We Are So Blessed!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Family Road Trip & Vacation!!

Well the highlight of our Summer was a jam packed vacation!! We took what some call "The Great American Road Trip" up to California's Central Coast to Paso Robles.
We stayed at the cutest Inn which was filled with amenities- many of which we were too busy to take advantage of. They even had a Miniature Golf Course, and even a cute Koi pond among lots of other things!! It was located right across the street from the Mid-State Fair Grounds where we had tickets and backstage passes to our SECOND Fresh Beat Band concert!

Our hotel supplied a lot of restaurant recommendations and menus in a book in our room- so we decided to try Red Brick Pizza - and Maletch KEPT saying, "This is the best pizza I have ever had!" We have never seen him eat so much in one sitting! He kept asking, "Can I have another piece please?" John and I wondered how it all fit in his little belly! We ordered from there a LOT on the trip since he loved it so much! Even now, back at home, he has brought up that "best pizza" many times- I will have to see if there is one near us.   

The concert:
This concert was a little different since it was outdoors in the Fairgrounds Stadium, unlike our first concert which was at the Arena, but they did have it set up nicely. The kids had fun singing and dancing- even Sariah who knows every word to all their songs- and all of the dance moves- and John and I had fun singing and dancing with them!! It was so hot for the first half, we were all sweating bullets, but the sun went down and it cooled off nicely for the second half- which was perfect! Twist spotted Maletch in the crowd again and he sure got a kick out of that!

We were lucky to receive special treatment as the band and staff remembered us- don't ask me how.... they have been on a huge tour all year in full arenas meeting thousands of people-- as soon as they saw us, "We remember you guys- you were at..." and they greeted us with a warm round of hugs. They remembered a lot of details too, like how Sariah cried when Shout held her, and more!
They even said, "If you guys can hang around after everyone else leaves, we will all sign Maletch's poster!" They have a very strict "no-autograph policy" at the backstage party, since they are busy mingling and taking photos with all the VIP guests, there just isn't enough time to do autographs-- so that was super awesome they all signed his poster!!
At the backstage party were also the royal court of the event, with the titles of Miss California Mid-State Fair and the 2 runner ups. Maletch quickly noticed the princesses, and he was so charming and flirtatious- it was so cute! They just loved him and he gobbled up their attention!

The Fresh Beat Band with Our Fresh Beat Family!!

Maletch's Autographed Poster! They each signed it by their photos!

Maletch and the Princesses!

Maletch talking to Twist backstage! I have to say again- he is the nicest guy! He knelt down and had a long conversation with Maletch while the rest of us were all chatting about different things- every time I looked over, he was listening to Maletch so intently! I asked Maletch about this conversation because I didn't hear any of it- and I loved everything he said! Maletch and him are best buds!

Day 2: The Fair

The next day we went back to the Mid-State Fair to actually check out the Fair- it was the largest fair we have ever seen and a lot of fun! Of course the kids loved everything, and I really enjoyed the shopping! They had so many very unique booths with all kinds of fun and unusual stuff that had my name all over it! Funny thing was I bought some very large and unusual shaped items, and at one point John said, "I don't know how we are going to get this stuff home." LOL! He was right, all of the stuff fit fine in our hotel room, but when it was time to go home a few days later, along with our luggage, he had a HECK of a time packing the car. It was like a big game of Tetris, and although I was getting worried watching him pack it, unpack and rearrange, my awesome hubs had a plan B if it wouldn't fit, we would mail/ship it to us-- but luckily we didn't have to hassle with that- he finally got it to fit- although we did have an awkward drive home with stuff in between everybody, hehe!

There was a cute sign shop at the fair- that custom made this for me- it is so much more beautiful in person! It is a HUGE dark brown frame with a glass panel that has our last name in black vinyl -AND - it is hard to see in this pic- but going across that is all of our first names in white vinyl script- I love this!
This was one of the packing culprits being fragile and measuring 4 FEET long- told ya it is HUGE!!

These are two more of my favs that I picked up at the Fair!! These look like wooden shelves with vintage books, and glass vases, BUT both entire pieces are metal art from a metal art shop! Love them! This is not how or where I have them arranged on my wall- just hung them quick for a pic! They are each 3 feet tall- which caused more packing problems.

I don't know why but all of these wall hangings look so much more beautiful in person.. this is another goodie that the sign shop customized for me- it is a beadboard photo holder! I wanted to use our blog name and I will put up my favorite current pics on this. Photos can slide into the slots either vertical or horizontal and can be 4x6 or 5x7- but yet again this being a large square amongst all the other things was hard to fit!

This is a metal scroll work Floor Lantern. It has a door that opens for a candle!! This thing caused all kinds of trouble on the ride home, and almost didn't fit! It is big and awkward- it's almost 4 1/2 FEET tall- but I think it was worth all the trouble- cuz I love it!

