Our first California trip of the year was a total success!  My nephew was with us for the week while his mama was vacationing to the Dominican Republic so he and my mom came along for the ride!  We had such a relaxing trip.  It was just what we needed!  California truly has half my heart.

Obviously, our first priority is which Chipotle we’re stopping at first.  I time our departure based on our Chipotle trips alone.

This for me = pure bliss

I’d like to tell you Stella has drastically improved in her traveling since her first year (and second!) of screaming 6 of the 7 hours there.  I really would.  However, I would be bold face lying to you.  She doesn’t scream bloody murder anymore, we’ll give her that.  Now she has words and she knows how to use them.  But the whining and the “MAAAAAAAM!” every 20 seconds makes me wonder if the screaming was actually better.  At least the screaming wasn’t directed at me personally.  The thought of traveling with Stella makes my chest all splochy.

Her cuteness is her only saving grace in these types of situations.

 The very first thing my girls do at Auntie’s is wait not-so-patiently for their prizes.  That Auntie.. She always has something for them.  They’re spoiled, but not quite rotten which is a good mix I think.

Each morning the girls would bring me a lovely little bouquet from Auntie’s walkway.  I don’t care who you are, getting flowers from your kids never gets old.  Not even when they’re really weeds.

One morning I placed my bouquet down on this book.  When I went back to get it, I thought, Yep.  You’re right.  Heaven is here.

Thursday market is the highlight of our Oceanside life.  I have to find someone who makes those black and white sugar cookies here.  Heavens to betsy!

I love the food, the girls love the wagon ride.

HELLLOOOOO! From Stella on the balcony!

date night with my lover – cali style!  What a special treat! (except for we accidentally saw a horror movie and the Lord knows my tender heart can’t handle horror movies… I barely slept the rest of the trip.)

Is there anything better than sister time at the beach, you might be asking?

The answer is absolutely not.

This sunset was SO beautiful.  It was so neat letting the girls watch the sun dip completely into the water until it was gone.

With great company as always!

I have grown so completely fond of this little adventure crew of mine.  Seeing them all in a different city makes me realize just how lucky I am to have them for real.

 We tested out the ol’ mini van’s full capacity.  And I must say, it felt good.

I always think visiting Auntie is a great idea… until it’s time to leave.  Seriously it gets harder as the time rolls on.

The ride home was actually not as brutal as most travel is with Stella.  She slept for a good chunk and was kept busy by trader joe’s groceries-a-plenty!  The only problem was.. while i was busy assisting everyone else with potties before we left.. I forgot to go myself.  And that 32 ounces of diet coke wasn’t doing me any favors.  I had to seriously suck it up because I was not disrupting the peace for nothin’!  Good thing I have the worlds largest bladder. (And I’m dead serious when I say that.. a surgeon who has seen it up close and personal told me so!)

You did us well, California.  You always do.  We can’t wait to see you again!

“Real” pictures on the beach are coming soon to a computer screen near you! 😉

xoxo, C