Thursday, February 26, 2009

California-Part 2

After a full week of seminar in Long Beach, we headed north for a few days off in Beverly Hills! Once we arrived at our hotel (which was a simple Marriott thanks to free night reward points from Chase Visa), we headed across the street to Factors Famous Deli. It was a beautiful day in L. A. and we enjoyed a fabulous lunch outside on the back patio of the restaurant. I even ate lunch in my sunglasses (very L. A.) After lunch, I headed in of course to the restroom (rememeber 5 months pregnant) and there sat William Shatner, Capt. Kirk himself! I ran back outside to tell J he must go use the little boy's room so he could see for himself. Thus started our celebrity sighting list:

David Hasselhoff-running in a neighborhood near our hotel
William Shatner
John O'hurley-at the local Walgreen's picking up a prescription
Andrew Bynum-#17 for the L. A. Lakers-at Mr. Chow eating dinner, sat beside J and made him look tiny
Michael McDonald-Mad TV
Flex Alexander-a star in Spike Lee movies
several Dodgers players
Wolfgang Puck

For the rest of that day, we enjoyed a drive around town just sightseeing and a visit to Rodeo Drive. After a small splurge on the kids at the Lacoste store we browsed through Hermes, Coach, Louis Vutton, and Ralph Lauren. Wow! That's all I can say about that.

After a quick rest, that night we had dinner reservations at Mr. Chow. Our kids love the movie Kung Fu Panda and made the family watch the special features on the DVD. There is a preview on the DVD of the Noodle Chef from Mr. Chow making noodles by hand. When I saw this over 7 months ago, I had no idea we would ever have the opportunity to travel to Beverly Hills much less sample THE noodles at Mr. Chow. They were the best noodles I have ever had and if you are ever out that way, you must try this restaurant. There were several celebrity sightings here as well as a plethera of papparazzi waiting outside when we left. Of course they didn't tell us who they were waiting on to pop in to pay a visit to the restaurant, but the night before they told us Lindsay Lohan had been there (who cares!) We were exhausted after a long day. . part 3 later.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Trip to California-Part 1

The beginning of our trip consisted of a conference we attended at Long Beach, California. We stayed in a beautiful Hyatt hotel overlooking the Queen Mary and the port of Long Beach.

This was our view from our 14th floor room.

The main intent of our attending this conference was to work at an EXPO in which our organization was featured along with the foundation we work for. The conference hosted by CFA was their annual operators' seminar in which they are featured, pampered, praised, encouraged, and thanked for their hard work that year. CFA hit 2.9 billion in sales this past year! (that's a lot of chicken, sweet tea, and waffle fries) The economy did not affect this "giving God the glory" company in the way many others did. Maybe that's why?

The speakers and special guests was a christian celebrity line up like none other:
Nicole Mullen
Rick Warren
Dave Ramsey
Anita Renfroe
Kirk Cameron
Tommy Tubervile
Frank Beamer
And of course Truett Cathy (who had just been in ICU ten days before)

The messages and moments were awesome and exhausting. We had to be up each day by 6 AM, listen in on the meetings, then work all day at the EXPO. We didn't mind, it's just remember I am 5 months pregnant. Whew!

We also enjoyed a little free time that included a visit to the Aquarium of the Pacific, a late Valentine's Day dinner, several naps, and fun time with friends from college that now live in Irvine!

C and P brought us their fun jeep to keep for the remainder of the trip so we would not have to have the expense of renting a car. . more to follow later!

More pictures from Part 1:
Yes friends, that's Kirk Cameron, and those of you that know my home will notice the picture in the background. He was signing autographs at our booth while a video was playing the background for our organization. He was there to talk about Fireproof (go rent it if you haven't seen it!)

Some additional shots of the Long Beach Harbor:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Just checking in!

Greetings from Beverly Hills! We are having a blast, I have too many details to share, but will post once we get home. Our main events have been eating, eating, and more eating! Just finished a yummy dinner at The Ivy! We plan to do a little more sightseeing tomorrow before heading home Sunday! More details to follow!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I need a break from preparing for a BREAK!

Does that make any sense? J and I are preparing ourselves and our family for a getaway for the two of us for 8 days. . yes I said it 8 days! We are headed to California for a conference with work, then 3 days of fun in Beverly Hills(talk about the Beverly Hillbillies!) I have worked tirelessly washing clothes, shopping for groceries to leave at home for the sitters for 8 days, typed pages of instructions with schedules (on page 6 and day 3 so far), and I need a break!

We are thrilled about our getaway, but apprehensive about being away that long from the kids. Little J keeps asking "Mommy, when are you goin to Califworna?" It breaks my little mommy heart! BUT. . what a nice time away it will be.

We have lots of fun activities planned including dinner at Spago, the Ivy, lunch in Santa Monica, tickets for Jay Leno, and it is all on Oscar weekend. Maybe we will see some STARS!! Let's just pray we won't act like the Beverly Hillbillies if we see any! In the meantime, pray we will get it all done and get on that plane on time!

*** Update***
My list of instructions and schedules ended up being a total of 12 pages! The menu for 8 days has been planned and the groceries have been bought. There are a total of 4 gallons of milk, 3 loaves of bread, tons of cereal, 55 packs of oatmeal, and a freezer full of easy fix dinners!! Now I really need a break. . can't wait.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Winter Woolies!

I just made that title up. . I don't really know if there is actually anything called the Winter Woolies, but if there is, we have it. We have passed around coughs, colds, and the stomach bug several times. AND It is still so cold. I noticed the weather man "says" we should have warmer temperatures this weekend. . oh how I wish Spring were here. I feel cabin fever like I never have before as my kids just simply have been too cold to go out and play. The longer we are cooped up, the sicker we get. Even little J told me yesterday, "Mommy, can we go to the beach?" He is a man after my own heart. . oh the beach, wouldn't it be great to actually feel warm!

In a few weeks, J and I are traveling to a conference in sunny Southern California. . I. can't. wait. I am however feeling apprehensive about leaving all the kiddos behind. Our relief parents of course do a better job than us, I just don't want everyone to get sick on them. Please help us pray for a healthy next few weeks, so we can go and the kids can enjoy a break from us as well. I am always a better mommy after a little time away.

Lord, thank you for winter months, for the time we have all had to bond, enjoy cozy holidays, and we are anticipating a beautiful EARLY spring!