfully my husband got these days off of work that we were able to drive down there.
It was a short week but we packed it with lots of visiting with friends and family and checking out old favorite spots and "acting like tourists". I can't pack all the 300 or so photos I took in one blog post so I'm doing a top 10 highlights instead.....
#10 Opened lots of gifts. Santa came to California for us and the kids were over the moon with all of their gifts. Below is a photo of what I was able to open on Christmas morning.....Cricut (from Santa *wink*); the flower pot from Maddie (don't ask me why) Foam ball from Marcus (his crafty mom helped him pick that out) a puzzle box (a family gift from one of our dear friends) Handmade ornament (from one of the kids made at school) and candies inside my stocking. :)
#9 Mula aka Money. Our side of the family (DeLeons) have this tradition of handing out money as gifts. Over the years, many family members have gone abroad and during the Holiday season, to spread the joy to family members back in the Philippines, they would send some cash for an adult to spread the money around. My parents, Aunts or Uncles usually get new and crisp bills from the bank to give out. This cool tradition has followed us here in the States and my boy really loved getting his money envelope. He counted all of his dollar bills to make sure Lola (grandma) gave her the right amount. *wink*
#8 Eating at all of my favorite spots. In and Out was something I sooooo missed while in Colorado and I made sure I revisited this fave spot. Can't get my animal style fries anywhere else. *because I was on a slight food hunt while in Cali, I revisited a lot of spots and I'll share the "food stories" in a different blog post. :)
#7 Shopping. We stayed at my inlaws house and my mother in law was so kind to let me sneek out one morning without kids to do a bit of shopping. I know I'm super lucky to have a MIL like her. Anyways, they live in Orange County and I got to go to the Block in Orange which is now an outlet mall. I went straight to stores that we don't have here in Colorado Springs like H&M and Forever 21 but for some reason didn't find any gems in my visit but I did manage to get some deals in other stores.
#6 Eyebrow Threading. I'm not a vain person. I don't put make up on everyday and I don't get mani and pedi's on a regular basis (I think the last time I got one was last year). But last year, before leaving Cali, I got hooked on Eyebrow threading. Some have asked me if it hurts and YES it does but it's fast pain so I can deal with that and the results are great, especially if you have a great "threader" doing it. It also lasts longer than plucking. Threading in Colo. Springs is wayyyy to expensive so when I was in Cali, I made sure I visited my fave threading place and got mine half the price of what I'd pay here in the Springs.
#5 Got to visit with friends. We have lived in Cali all of our married life and we've accumulated a great amount of friends. So with this visit, we tried to hit them all. Of course we didn't get to see everyone but we manage to see a lot. We even got to have a "park day" with our church friends, which brings back so many great memories for me and the kids.
#4 Walked the Huntington Beach Pier. Here's one of the examples of things we did as a "tourist". It's funny how in the 10 + years I've lived in Cali, I never had in incling to visit this place but once I left, beach is the one thing I wanted to go to. And it seems like on our visit there, we weren't the only ones thinking of beach because, even though the water was cold, there were still tons of people there.
#3 Playing at the Beach. Yes I know I need to be grateful for the beautiful mountains that I can see on a daily basis in Colorado Springs but lets face it, there's no ocean or sand! Of course we didn't swim in it (we're not that gungho about it) but we played a bit in the sand.
#2 Seeing the Sunset. One of the highlights of our trip was my first time to ever see the sun set. Yes it only took me 31 years to see it and I'm glad I got this chance. It was actually kind of an accident. We were walking away from the beach when I noticed that people were starting to pile up in one side of the road looking behind me with video and still cameras out. I turned around and saw the sun going down at an impressively fast pace. I quickly grab my camera and started shooting. I didn't have my camera bag so there was no time to change out to a better zoom lens so this is all I got but I still treasure it.
#1 and finally being with family. We've missed them all and are glad to see so many of them in a short amount of time. We were spoiled by both families, being showered with love and gifts.
So that's it! California is a blast to visit. But I'm glad to be home in Colorado Springs where gas prices are not outrageous and there's no traffic! *wink*
Till next time,