California ~ Pros & Cons

One of my favorite things to do is travel and explore new places with my family.
Getting great photos of our adventures has to be the best souvenir.
Although this post only shows the "pretty" pictures we have some not so pretty memories in our minds. Ha! California was a trip we'll remember for a long time... the good and the not so good.
Let's start with the good, here is Santa Monica...
California's beaches are fantastic! I could have layed/played in the sand all week. We had lunch at the Mexican restaurant at the end of the pier. (shown above) It was good, but beware of the pigeons that come in and walk under the tables looking for food. They might think your feet look tasty.

Birds are everywhere around the beach. It is fun seeing all the different kinds/colors, but the con is when they fly over you. Watch out because they may leave a not so wonderful surprise on you or your belongings!

Another highlight for us was touring the Gamble House in Pasadena. The home was ingeniously designed by the Greene brothers in the early 1900's. The attention to detail that went into every aspect of this house is truly amazing.

 Can't help but think how wonderful those Japanese-inspired sleeping porches
were back in the day when things weren't so built up and fast paced.
Have you noticed how every corner is rounded? The inside of the house is the same way... every single little corner. The time it must have taken!
Gorgeous house! Pictures aren't allowed to be taken in the inside, so you will have to reserve a tour to see more. :)

California did have some drawbacks. The traffic was crazy and SLOW. You better not be in a hurry to get anywhere. The worst part though is where we stayed... Days Inn in Glendale, CA ---NOT recommended!!! So the motel was extremely outdated but was pretty clean. When I went to check the bathroom out the large ceiling tile above the tub looked like it could cave in at any moment. I was worried as I've had some crazy things land on my head before. Well in the very early hours the ceiling tile caved in for the family staying next door. It was a mess! Discount, oh no! Showers for them, nope. Uggh. But that may not have even been the worst of it. The connected restaurant to the motel had horrible service. If you are looking to be surprised with what you get then this is the place for you. Most people order off the menu thinking they will get what the description describes. Here, oh no, they will give you whatever they feel like and they aren't going to fix it. I have never been to a place where the customer is always wrong. The family we were with had a HORRIBLE experience(s). They did not get the food they ordered and were told yes, that is what they ordered and they had changed their mind on what they wanted! Oh my goodness! We asked to borrow a bowl, since our daughter has many allergies, but no, if we wanted a bowl we would have had to pay $4.95 as if we were buying the oatmeal only we would just be getting the bowl to use!!!! I don't know how many times we had to say "WOW! This is for real?!?" It definitely made for a memorable trip! I would like to visit more of California, but Glendale will not be on the list... and no Days Inn ever. So yeah, that's my review in a nutshell and the end of vacation pictures for this year. :)


A Vegas must + 10 years!

Ten years ago today I married my best friend. He has been such a huge blessing in my life. God knew just who I needed by my side, and though life has certainly not always been easy for us, we have experienced some amazing adventures together.
While in Vegas a very special couple lined up a double date night and it was so much fun! We headed to Tivoli Village which is away from the strip and away from the crowds. Just what I like... quiet, beautiful scenery, shops, food and adult time together with people I love.

We ate at the Poppy Den and oh my goodness, the food was amazing!!!

Yes, I was the crazy person taking pictures of the food. Ha! Can you tell I don't get out much? It was good for laughs. :) Anyway, I had the Mahi Mahi with onion jam & dill. Our table also shared bowls of Quinoa fried rice and Kimchi (I think thats the name could be wrong it was made with seaweed and I had to try it!) The chef also gave us Kimchi(?) pickles to try. I am not a pickle person, but these were good and had a kick that left you wanting more. There wasn't anything I didn't like. Chef Angelo Sosa is a seriously good cook; you can tell by the taste, cooking is his passion.

Love the lights and details.
If you are in the Las Vegas area, I highly recommend giving Poppy Den a try.
Thank you again to the couple who made this night happen. We refer to it as a wonderful & memorable 10 year anniversary celebration.
To my man ~ looking forward to many more exciting adventures with you! You are the best!


Las Vegas!

The amount of money spent on architecture/details on Vegas's strip is insane! It is an amazing sight to see. Day life and night life are so different on the strip. Day life is kid friendly while night life is not and can be a bit scary even for adults. (for me anyway.) The lights lit up at night are awesome!
Here are just a few photos from our strip experience:

You don't have to go very far to be away from the crowds and craziness. Vegas is surrounded by beautiful mountain views...

{church Vegas style ~ Canyon Ridge Christian Church}
Coming from South Dakota I have never been to a church like this! It was like going to a concert yet better because the whole event was about God and His important message. Kids go to a separate "base camp" where they have their own faith based activities. Kaelyn loved being dropped off to meet and play with other kids. (There is a safe/strict check in and out of children which was very nice and kids are divided according to age.)

A Vegas highlight for Kaelyn was going to the Discovery Children's Museum. It was a complex place. I think kids could get lost in there for a week... and they wouldn't care. :) There are different floors full of things to keep them busy.

We miss the fantastic company we had while on the trip. I also miss the heat, although it has warmed up again back home. Yay for that otherwise I'd really be wanting to go back!
Next post I'll share a Vegas restaurant recommendation with you... just in case you make it to the area. :)


Back from our adventure!

It's hard to be back to real life this week.
We've had several great adventures before K returns to school. More pics to come. :)