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Our SoCal Vacation started on the 4th of July with a flight out to San Diego.  MacKenna’s first flight went great!  We’re not big fliers – we drive everywhere – and I think all 3 of us (and my family) handled the plane ride really well.  No blowouts, no scream fits, no real nap either, but Mac did just fine.




We arrived in San Diego just in time to see the fire works, but we had to get our rental cars and head out to the rental house we were staying at.  I was really disappointed that we couldn’t see some of the best fireworks in the nation… until I found out the next morning that all the fireworks ended up shooting off at once and there was really no show to see.  Instead of fireworks, we were walking through this amazing dream house…


My mom booked this house through Vacation Homes by Owner.  It was seriously amazing!  Four bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a dream kitchen, a beautiful pool, a giant deck + patio, and a balcony with a hot tub off the master bedroom suite.  It was absolutely beautiful and the owners were nice, although it was a little weird that they were staying in the guest house out back.  It was a little too chilly and we were a little too busy to really get any use out of the pool, but it was nice to sit out on the deck when we had the chance.  Totally love living the California life!







While we were in San Diego, we decided to spend some time at Sea World.  We saw all the shows (including Shamu, but I liked the seal lions the best), rode all the rides MacKenna could go on (the gondolas + sky tower), and rode their new roller coaster Manta, which was really fun!








After Sea World, Matt + I both knocked off something on our Foodie Bucket List – eat at In-N-Out burger!  Technically, there are only like 3 things on their menu, but if you know about the secret menu, you know that they offer a “grilled cheese”, which is basically their hamburger minus the burger.  I loved it!  The fries were pretty good as well!



We also were invited to my cousin Philip’s rehearsal luncheon (oh yeah, we were out there for his wedding) at Phil’s BBQ, which was voted one of the top 10 restaurants in the nation by Yelp.  While I didn’t eat any of the BBQ obviously, the potato salad, coleslaw, and corn bread were awesome!  It was some of the best corn bread I’ve ever had!  And the beer was pretty good too…





After lunch, we headed up to La Jolla to visit the beautiful west coach beach.  While we had no intention of getting in the 65 degree water, we wanted to see the coast line and the seals.



If you look really closely on the left side of the picture above, you’ll see seals just sun bathing.  They even swam pretty close to the shore line while we were standing on the beach.  I would love to show you pictures of MacKenna in the sand, but she passed out in the stroller so she’ll have to wait until she has her real first beach experience.




Philip and his now wife Amanda got married on July 7th (our anniversary) and pretty much had a dream wedding – a wedding I would’ve wanted if I could redo it all over again!  They got married at Karl Strauss Brewery in a beautiful Japanese garden.  Amanda looked absolutely beautiful as she walked down the aisle to Matt + my song “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds.




Since the wedding was at a brewery, the open bar included 10-ish different beers on draft as well as wine.  Of course I stuck with the beer and drank a little too much – 3 pints, which is 2 past my usual limit!  Obviously, I loved it!



My aunt ordered me a vegetarian dinner – a portabella mushroom on mashed potatoes and green beans with a balsamic reduction.  It was seriously one of the best things I ate on the trip!


And the best part of any wedding – THE CAKE!  I usually don’t go for the chocolate cake but I’m glad I did.  It had a whipped cream icing with chocolate chips in the filling.  To. Die. For.


MacKenna didn’t quite make it through the wedding before Matt had to take her out, but she loved dancing at the reception!




The morning after the wedding, we were off to our next adventure in Southern California:  Los Angeles!