Wednesday, March 13, 2013

love.this.trip. -- soaking up socal

Before I start blogging about ANYTHING else (because there is so much to blog about!) I need to document some highlights of my fantastic trip to Fountain Valley, CA.

I walked along Huntington State Beach and allowed some beautiful, cool waves of the Pacific to wash over my feet.  Though I didn't bring them back with me, I found some beautiful shells and saw a lot of surfers trying to catch some waves.  I walked two miles to the Huntington Pier and back.  I was exhausted after all that!

I had the amazing opportunity to listen to the Orange County Mormon Choral Organization's adult choir rehearse for their Dallas performance, which happens this Friday.  I was captivated for all three hours.  These people are phenomenal.  I was subject to a fabulous orchestra and brilliant voices. I can't think of a better way to spend a Thursday evening anywhere.  I know five people in the choir, which is why I was there.  I am blessed to know such talented individuals.

I visited tide pools and other locations such as The Wedge, Newport Beach, Corona del Mar, and Dana Point.  I didn't see much marine life, but there were a bunch of tiny little hermit crabs crawling all over the place.  Though it was a cloudy day, the weather didn't pale the beauty of all this nature.

I toured the Mission San Juan Capistrano and learned a ton of California history.  I was completely unaware that I could see this sort of thing on my trip.  It was so beautiful there - amazing what neat historical places you can find in this country.

I celebrated little Miss Anna's birthday with her family.  Her mom made this awesome cake.  I watched her make the rainbow - I was totally impressed.  

While I was at Dana Point, I caught view of this sign.  I had been so excited to see the beach and the Pacific ocean that I hadn't really thought of all the things you could do ON the water.  

That ticket got me on the Dana Pride for a Saturday afternoon of whale watching.  Nice to know, I don't get sea sick.  I was actually enjoying the bumpy ride, aside from the people around me puking on the boat.

It was the perfect day to go out on the water.  Though the water was a little bit rough, the view was incredible.  The sun made the water sparkle.  On this particular trip, we saw a young gray whale migrating, so many common and bottle-nosed dolphins, and a bunch of sea lions.  It was such a change of pace to be out on the ocean on a gorgeous, sunny day.

My friends took my to Griffith Observatory my last day in Cali.  It was the perfect way to end my trip because I got to see the entire basin on a beautiful day from above and afar.

I took many more pictures at the Observatory, but this is my favorite since you can see the mountains in the distance.  

I did so many other things that I did not document with photographs.  I spent a lot of time with the family I stayed with - wonderful, amazing, fantastic, those people.  I went to a stake Women's Conference Saturday morning before my whale watch and was spiritually blown away.  I did a little shopping and a lot of exploring.  My dear friends took me on a drive down the coast on the Pacific Coast Highway.  I got to relax and read a little.  We had lunch at a great place in Koreatown and found a massive Korean market that just excited me to my core.  I soaked up a lot of sunshine.  A few years ago, I read in a magazine that you need 30 minutes of sunshine to feel joy.  I don't know if that is scientifically accurate, but I sure felt the joy this spring break!  Oh, and...

I ate a thousand oranges off the trees in the yard.  Okay, not that many, but more than I've ever eaten in my life.  Gotta take advantage of staying in Orange County, ya know?  They were beyond delicious.  I went to the grocery store today, back in Ohio, to buy oranges and was disappointed because (1) I had to pay for them, and (2) they have been off a tree for who knows how long.  I am grateful I got to taste such amazing fruit, though.  I realize that some people NEVER get to eat oranges off a tree like that.  I am totally blessed.

I miss you, oranges!
I miss you, sunshine!
I miss you, beach!
I miss you, Pacific!
I miss you, Richardsons!
I miss you, SoCal!


  1. I'm so glad to have a chance to read about your trip! As I look out at the gray sky, I'm so wanting to be where you were!!

  2. Thanks! I know, right? At least yesterday was beautiful and sunny. We will get the sunshine soon. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  3. It looks like a wonderful, full and rich trip! So glad you got to take it.

  4. I have always loved that we can have spontaneous phone conversations, and this blog is a way for us to do that when we can't literally do so. And I must say, that having positive conversations with you certainly brightens my day. You've come so far on your journey to self-discovery and self-confidence. I don't think the you from a few years ago could have ever enjoyed the beautiful east coast as is evident by your photos and how you talk about it. Keep it up, my friend! Can't wait to hear about all the great stuff from here on out!