Goin’ Back to Cali, Cali, Cali

My parents, my grandma, and I have officially mastered the four-day, cross-country vacation. This happened the first time in March 2017 and did a repeat this month — likely my final trip before baby arrives — and I couldn’t have asked for a better visit!

In truth, it will likely be a while before I can make another trip across the country to California, so I really wanted to make sure I could sneak at least another in before I hit the “do not travel” mark of pregnancy.

Last trip, the four of us managed to sneak in a Vegas trip; a trek to the beach; hikes; and more. This time around, we had a busy trip, too, but my tired, pregnant body was happy for some additional reprieves and rests at home, hanging out with each other and the dogs, too.

My mom and dad have started fostering dogs in Bakersfield to help prepare them as they transition from rescue to shelter to fur-ever home, so we were treated to EIGHT wonderful dogs: Cody, Reilly, Lexy, Zai, Denali, and Turbo (my parents’ dogs) as well as Sugar and Charlie, two fosters. It was honestly a puppy paradise full of dog snuggles, which is the best way to spend a vacation.

Plus, we also…

  • Searched for wild flowers and took in some gorgeous sights. California is truly breathtakingly beautiful. Even just a drive to and from certain places feels like an adventure because of all of the scenery to take in. We spent our first day there doing just that and it was great! Cali MUST be the king of rolling hills.
  • Conquered an Escape Room. I’ve always wanted to try an Escape Room, but never bit. It was so much fun to try one out with family. NBD, but we killed it in the Knight & Rook room at Bakersfield Escape Room.
  • Went on a Ross shopping spree. I am not so fortunate to have a Ross nearby, which is a true tragedy, so I love hitting up that store and spending lots of money when we’re there. This time, we were able to get some cute things for baby, too!
  • Toured Heart Castle. Bill and I toured Hearst Castle during our last visit, but my grandma and I didn’t get a chance to do so, so it was fun to go back there. We got an inside look at the stunning cottages! I fell in love with the roofs (and dedicated an Insta album to them here), but the entire place is magical and unreal.
  • Mused at the elephant seals at Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery. The seals are too cute to be ignored and given that we were already Hearst Castle, it made sense to take a look at these cuties again. Bonus: beach views!
  • Visited The Last Bookstore in LA. My mom sent me a link to this place a while back so it was a must-visit for me and I’m so happy we were able to make it happen. I love all bookstores, but this one was Instagrammable AF. Part bookstore, part art exhibit, it was like a slice of heaven for book lovers like me.

A great trip all around and so wonderful to see my parents. The next time they see me, I may have a little person around!

xo!

A Perfect Week in California

I’m so fortunate to be able to travel as much as I have, especially recently. My husband and I recently took a trip to California—the first for him, and the second for me—so we could spend time with my parents.

OK, fine: and also attend RuPaul’s Dragcon.

We started our trip in LA, where we had lots of fun but also realized we’ll never move there (that! traffic!). We visited The Broad, watched the sun set at Griffith Observatory (where we saw the freaking moon through a telescope), explored Sunset Boulevard, spent time in the Arts District, and had a weekend filled with DRAG QUEENS.

YOU GUYS. I still can’t believe how much fun I had. This past winter, my husband and I started watching RuPaul’s Drag Race and immediately became obsessed. We flew through seasons 4-8 (we are catching up on seasons 1-3 currently) and that’s pretty much all I think about now.

So, we were excited to have the opportunity to attend RuPaul’s DragCon in LA. Although we weren’t able to attend many panels (the most sought-after panels required VIP tickets), we saw some of our favorite queens, including Trixie Mattel (who we met and who is so, so, so sweet), Katya, Alaska 5000, Jinkx Monsoon, Bob the Drag Queen, Violet Chachki, Alyssa Edwards, Peppermint, Adore Delano, Ginger Minj, Courtney Act, and many more. Peppermint almost bumped into me, y’all. (And I made a surprise appearance in the Rupaul DragCon round-up videos.) I’m chomping at the bit to snatch up some NYC DragCon tickets. My husband and I also managed to score tickets to Katya’s Birthday Funeral Bash, which was held at PEG the Store on Sunday night. It was incredible to see these queens I admired do their thing and perform live. Ah!

