I love California.  Every time we go I wonder why we don’t live there.  It’s beautiful, I love the ocean, I love the food, I love ALL the things you can do.  I love Cali.  We tried to maximize every inch of this trip and just soak it all in and it was amazing!

We got up and left St George around 5 AM and made it to the Seven Magic Mountains bright and early.  It was gorgeous.  Our girls loved looking at them and asking a million different questions about how they got there, if they could fall over, how they got to be so colorful and could we have rocks like that in our yard?

Midway Fox had an epic explosion and found himself in a puddle.  We had no idea his diaper was so full (we just kept giving him bottles of water to help him sleep  while we drove) and I climbed back to see what the fuss was about.  It was BAD so he spent a little time belted in next to me while we got to the next gas station!  He loved it.

Right as we were pulling into La Jolla I got a phone call from Airbnb letting us know that the house we had reserved needed to cancel and we wouldn’t have a place to stay.  I then spent the majority of our time at the beach looking up and making reservations so we would have a place to sleep–so phone pics was all I got in La Jolla!  I did manage to pull away and snorkel for a bit and find some fun sea shells on the ocean floor for my girlies.

They LOVED the hermit crab and sea lions wandering everywhere!

That night we went to one of our favorite places in downtown San Diego, El Pulpo, and had octopus tacos!  Stella was more than happy to share a plate of octopus with me!

I love teaching my children to love the city as much as I do.

The next morning we got up and drove to Forever Wild Animal Sanctuary, just north of LA.  After pricing out tickets for the San Diego Zoo I started looking at other options and found this amazing sanctuary!  They provide a home to animals that have been rescued or donated–many were illegal pets, retired circus or entertainment animals or even old zoo animals.  They’ve all be raised in captivity and sometimes peoples homes so they don’t mind the smaller cages and interacting with people as much.

You know we love Foxes!

Paisley got to feed a tiger!

Stella got to feed a monkey!

And Jon was over the moon excited to feed a tiger and a bear!

It was so fun to learn more about the animals there and really get up close!  We ate our lunch at a picnic table surrounded by tigers and lions.

We headed into downtown LA after that for some Ramen!  Our favorite place is right in the middle of downtown and it was fun to walk around and eat outside in the middle of the city!

The girls were more than happy to try some rolled ice cream at a nearby ice cream parlor!  It was so fun to see how they made it right in front of you!

After that we headed to the park in the middle of downtown and played for the rest of the night!  I love sitting and taking in the city!

The next day we headed to Newport Beach.

Where we found Benson’s!!  It just so happened that our vacations overlapped darn it!


It was a blessed beach day.  I just love the ocean and so do my babies!


After the beach we headed to a new favorite place, Portillo’s.  It was DELICIOUS.  Chicago style hot dogs, cake shakes, and alllll sorts of other yummy things.  If you’re in Buena Park, GO TO HERE.  It was soooo good.

Sunday we spent working on Family History, the entire reason for the trip and it was amazing.  Overall, a fantastic trip!!

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