Saturday, January 16, 2010

Livin the California Life

I have finally gotten all the people pictures from my mom and sisters of our amazing week in paradise, also known as Santa Barbra. We stayed at Ravenscroft which is a house that was built and owned by the two ladies in the photographs. The lady that originally built it loved horses and what is now the garage used to be the luxurious stables, right next to the house. She also wanted to make sure that her horses were comfortable and never got too cold so she made sure the fireplace, which was in the front room at the time, was large enough for her horses to come inside and enjoy the fire's warm glow, I know some people right? She also had the whole house made out of concrete so that it wouldn't be burned to the ground in one of Santa Barbra's famous fires. The next owner of the house was a movie star and she is the one that added the chicken coop. She wanted chickens, but not just normal chickens, she wanted PET chickens, so everyday she made sure they were pampered, held and treated like any other house pet would be treated. My family also treated them like pets and would gather their eggs every morning and hold them at least once a day, I loved it! Now it is a rental estate where families can rent it out for vacations. The couple that rented it after our family was going to live in it for a year while their own house was being remodeled, those lucky lucky people, it is truly a blissful paradise.

As previously posted we would go out and do fun activities in the mornings, you can view those pictures here, here, and here. We visited the Santa Barbra mission that happened to be having a sidewalk chalk drawing competition and festival which was extraordinary! We also explored the natural history museum, aquarium which was located on the pier, as well as the zoo and the beach!

This was the beginning of my interest in photography, photographing the butterflies was such a rewarding way to learn how to photograph, it was so fun!

And this is how she gets all those great photographs, she has no limits of what she will do. Here she is taking pictures of this adorable river otter couple what where getting ready to nap.

Most of us rented bikes and would bike in the mornings or afternoons, we would bike down to the beach and ride along the misty shore, ah! it was just too much fun! After our morning activities we would come home and enjoy our lovely vacation home. Sometimes we would go swimming or hot tubbing if it was cold, play tennis on the tennis court that was parallel to the pool, or just explore and enjoy the beautiful grounds and gardens.

It has always been a dream of mine to hold a chicken, I know its a little random and kinda crazy, but it is true. I find them adorable, well most of them, especially the black and white spotted ones that were at the house, they were so soft and made the silliest noises. It inspired me to have a chicken coop in my future house and raise my chickens as pets.

We made all our dinners at the house, every couple or family was assigned a night which made it fun and relaxing for everyone. Sometimes we would eat in the beautiful garden, such as the night when we had a family BBQ, I love BBQ's with a passion, they are the epitome of summer, and the gardens were the perfect backdrop.

In our family you can't have dinner without dessert, it is a necessity, especially if you ask my dad, he is the king of desserts. One night we made yummy s'mores by the deluxe fire pit in the garden.

When we didn't eat out in the garden we combined all the tables and chairs we could find in the house and created a huge dinning table in the garden family room, we wouldn't dream of eating in the actual dinning room, it was far too nice, so we just made our own. I am so glad that my family put such as strong emphasis on eating dinner together every night while growing up, it really created such strong bonds between all of us and I am glad we all still gather around the table at dinner time when we are all together.

Every night after dinner we would play games! My family is big on playing games and it is always a blast! We played apples to apples and spoons in the front room, my dad would sleep during the entire game of Apples to Apples, we would wake him up so he could add his card to the pile, then he would fall asleep again and some how he won the game! Will and Ben would use their sweet innocence to try and cheat ... it was hilarious.

One night the Griffins introduced us to a new game, Ticket to Ride, we were all a little skeptical at first but quickly became addicted half way through the first game. After it had been introduced it became a necessity to gather in the dinning room every night for a couple games of Ticket to Ride, it is still a family favorite that we play on Sunday after family Sunday dinner.

Here we all are in Solvang, the little danish town. We had a lovely lunch of ebleskivers then explored all the tourist stores and antique shops, it is such a charming place.

On one of our last nights the Madisons and I drove to LA to attend a concert in the marvelous Disney Concert Hall. As usual Disney went above and beyond in this stunning building, it is truly a modern marvel. We weren't supposed to take pictures inside but try telling that to people like us that are obsessed with documenting every detail of their lives, so we snuck a few harmless shots. After the concert we explored the grounds, I showed them a garden terrace that I had discovered when I visited with mom and dad a few years ago. It honestly looks like something straight out of Alice in Wonderland, but it is all real! They also have an elegant fountain that is made up of chips of blue and white porcelain molded into an enormous rose. It is a very enchanting place.

1 comment:

  1. another long one, but I love the cute nieces and nephews, family tennis matches are a must, UVU sweatshirt shout-out, summer BBQ (oh i miss those these days), family games (i will dominate apples to apples AND ticket to ride), and thats a pretty sick opera/symphony building at the end. Cool post kizzy! -mjb