Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Of Babies, Anniversaries, Weddings, and Big Cities...

...where Ben and I have realized that we have NO idea what to do.

We LOVE small towns, cozy little fun places to window shop, hit the favorite cafes, soak up local color, etc...  But when it comes to big cities, we are completely at a loss!  Maybe we like the small towns because you can just go to one and find plenty of things to do without much planning, but large cities require maps, working around traffic, knowing where you are and where you want to be...and what in the world you want to do.  Maybe it's because we are very laid back, old-fashioned, very old world kind of people.  We love the slow pace of small towns and hate the busyness that is so normal today.  We're weird...we know.

So, the last few weeks have been somewhat busy.  Life is starting to get back to normal...I think.  Okay, so maybe after the upcoming homeschool convention and a friend's wedding...maybe after that.  Or maybe this is the new normal.  But I don't think so.  

Our anniversary was in May...I still can't believe that we've been married for two wonderful years!  Since we were eagerly awaiting the arrival of our niece and I had been traveling back East, we decided to wait until June to go anywhere.  Since we were already going down to LA for a very dear friend's wedding, we thought we'd save some money and celebrate our anniversary at the same time!

 This little cutie-pie wasn't coming on this trip, though.  Her top teeth were coming in, so what is better for that than a good coconut creme pop?!?  We dropped her off with Granddad and after she got over her initial confusion when we split up, I think she had a good time up at the ranch!

 Ben and I hit a fruit stand to get some goodies for the road...nothing like a bag of fresh cherries!
Once we made it down to LA, we grabbed some iced coffee while we waited to check in to our room...no pictures of that, however...we were tired!  Then we freshened up and went to a lovely wedding.

 The groom (on the right) was just so happy!  I mean, he's always happy and smiling, but we have never seen such joy and bliss before.  Our dear friend Hohn was about to marry his best friend, and we are soooo happy for him!  What an honor to be at his wedding!

The radiant bride, Heather, and her parents.

And they are living happily ever after.

The next day we went to the only winery left in the city of LA...the San Antonio Winery.  We read about this place in the Smithsonian magazine's food issue, so we had to go!

 It was such a treat!  A must-see place if you are every in LA!  

 The winery has been family owned and operated since it was founded in 1917. 

I had no idea that they stir wine...

Surrounded by goodness.

Two years and still so in love. 

And then Ben took me to a rather gross place for lunch....definitely a guy place for food!  The birthplace of the French Dip sandwich...which ISN'T French...

...but he made up for the manly lunch by treating me to a suite on the 11th floor of the historic Biltmore Hotel...where the Oscars were held many years ago. 

 It's always nice to know where the fire escape is...

11 stories up...

...means it's a long way down. 

AH!  The Tiffany Room!  Love the columns...and the ceiling...and the doors....okay, so I love it all!

Ben is totally in his element. 

More iced coffee!

Appetizers in the club lounge.  It wasn't quite time for dinner, so we grabbed some snacks to keep us from starving. 

Back down in the gorgeous, very Art Deco lobby, Ben is asking about the best restaurants in town. 

 More hotel beauty...and a good looking guy, too!

YUM!  Must go back....

Dinner was goooooooooooood.  I love pasta.

The next morning we had breakfast at another very popular local restaurant, just a few blocks from our hotel.  Oh, the pastries and breads reminded us of Spain!

The many chefs.  

We had our very first Macaron cookies.  We have got to learn how to make those!

Off to the Getty Museum!  The weather was perrrrrrrrrrrrrfect!

Ben fell in love with this piece.  

Enjoying the warm sunshine. 

A day bed from 17th Century France.  Very pink...

See any resemblance? 
And then we began the long drive home.  It was a very fun trip, and it was very relaxing.  No diaper worries, or nap worries, so snack worries...wow, it was very different!  But,  it was also kind of sad.  Every time we saw a bird or a dog, Ben and I would get so excited and turn to find Lilyana and show her...and she wasn't there. :(  So, we've decided that we'll keep her around for a while.  She's too fun, too cute and such a sweetie pie....and we love having her around!  

So, there you have it...our random, rather unorganized adventures of being in a big city.  Like I said, we didn't really know what to do, so we didn't do much.  We just walked a lot, and talked and spent time together, which was very nice...but next trip we'll stick to a small town.

 When we got home, we waited for Grandmum to bring this sweet little face to us.  She was tickled pink to see  us, which was nice, because we were tickled pink to see her, too! 

And because she wasn't on our trip, and therefore not in very many pictures, I'll post a few extra of just her. *grin*
Have we mentioned that she LOVES corn on the cob?

A teething ring and the wooden rings that actually go on the stick...but she was impressed with her stacking skills.

And I just heard Lilyana calling me, so I had better run!
Thanks for all of your well wishes and congratulations!  You are all very sweet!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words...