Sunday, July 10, 2016

California Trip/Hafen Reunion

Third Week of June....continued.....

On Wednesday Rick and I took the early morning flight out of Salt Lake to LAX.  We arrived around 8 AM and rented a car (a Volkswagon Passat) to have for the next couple of days.  The first order of business was to grab some breakfast.  There just happened to be a Denny's just minutes from the airport!  Score!  
After breakfast we drove into downtown LA (Santa Monica Blvd) to go to a session at the LA Temple.  It was a beautiful temple!  A lot of the grass on the Temple grounds along SM Blvd was all dead because of the California draught but the inside gardens were still beautiful.  The rooms in the temple were HUGE!  This temple can hold a lot of people on one session.  Also the murals on the walls were amazing!  I love the temple!

After the temple we ventured further down SM Blvd into Hollywood.  I don't think I will travel there again.....Very run down and scummy!

We drove down Rodeo drive for the fun of it.  Lots of high end stores that I would never buy anything from.  I don't see the sense in spending $$$ for a purse!

Going through Beverly Hills....

I wanted to go to Grauman's Chinese Theater to see some Hollywood Actors Stars, specifically John Wayne but we could never find his.  We saw a lot though.  We did find there, at Grauman's, John Wayne's footprints.  This reminded me of that funny "I Love Lucy" show where Lucy tries to steal John Wayne's footprints....super funny!  "The Duke" is one of our favorites!!

On our way back to our car we found "The Osmonds" star.  Unbeknownst to me not only are there actors stars, but singers stars and just plain old famous people stars.  

It was a hot day so on our way back to the car we picked up a lemonade at Wetzels Pretzels along with some pretzel bites.  After our Hollywood experience we drove down toward Huntington beach where we were staying at the Courtyard Marriott.  The traffic was NOT good and I kept wondering to myself WHY do people live here??  It takes forever to get from point A to point B!  It made me grateful for my little old Grantsville Main Street:)

After getting settled into our room we took a little nap and then drove a few miles away for some Italian food!

The next day we took the Catalina Jet to Catalina Island.  It is an hour boat ride with some pretty views of the CA coast.  On this boat ride Rick was on the phone trying to organize problems at work back home.  It was a pretty stressful few days for Rick to manage things away from work when things seemed to be falling apart all over the place at home.  At one point I think he was seriously considering having me take him to the airport so he could come home and get things straitened out!  I'm glad he didn't do that though:)

Coming into Avalon, Catalina........

After getting off the ferry we rented some bikes to see the island with.  I am so happy that we got some motorized bikes because they sure helped on the steep hills!  

Here's Rick putting out yet another fire......

The houses on this little island are very cute and quaint.  I wonder how much Real Estate is here?

Our first stop was the Wrigley Memorial and Botanical Garden that was created by Ada Wrigley, wife of William Wrigley Jr. the gum millionaire.  It was very nice

Atop the Wrigley's Memorial with the ocean in the background.

We spotted a Catalina Island Fox.  This breed is only found here on the island,

Our next stop we rode through the town and went to Descanso beach on the end of the island.  It was very small with just a little sand but people were enjoying it.  Some even braved the cold water:)

We had lunch while overlooking the water

After lunch we took the road up to the overlook (again, so grateful to have the help of a motorized bike because I'm sure I would not have made it otherwise!) to see the beautiful view over Avalon.

After perusing a few shops we still had an hour and a half to wait for our ferry ride home so while Rick took a nap I enjoyed watching the families play in the ocean:)

We got back to the marina at Long Beach and then drove to Oceanside for the Thursday Farmer's Market.  We came to this market last year with our kids and it was fabulous so we knew we wanted to hit it again this trip.  There were many wonderful artisans with their crafts and our favorite was.....

......all the different ethnic foods to eat.  From Brazilian, Hawaiian, African, American BBQ, Italian, Steaks, and Asian, there was A LOT to choose from!
I chose a delicious Hawiian chicken dish and Rick had Asian noodles and chicken.

On Friday morning we drove to the Newport Beach Temple (just about 20 minutes from our hotel).  It was REALLY beautiful!  A lot of Spanish influence.  We enjoyed being in the temple!

Later that afternoon we went to Huntington Beach walked through a little outdoor market where Rick bought some coconut shavings to munch on and then we sauntered down the pier.  We saw a quick glimpse of a sea lion off the side of the pier and then he disappeared.  After that we drove up to Long Beach to go to the Pacific Coast Aquarium.  I didn't get any pictures of it but we got to see some neat things.  One was a life size skeleton of a blue whale.  They're massive!  Another cool thing we saw were some sea bass.  Wow!  They were fun to watch swimming around.  They are really big and ugly!  Other animals we saw were seahorses, sharks, rays, moray eels, octopus, and lots of different fish.  Pretty fun stuff!

 Right across the street from the aquarium we ate at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.  That's always a treat!

Later that night we stopped by Scott and Kathy's trailer (they were in charge of the reunion this year) to meet up with some family for the beginnings of the Hafen Family Reunion.  My mom and dad had gotten there earlier in the day and Deanna was there as well. (Without Kelly)  Most of Scott and Kathy's kids were there and we got to do some visiting and enjoyed some dutch oven peach cobbler:)

The next morning we all met at Huntington Beach for a day of fun in the sun!  All of my brothers and sisters were there.  There were quite a few of the second generation who were able to make it as well.  Unfortunately, none of our kids could come.  (Hopefully next year!)

Adam, Dillon and Zack playing in the sand.

The girls are just chillaxin and visiting under the umbrellas.
Ashley, Deanna, Vickie, Mom, and Cassi.

Terri (holding a sleeping Harper) Garrett, Pete, and Paul.

Our group on the beach!

Some played a little volleyball.

Most played in the water.

A selfie of the Phelpses.

The Hafen and dad and all of us kids from oldest to youngest! (oh, and Holly!)

Another one with the spouses added.

A group shot!!  While we had many there this is about half of the family as a whole.

 Good times in California!

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