Thursday, January 5, 2012

Los Angeles New Years 2011

Mark has spent every Christmas of his life with his family until this year.
Christmas is no joke at his parents house either. The room with the tree and gifts is out of control and there is much spoiling of loved ones and squeels of delight as hundreds of packages get opened.
His mom does Christmas GOOD.

Sadly, we missed it.

But our aim was to make up for missing Christmas by coming down for New Year's weekend and getting in some good quality family time.

 Even though it may not look like it, I packed light going down knowing that I'd need extra space (and an extra bag!) to bring all my gifts back home.

Our flight was uneventful. We flew Virgin Airlines, which we flew once before and were really impressed with them for their cool atmosphere and free stuff. But somewhere between 2009 and 2011 they changed their policy because we found everything *extra* had a hefty pricetag. If you wanted to watch a movie, $8 . Headphones, $2. Blanket, $8. Pillow! more $$. Pretzels? Not free either.

Thankfully they had a few free channels to watch and I spent the 2 hours sleeping and watching Conan Obrian re-runs.

After arriving at nearly 11 p.m., a 30-minute ride to his parent's home, and some homemade soup for our hungry bellies, we crawled into bed at 2 a.m.

And the alarm went off at 8 a.m. to get ready for a big day.

 We went to Magic Mountain! Which was loads of fun for all. Apparently as kids, they visited Magic Mountain regularly and formed some pretty cool traditions, like eating funnel cake and riding the merry-go-round.

I'm not a big ride fan, although I did hop on one small rollercoaster (it didn't go upside down or make a steep drop). I held back with Mark's mom and sister (she's growin' a baby inside her) and the two other kiddos who were in strollers so the big kids could stand in long lines for rides. With kids that cute, I really didn't understand why anyone would want to be away from them.

We had a quick early lunch and put on some sunscreen before heading into the park. Above is Mark's younger brother as he put on waaaaaayyy too much sunscreen amd struggled to rub it all in.

 That's Mark's dad. Do you see any family resemblance?

 This little guy was such a trouper! He just had his first birthday last week. For some reason my picture of the older kiddo who is one and a half didn't turn out, but scroll down to the bottom of this post to see my other adorable nephew.

 I'm the worst pictur taker in the world when it comes to being out and about. If I'm not actually holding my camera (iPhone) I'll forget to take pictures. Be glad I managed to grab these few shots!

The last ride of the day was Goliath. The big kids stood in line for 3 hours!!! to not only ride this coaster, but to sit in the front seat. Mark took video of the ride while in the front seat, and I thought about posting it for you, but then I thought you might want to keep your lunch INSIDE your stomach, so I opted not to. You can thank me later.

 Hunger got the best of all of us, and we heade to Chick-Fil-A for dinner. I'd never been before, so it was truly suppose to be a defining moment in my life.

It ended up not being my favorite chicken sandwich. Maybe I got the wrong one. Sorry, southerner friends. I know you guys love this place. But I still think Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich is better. Actually, I don't care for fast food unless it is Chipotle.

Now we must skip ahead to the last day, because apparently Saturday wasn't meant to be remembered with photographs.

We slept in late, opened our Christmas gifts, celebrated Mark's Dad's Academy Award at a lunch celebration, checked out a Belgium Pub with Mark's sister and brother in law, went to bed 30 minutes before midnight on New Years Eve, visited Epicenter Church, and did a workout in the park.

Which brings us to Cheesecake.

One of hundreds of desserts decorating Mark's parents house.

 For the last night the girls and guys split up for nights together. The girls got take out from Green Street Cafe and then polished off the cheesecake you see.

The guys had In-and-Out Burgers and played poker and smoked cigars.

And this cute nephew entertained us for a few more moments before the girls called it an early night.

The last day was a day pack up and enjoy the few remaining moments we had with family before departing for Seattle. LA was absolutely wonderful to visit. The weather was perfect with highs in the low 80's each day. It was truly a blessing to spend so much time with Mark's family and I know he appreciated the time with them even more.

 I ate with no abandon because vacation calories don't count until you get back home.
We look forward to more time with the LA family in a few months when we head to Utah for skiing!

How was your New Year's Eve?
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  1. That cheesecake looks bomb! And what a rip off the flight was! I hate getting nickled and dimed for stuff. Errggghhh.

    My new year's was rad. I stayed in, had sushi and wine with my husband, and we did a skype toast with our friends in Wichita. It was very Gen & of us : )

  2. Skype toast! What a great idea. Your New Year's Eve is more my style. I prefer staying in to going out. Hurray 2012!


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