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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Our First Anniversary

One year ago, on June 2nd, Kelson and I made the biggest and most important promise of our lives. It has been a wonderful year for both of us. We decided to celebrate our anniversary with a weekend getaway to Idyllwild, a beautiful, artsy, little town in the San Jacinto mountains East of LA.

 We stayed in a charming lodge called Silver Pines. Definitely more fun than a normal hotel.
 We had a pond full of koi right outside our door. We sat by the pond and read for an hour on Saturday afternoon, and we could hear the water trickling into the pond as we fell asleep at night.

 Just below the lodge was a pretty little creek that we explored for a little while.
 It felt so good to get out of the city and into this beautiful place. It was peaceful and happy.

 The town was full of fun little shops, including a Christmas store and one of the best thrift stores we have been to in a long time. Kelson's favorite was the rock & gem store. He loves rocks so much that I think he really should have studied geology instead of geography.  He really looked like a kid in a candy store. Unfortunately, I wouldn't let him bring home a 100 pound piece of quartz.

 I guess I have a bit of my parents in me, because I love riding around in the mountains. We drove around for a while and ended up at Lake Hemet. Beautiful!

 Idyllwild is the hiking gateway for the San Jacinto mountains. We only had time for a little sample of the hiking trails, but we found some fun things, like this giant rock.  Doesn't it just make you want to climb it?
 Or perhaps crawl inside of it? My mom hates my tendency to crawl on and around rocks and cliffs. She is sure I am going to be eaten by a mountain lion one of these days.

 Kelson is basically a monkey. A very cute monkey, of course.
 I jokingly dared him to do a headstand on this stump, which had a 10 foot drop-off on the other side. I didn't think he would actually do it. This is as far as I let him go.
 He tried it again in a slightly less risky location.

 I found my new dream house. You can't see it well in the pictures, but it was a cute yellow cottage with a white picket fence, a rose arbor, and a beautiful garden all tucked into the forest. I want one!
 We saw the most amazing assortment of wildlife, especially birds. This woodpecker was especially pretty. We also saw lots of beautiful blue jays.

To celebrate our anniversary on Saturday night, we got dressed up and went out for dinner at a restaurant called The Gastrognome. I ate the most amazing dish, chicken scallopini with asparagus in a mushroom sauce.  It was worth the splurge. Unfortunately, I didn't get a good picture of it. I am going to try to come up with my own version soon.
This was the view from our dinner table. Not too shabby. The only problem was that there were tiny caterpillars falling out of the pine trees above us and landing on our table, so we were a little afraid for our food. I don't think we managed to eat any extra "protein". It was a fun, fancy dinner.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Best Mother-Daughter Date EVER!

With all of the fun and exciting things going on in the Mosier home lately, my blogging is a little behind. Prepare yourself for an epically long blog post and lots of pictures.

We recently had my mom and Katy with us for 10 days, which a much anticipated and wonderful time for all of us. We squeezed just as much fun as possible into those 10 days, leaving us exhausted by the end of the trip, but it was well worth it.

 What is the first thing you want to do in in Southern California? Head to the beach, of course! We spent our first day beach hopping around San Diego. Our first stop was La Jolla Shores, and then we went to Ocean Beach. Since Mom and Katy are used to frigid Oregon beaches, they were pretty excited to splash in our relatively warm water.
 We finished up that day exploring Coronado. The beautiful Hotel Del Coronado is a must-see here in San Diego. I love it.  By the way, isn't my sister gorgeous? I think so.
Coronado has the most pristine beaches I have ever seen. There is a man there who builds sand castles for a living. He builds a new one every few days on the beach for tips, and he also hires himself out for parties, engagement photos, advertising, etc. Is that not the coolest job ever? I am seriously tempted to change professions.
 Saturday, I took Mom and Katy to explore the Navy base and showed them the joys of being able to see movies for free. After church on Sunday, we watched an organ concert at Balboa Park and Kelson and I gave them a driving tour of down town.
 Monday was the big day. We drove up to Anaheim for DISNEYLAND! It really is one of the happiest places on earth. You can just feel the joy bubbling up inside you as you step in the gates. No, I am not exaggerating. I just really love Disney.
Haunted Mansion!

Katy, once again, looking beautiful. She is very skilled at that.

Minnie is my favorite :)

We started off our second day at Disneyland with 2 rounds of Splash Mountain, which had no line that early in the morning. Of course, we got soaked. Forgive our slightly bedraggled state in the rest of the pictures from that day.

Every girl is a princess at Disneyland :)

 By the end of the evening parade after 2 long days in Disneyland, Mom was exhausted, so she left Katy and I to enjoy the last couple of hours in the park. We finished up with a third round of Pirates of the Caribbean and two more rides on Splash Mountain. Of course, we couldn't leave without a picture with Walt and Mickey.
 After Disneyland, it took us a day to recover before we could tackle another park. I failed to take any pictures that day. We explored the area between Anaheim and San Diego-San Juan Capistrano, Carlsbad, Del Mar, Cardiff by the Sea, and everything in between on the coast highway. We got a little too zealous in our beach play at Cardiff and had to drive home with wet clothes.  It was worth it.

Thursday, we had one more day in a theme park-Sea World! While perhaps not as magical as Disneyland, it has its own special brand of wonder. Who wouldn't love to play with dolphins for a living? I know that I would.
Katy and I waiting for the dolphin show to start.

Checking out the tidepools

Giant turtles!

Mother daughter love :)

 At the end of the day, there was no line for Atlantis, Sea World's version of Splash Mountain, so of course Katy and I decided to go twice. By the end of round 2, Katy was soaked, and we were ready to go home, but the ride attendant decided we needed one more, so he just started the ride up again. Since Katy was practically drowning by the end of round 3, we decided that was about enough. I thought it was all pretty amusing.

Friday, we went to lunch at Blue Water, a delicious seafood place in Mission Hills that was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  Kelson even sneaked away long enough to join us. Next, we went to the Mormon Batallion museum and Old Town. That is the fourth tour I have given of Old Town without Kelson. Some time I am going to have to figure out how to go there with him.  It was a fun day.
The Wells Fargo museum in Old Town

The view from our balcony. We live in a lovely place.
 Saturday, we finally got to have Kelson with us, and we decided to spend the day in Julian. On the way, we stopped at Kelson's grandparents' house in Escondido and showed Mom and Katy around their garden and orchard. Citrus fruit only comes from grocery stores in Oregon, so it was fun for them to actually get to pick it off of trees.
 I love my mom! She is wonderful. You can't really tell from the picture, but this tree is covered in avocados. Mom was quite amazed.
 Kelson picked these oranges and tossed them to Mom so that she and Katy could try them. Unfortunately, Mom didn't see the second one coming, and it caught her right in the face. She was pretty stunned, and Kelson felt terrible. Luckily, Mom survived without any lasting effects from the orange attack. At least it was a tasty orange.  Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Ries!
We drove up the mountain to Julian, ate some delicious pizza for lunch, explored the town, and then finished up with some famous Julian pie. What a great day!

The next day, it was time for Mom and Katy to go home. It was a treat to have my two best friends (besides Kelson, of course) here for so long, especially when I am living far from home.  We love you, Mom and Katy!  We are also all very grateful to Dad for staying home and working hard so that the rest of us could have so much fun. Love you Dad!

Stay tuned for the rest of our update. The post on our anniversary trip to Idyllwild should be up soon.