So I decided to steal our beloved cousin's blog title for this post because, well, Amber & Paul really are living the sweet life. Every time I glimpsed the ocean from the freeway or drove down a lane of palm trees I couldn't help but think how amazing it is that people really live like this. Vacation to us is just the everyday to them. Lucky ducks...
So yes, as the title implies, our Friday down in Southern California took us way south...all the way to San Diego! It really took me by surprise when Amber pointed to a cluster of lights just across the bay and said, "And there's Mexico!"WHAT?!?!?! Mexico?! For some reason I never really believed the maps I'd looked at were to scale. Once I let that super-fun fact soak in I entertained the idea of going south of the border...only long enough for Amber to give us a recap on most recent activity with the drug cartels. I suppose that trip will have to wait...
REWIND...so before any of this went down Parker and I woke up bright and early (ish...we were all pretty tired from Disneyland) to the Hooters logo gleaming in the morning sun. We packed up the posse and headed down to Laguna Beach to catch breakfast. Well...our late start put us there closer to brunch time, and I guess for Laguna Beachers that equals lunch. With our initial plans shot, we cruised up and own the street trying to find something that looked reliable and appetizing. Then we saw it...WAHOO!!!! Wahoo's Fish Tacos. Thanks to Dave's love of the place, our delectable dish in Hawaii, and my brother's subsequent stamp of approval we were in business!
After lunch Parker and I decided we'd best be on our way to San Diego. Our whole premise for this trip in the first place was, of course, to be here for Garrett & Tanae's wedding. Garrett trained Parker out in the mission field and the two have been the best of buddies and roommates up at BYU ever since. He's one of the sweetest, most genuine guys I know and is a large part of the reason Parker & I met so many months ago...so, big kudos to him. We're so happy he found the same happiness we did with Tanae. She's sassy and fun and so down-to-earth just like our Garrett and definitely puts us 3-for-3 with this summer's match-ups (i.e. We like both the husband & wife—1. Kayla & Michael, 2. Bennett & Natalie, 3. Garrett & Tanae. I don't know how people do it when their spouse's old buddies have crazy counterparts...eek).
The sealing was absolutely beautiful! We spent quite awhile waiting to be led to the sealing room (almost an hour! apparently the SoCal temples take things at a more leisurely pace than our turbo-temples here in Utah), but being able to be there and see Garrett & Tanae joined together for time and all eternity was worth every single minute. Not to mention the fact that it finally gave me an excuse to see my fairy tale temple in person. It's absolutely breathtaking even with the scaffolding...especially when you first spot it from the interstate. Oh my...it was a sight to see!
My only regret from our visit there...our decision to change in the car. We put up quite a few blankets and parked in the furthest corner of the temple parking lot, but apparently it wasn't enough. One of Tanae's uncles leaned in during the group picture to say, "Quite an interesting changing room you had there today...." It took me a moment to register what he'd said, but the moment I did all that kept racing through my mind was my 5-minute-long attempt to wrest myself into my dress. Just lovely...exhibitionist DeMilles in the parking lot. Can't wait to see what we pull at Jared & Brooke's bash this October! J...oh boy. You just wait.
We delivered our pilot-buddy Adam to the airport after all the celebrating and then finally made our way to Miss Amber's. I've been waiting SO long to spend quality time with this cousin who's spoiled us so over the last few months and intrigued me with all her adventures. And let me tell you...our visit exceeded every one of my expectations.
We started off the night with pizza on the pier on Coronado island. Amber pointed out her work to us and happily answered my million questions about what had brought her to this paradise of a place. I marveled at her story-book love story (Paul propose in Costa Rica...WOW!), the many perks that come from working at a Marriott resort, and the fact that her husband swims with the dolphins on almost a daily basis. I'm not sure which was better that night—the conversation or the food. I was just so intrigued by Amber, her life, and each and every slice of BBQ heaven on my plate.
Then, like the cherry on top of our sweet sundae, fireworks burst out over the bay. WOW! Amber played us for a bit by telling us she'd had it all planned, but soon divulged that it actually had been a pleasant surprise to her too. Either way, we still felt too spoiled, especially when she insisted on paying for our meal. Amber! That's when I realized how deep those Bodily roots run...Kristy, Karen, Ed, Stella, Brittney, Robert...all some of the most generous people I know! I feel so lucky to be a part of their family and worried at the same time that those are very big shoes to fill. Wish me luck JJJ
We stopped by the Coronado Cupcakery on our way out to satisfy my sweet tooth. I swore I couldn't eat another bite after dinner, but the sight of the store about made my eyes bug out of my head and I knew I had to have one. Parker & I had agreed to share but I lost track when I started eating mine and, well, it took awhile for him to forgive me. Really though...who could complain about having a black-bottomed-belly cookie/brownie monstrosity to themselves??? You tell me...
Back at the house we eyed Amber's "domestic" piranhas a little suspiciously...I swear one hissed at me through its little buck teeth...and laughed at the story of how they'd come to live there. Apparently Paul has a way with finding all things free and/or deals so amazing the people might as well have let him walk off with their firstborn child too. Then...the moment came.
I've been dying to meet this character for the last few months. I've read blog after blog about her antics and showed her picture to Parker nearly a dozen times. SADIE!!! Amber & Paul's adorable miniature doberman pinscher.
Oh my goodness she is CUTE! I loved her to pieces before I even knew her and I love her even more now. I've never been a huge fan of little dogs (because most seem to yap or have mashed faces that look like the product of a serious collision with the fence), but she is a keeper! She's super fast, makes cute little noises, and kept us on our toes all night. Plus she is most definitely the product of her parents...little miss personality!
We wrestled and laughed and snuggled and played all night long. Too too fun! The only issue came when we had to partLLL I miss her already!
Luckily Amber & Paul took our mind off of the goodbye by taking us to this super-cool beach-front restaurant called Kono's Surf Club. The queue for food looper all the way outside the doors which made me even more anxious to see what was in store. Obviously Amber was not exaggerating this place's popularity, and when we got our food we knew she hadn't mislead us about its YUM-factor either.
I had an entire spread of every breakfast food you could ask for one my plate and Parker's baby looked liked a swaddled newborn. WOW! By the time he had downed his food baby we were all stuffed to capacity.
We decided to walk it off down the pier and chatted and laughed the whole way. Paul is way laid back and super funny—it's easy to see why Amber loves him so much. He taught us a thing or two about dolphins and helped us spot a pod a few hundred yards off the pier. I've swam with dolphins, kissed a nose or two, but I don't think I can say I've ever seen them in the wild. It was so neat!
The time came too quickly to say goodbye. I wish we could've stayed and played longer, but I figure that just gives us even more reason to make a return trip soon. Thanks so much Amber, Paul & Sadie for sharing your sweet life in San Diego! And congrats again to Garrett & Tanae. We love you all!