Christmas in California

Several months ago, we decided to spend Christmas with my parents in California. It would be our last time to go before the baby arrives! I was 31 weeks pregnant at the beginning on the trip, and 32 weeks on the way home... Flying while pregnant wasn't my favorite, but I'm glad that didn't stop us from going! I just love it here. I'm thankful for the two years that my parents have been able to be here and for the opportunities I've had to visit and see parts of the country I hadn't seen before. Natalie and Dan had a week off work and school, so they met us there. We missed Scott, Shelby and John!

One of the highlights was Walter. We just love this goofy muppet of a dog!

The day after we arrived, we went for a hike at one of our favorite spots. We didn't plan on hiking the entire trail, but I was feeling good, so we made it the entire 8 miles! I opted for the less strenuous route this time, but was proud I made it the whole way... braxton hicks contractions and all!

Another favorite thing to do in LA is shop. There are so many unique shops around in different parts of town. Everything was so festive for the holidays.
Venice Canals. Another favorite spot. It's a five minute walk from my parents' apartment, and it never gets old!

Walking home along the coast at sunset. Another favorite.
On Christmas Eve, we drove up the coast to Big Sur National Park. This is the most beautiful drive ever. We made several stops along the way ! First stop was in Santa Barbara. It was a gorgeous day.

Mom and Dad at another scenic overlook. The highway is just to the right along the mountains. 

It just kept getting prettier and prettier. 
On Christmas morning, we took a little hike through the Red Woods. I actually didn't make it very far this day, but still got to enjoy the scenery.

We walked to the water before sunset. It was gorgeous.
Every night, we played Hand & Foot - such a fun card game. We took snacks to the lodge and played by the fire. So cozy.

Before heading back to Marina del Rey on the 26th, we took a hike a few miles north of our cabin along the coast. This was my favorite part of the trip. It was so pretty! 

The drive home was just as lovely as the drive there. 

We even spotted whales! We stopped several times to watch them. 

I wish I took pictures of the restaurants we ate at. Joe's and Gjelina were the new favorites... On our last night, we went to the Getty. This museum is really beautiful. Gorgeous views and beautiful grounds. I'm not much of a museum person, but I'm glad we went!

It tuns out that this was our last trip to LA while my parents are living there. They are moving back to FL on January 15th. I'm even more thankful we went out there this time! While I'm sad to see them leave, it will be nice to have them back on the east coast, especially with the baby coming so soon! Thanks for having us, Mom and Dad! It was such a fabulous trip! 

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