Early in the morning (like 6:30 am) on July 27th we went to pick up Emma from EFY at BYU. (Her Especially For Youth experience will eventually have it's own entry but I need to get a bunch of pictures off of Emma's phone before I can blog about it.)
This had been her home away from home for the past week.
It wasn't ideal to leave for California just hours after picking Emma up but Paul had work in California and this was our only chance at some sort of vacation. Paul wanted to hit the road by noon. I'm not sure why but he was determined. Poor Emma was so tired. She missed her home and her bed but we rushed her through packing and we were off. (It was not that smooth. There were tears. It was hard on her but we managed.)
We made it to Beaver without incident. We made a quick stop in St. George and then headed to Las Vegas for the night. On our to do list was Serendipity 3 to see the fish tank that they Tanked guys installed. We were very disappointed to find that the fish had been dying in the heat so it had been removed.
We decided while we were there we would get a frozen hot chocolate. It was delicious but not as fun as having one in New York. The presentation lacking.
We of course had to stop by the Bellagio conservatory. On a side note, being in Vegas on a Saturday night with kids was...interesting. They were shocked at all the body parts on display. We are so sheltered here in Utah. They had never seen such short dresses or so much cleavage in their lives.
The next morning we woke and leisurely got ready before heading to California. We didn't take into consideration that there would be a lot of people heading back to LA from Vegas on a Sunday. Add in some flash floods near Primm and you have for a very slow drive. Paul was about to lose it. We waited a couple of hours in Primm for the traffic to clear and then hit the road again. Smooth sailing from then on, mostly.
Paul didn't have meetings until Tuesday so on Monday we decided to take the kids to Hollywood. I don't think it was what they were expecting but they had fun.
We were actually stopped on the sidewalk and asked to be part of an interview segment that would air on Jimmy Kimmel that night. The kids really wanted us to participate so we did. Thankfully our footage never made it to the air. They asked us a very personal question that was in relation to the Weiner scandal. So embarrassing.
We headed to The Grove for some shopping and dinner at the Farmer's Market.
Emma is too old for American Girl but since she has been to the stores in New York and Chicago we wanted to go in here too. She was a great sport.
I fell in love with Dylan's Candy bar and their freakishly tall toilet in New York. I was excited to see one in California. We got some unique flavored gummy bears (pineapple was quite awesome) and unique flavored chocolate bars. Bacon chocolate is NOT good. Just so you know. Such a fun and happy looking place!
Can you spot Emma in the Barnes and Noble?
Grandpa Bruce calls Emma Snicklefritz, sometimes. It has been shortened by Paul to Fritzi. When we saw Fritzi Dog at the Farmer's Market he got all excited and made her take a picture next to the sign.
Later we ordered some Fritzi fries (she is now Fritzi fries for those that care) with a garlic dipping sauce that was amazing!
From there we headed to the LA temple. Paul was amazed at all the changes they had made in the Visitors Center since he was a missionary 20 years ago. He also ran into a friend from his mission! Crazy. He had a lot of fun catching up while the kids and I played with all the interactive displays.
They have these displays with the Book of Mormon in all the different languages. The senior missionary had the kids back up to the display and blindly pick the book that felt right to them. He told the kids that is where they would serve their missions ;) Not an exact science but a fun experience.
Andrew predicted he would serve in the Philippines. This cute sister is here in the states from the Philippines so she was pretty happy when he pulled that Book of Mormon.
Emma predicted Korea. I think she was shocked. She's actually hoping to go Spanish speaking.
Of course they had to go through every book until they found the one from Mongolia where their grandparents are currently serving. Andrew found it, not Emma.
After some time playing at the temple we headed to Santa Monica to watch the sun set.
The next morning we knew Paul would be working most of the day. We slept in but got up in enough time to get food from the hotel breakfast. We ate breakfast then played in the pool for over an hour. We had the whole pool to ourselves. It was so nice.
After swimming we got ready for the day, went to lunch and caught a movie. We saw Despicable Me 2. Cute movie! For a while we thought we were going to the only ones in the theater but eventually it filled up. After the movie we went and did some back to school shopping.
Paul got home pretty late that night so we didn't get to do anything else but it was a nice relaxing day.
More to come soon...