Before Whitney and Samantha started back at the University, John and I took advantage of their offer to care of the kids so we could get away. We manage an overnight anniversary trip every year, but longer extended times away have not been successful with a large family such as ours. John made all the arrangements and we headed for the warmer southern California weather.
The first thing we did after arriving at our hotel was to take a nap. The children were appalled when they found out, but we didn't care. When we decided to get away we had only a few prerequisites:
- beach and warm weather
- time together
- some place near a temple
We were not interested in busy schedules, large crowds, and famous attractions. We wanted peaceful moments filled with conversation and plenty of napping.
The weather was a little cold for California standards, but considering the snow and frigid temperatures back home it was delightful and heavenly. We walked on the beach ever single day. The ocean is a restful and rejuvenating place for John. I loved holding his hand walking down the beach listening to the waves roll in.
We were able to meet with my cousin and her husband for a lovely sabbath day. Spending time with J was cherished. I had forgotten how much I love her calming influence. I had forgotten how wise she is and how much I admire her strength.
I love this picture of us!
His favorite place to be. Sand between his toes and waves crashing at his feet. My favorite place to be: anywhere with him.
An unexpected surprise happened when we arrived at church (sorry for the poor quality photos M). John's cousin M is in the same ward as my cousin J. It was so wonderful to spend time all together that evening as both the P family and the E family are good friends. Darling M made Grandma Nielsen's famous lemon bundt cake and we laughed and talked renewing friendships and making memories.
Grandma Nielsen's lemon cake:
1 box lemon cake mix
1 package lemon jello
3/4 C water
3/4 C oil
Bake @ 350 for 45 min
Poke holes on top with fork and pour frosting over.
2 C powdered sugar
3 TBS lemon juice
The views were so lovely I wished I had taken a better camera, but then that would have detracted from the relaxing moments together.
John was wonderful to workout with me each morning in addition to our walks along the beach. He also endured a quick picture in the pouring rain after our time in the Newport Beach temple.
The most exciting thing that happened to us was arriving at the wrong airport for our return flight home. We did not pay attention to the tickets and had to jump into a taxi (as we had already returned the rental car) and rush to the correct airport. The children were not impressed at the idea that we might have to spend an additional night if we didn't arrive in time. Thankfully we did, but their sign said it all.
Apparently 5 days and 4 nights was just a little too many.