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!


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
France, Germany, London, Netherlands, Pen, Switzerland

Coming Soon… Europe! (5 Countries in 11 Days)

Though I thought it would be long before I’d return, I am currently just 38 days away from embarking on my next adventure to Europe! Just 2 months ago I was staring at an itinerary on my computer for a European river cruise along the Rhine that just seemed too good to be possible. 4 countries in 8 days… Switzerland, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Further, I would never consider myself the kind of person to book a river cruise. It’s just such an un-millennial thing to look into, right?

One week passed, and a confirmation presented itself before my heart eyes on the same screen. I’m going back to Europe this May!

If all-inclusive resorts are our favorite and so is Europe, then what better way to see Europe than on an all-inclusive floating hotel? And I’m up to the challenge to test my theory: River Cruising should be on everyone’s bucket-list, besides retired couples who are hogging this hidden gem of a vacation all for themselves!

In addition to all the excitement, I’ll also be blogging about my pre stay, 2 nights in London, along with my experience at Highclere Castle. And no, I’m not just going to casually confirm that YES, that is Downton Abbey…!!!


Well… Here’s to dreaming big and pursuing opportunities! 🎉 I can’t wait to take you all on the journey with me as I capture every moment on Hourglass Travel’s new DJI Osmo! Until then… 😁❤️

photos by AmaWaterways

What’s the DJI OSMO? Click here to check it out.

More 03.24.2016