How’s summer treating you?
So far it’s treating me very, very well. Thank you, Lord! It’s hot here in Dallas, yes. And my kids are underfoot and either always making a mess or always starving. But I’ve been on a vacation from writing for the past month and I’ve been glorying in sleeping in, watching movies, reading, and traveling. I needed some down time! This slower, more relaxed pace has been just what the doctor ordered.
A few weeks back, my family headed to California to visit my parents and my sister and her family. I was born and raised in Riverside, CA and I always love to return. I thought it might be fun to share a few pictures from my photo album with all of you.
We took a day trip to Newport Beach and hit some of our favorite spots….
The above is His Highness and my son, eating the king crab at The Crab Cooker. The Crab Cooker is a funky little place that’s been around forever. It’s special to me because I can remember my grandma taking me there when I was young.
This is the bridge from the mainland over to Balboa Island and these are my kids and my sister’s kids. Cousins! Notice that most are wearing long sleeves. As always, it was pleasantly cool in California in the evenings and mornings while we were there.
No trip to Balboa Island would be complete without their famous frozen bananas. They come on a stick like a popsicle. While you’re at the window, ordering your banana, they dip it in melted chocolate then let you pick your toppings. I opted for ‘everything’, extra heavy on the butter brickle. Delicious.
Because there are so many theme parks in southern California, my husband and I typically take the kids to one park for one day per trip. His Highness isn’t much of a fan of theme parks. He’d rather spend his vacation time playing golf or watching golf on TV. But I talked him into scraping together every ounce of his energy and leveraging it toward a day trip to Universal Studios Hollywood.
Right upon entering, we came upon a collection of the cars used in the Fast & Furious movies. My son, who loves cars, went straight to Vin Diesel (well…. the wax replica of him anyway) so they could pose together for a photo.
You can’t tell from the photo, but the transformer behind us wasn’t a statue. There’s a person inside that costume, so Megatron was slashing his arms, stalking around, and growling about how he was planning to either eat us or obliterate us outright with his weapons Thus, my face of mock-terror. I’ve no idea why the girls weren’t afraid for their lives. 🙂
Finally, back in Riverside, His Highness and I spent a luxurious day at the Mission Inn. The historic inn began as a humble boarding house in 1876. Over the next quarter century, wealthy Europeans and Easterners flocked to Riverside, attracted by the area’s profitable citrus industry and warm climate. In turn, the hotel became grander and grander. Ten presidents have visited it!
As fun as Newport Beach, Universal Studios, and the Mission Inn were, the highlight of the trip was the time spent with family.
Have any of you been to any of the places I’ve mentioned in this post? Have you been on a trip this summer? Or are you looking forward to going on one soon? Where are you headed? Please share in the comments. I’d love to hear!
Lastly, since I’m sure you’re all in need of summer reads, I wanted to tell you about a deal that LifeWay is currently running on the books pictured in the below image. Buy one of these in store and get any other one free. My Meant to Be Mine is included (which just won an INSPY Award – yay!) as well as novels by several friends of mine, including our own Jody Hedlund and Lynn Austin.