After our drag queen-filled weekend, we visited Disneyland for the first time (a treat because Disney is our happy place) and then we traveled to Bakersfield, where we spent the rest of the week with my parents. It had only been two months since I’d seen them but it felt like forever, so I was grateful to visit with them again. They are the most incredible hosts, the kind that really make you feel at home, and they made sure we had an adventure-filled vacation, doing all the major planning and driving. I can’t thank them enough for the incredible time we had.

Together, the four of us revisited places like Lake Ming and Ross (my favorite store), and explored a few new places (as least new to me and Bill!) including Lake Isabella, Hearst Castle, Montaña de Oro, Antelope Valley, and Sequoia National Park. California is such a magical, breathtaking place, and I hope I can go back soon.

xo.

California Adventures

I love California. I can say it definitively now although I always had a hunch I would enjoy it and I’ve technically only seen a small part of it. But still.

I was lucky enough to travel to Bakersfield with my grandma to visit my parents. It’s the first time I’ve seen them both since July, which is the longest I’ve ever gone without visiting with them. I’ve missed them a lot, so this was a treat.

It may have only been a four-day trip, but we made the absolute most of it, thanks to my parents being the best tour guides. In all, we traveled more than 1,500 miles, and we…

  • Traveled to Redondo Beach, where I got to put my toes in the sand and wade into the Pacific Ocean for the first time
  • Visited Griffith Observatory at night, where I saw the Hollywood sign, took in the views of LA at night, and got to see a breathtaking view of the moon (the GODDAMN moon, guys!)
  • Hiked around Lake Ming. It’s located in my parents’ town and is a beautiful place where my dad takes two of their dogs, Reilly and Lexy, to burn off some of their energy. So, we took two trips and it was just my dad and his three girls: me, Reilly, and Lexy!
  • Saw peacocks at Hart Park in Bakersfield. How is it possible that peacocks just hang out in the park? There were also dozens of kitties who were friends with the peacocks, which was extra cute.
  • Went shopping at Ross. My mom is the best because she fully understands and appreciates my obsession with Ross, which we don’t have on the East Coast. So, she took us shopping and I got plenty of new things that I can’t wait to wear and post about!
  • Ate delicious food. We tried Creamistry (where they make ice cream with liquid nitrogen); Blaze Pizza (where you can order delicious personalized pizzas); and In N Out (a staple that I’d been dying to try for years); and some Krispy Kreme; but nothing compared to my mom and dad’s home cooking!
  • Traveled to Las Vegas to see the Backstreet Boys. What an amazing concert! I’ve loved the Backstreet Boys since I was a kid and I hope I do forever. To me, there is nothing like being in the audience, singing along to my favorite songs, dancing with girls like me who grew up on their music. Where else can I show off the fact that I still remember the choreography from “Everybody”? I had so much fun and I loved going with my grandma and my mom like when I was younger. I think they enjoyed themselves, too, especially my grandma, who was excited to see her love, Brian. (Shout out to my dad for doing that eight-hour drive to Vegas and not even attending the show.)
  • Took my parents’ RV—with all four dogs—up to Port San Luis Boat Yard and Avila Beach. It was chilly, but so much fun. We saw seals and sea otters (real ones! in nature!) and visited with my mom’s cousin, Debbie, and her husband, who drove out to see us. The girls (Reilly and Lexy) got to play on the beach with other dogs, and the humans got to enjoy some delicious smoked chicken made by my dad and some incredible rice made by my mom.
  • Drove up to Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery near Hearst Castle. It was amazing to see those seals up close and in their natural habitat. They were so cute! The drive up there was magnificent, too. We traveled through wine country and experienced views I couldn’t even dream up. It was the perfect way to end our trip.

Can’t wait to go back in May with my husband and do it all again!

xo.