I really love this piece! It was the least expensive and the smallest in size- so John loved it too, haha! It was one of the few things I bought that didn't give him a hard time! :) I love wooden book boxes and I have a small collection of them- I was excited to find this because this is the only one I have that is 3 stacked books that opens to one compartment- so cool! This looks so nicely with the rest too! John actually really likes these too!

This is how the car was packed on the way home- yikes! We were actually driving in this picture- and when I was turned around talking to Maletch and saw all of this stuff around him I had to take a picture. Crazy family vacation memories are always the best ones-- we can call this "The time mom bought too much stuff and we barely fit in the car and we had an almost 6 hour drive home like this!!" Haha! Actually we meant to throw away the beach stuff since we could always buy more next time- but when we didn't see a place to toss it- we hit the road! Good times, hehe!
You can see the Floor Lantern in this pic- I had the large flared base by my legs, with the stand (pole) running across my side, it was laying backwards- with the top/lantern part between the kids- that thing was so on my nerves, hehe!

Day 3: Hearst Castle
The next day we went up to Hearst Castle and took a tour of the Grand Rooms. I had been there once as a kid, and I remembered very little of that trip. A few things were just as I remembered and many things were very different. Once you check in with your tickets, you get on a bus and take a 20 minute bus ride up the mountains to the Castle. That bus ride was CRAZY- I should say our driver was crazy and it reminded me of a bus ride John and I were on in Acapulco, Mexico- with tires squealing from taking corners way too fast, and swerving from going too fast through mountains and feeling like we were going to plummet off the cliff-like embankments. I looked at John and we both had the same flashback- we laughed and freaked at the same time- and we sure held on to the kids very tight! I tried to focus on the narrative on the bus which was by Alex Trebek who provided almost a documentary/commentary during the drive up.
It was nice to get off that bus, and head with our guide (different person) to go through the Castle- it was such an educational and informative tour! The castle is very beautiful with details that are unbelievable! A few things that I DID remember were the ceilings! Every inch of the ceilings throughout the castle are exquisite: some mosaic tiled, some detailed in murals, and some carved wood! I also remembered some of the furnishings, tapestries and most of the main Dining Room details including the long table and the flags of the world hanging and also the built-in carved chairs around the room. I did not remember some things like sitting in Hearst's media room and watching Hearst's home movies- that was sure interesting!
Maletch was so excited to be in a real castle and he kept comparing it to Snow White and Cinderella's castles!
After the tour, we got to lounge by the pool where we played Fresh Beat Band music and had a nice time! The view was breathtaking, sitting poolside looking down the mountain at the ocean!
Once we decided to leave, we luckily boarded a different bus, and we got a nice smooth drive back!

Neptune Pool

Neptune Poolside: It was cute when Maletch asked so excitedly, "Mommy, can we go swimming?" He was ready to jump in, hehe! He was sure impressed with this pool! 

Sitting Poolside at the Neptune Pool: You can see behind us the view of the ocean.

John said these pics look like post cards- we got so many neat photos at Hearst Castle! Since it was hard to take photos inside- no flash photography, we took a lot of video, which I will either upload some of those or try to extract some photos from the video.

Day 4: Pismo Beach
The next day we went down the coast to beautiful Pismo Beach for the day. We were lucky because it was perfect beach weather! We played in the water, built a very cool sand castle complete with moat, and had a lot of fun feeding the Sea Gulls! Maletch especially thought that was neat, he kept wanting to give the birds more food, well to the point of giving away ALL of our food just to keep them around, hehe! He loved that they were close enough it appeared we could just touch them- except of course they are too quick for that!
Maletch likes to tell the story about how a wave knocked him over, and I have some photos of that too.
I wish I could say that our moat was awesome, cuz we wanted it to be, hehe! Maletch had a toy boat and he was so excited when we told him, "We will build a moat around our castle and you can drive your boat in it." Well after we spent a lot of time building the huge sandcastle: mainly Maletch and I built while daddy dug the moat (cuz that was a harder job) -- finally, the exciting moment came- "Ok lets get some water and fill our moat.." Daddy kept bringing buckets of water back and it kept draining/seeping right through the sand- DOH- never had that happen before- but we were just a tad too far back from the water! So our moat wouldn't hold water, Haha! Oh well, Maletch thought it was cool anyway! He really got a kick out of other families that would stop by our sandcastle to check it out. There were a lot of friendly people there with really nice kids!


The 5 hour road trip (each way) was quite long but beautiful. We took two totally different routes on our way up and back which made the scenery very different. The way up we traveled a very remote and desolate mountainous way, and the way back we traveled the coast- the scenery was beautiful both ways- and the roads were wide open and the kids were talkative and enjoyed the drive! Maletch loved spotting cows and horses along the mountains.

----We took MANY photos and videos on the trip- I am STILL working with Photbucket- and will be adding slideshows with lots more pics ASAP-------- I did make a slideshow below of Pismo Beach.... and keep scrolling to see the surprise too!!

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