When we were originally planing our trip out to California Christian and I made big plans to visit all these national parks and do all this driving around but we figured, who's kidding who here? We aren't going to be there that long and it might be better to stay closer to Patrick's new family so we could drop in more and in case there was a problem. We are glad we did for many reasons and we found out that there was plenty to see just locally there in Orange County. I think if we had known how beautiful it was out there we would have tried to get out there sooner.
I mean really. All you have to do is drive up and down the Pacific Coast Highway. It isn't exactly like driving on the turnpike around here.
Plus Christian got a killer deal when we got to the airport on upgrading the cheap economy car we had rented to a convertible.
Yeah, we are sooo So. Cali.
Except that everyone who really was from So. California would never drive around in 63 degree weather with the top down. They all thought it was freezing cold and had their mittens and hats on. No kidding. :)
And of course we had to keep stopping to take pictures. We wouldn't get very far before we just had to stop and get some shots.
And of course we had to stop at cute little diners overlooking the ocean in Laguna Beach to get the Laguna Omelet Special with avocado, bacon and cheese. Yum!
We also had to take a million pictures of funky looking trees that we couldn't even identify because trees on the West Coast are totally different than the East Coast.
Of course we know what palm trees are though and there were plenty of those.
We drove around the rich neighborhoods oohing ahing over the amazing architecture.
I am thinking that door costs as much as our house.
Is that one crazy roof or what??
We had fun exploring the tidal pools and looking for star fish, sea anemone and sea urchins.
And we watched the surfers. There were lots of them. I guess if you live in Southern Califonia you just have to do it.
Between the surfboard Hanukkah Candles, Santa in surf-shorts with a surfboard, and surfer statues I am thinking that it is a pretty big thing around there.
We also took lots and lots of pictures of wildlife and flowers. The hummingbirds loved these aloe plant flowers and were covering them like bees.
We had no idea what a lot of these plants were but they were so pretty and it was December and weren't used to seeing flowers this time of the year.
Bird of Paradise.
Can you see the seals on the rock? There were also a bunch of cormorants out there and pelicans flying by. Really cool.
We visited San Capistrano to see the first Mission built in California in 1776.
We also took lots of pictures of each other.
I guess that is what happens when the kids aren't around. :)
And we thought. Wow! What must it be like to live here?!
I don't know if I could take the threat of earthquakes though, especially with my house perched up there like that.
It's still gorgeous though. It's amazing how different the two coasts can be.
Can you tell that we got a new camera? We were so glad to have it for the trip. We took so many pictures and I really tried to pare it down for this post.
We also visited my cousin Heidi and her family in Escondido but for some reason I didn't take any pictures that night. We had a yummy dinner though of some special "California cut" steak and a great time visiting with them. Thanks guys!
We had such a great time and we are trying to figure out how we can afford to take the rest of the kids back sometime for a longer trip. They would love it.