After not seeing most of my family for a year due to a sick doggie and other obligations, I finally went back and spent a week in Southern California. I have a 96 year old grandma, a cute niece and nephew, cousins, friends, and my mom, of course-- all of whom needed me to go down there.
It was a good, smooth, jam-packed week. There was something going on every single day. I rented a car for the first time and zipped from here to there seeing who I wanted to see and doing what needed to be done.
Every morning I would rise early and walk 5 miles through San Marino and the lovely Lacy Park. By Day 3 I had carved out the perfect 10,000 step route by walking to the park (about 3200 steps,) doing 2 laps on the park's outside track (getting to around 6800 steps,) then walking back to my mom's house. The smell of roses as I entered and then the smell of the surrounding eucalyptus trees were very invigorating each morning.
Once back at my mom's I would have my shake, just like Eric and I do each morning here at home, then shower and start my busy day.
Click on the photos to see them full-sized.
|This was waiting for me on my bedroom door.|
|On my first morning I walked down to my brother's house just as they were leaving to walk to the pre school where my niece attends. I was invited to join them.|
|Those cute kids ride fast! My brother, Jonathan, said, "Are you ready to run?"|
|Later that afternoon my mom and I went to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. A print of this beautiful painting hangs in my living room. But this is a picture of the original.|
|The Norton Simon also houses favorites by the known masters like Cezanne, Picasso, Rembrandt, and Rivera.|
|Clockwise from top left: Renoir, Monet, Degas, van Gogh..all stunning, and the real thing.|
|You cannot visit Southern CA and miss out on a meal from In n Out Burger. Sorry Five Guys! In n Out is still the best. (Except maybe the Lions Club Pioneer burgers at the 4th of July celebration.)|
|I always make an effort to visit Tito and Tita's grave, located in the cemetery adjoining my niece's pre school. They both passed in 2008 and sometimes I still cannot believe they're gone. The stones were designed by me.|
|Thursday, while my nephew was at his martial arts class, my mom rested and my niece and I took a walk around the neighborhood. Fire hydrants are for climbing. It's the rule!|
|My mom's newest doggie, Branson. A sweet, slightly unruly Golden, rescued from a family who paid no attention to him. He is healthier and happier now. (Much happier than he looks in this photo.)|
|Do you see it? The next morning on my walk I passed a tree in San Marino and the light hit it just right so that this strange little tree person emerged.|
|The Rose Garden at Lacy Park has some incredibly gorgeous blooms.|
|On Friday afternoon I spent a few hours with my cute grandma, Elinor. We had sandwiches, topped off with apple pie and ice cream. We felt like big bloated balloons, but it sure was yummy!|
|On Saturday I had lunch with my mom (in blue) and some of the lovely ladies from church: Helen, Afton, and Penny. They were headed off to a play, but I was headed to Downtown Disney to get Eric a jacket and meet up with my cousins.|
|We had to wait 90 minutes for a table, but we had so much fun! It was great to see them!|
|Monday morning, back on my walk, I had to take some last pictures of Lacy Park. Those walks were my respite every day. And they helped me burn off the calories from those daily meals out!|
|Monday lunch with my friend, Heather. We've been friends since we were freshmen in high school.|
|Time to say goodbye to the kiddos! I visited my niece and nephew Monday afternoon when they got home from school. That evening I stayed in a hotel near the airport. I had an early flight. I was in bed with lights out by 8pm! It was a very full week!|
|Back home with my cute hubby! He liked his Disneyland jacket! I'm glad, since I didn't actually go into Disneyland this trip.|
|The weary traveler. Home again!|