Wednesday evening we began our journey by leaving the small town of Ephraim and heading Southwest towards Los Angeles, California. We decided to be adventurous and drive during the night so we could beat the heat and spend a few more hours in the sunny California. As much as we wanted to stay on the road and not interrupt our sleep, we also had to keep up with adventuring so we stopped in Primm, Nevada to gamble. Colton came out with $5 and I lost almost $10.
Thursday morning we arrived at 6:30 AM, which was way earlier than we had expected to get there so we hit up Denny’s for a nice breakfast and then went to surprise my mom’s long-time friend Cathi. Two weeks prior, Cathi and her husband Mark surprised my mom and dad in Ephraim, so we returned the favor and stopped in to see her. I haven’t seen Cathi for many years, so it was fun for me to catch up with her, tour her beautiful beach-inspired house (and guest house), and meet her two, tiny, adorable dogs.
After visiting Cathi, we made a quick trip over to Manhattan/Redondo beach area. It was so perfect because right as we arrived at the beach, the cloudy California skies cleared and although the water is always ice cold, the sun shone down and gave us some nice warm rays. We all wanted to take a nap because of the lack of sleep the night prior, but sadly, there wasn’t time.
This evening was Katelin’s bachelorette party. We went to “The Ranch” country bar in Anaheim, California to country line dance and celebrate one of Katelin’s last days as a single woman. I didn’t take a picture, but the nachos and chili fries were amazing!
First thing Friday morning, I made sure to get a 25 minute workout in. Honestly, I did so much better than I thought I would with eating healthy and squeezing in exercise on this vacation. It makes me feel so much better inside when I’m choosing healthier foods. Around lunchtime we all met at The Queen Mary Ship in Long Beach, California for the rehearsal. From my point of view, the rehearsal went very smoothly. Went through the processional a few times then all went to the bar for appetizers and drinks.
Look at this old school exercise bicycle? My how things have changed! Also, that fruit and cheese platter was amazing.
This is a replica of The Queen Mary Ship. It is also the largest model ship to ever be made out of Legos.
After the rehearsal festivities died down, the three of us were hungry for some Mexican food. We found this yummy restaurant called Don Jose. An added bonus was that it was just down the street from our hotel. As you can tell from the photo below, we had some yummy drinks. Mom and I shared a margarita while Colton indulged in some Bohemia beer. The best part of this restaurant was that we had a very nice young gentleman busboy. We ended up talking with him a few times that night and really got to see that there are still people in the world with good values (especially at his age). He is working two jobs and is in the process of starting up a t-shirt company. Whenever he makes it big, I can say that I met him. Haha!
Saturday was WEDDING DAY! Because the wedding wasn’t until later in the day, we had some free time in the morning to relax. We all decided to do what we do best; Mom went garage-saling and Colton and I walked to Starbucks and played cards.
I cannot believe the my longest friend got married. I do this thing where I don’t think that I age and then other people around me are going through big life-changing events and it really makes me realize that I’m getting older. I still feel like I’m fresh out of high school. Is this just me? Anyways, it was such a beautiful celebration and I’m so happy that Corey and Katelin found each other. They truly are quite the couple.
Sunday was a pretty uneventful day of driving to a town near Berkeley to stay with Colton’s Uncle Brian and his family. The best part of the day was indulging in a delicious home-cooked dinner and dessert.
Colton’s birthday morning got off to an early start by driving to Berkeley California to tour the school and learn more about their architecture program. The campus was a lot like the University of Utah’s, but definitely not as pretty. The small blocks and unique little shops in town made up for the average landscaping on campus. I could spend all day wandering up and down the little streets of Berkeley.
While in the area, we stopped at KTGY Architecture + Planning, where Colton’s Uncle Brian currently works. It was fun to see the actual site where Colton is working remotely and where he could potentially work in the future. This yummy, cute, Italian place, called Lungamore, was just a short walk from the firm.
After lunch we toured Wurster building, which houses the College of Environmental Design (Architecture included) and saw where Colton’s future “home” might be. We also got to experience Peet’s Coffee Shop for the first time, which is just down the street from the campus. Colton and his dad thoroughly enjoy Peet’s beans that we buy at the grocery store and now we can saw we’ve actually been to the coffee shop.
To continue an already fabulous day, we took a quick trip to San Francisco (Colton’s first time) to celebrate Colton’s birthday. We ate at Wipeout bar and grill. If you haven’t been there before, I highly recommend the garlic fries. I swear they put a whole container of minced garlic in one portion of fries. Good thing I already found a husband, because with breath that strong, I’d drive away all the available men. Colton was lucky and got a free dessert and even got sang to 😉 (See the video here). To end our night, we returned to our hosts’ house and ate ice cream and cookies to finish the celebration.
We made the journey home on Tuesday with a quick stop to see Lake Tahoe. It was an extremely long day of travel, but the trip was definitely worth it. Now begins the planning of our trip to Portland, Oregon to check out another school. I am so excited for what is in store for us regarding where Colton attends graduate school. It’s thrilling to think that we could be moving away in a year! Any advice for newlyweds moving to a different state?