Monday, November 1, 2010

CA Vacation Recap - LA and Long Beach

I really can't believe how long it has taken me to get these vacation posts up. I guess being sick since my vacation will do that! Still on antibiotics but not 100% better yet. I think this is the longest I've ever been sick and that combined w/ MS fatigue is not fun. This week I rested a lot which was good. But I'm hoping to be feeling a lot better this week b/c I have a lot to do to get ready for the big fundraiser which is less than 2 weeks away!!!!

Anyways back to CA recap. Steph and I had a "LA Day" that was suppose to be the day we saw at least 1 celebrity. EVERYONE told us "oh every time I go to Spago I always see someone famous" but that was not the case for us! Spago was fun and the very BEST service I have ever received in my life. We had fun despite not seeing anyone "cool." We were drinking Prosecco and the waiter asked me what we were celebrating. Not sure what to say I told him that Steph had taken the bar and was starting a new job. At the end of our meal he brought us out this FREE dessert tray. We were both so full from our meals but somehow managed to eat it. Ha!

After lunch we walked around Beverly Hills and then started our CA Cupcake Crawl!

When I lived in Long Beach (11 years ago) one of my favorite places to visit was Shoreline Village which is filled w/ cute little shops and restaurants. Of course since then Long Beach has changed A LOT and now has a much nice downtown area.

My favorite restaurant was Tequila Jack's so of course we had to go back there. Unfortunately it was not as good as I remember. But still a fun night out w/ Steph and Caroline. We enjoyed some margaritas and saw a beautiful sunset.

After dinner we went to a dueling piano bar and enjoyed watching the drunk people sing along to the songs. I've decided a dueling piano bar is the place to go when you need a good laugh. Suddenly every person there thinks they have an amazing voice as they belt out the songs (I guess a little liquid courage helps).

Caroline, the kids and I enjoyed an 80 degree day in Malibu! It was so nice out and we stood on the Malibu Pier and watch the dolphins. There were at least 6 of them (you can see one in this above pic) and they were jumping in and out of the water. I've never seen that many so it was really cool to watch them.
We had lunch at The Beachcomber Cafe sitting on comfy couches and enjoying a nice afternoon outside.

Caroline's kids, Andy, Carlee and Lulu love the beach! I think they would have gone swimming if we had let them.
I really do not like this pic of Caroline and I but I'll share it anyways. Caroline and I have been friends for 11 years! She was pregnant w/ Andy when we met. I'm so glad that distance has not gotten in the way of our friendship. But she has NEVER been to Boston to visit me and she is LONG overdue. Hopefully summer of 2011 will be her chance to come w/o kids!!

I also got to visit w/ 2 very special friends, Art and Evelyn. I met Art and Evelyn when I was living in CA and they were always so good to me. I love spending time w/ them and catching up on everything they have been doing.

When I lived in CA I worked for Habitat for Humanity as an Americorps VISTA for 1 year. My position was Faith and Family Relations Coordinator. This meant that I did a lot of public speaking at churches and worked w/ all the families who were waiting for their Habitat house. It was such a FUN position. The family above is one family I became close to. When I lived in CA they had 2 children and now they have 4. For a while every time I came back to visit they had a new baby for me to meet! :) They are such a nice family and are so happy in their Habitat home. It is so great to see them all doing so well. I really surprised them when I knocked on their door unexpectedly!

This family was my favorite Habitat family (not that I should have favorites) but this was the family I became closest to while I lived there. They have 3 boys and a girl and family is so important to them. Well their family has changed a lot since I lived there! To my surprise Ramiro the oldest son now has his own son! Juan, the middle son, is married and has 2 sons (they are in the pic too). Sergio and Elizabeth are all grown up too. I am so happy that all 2 of the boys graduated from high school and Elizabeth is doing well in school too. This family is a great example of what Habitat houses can do for a family. Without the stress of high rent and a crappy apartment they can focus on education, jobs and mostly importantly celebrating family. On the day I visited they were celebrating a birthday w/ a big cookout. I know anytime I show up at their house I can expect a big meal and lots of fun! I really hope that they next time I visit I can spend more time w/ them.

So that was my vacation! Lots of stuffed crammed into a week but so worth it. It is always nice to go back there b/c I have so many special people there and amazing memories of the time I spent there.

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