But still, so missing California. There are definitely things I'm glad to be away from (bad traffic, high cost of living, takes forever to go anywhere) but there are so many good things that I miss, too. Here are some of them:
1. The Beach.
Seriously, this is one of those things that I didn't appreciate until it was gone. I spent 8 years living 10 minutes away from the beautiful Pacific Ocean and I didn't go there near enough. I do not like swimming at the beach, though, so that probably is a big part of it.
Mason's first time in the ocean: he was only about a month and a half old here, don't worry, we got him all bundled up quickly after we made him stick his feet in. He was not exactly happy about it.
This is one of my favorite pictures of Mason and Marc, I have it printed huge and hung in my house. It was one day we went down to Laguna Beach to walk around and try to find cool things in the tidepools.
And lastly, this is the last time we went to the beach as Californians. It was a little sad, knowing that Mason wouldn't be growing up right near the beach like we always thought he would be. Marc and Mason saying goodbye to the ocean:
We LOVE Disneyland. We are a total Disney family. Marc and I had season passes the whole time we were married, and after we had Mason, he got to go because kids under 3 are free. Mason's first trip to Disneyland was when he was about 2 weeks old:
Riding on King Arthur's carousel:
Sitting in the "photo" teacup ... he was always to young to go on the real teacups:
And waiting in line for his all time favorite ride (at least that's what we tell him), Pirates!
Our last trip to Disneyland as a family, right before Marc moved to Utah to start his new job:
3. Certain restaurants!
Sure, Utah has a lot of great food, but there are certain restaurants that you just can't beat in California!
Of course, In N Out. I'm actually kind of sad that it has branched out to Nevada, Arizona and soon to be Southern Utah ... I think it's best to keep it a So Cal novelty. I let Mason get his very first In N Out grilled cheese sandwich on his 1st birthday:
We seriously loved this place. In the 3 different places we lived in Orange County, there was always an In N Out right around the corner. This was our usual: (DoubleDouble, cheeseburger and 2 fries, with 2 Diet Cokes and a chocolate shake)
Also we loved: Wahoos: (black beans and rice = yum!)
Rubios: (Yes I know there is a Rubios in Sugarhouse, but it is just not the same when there is a Rubios on every single corner in So Cal. I literally ate there EVERY SINGLE DAY when I worked at Nordstrom.)
Rubys: (Isn't this hamburger AMAZING?!)
And Claimjumpers: (Note to self: Mason does not like mandarin oranges)
4. The Angels.
We are HUGE Anaheim Angel baseball fans. Marc has always been a baseball fan and so when we got married he got me into it. Now people joke that I love them more than he does, because I'm so into it - I know all the players and stats and follow all the off-season moves. We had season tickets for a few years and that was the funnest thing ever - we literally went to all 65 home games for a few summers. Mason went to his first game when he was 10 days old - and he LOVED it! We joked that he probably knew where he was because of all the games I went to when I was pregnant with him - and actually it was probably true. I had WAY to many Angels pics to just choose a few, so I made a mosaic:
1. go angels!, 2. Marc in the Angels dugout, 3. hello from Angel stadium!, 4. angel mobile, 5. with Dad at Angel stadium, 6. 1st Angel game @ 4 hrs old - they won!, 7. the rally monkeys!, 8. sooo tired at the end of the day, 9. mason as a catcher, 10. in line, 11. foul ball !, 12. mason was interested in the mcdonalds balloons, 13. we look so hawt!, 14. the big A, 15. Mason sitting with Q!, 16. with that crazy monkey, 17. in the field, 18. season seat holder wall, 19. batting, 20. in red, 21. world champs, 22. fake tattoo, 23. thundersticks, 24. watching intently
I have so many good memories that revolve around that team. I remember watching a game when I was in labor, all the way up until I was wheeled out to surgery for the c-section. Then, the next day, seeing Marc showing Mason his first game on TV when he was just 4 hours old. We had 4 season seats so we always had extra to share with all our friends and family when they'd come down to visit ... so many good memories there. I hope Mason grows up loving baseball like we do ... he already knows how to hold his arms up and say "homerun!!" And everytime he sees the Angels logo he says "day-dalll" (baseball). It was seriously one of Marc's lifelong dreams come true when he got to actually go out and shag some balls on the actual Anaheim stadium field, hit from the batters box, and pitch in the bullpen. It's going to be sad come April when we're not out at the stadium every day -- we have to rely on DirectTV's MLB Extra Innings and watch it from our family room!
Sorry this turned into such a long post! We really are glad to be living in Utah now ... there are wonderful things about this state, too. We just really loved being Californians and are so grateful for all the amazing things we got to do and be around when we lived there!