*i’m discovering so many photos still inside my cam so bear with me as i share the rest of my california travels!
for my brother-in-law’s birthday, our whole family took a little trip up to santa ynez (a little ways above santa barbara) to go wine tasting! we got a late start so we only went to one winery, but it was a good one. we had a tasting at sunstone and the property is so gorgeous…it kinda feels like you are in tuscany. i am the farthest thing from a wino (i was hoping italy would have refined me in that area), but per the fam’s reviews and multiple bottles that were purchased, i think the wine was pretty good. on the way home, we got dinner in montecito at my favorite santa barbara italian restaurant via vai trattoria! thin crust margherita pizza. do it do it do it. such a fun day with my favorite people in my favorite state!
we rented a cabin for a good deal on flipkey and [besides us not knowing where the heater was and almost freezing that night] it was so fun to stay all together in a private cabin! we had a deck with a view, a fireplace, and a hot tub. the only downside of our stay was having to get out of the hot tub to make the four foot sprint to the house in 20* weather. we ate at cafe kevahfor breakfast and i highly, highly recommend this place!! gorgeous, insane views, delicious food, and the BEST MOCHA ONE WILL EVER DRINK. it only has outdoor seating so it can be a bit frigid, but just layer up and you should be justtt fine. my brother brought along his go-pro camera for the trip so i’m hoping to make a little video of our adventures. one day. after i finish that whole branding thing i’m working on for my biz.
on our drive back down to southern california, reis and i stopped at sand dollar beach and hiked along the bluffs down to the ocean. yet ANOTHER ridiculously beautiful place! minimal amounts of people around, firing waves, and just being in awe of God’s creation made for an amazing end to our short trip. we had the best time exploring the coast with my brother and sis-in-law and are really hoping to make this trip an annual thing.
a few days after christmas, we road tripped to big sur with bradley and taylor. road tripping is something i miss living in hawaii so we took full advantage of our opportunities in the golden state. we packed up our warmest blankets, beanies, snoods, eskimo hats, uggs (NO SHAME HERE…i live in these when i come back to california in the winter!), fur-lined jackets, and hiking shoes for the 6 hour drive. we stopped in cambria for breakfast along the way and oh my gosh – that town is so cute! i’d never been before and it’s full of cute cafes and little shops. definitely worth a stop for anyone heading up the 1.
big sur is BREATHTAKING. the drive alone is pretty surreal — the carved out mountainside actually reminded us a lot of cinque terre in italy! we stopped at julia pfeiffer burns state park and hiked around for a few hours before the sun went down (sidenote: i might be the worst hiker ever. forging rivers isn’t really my thing). the redwoods are on another level HUGE, banana slugs are in abundance, and the waterfalls are kinda super cool too. nature is pretty unreal sometimes, huh? part II on wednesday!
california will forever hold a special place in my heart. i love the weather, i love the people, i love shopping at trader joe’s & anthropologie, and i love all of the unique cities and places that are only a drive away. it’s especially amazing during the holidays because 1) i love my family’s christmas traditions and 2) all of my friends that i’ve grown up with since kindergarten are back in town. reis and i stayed pretty busy the whole time we were there and enjoyed a couple of road trips up and down the state.
[the annual christmas party with my high school girlfriends - guaranteed to be a night of non-stop laughing, lots of dessert, and a hilarious white elephant exchange.]
[our sweet niece's first christmas. we are so obsessed with this little moose!]
there are really no adequate words to describe the unbelievably AMAZING bridal shower my sister, sister-in-law, and two best friends threw for me a few weekends ago in california. like, seriously. just look at these photos! what!?! i still look through them and am just amazed by every single detail and beauty of it all AND the fact that they did it all for me! i am blessed beyond measure, that is for sure. they all know how much i love little details so they went over-the-top in every. single. aspect of the night with intricacies that i appreciated more than they will ever know. when i first walked out into the yard, i’m pretty sure my jaw just about hit the floor. i was seriously in awe at everything in front of my eyes that i immediately ran back inside to grab my camera because light was escaping us and the beautifulness NEEDED to be captured on my camera before it was too dark.
the table settings were impeccable and glamourous (so in love with the green bottles/vases and black & white striped runners). the gorgeous market lights were strung just for my shower by heather’s dad! the escort table (yes, they had an escort table!) had custom designed name tags for every guest. the appetizers and dinner (mostly made by the talented janelle) were insanely delicious. the food presentation was incredibly detailed (how cute are those little glittery pom poms?!). they had an italian soda bar, a bellini bar (complete with black & white striped straws), a candy station (with a ridiculously cute backdrop that heather made!), AND a dessert bar (with hundreds of homemade goodies & an ombre cake)! they had customized mint favors at every place setting, beautiful and classy balloons (of which the hanging garlands were slaved over by my sister for 3 days!), matching sugar papernapkins, customized labels for every dish/drink/dessert (taylor did ALL of the design for the night and i loved that it was all cohesive from the invitation to the signage to the name tags!)…i really could go on and on and on about everything. it was a truly unforgettable night and i am forever grateful to my hostesses (and everyone else who helped!) for going to great lengthsin planning this event and for making me feel so special in this exciting time of my life! love you guys SO. MUCH.
for more deets on this “bridal shower of a century” as my good friend ann-marie has coined the event (and quite accurately so!), janelle’s recap ishereand you can also check out ann-marie’s post here – she helped set up and took a ton of beautiful photos!
here’s a little timeline of how our [crazy, jam-packed, no sleep] weekend went down.
5:00 AM – i land at LAX. reis was on a different flight (long story) so i hang out in the terminal and use some free wi-fi. my dad picks me up and we go to starbucks while we wait for reis’ flight. which got delayed about 3 times.
8:15 AM – pick reis up and head over to intelligentsia coffee in silverlake.
9:00 AM – meet up with the adorable kristine (our amazing letterpress printer who printed our invitations!) to pick up our wedding invites. (oh MY, i cannot waitto show you!)
9:30 AM – drive to santa barbara.
11:00 AM – see our venue for the first time ever. it took my breath away! it was even better than i had expected (and i had really high expectations!). we planned out some logistics of the layout/setup, etc.
1:00 PM – meet my cousins at los arroyos in downtown sb for some ridiculously good mexican food. and we were starving at this point so it tasted even more delicious.
4:30 PM – (not pictured) a wedding hair trial!
6:30 PM – we meet my niece and snuggle that ridiculously adorable face.
8:00 PM – my mom cooks a delicious homemade family dinner to celebrate my 25th year of life with my entire fam (i feel so old now).
8:30 PM – my girlfriends come over to help me assemble our invitations…and they stay until the crack of dawn. literally. (thanks so much you guys!)
4:00 AM – finally get to bed after realizing i didn’t really sleep the night before, and oh yeah, i’m kinda tired.
9:00 AM – family breakfast!
10:00 AM – more niece snuggling.
12:00 PM – finish the invitations. ready for mail out!
1:00 PM – (not pictured) second to last wedding dress fitting with my mama! (it is turning out beautifully and exactly what i wanted…and more.)
3:00 PM – back to the airport we go.
and back i go to CA again in 3 weeks for my bridal shower! i cannot wait.