Monday, July 12, 2010

10 Things I Loved about my California Vacation

1. If Bran and Piper's wedding isn't number one on my list, someone will certainly lynch me, but the whole reason I went West and spent a week in Southern California was, essentially, to celebrate their nuptials. So we'll just put them at the top of the list. Besides, I would sound like a lousy sister if I said I preferred sitting around reading my history of the Napoleonic wars rather than attending their wedding. Or, at least, a lazy one. It was a great vacation in that I was able to happily do both.

2. My family really doesn't have reunions, we have weddings and (occasionally) funerals. So, this family wedding was a great time to catch up with cousins and the children of cousins I hadn't seen since my last tour through California when Alex was 20 months old. In fact, I'm holding a contest for who can come up with the best speech bubbles for this picture my mother took of me and my cousin Tim:

To see more pictures of the trip, click here.

3. My grandmother, usually a generous gift-giver, surprised me with a mink coat for my birthday. Apparently, she had purchased it several years ago and really didn't have occasion to wear it in San Diego while I will certainly wear it during the cold winters here in NJ, probably to Sunday church. I was glad to have it with me on the trip, however, since the wedding and reception were outside, and it did get chilly in Camarillo when the sun went down.

It's reversible: mink on one side and leather on the other. Very comfy and very warm. Now all I have to do is avoid the PETA people.

4. Stephanie and I went to Piper's hairdresser to have our hair all fancified for the wedding so we would look extra smashing. Here's a good picture of her hair (and the rest of her, too):

Our cousin Laura took a picture of the two of us from the back so you can both of our fabulous hairstyles but I haven't tracked it down yet. I'll post it with an update later in the week.

5. A little black cocktail dress was what we found for me to wear to the wedding. And then the wrap, the shoes, and all the other accessories. We shopped until we dropped, but it was successfully done all in one afternoon. If you ever need help shopping, I suggest you call on my mom and sister-in-law, Stephanie. They are amazing!

6. I need to stop hitching rides with my parents to weddings. I always want to leave at least an hour before they do. Serious party animals, my mom and dad.

7. I did read Julia Quinn's new book on the plane ride from Philly to Minneapolis and do highly recommend it, but I spent the rest of my vacation reading War of Wars and liked it so much I have since ordered his book about the American Revolution. I didn't finish up with Napoleon and friends until we were descending into Philadelphia last night. Perfect timing. Well, it was 927 pages long. Still, great book. And not a bit of it ever talked about autism. Now that's a real vacation.

8. Marshall had an exhausting week with the children, especially since there was an extreme heat advisory for most of the time I was away, but, with help, he was able to generally keep up with household going-ons. Well done, dear husband.

9. The most highly-sought out person at the reception, after the bride and groom, was my cousin Meghan's infant son, Dashiell. Aunt Katie wins the award for the most minutes in her arms; here she is, cradling him, in a picture with her brothers:

10. It was a lovely vacation. I spent easily 1/3 of my time sleeping. Another 1/3 was visiting with extended family or hanging out with my parents. I got in plenty of reading and a few World Cup games. Hardly any stitching, though, and no movies, but I can do those things in NJ.

About the cross stitch, which is a gift for Stephanie, and something Jonathan and I have been planning for a while. The thing is, I showed it to her, thinking he had already discussed it with her, when he had not. I'm really terrible at keeping secrets and well, she doesn't seem to mind that it's not a surprise any longer.

If you missed out on Jen's 7 Quick Takes from last Friday, it's here.

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