Sunday, September 23, 2012

Los Angeles and Las Vegas

This past week, I headed on a big adventure out to the west coast. I had a work conference in Vegas from Monday through Wednesday, so I decided since I had a paid plane ticket out that way, I would leave a day earlier and go through Los Angeles to see Carrie. Originally, Joel was supposed to come with me and it was going to be a little vacay for us, but he decided that it was too early to leave both kids for that long with the grandparents (and we only had one set that was going to be in town to help, so that would have been hard!). Anyway, I left last Saturday morning at 5 am for the airport. It was an early start, but I got to Los Angeles by 10:30 so I had most of the day to spend with them and most of the day Sunday too. We packed in a lot of activities in the two days I was there. It was so much fun!

First of all, I'm very celebrity obsessed, so I was giddy with excitement when I boarded my plane to LA and Niecy Nash was in first class. I just had to snap a picture (excuse the quality--I was afraid I would get in trouble for taking her picture so it was one of those snap and hide pictures!). Unfortunately, she was the only celeb I saw. Boo! It wasn't for lack of trying though!
When I arrived, we headed straight for Manhatten Beach. Carrie and Andres gave me the tour, even showing me where they lived when they were there and showed me where they met. It was a happening little beach town! We had lunch at this really cool outdoor restaurant. After lunch, I really wanted to do the touristy stuff like see the Hollywood sign, see Beverly Hills, etc., so they happily obliged and off we went!

We drove down Rodeo Drive (not that I could afford ANY of those places!), and then drove through one of the neighborhoods in Beverly Hills (nice!!!) and even made a little stop off at the Beverly Hills Hilton (the one that Whitney Houston died in). Then, we headed to Hollywood. You can barely see the Hollywood sign in the background of the picture below, but it was there!
This was the Chinese Theater where in front of it, all of the old movie stars put their handprints in the ground. Sadly, I did not know most of them.

They also showed me where Carrie lived early on when she moved out there, and it was interesting (as were all of the places she lived in!). Let's just say that property values don't go as far out there as they do here! :) At least she had a roof over her head.

Carrie and Andres now live in Newport Beach (where the Real Housewives of Orange County are!) and so after Hollywood, we made our way out there. It was much slower paced and spread out than the Hollywood and Manhatten Beach scene and I liked it much, much better. Their place is really nice. It felt like they lived in a resort! We were exhausted from the days activities so far, so we chilled out for a little while before heading out to dinner at this really neat upscale pizza place in Newport. We had such a fun time!

Sunday, we woke up and took Kobe to the dog beach in Huntington Beach for the first time. He LOVED it! First family pic of 3 on the beach!

You can't tell from either of these pics, but the beach was packed with people and dogs, and there were surfers in the ocean (it was freezing though!). It's just a totally different look on the beach as compared to what we're used to on the gulf coast. The sand was not nearly as nice. But, it's a beach and I enjoyed every second of it!

We took Kobe back home and then Carrie and Andres showed me where they want to live next in Corona del Mar and it was AWESOME. I would totally live there. I'm not sure how much work I could get done if I lived out there. It was beautiful--you are always right near the ocean. After that, they took me to Laguna Beach for lunch. Laguna was a neat little scene. It was very artsy. We ate on the rooftop of a hotel and the view was amazing and the food great too!

After lunch (it was after 2 at this point, it was time for them to take me back to the airport so I could make the quick hop over to Vegas. It was a quick trip with Carrie and Andres, but a great one. I'm so glad that I got to go and see where they are, where they've lived before, and just life out there! I can now see why they love it out there! I do wish they were closer, but maybe someday that will happen again. I'm already planning our next trip out there and hopefully it involves taking Hudson to Disneyland!
I had never been to Vegas before so I was kind of dreading going for the first time by myself. But, it ended up not being too bad. The conference was at the Monte Carlo, so it was in a pretty good location as far as the strip goes (even though it wasn't the nicest place). I made some friends at the conference and Tuesday night, we all went walking down the strip and went through some of the casinos, saw the fountains at the Billagio, and then had dinner at the Venetian. So, I saw Vegas. Can't say I need to go back, but if I have to, I'm taking Joel and we're going to some shows and eating at some really good places! :) It could be a really fun city (if you aren't by yourself!). I will say that one of the partners that was sitting at my table got propositioned at the elevator of our hotel one day. The girl came up to him and said, "You want to go get naked?" That part of Vegas (and all the handing out of cards with girls pictures on them) is something I don't think I will ever get used to seeing!

I finally got back in late Wednesday night. I was worried about how Joel would do for 5 days, but he did great! I know he had a lot of help, but I was still proud of how well things seemed to go. I missed the boys SO much. It was a long time to be gone. Luckily, they still remembered who I was the next morning! :) Harrison even took 4 steps on Thursday (I would have DIED if he started walking while I was gone), so I'm glad he waited for me (or else Joel is just not telling me he did it while I was gone).

I'm glad I don't have to travel much for work, but I did enjoy have no responsibilities for a good 5 days! I soaked up every night of not cooking, not cutting any meat, not having to do baths and read books, I got to watch whatever I wanted on tv, and I got to take my time getting ready in the morning. It was a nice break. But, it was also nice getting back to the chaos!


  1. you totally made me miss my brother :( he has been in california for way too long!!! it is soo fun and life is totally different out there...always a nice place to escape to!!!! now you've got me wanting to plan a trip :) yea for harrison!!!

  2. Glad you had a good time with your sister - your post made me miss my hometown! Ahhh, the West Coast...nothing like it.