And Now For Something Completely Different

Last weekend, I did something I have never done before.  Sarah and I went on a Mother-Daughter get-away to Newport Beach.  We had some food preparation whatsoever, (not even coffee) and no discussion of anything "stressful."  I'll let the photos do the talking...

 It was a rainy day, but we didn't care!

We went to Fashion Island, hoping to see "Lincoln" but it was sold out so we saw it later that night.  This shopping center is BEAUTIFUL and the fountains are fascinating. 

The next morning, we walked around Balboa Island, inspired by the well-loved cottages, and the unique shops.  As you can see the sun was out.  It was a beautiful day.  We did some "tasting" in the olive oil shop, and got a kick out of their wild looking pastas.  (We weren't able to take photos in there, or I would have.)  There was a black and white stripped pasta that was made from squid ink.  ok. Oh, and Christmas shopping too. 

Of course there is a Starbucks and in the background, "Ciao" Italian cuisine, where we ate lunch. 

When I was a kid, my friend Jenni used to invite me to join her family for a week on Balboa Island.  Seeing the candy store brought back so many fun memories with them.  We used to walk or ride bikes over to this street from their vacation house, and buy frozen bananas, or ice creams, and then ride the ferry to the fun zone at Newport in the evening.  Such freedom!  It was a different world back then, but even now, Balboa Island seems pretty much the same. 

 All dressed up for Christmas!

This yard decor was right on a prominent corner.  
Obviously important to the owners.

As we walked to breakfast, the owner was painting over the Halloween colors on their clock.  On our way home, it was completed and all ready for Christmas.

View across the Harbor

Do we look rested?  We are!  We really enjoyed our adorable little cottage. 

Some friends suggested we eat at the Beachcomber.  This was memorable, and will draw us back again.  

It's an area near Newport that was built in the 20's.  You park on PCH, and walk or ride a shuttle to Crystal Cove.  The little beach cottages are still available to rent, and they are right at the beach in Crystal Cove.  A few of them have been restored and preserved as a little historical "museum."  There were artists at work, and crafts to participate in.  

It was a special day, because Santa was coming to Crystal Cove. 

Only in California...

This is the patio of the Beachcomber restaurant.  See how close it is to the Beach and the Tree, and Santa's house, and everything.  The ocean is RIGHT THERE.  I hope I can go back again someday. Lunch was wonderful too, but alas, it was time to go to get back to our loved ones. 

We had a fantastic time, talking, talking and more talking.  Quality time with my oldest daughter, was so wonderful, and we both agreed that we needed to have April with us too.  She of course is in Florida and was running a half marathon on this weekend. We talked about her if that counts, :)  and laughed about so many fun memories.  Knowing that Gary was well cared for made it possible for me to relax and enjoy, and the time away was like medicine for my emotions, and even though it was a "new" kind of trip, I'd like to call it the "first" of many such mini-vacations for me.  

I thanked the Lord when I arrived home, for this wonderful time.