So Santa Claus was pretty much the coolest place I've ever been. Christmas all year 'round? Sign me up!
I seriously love their Chamber's approach to social media, and the Chamber Selfie Stick. While I was there, I bumped into someone that worked at the chamber and she offered to take my picture. So sweet!
On the way home from Indiana, I stopped off at the St. Louis galleria and did some shopping.. can't complain!
Once I made it home, it was time for birthday celebrations. My bff Nikki & I ran a birthday 5k (she has a June bday too!) and then we threw ourselves a joint birthday party. It was perfect aside from the fact that Andy had to stay behind in Indiana for work… its not the first time he's missed my birthday though and I'm sure it won't be the last, either. Such is life!
|its amazing how different we look pre-and-post 5k haha|
|So the 5k committee didn't put up the proper markers for the course, and they let a LOT of us run an extra mile before telling us we went the wrong way. It was hilarious, and I'm so proud of us!|
|Nikki made me the most ADORABLE harry potter mug!!|
|Reunited and it felt so good!|
We spent a couple of days at the lake. While I was there, we found out Andy's dad had a stroke, so we made plans for my parents and grandparents to keep the kids for another 9 days while we drove out to Portland to see him. Of course it was a sad circumstance but we did make the best of the drive there and back. We also got to meet a lot of Andy's family that he hadn't seen since he was like 4 years old. Last week was only the 3rd time I've ever met my father in law, and I'm so glad we got to spend that time with him.
Andy's Uncle Jon and Aunt Janelle opened their home to us and they are the most kind, lovely people! We ate like kings the whole time, Jon is a wonderful cook. I even discovered I like salmon and ribs, but probably only because he's a master chef. We are so thankful for them and I look forward to spending more time with his family.
We stopped at every state sign between here and there, except Arkansas and Oklahoma. It was so much fun. I'm going print them with PostalPix and make a map of the United States to hang them on. It was Andy's idea, he's so creative!
We made a pitstop in Colorado to meet up with my friend Dan and his wife Teresa. It was AWESOME to meet them in real life after so many years of being friends from brightkite to Geoclique.
Andy took me to the bridge of the Gods, which was beyond amazing. It is the trailhead for the Pacific Coast Trail and that is on my bucket list!! Not to go to the bridge but to hike the entire PCT. I would love to take time off from life the year Sophia goes to college (a long ways away!) and hike it with Andy. It would be such an amazing life experience for us!
So one of the days we were out there, two of my favorite people from the land of interwebs drove down to Portland from Seattle to meet up with us. This was a super cool experience and it really made the whole trip for me.
I finally got to go to Voodoo Donuts at the end of our week there. It was amazing. I had the captain my captain crunch donut. HEAVEN for this cereal lover! It was a fun experience, and even though we were all tired, my sweet husband and my sisters in law were good sports about us going.
Because who doesn't love super trendy donuts!?
On our way out of Oregon we stopped and had brunch with Andy's Uncle Chuck, cousin Josie, and her kids. It was super fun, and I love Uncle Chuck! Actually, I love Andy's whole family out there on the West Coast. They were all so kind and hospitable.
Our first stop along the coast.. I could have sat on the beach and listened to the waves for hours. West Coast Best Coast, y'all. I miss California so much.
Might be my favorite picture from the entire trip. :)
The drive home was beautiful, and if you read all this you're probably ready to go on your own road trip. I'm going to leave you with a few landscape shots.. you won't be disappointed!
|Windmill farm in Kansas|
|Coming out of Wyoming into Utah|
|California coast.. I'll love you forever|
|Sunset from the California Arizona state line over the Colorado River|