Our trip began with a 2AM wake up call, a friendly cab driver, and anything and everything that made our littles feel comfy and safe.
Security lines were short and the flight was smooth so we landed with peaceful minds, but our caffeine and pastry intake was severely low. After piling into our giant Kia Sorrento rental, we immediately headed here. Our home away from home away from home. This place will forever be more than coffee. Tim and I spent a holiday morning or 2 (one of which I was in labor for) here. They sent Tim home with congratulatory treats when they got word of Ella's arrival. We were excited to go back, partly for the food but mostly for the company, but, in thinking that might be a little weird, I thought maybe they wouldn't recognize us or something. We found our way into the long lunch line and were almost immediately greeted with a "HEY!" from behind the counter. The owner came running out, noted our growing family, and chatted with us. Our trip was off to a sweet and nostalgic start.
It was just me and the kids the first couple days in San Diego. And, prior to leaving Washington, I was ridden with anxiety. My anxiety has flared dramatically in the past couple months, so I went into this trip thinking I was truly incapable of making it through those first days without panic. Tim worked during the day and had a business meeting at night, but I made it through and I made it through well. We went swimming, shopping, we played, went on walks, and I packed everyone up and drove in the city I previously could not drive in. Those 2 days were full of huge victories, (more on that later in the week.)
As our hectic first 48 hours came to a close, the kids and I met up with my college bestie and one of my dearest friends. After not seeing each other in over a year, sitting outside a froyo shop was all we needed for the perfect time.
A reunion of course wouldn't be complete without pizza, drinks, and dessert. We ended our stay in San Diego with an evening out and hit the 5 to LA.
It was finally time to party! The wedding was here, and it was beautiful as was the bride. I attempted to hide my watering eyes but failed. There's something so wonderful about watching a friend get married. I've known Lauren since we were freshmen in college and she's always been a genuine and authentic friend. I've always appreciated her friendship as she's helped me to grow and has been steadfast in keeping in touch. She's a gem and I was overwhelmed with happiness for her. (How did I manage not getting a picture with her!?)
Our kids, mostly Ella, were all about this party. Ella danced with strangers, ate (more than) her fair share of cake. A spent time with his Godparents. We drank, we danced, caught up with friends, and celebrated the newlyweds!
Sunday was our last day in California, and it was our day to relax. Exhausted, we spent a good portion of the afternoon asleep in the hotel. Disjointed routines and disrupted sleeping schedules weren't going to keep us from meeting up with our good friends, though! So we were off to chat over, you guessed it, froyo.
Yes. This is how we closed out our trip to SoCal. A 10PM trip to In 'n Out. Oh, cheeseburger, protein style with grilled onions, how I've missed you so!
And then, way too soon, we were back on our flight home. This trip was one of those trips, the kind you leave thinking a little differently, reflecting on your many blessings. I got on the Portland bound plane feeling a little more capable than I did when I left. I hadn't yet achieved what I did with the kids in San Diego at home in Portland. And it was a big deal. I also couldn't help but think what a blessing it is to have some roots in California. My honesty will come out in saying I don't think I could ever live there, but I also couldn't go without visiting. People we love live there, Tim and I met there, Ella was born there, it's where we started our family. A piece of hearts will always belong to San Diego.