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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The one where we get swallowed by the ocean.

After a yummy 4th of July BBQ with the Kerr family, Matt & I decided to spend the afternoon being touristy in LA before watching fireworks on the beach. Our first stop was Hollywood, where we spent a whole 15 minutes--we knew that it actually isn't that exciting but still wanted to check it off the list.

So Matt fulfilled his picture requirement with a thumbs up to John Lennon and I took one with Audrey Hepburn's star (just in case we choose to name one of our daughters Audrey instead of Aubyn/Autumn/Aubrey).

After our pit stop in Hollywood, we spent a couple hours window shopping in Beverly Hills before heading to the Los Angeles Temple to walk around the grounds. It is so beautiful.

Then we stopped by the Santa Monica pier to eat at Bubba Gumps!
Matt isn't particularly fond of seafood (okay, he hates it), so Bubba Gumps was a bit of a stretch for him. It's such a fun place to eat, though, that Matt agreed to try it. He ended up loving the shrimp! Guess they cook it better than the military does, go figure.
Okay, now for the little story... When it got dark, we took a quick picture with the pier and then headed down the beach to watch the fireworks at Marina Del Rey. We set up in about the middle of the sand but since the fireworks were a bit further away, anyone walking by would block them so we moved a little closer to the ocean. We were still up on a tiny hill a good 10 yards from the highest point of the tide so we felt pretty comfortable with it. Here's the "before" shot with the pier (notice the color of my jeans):
Picture this for two seconds: lying on a towel on the beach, watching fireworks in the distance, and listening to the ocean waves crashing below you, all as you're cuddled up with your fiance. Pretty romantic, right? Cue the rogue wave--we're just lying there enjoying the moment when out of nowhere and with zero warning, a huge wave came in and over us! Classic. I thought it was hilarious, as you can probably tell from this picture we took right after the incident:
Yeah, we were slightly drenched. Me more than Matt, since I was closer to the ocean and sat up fast, giving Matt slightly more time to react. The cell phone that was in my pocket? Toast.

Meanwhile, the blanket-size towel we were using was super heavy & dirty with all of that water & sand in it so Matt dragged it across the beach back to the pier. It left a big trail along the entire beach. I was in stitches when I took this picture. It's the funniest mixture of Will Smith dragging that parachute in Independence Day and Linus (from Charlie Brown) dragging his blanket:
I eventually convinced Matt of the hilariousness (is that a word?) of the whole ordeal and we were both laughing as we realized that we'll probably never be able to top the memorable factor of this 4th of July.
Luckily for me, I had another pair of capris in the car so I just changed and we kept our little date going, eating delicious Nutella crepes on the Third Street Promenade. Oh, and as for the soaking wet cell phone, we were going to put it in a bag of rice to suck the water out but were too impatient, so Matt decided to try nuking it in a microwave. Kids, don't try that at home--it nearly started a fire.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sunshine & Summertime

California was perfect, thanks to the awesome Kerrs who adopted us for the weekend! They are such a neat family and we had such a great time playing with them. Hanging out in the L.A. area was also great because we there's a good chance we'll be living there in just a year (I grew up a NorCal girl but I'm pretty sure I could make the switch to SoCal just fine)... Oh, and just FYI--since our 4th of July has an entertaining story, it gets its own post. Which means this one covers every other day our our trip.

I flew into Long Beach on Thursday. Matt and I went straight to In-N-Out for lunch and then to Huntington Beach! It was a gorgeous day:

Matt had never built a sandcastle (shocking, no?), so after we constructed the world's best moat, we threw together this rather elementary sandcastle. The castle itself might not look that impressive but I'm telling you, that moat stood strong for at least 3 hours.

Fast forward to Saturday, when we went swimming with Jodie and the kids... Matt decided to sneak around the pool underneath his little floatie. Jodie pointed out that he looked like a pineapple picker. True.
That afternoon, we headed down to Newport Beach...

...so we could get our Sprinkles cupcakes. The verdict: Cute? Yes. Yummy? Yes. To-die-for delicious & worth the cost? Not so much. Magleby's & Costco's chocolate cakes are definitely more drool-worthy.
That night, we all went to see WALL-E at the drive-in. Matt had never been to a drive-in before (I was starting to question his childhood) and neither had Taylor or Mason, so it was a lot of fun! And the movie was just as great the 2nd time around for me.
After church on Sunday, we hung out with Susie and Jodie and the kids and then went for a Sunday drive before Matt had to leave to get back to the base. How beautiful is Hacienda Heights?
Thanks again for having us, Gene & Susie & Jodie! Can't wait to see you in Colorado!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Introducing the most stupid woman in America:

Full disclosure: I'm so not a big TV watcher. Let alone reality TV. However, both Matt and I were way into this season of the Bachelorette. You'd better believe that a long-distance engagement is a good enough excuse for at least one ridiculous tv show obsession. Anyway, Jason is perfect, Jesse is immature, and Jesse and DeAnna are awkward together. That is all.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

East Coast, West Coast

The best New Jerseyans in the world decided to spend some of their summer in good ol' Utah. This made us especially happy because they happen to be my mom's closest sister Janell, her super fun husband John and their adorable kids.

We celebrated their arrival with a picnic and playtime at the creek.

By the way, this is the same Uncle John who, 15 years ago, would park us right in front of the cemetary just to watch us freak out because we couldn't hold our breath that long. Well, some things never change. I was a little late to the festivities due to work but I sure got a nice welcome--when I went in for a hug, he instead threw me over his shoulder (in a skirt, no less) and proceeded to pretend that he was going to throw me into creek.

The Zulicks left us for a few days to visit Old Faithful and got back just in time for our big Smith family party on Sunday. The highlight of the night was definitely watching my sweet Grandma go bowling on the Wii. I love her reaction when she got her first spare:

My Grandpa Smith took a turn, too, and they kept up with their bowling game even after everyone had redirected their attention to other activities. Well, everyone except Gabe, who remained their biggest fan:

He was so into it! It was so cute watching him cheer for them. We made sure to get a shot of Grandma with almost all of the grandkids).

Everyone got together again on Monday night to see WALL-E at the drive-in (p.s. drive-ins are another summer must!). It was such a cute movie! We all loved it & highly recommend it.

And on another note... California, here we come!

Okay, here I come--Matt's already there! He's spending 3 weeks at Vandenberg Air Force Base (which is about 45 minutes north of Santa Barbara)... before getting to come home to Utah for his 17-day summer leave!! Matt's halfway through his little vacation right now so I'm hopping on a plane in the morning to come visit him. Jodie & her family are so kindly letting us stay with them in L.A. and we're all in store for a super fun weekend!!!

So, since we won't be around... Happy 4th of July, everyone! It's such a neat thing to stop and celebrate our liberty, and remember that we have brave men and women still fighting for it every day.

We're so lucky to be Americans.

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