Where we were . . .

was Santa Cruz, California, a short drive from our home but about 25 degrees cooler. We had planned this trip a couple of months ago because Tuesday was our wedding anniversary. We have been married 8 years now and decided a quick getaway was just what we needed.

I’m sorry to say, I did not take a single photo. We brought the camera but decided to just enjoy every moment instead of scouting for photo opportunities, so all these pics belong to the talented people who took them – if you’re one of them and don’t want me to use your photo, let me know and I will take it down. All of them are linked to their original accounts.

On Monday, the first thing we did upon leaving our house and our kids, was buy some shirts for my oldest – isn’t that the sign of parenthood? You stop looking for stuff for yourself and it’s all for the kids. Anyway, my oldest loves collared shirts so we got a couple of really cute ones for $4.99 each at the mall, then popped in to see X-Men: First Class. It was ok, but the best thing about it was the eye candy.
X-Men First Class: la bande d'annonce débarque

After checking in, we had an early dinner at Kianti’s
Kianti's Pizza & Past Bar restaurant
my original pasta dish had meat sauce that was way too spicy for me so the server graciously offered a garlicky cream sauce instead which was super yummy. Both my husband and I were happy with our meal. We decided to call it an early night and then he got me hooked on Master Chef.

The next day we had one of the best breakfasts EVER at a place nearby called Zachary’s.
I loved that everything was locally produced, fair-trade, organic, etc. and the prices were totally reasonable. See, restaurant owners, it CAN be done! I am totally going to try to recreate their home fries with my homegrown potatoes. After breakfast we walked around downtown for a bit:
Santa Cruz Downtown
There are so many cute stores as well as some severely overpriced boutiques. I saw some cute sequined lace-trimmed tank tops for $5 at one shop and didn’t pick up any but then made my husband take me back on Wednesday. Yeah, I know, he’s really patient. Anyway, we saw Bridesmaids, it was so funny, I loved it.
What happens in this scene at the bridal salon is just hilarious, I couldn’t catch my breath I was laughing so hard! Afterward, we headed over to the wharf and stopped by Marini’s for some chocolate fudge. YUM! I nearly emptied the sample dish, it was so good.

We had some awesome seafood dinner down by the wharf, then went back to the hotel for some more Master Chef and to gorge on the fudge.

On Wednesday morning, we had ourselves some Starbucks (we’re such capitalists!) and then went back to the little shop with the cute tank tops. I got two, one in a marigold shade and one in – of course – turquoise, some NYX gloss, cheapie eyeshadows and nail polish.

At a cooking store we found an entire collection of dinosaur cookie cutters and of course, got them all for our pancake- and cookie-loving boys.

Back home, we ran to Toys ‘R Us because our Spidey Sense was telling us we needed to get things for the boys and we found some serious loot – three huge Godzilla figures, I am telling you the boys were jumping up and down in glee when they saw them. My awesome mother-in-law then gave the three men some haircuts before she left.

That was our first half of the week: relaxing, laughing, sleeping in, strolling around, and just generally enjoying each other’s company. But we missed our squirrelly monkeys!!! Now I am home, and I am content.

Did you know?

the Print Shop section here at Casa de Berry offers you affordable prints for your home. Just select your prints, Paypal the ridiculously low prices and in less than 48 hours you will get a hi-res digital file with the prints of your choice. How easy is that?

Here are some examples of what’s in the Print Shop – of course, your files will not have the watermark on them.
doorsofthecaribbean1 copy
gatesandpaths1 copy
sanjuan2 copy
orchids3 copy

La Brea Tar Pits

Knowing that we would be making several pit stops on the way home, we got an early start (8am) and packed the van full of clothes, souvenirs, and us.

Given our boys’ love of all things prehistoric, we decided to stop at the La Brea Tar Pits on the way home.This is a recreation of some animals that got trapped in the tar pits tens of thousands of years ago.

There was also an enclosed area where you can see what some of the scientists who work there are doing – they each have a sign saying what they are currently working on.I asked my oldest if that’s what he wanted to do and he said no, he wants to be the guy who finds the animal fossils, not the guy who analyzes them ;D

We made a couple more stops for food and leg-stretching, and got home around dinner time. It was a lovely trip, but like my mother-in-law said, it’s nice to sleep in your own bed!

Have a great weekend!

San Diego Zoo

This is truly the best zoo I have ever been to, not just because of the sheer amount variety of animals they have but also for the way it was set up: tons of benches all over, lots of shade, and lots of interactive things for the boys:
My oldest pretending to be a ferocious bear.

Godzilla was a very important part of our trip.Don’t leave home without him!

The elephant statue was a favorite:We had to drag the boys away so other kids could have their pics taken.

I’m lifting my oldest here:so both boys could be in the picture ;D

I loved this little guy:

And this one!

Lots of good memories from the San Diego zoo, that’s for sure!

Legoland, part 2

There’s a joke about Latinos that says, if you live in California, you’re automatically considered Mexican; if you live in New York, you’re Puerto Rican, and if you live in Miami, you’re Cuban. So yes, people usually assume I’m Mexican – but today, on Cinco de Mayo, aren’t we all? ;D Hope you have a happy and safe one!

Back to our trip – I love this pic of my boys. I have no clue what the thing in the background is supposed to be, so if anyone knows, could ya let me know?
My oldest is (mostly) a protective big brother, and I love how in pics he always embraces his little brother with such affection.

Here are my men during an ice cream break:
It was a welcome respite from the Southern California heat.

My oldest with “the ladies” – that’s what he calls girls.
“Yeah mom, the ladies like to chase us during recess”.

Surprisingly, my youngest did NOT face plant after this:
Although I was worried.

Another busy day, then back to the rooms for a much-needed bath and night’s sleep.

Legoland, part 1

We arrived in Carlsbad Wednesday evening. My in-laws had rented a minivan and it was super comfy and spacious – we also brought movies for the boys so they were reasonably entertained.

There was a Brewery/restaurant next door with awesome food, so we filled up our bellies and then it was time to wind down for the boys’ night-night. Next morning, it was time . . . for Legoland! But first, some face-painting:
I was surprised to hear how well my youngest did. He’s autistic and not prone to sit down patiently, but he did so well and became a very cute Batman!

The boys loved the level of detail on all the animals and displays – I think that they have gotten a lot of inspiration for their Lego creations.
The elephant was a hit, of course. Both my boys had love for all things elephant for over a year. Now it’s dinosaurs, but elephants still hold a special place in their hearts.

One of my favorite displays was MiniLand. OMG, I loved seeing all these places recreated in Legos. Of course, this was my favorite:
It is part of the Las Vegas area but still, it counts as part of France for me!

After our busy day we had pizza by the pool and then headed back to our rooms. As tired as I was, and knowing that the next day (Friday) would be just as busy, there’s no way I was waking up at 2am to watch the Royal Wedding!!

Traveling around Southern California

My in-laws have treated us to a couple of vacations – we’ve gone to Disneyland with them and last week, they took us to Legoland, the San Diego Zoo, and the La Brea tar pits.
They rented a minivan so we could all travel together, comfortably, and chose a hotel right across the street from Legoland for convenience.

It was an awesome time. I’ll be sharing pics from our trip this week, and reliving some great moments we had.