…little did we realize that sea lions are stinky as stinky could be…no temptation to swim.
But Lucy was quite interested in their “language” and tried to teach herself to “speak” it as we watched them bark away.
We ate a little lunch while Lucy worked on her autobiography.
(She worked on that puppy all summer and it is pretty great I must say! She’s hoping to publish a book some day 🙂
Next stop was SAN CLEMENTE where our good friends stay each summer.
Loved catching up with them and another friend who was in town.
We also stopped by to visit our friends who took care of us in China who now live in San Clemente.
There are not words to express how much we adore this family. This little girl was a newborn when we moved to China:
…and Katie is the kind of person who could whisk all her babies through antique shops and fabric markets like it was the easiest thing in the world and everyone knew her. She has picked up some pretty great conversational Chinese so she really knew the ropes over there.
She and her daughter Reese also took care of Lucy while we went to Guilin (back HERE) during the tail-end of our stay in China. Lucy will always remember that fun over-nighter where she got to meet Santa Claus in China at a cinnamon roll bakery (ha!) and have the time of her life with this great family.
They have visited us here in the desert but it was fun to see them in their new element so far from China.
As luck would have it, we also ran into our neighbor who used to live right behind us here in our neighborhood. So fun to catch up with her a little bit!
We rented tandem bikes and explored the boardwalk there.
Lucy was a great little bike partner and man alive it made me want to get one of those suckers.
Next stop: LOS ANGELES…where we ate at Tito’s Tacos:
Oh boy it is gorgeous.
Stopped by the visitor’s center:
Moment of silence for Max:
…and did our traditional “touching” of the temple. (“If you allow your children to touch the temple, the temple will touch them.”)
We went to Diddy Riese before heading out of town because we heard it was fantastic, and we heard right.
I’ve had a craving for those things ever since.
Next time we are going to hike to the Hollywood sign. We ran out of time and I think maybe Lucy would have struggled a bit, but that’s on my “some day” list.
We headed to MALIBU next.
We walked out on the pier:
…and explored Pepperdine for a little bit.
Not sure I convinced any of my girls to make that their dream college some day but it sure is one of the most gorgeous campuses!
We ate dinner in SANTA BARBARA at an Asian fusion place I sweet-talked the girls into:
Next morning we hit PISMO BEACH:
(one of the last real beach-lounging-beaches of the coast)
We had seen pictures of the big rock at MORRO BAY so we decided we better stop there to check it out.
I think everyone’s favorite part of the day was riding this four-person bike around:
Lucy adored it…except when she didn’t. She was all smiles until her feet jumped off the pedals and she gave us some good scoldings about that.
Made for a pretty awesome memory I tell you!
That place is quite amazing I must say!!
I don’t have time to write most of the history here, but it was built by William Hearst (a brilliant newspaper businessman) and Julia Morgan (architect) and is an extraordinary feat of beauty that brings in architectural elements from all over the world. William Hearst lived in Europe with his mother as a child and fell so in love with so many things there that he incorporated anything he could into this architectural wonder.
The whole tour reminded me of the Great Gatsby, Mr. Hearst held huge parties here and entertained dignitaries from all over the world.
He also had animals imported from all over the world to roam around on his land. They say there are still descendants of those animals living nearby and every now and again you’ll see a random zebra hanging around.
This pool is usually filled with gleaming water, but it has been drained because of some leaking problems and also because of the drought, but it gives an idea into Mr. Hearst’s vision.
I don’t know that swimming pools were the norm back then in the early 1900s, especially humongous ones like that!
The views are amazing from up there.
And castle light is always quite breathtaking, especially when it’s bathing your darling daughters:
The tour ended at this huge decadent indoor pool: