California, Pen

Basking in the SoCal Sun

Journal and pen in-hand, sunshades on, sandals by my side, and the sound of splashing water and swaying palm trees while my sisters talk about tonight’s plans.

I began to daydream of basking in the SoCal sun just a few weeks ago when my parents asked my sisters and I if we’d like to join them to visit Joel and Abby(my bro and sis-in-law) to see their new hometown. An immediate yes and anticipation followed. Now, here I am, enjoying every second of my time in Laguna, Niguel. Who knew this place was such a paradise? (Not me, obviously.) Perfectly manicured streets with sun-kissed locals carrying surf-boards, the tropical salty breeze, ideal temperatures, beautiful townhouses, and the Pacific Coast Highway lined with the best shops and food. It reminds me of Oahu, though driving the Pacific Coast Highway is exclusively it’s own California experience. The Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexico may have beautiful beaches that are a couple’s dream getaway, but Oahu and California just have this unique way of making you feel at home. Yes, I know they’re both apart of the US… but you don’t have to leave the US to get away!

Bottom line is, in two days Laguna Niguel has already become one of my top fav places to visit, not to mention my new dream place to live (besides Oahu of course).

Yesterday, I took a lovely hour-long sun nap on the beach behind the Ritz. Sandwiched between the surfable waves and the cliff is a long flat beach with some of the softest sand I’ve ever felt. It was about 75 degrees outside – Supposedly, year-round temperatures stay between 50-80, and not many skip the beach when the sun is out, even if it’s a little chilly. For dinner, we ate nearby at the delicious What a Dish, then drove around admiring the sights. The girls stayed the night at our brother’s condo, and we played a never-ending game of Heads Up. This morning, Joel and Abby took us to their new local church, Compass Bible Church. It was absolutely wonderful. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly, and Mike Fabarez taught about the significant role Jesus intends for the Church to play in our lives. It was a beautiful sermon that encouraged me to value and appreciate the “Bride of Christ” (the Church) instead of being so quick to criticize it, while being tempted to follow the norm by abandoning the Church all-together, which would do nothing but choke out my relationship with and impact for Christ. Did I mention that Compass has a table of glorious donuts and coffee afterward? This is also solid truth! Haha!

So… now, we are hanging out at Joel and Abby’s neighborhood pool, which is just up the mountain from where my parents are staying. It’s been a wonderful past 2 days, and I’m looking forward to the next few days we get to spend together here in my brother’s new hometown!

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UPDATE: New pictures uploaded to this post from our adventures this week! I was so busy taking videos that I didn’t take hardly any pictures of the trip (thanks to Macey and Claire, we have a few pictures from Laguna, the Ritz, and Disneyland)!

BUT, good news is you can now find the full video of our trip here: SoCal Video

Annnnnd here’s a pic Macey Jane took of me while I was journaling, haha.

More 04.03.2016
Life, Oklahoma

A Trip to Route 66

There’s no better way to be woken from sleeping in on a Saturday than by the tornado sirens (for those of you shocked, this an expected drill for sunny Saturdays in Oklahoma). I forced myself out of bed to see what I was missing out on in my usuallybusy household to find an empty downstairs. Mom and Dad in Spain. 4 of 7 siblings in their new homes(‘duh…They all got married in 2015, Emily. Remember?’). 2 at work. and last..but not least, Claire. What was she up to? I didn’t have the energy to find out. I only had the energy to open a yogurt and listen to the sound of birds talking while 3 snoozing dogs dreamed of chasing them.

I opened my back door to join the birds. Ahhhh…..

75 degrees and sunny outside…. PAUSE. (rewind) ….outside, it’s sunny and 75 degrees. Adrenaline presents itself.

Me: “CLAIRE!”

Claire: “…………yes?!”

(fastforward 2 hours)

*on our way to Route 66 to visit Pops in Arcadia, OK*

This impulse decision was actually evoked via Snapchat, thanks to our brother and his wife’s Snapchat Story of them enjoying lunch at Pops while we were drooling in our beds. It was only fitting that we did the same exact thing. Especially since we weren’t invited…..totally kidding. Haha

On another note, this is my first official blog post! Strange, I wasn’t even planning on blogging this adventure, but hey, I guess that makes it all the more “authentic,” eh?

 

Anyway, here’s some details and pictures we took from our spontaneous sister date to Pops on Route 66:

 

Drinks chosen out of 700?

  • Ozark Mountain Butter Beer (made in Branson, Missouri)
  • Maine Root Blue Berry Soda (made in Portland, Maine)
  • Wailua Vanilla Cream Soda (made in Wailua, Oahu)
  • Virgil’s Black Cherry Soda (made in LA, California)

My favorite was the Maine Root Blue Berry, and Claire’s favorite was Virgil’s Black Cherry. I didn’t like the Wailua Vanilla too much, but many of their other flavors are on my list of first-choices. 

…Food?

  • Onion Rings (great)
  • House Salad (great)
  • Fried Okra (fantastic)

My boyfriend and I would often make a date here for their burgers, but Claire and I resorted for some foods we could share. They have other great sandwiches on their menu, along with a turkey avocado wrap.

TOTAL: $18

click here to see how far Pops is from you

P.S. As I was writing this, I looked up the Pops website to be reminded that they just recently opened up a new location closer to my house. Ha! It’s always wonderful to realize you could’ve saved money on gas. Oh well! Today was fun, and it may even be our last time to drive 45min opposed to 10min to try unique assorted flavored pops!

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More 03.05.2016