Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Santa was so very good to us this year! James and I decided early in the season that we would ease back a bit on our Christmas activities. This was our first Christmas in California. Last year we flew home as soon as the kids were out for Winter Break. This year we stayed put. Although I really missed the 'big' family Christmas, having a small "just the four of us" Christmas wasn't so bad. There was no rushing around or shipping Santa gifts. No cold weather and we actually baked the cookies for Santa ourselves!

Josie had us up at 5:45AM. She crawled into our bed, put her face right up to mine and said, "Mom, I think Santa came here. I saw only two cookies on the plate we left him and the milk is all gone!" James groaned, rolled out of bed and went downstairs to put on some lights. Most importantly, he started a pot of coffee! Maddie, who has never been a morning person, managed a smile for Josie when we sent her in to wake up her big sister.

Santa left Josie a new pair of ballet shoes in her stocking!

Josie thinks Maddie's "Slingshot Underwear" is hilarious! Josie picked them out for Maddie all by herself... it was VERY hard for her to keep these secret from her big sister!

Santa (Maddie!) also left me a pair of thong underwear! This is wrong on so many levels, I won't even start....

Hailey and her Mom, Jane came by for a visit on Christmas night. We are lucky to have found such wonderful friends here.

Notes from the Roadtrip:

We had been thinking about taking a trip to the Central California coast for a few months... Promising ourselves we'd get around to it during the winter break. The plan was to take our time with the drive and follow our fancy. Well, the rains here in Southern California kept us indoors for nearly 7 days. By Wednesday, we were ready to bust out - cabin fever stinks!

Many of Maddie's classmates' homes suffered terrible damage in the storm. One of her girlfriends posted a video of the furniture floating in 4 feet of water in their home... she was also filming when they lost power and were evacuated by the Fire Department. Very scary. We did not suffer any loss or flooding. Our community here was built only 10 years ago and the developers really did a great job with irrigation design.

Here are some photos from the roadtrip that I didn't post to FB:

The Drive:

After stopping at Meridian Winery for a tasting, we took a tour of Hearst Castle. We chose the "Experience" tour which included an IMAX film about the inspiration for and building of the Castle. Very cool.

We drove about 40 minutes south of San Simeon and stayed in San Luis Obispo for the night. We enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Creekside Brewery in the quaint downtown. We walked around a bit and then headed back to the hotel. The kids and James were asleep within 30 minutes. I was able to stay up until 10PM!

We had breakfast at a roadside diner where the pancakes were as big as your head: (really.)

We stopped in Pismo Beach to see the rugged coastline and the sea lions:

(Love this one!)

We made a longer stop in Santa Barbara. We took some time to enjoy the beach, grab some lunch and shop around town:

And finally, here's a photo of my husband in full road trip mode:

We call this his "Hey Yo Yo" look: part gangsta/part geek!

Have a Safe and Wonderful New Year celebration! To my friends and family on the East Coast: Stay Warm!


  1. Great photos, Michele! Looks like a fun trip up the coast. Glad you escaped the cabin fever.

    Merry Christmas to all and a Happy and Healthy 2011!

    Susan and Steve