Photo Diary: Christmas Travels

road trip

Home, sweet home. LA, I’ve missed you!

After a rather chaotic start to our holiday travels with an unexpected visit to the ER, things luckily fell right back into place just in time for Santa and our post-Christmas trip to Half Moon Bay. The weather gods were particularly, if not unusually, nice to us. We found ourselves exploring much of Northern California with clear skies and sunshine above.

Christmas was everything I’d hoped it would be. I was in good company, had lots good conversation and laughter, food and sweets were abundant, and Santa was very kind to me. I felt blessed to have such fun and loving people to share Christmas with this year.

And the merriness wasn’t over on December 26th. My boyfriend and I planned a little trip further up North to Half Moon Bay for 3 extra days of R&R to get away from it all.

I have to say, every time I travel – I find myself beyond delighted at the adventure, the change of pace, and change of scenery. Though I’m always grateful to get out of town and lose myself in new surroundings and to new experiences, I  somehow discover just that much more how I love this crazy little world we call “LA.” Dorothy really was on to something: there’s no place like home.

And with plenty of time before I head back to the “real world” of work deadlines and emails – I’m excited for a little stay-cation before I have to return back to everyday life in 2014 and it’ll be right here at home.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so I thought I’d share some of my favorites. Here’s a little photo diary of the highlights during our Christmas travels with our California neighbors just above, some 300 miles away. Enjoy!

cookies

{Christmas cookies as designed by my boyfriend’s sister. I can’t tell you how many of these things I ate. Ugh. So worth it though.}

greenery

{On the Road to Half Moon Bay – the greenery of Highway 1.}

pompinio

{A pit stop at Pomponio State Beach. What a gorgeous day and my favorite shot.}

ryan serious

{Ryan’s serious looking into the distance face.}

outhouse

{The not so glamorous part of traveling – this “out-house” like bathroom was an experience. yuck!}

hotel

{Hotel.}

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{Across the Golden Gate Bridge we go. On the way for a day trip to Sausalito.}

goldengate

{…But not before stopping atop the mountains for a million dollar view.}

cocoa

{Hot chocolate for 2 in Sausalito.}

beach

{Morning beach walk.}

ryan tree

{Boys and trees. I guess they never grow out of it.}

fire

{My favorite part of our hotel stay. Sitting near, gazing at, and warming by the fire.}

manuels{A rare Sunday afternoon cocktail before heading home.}

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5 Reasons This Week Will Rock: Good-bye, LA. Hello, Santa Cruz!

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Good-bye, LA. Hello, Santa Cruz!

Today begins my journey up North for the holidays and I couldn’t be more excited!! My to-do list is done, my bags are packed, and I’m ready for a holiday adventure. This Christmas, I’m spending some time with my boyfriend’s family – after which, we’re extending our Northern California vacay with a trip for two up to Half Moon Bay for little post-holiday R&R for a few days. If that wasn’t enough to look forward to, there are a few other sweet things going on right now that’s simply the icing on the cake.

Here are 5 reasons this week will rock:

1. I dropped off my car at the body shop this morning after smoothly working out the details with my neighbor for the recent damage to my car. My baby is being fixed and will look good as new when I get back into town next week.

2. My second ever full-sized Birchbox purchase, the Coastal Scents® Neutral Mirage Palette Set, (which was FREE thanks to my Birchbox points, hello!?!) arrived at my front door just before leaving town. I wasn’t even expecting it so soon! I’m now looking forward to experimenting with a more dramatic look for the holidays. With 88 shades to choose from, dressing up these brown eyes of mine will be tons of fun!

3. I adore road trips. Particularly, when I get to sit in the passenger’s seat, gaze out the window in the middle of nowhere, and zone out – not a work deadline or bill to think about. When I’m not in the mood to stare blindly out the window, I’ve got my Kindle full of new books to read and like 4 months worth of Glamour to get through. Even better, I get to talk to my favorite person for hours on end.

4. Nothing in the world makes me happier than when I’m traveling or exploring some place new. It’s when I feel the most alive. Our stay in Half Moon Bay where we’ll drive up to Sausalito, and perhaps into San Francisco, is a highlight to our trip that I’m excited about. I’ve never been to Half Moon Bay or Sausalito, but I’ve heard nothing but good things.

5. Duh, Christmas! All week long – you’re around great people, sharing gifts, good conversation, good food, lots of laughs, and too many sweets to count. What more could you ask for?

Oh, I do love this time of year. And unlike last year, I’m not taking a 2 week break from blogging. All That Glitters is going on the road! I hope to share some of my holiday adventures as they unfold. Happy Holidays to you! Have a great week!

love & light,

Candice

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Highlights: Christmas Road Trip

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{Let’s go!}

I was ready for a change of scene! Don’t get me wrong, I’m an L.A. girl at heart, but I was definitely happy to leave the City of Angels and spend some time absorbing the very different Northern California air. I was going to spend Christmas in Santa Cruz with my boyfriend’s family this year. And p.s. – I literally envy the fresh, clean, crisp air up there. You can actually breathe! Not exactly a forte in smog-filled, rains twice a year, L.A.

While completely exhausted from the events over the last month, I was slowly getting excited. Before we’d even hit our final destination, I was very much looking forward to the experience of our mini road trip journey ahead. Six hours of chatting with my guy; staring out the window at endless fields, grass, and smelly cow farms (just typing that brings the smell to life. ugh.) thinking about whatever came to mind; stopping for gas and praying that the restrooms were decent to use; and realizing that no matter where you go, it’s true, you can’t escape McDonald’s because I saw one at EVERY exit off the I-5.

What I’ve come to discover, truly believe, and even like about myself is that I’m happiest when I’m exploring anything new; be it here in L.A. at new restaurant or museum, or off the side of a highway in the middle of nowhere. I’m most alive when I’m traveling! If there’s any one thing that I know I need to do more of is chase adventure.

I don’t know what it is exactly that makes me this way, perhaps it’s the fact that I love doing something new and exploring places outside what I know, and I’m sure it has much to do with the fact that I get bored easily and need to be stimulated, away from the mundane often, and always learning.

It was Saturday, December 22nd, a rainy day as we took off for the latest adventure.  Here are a few highlights from our mini Christmas road-trip:

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{Taking one last look at all the wrapped gifts I would be giving out this Christmas right before packing them away for the trip. I love buying presents and coming up with creative presentation.}

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{Pretty much what most of the I-5 drive looked like out my window.}

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{Part of the fun of road trips? Snacks! Though I resisted and went for the oh so healthy Taco Bell instead.}

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{Taken outside our stop at the TA (Travel Centers of America) in Wheeler Ridge for a restroom break and food. I loved this view and BY far one of the cleanest bathroom facilities you’ll see on the road here. Make a note of this. Especially for us ladies!}

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{This was supposed to be my road trip read, but admittedly, I don’t think I read more than 5 pages of this book the entire time I was on vacation. So this is what I’ll be working on now – but the highlight being I bought it as my holiday read.}

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{Once we made it into town, I wanted a really good, HEALTHY meal. We stopped at Mimi’s Cafe where I enjoyed chicken and veggies for dinner, then ruined it with this yummy triple chocolate brownie sundae. Oh well, I was on vacation, right!?!}