March: A Month Of Travel

March was a month where I felt like we were living the Jet Set life.  It had us enjoying family, friends and the  sunshine…unlike this gloomy, rainy and cold Kansas weather lately.

At the beginning of the month, we took off to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico with 7 other families for spring break; a grand total of 37 of us went together.

We made many memories and had a fabulous time!

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Jack is the Steve Irwin of my family and loved touching all the wild things.

One day we went off the resort to visit Patrick’s uncle Joe and his wife Jane, who rent a place in Playa to get out of the Michigan cold winter.

We thought it would be nice to go to mass and out to brunch with them..

I had never been to a Catholic mass in a foreign country before.  When traveling, I have been to famous Cathedrals, but I thought it was special to actually attend a mass in Playa.  We had to get there 45 minutes early to get a seat, but it was worth it.  It’s also nice to know that a Catholic mass is just that and it is going to be the same wherever you go from Overland Park, Kansas all the way to Mexico.  I took the picture below after mass.   The beach was right outside the window and it was beautiful.

 

 

Ten days after getting back from Mexico, I flew out to California with my mom and sisters for a quick weekend girls trip.  The best part was that we got to spend much of our time with my brother Nick and his family.

We spent every minute doing or seeing something new,  because the drive to our hotel was too long to go back.  Once we were out in the morning, we knew it would be for the entire day.

 

Some of my favorite stops were:

 

  • The Huntington Library which is a library, art collection and botanical garden that was absolutely breathtaking.  The land was donated by a couple who are buried in the mausoleum on the property that has been maintained meticulously.  My sister-in-law, Niki, said that you can have your wedding on the property for the low price of $50,000.  After seeing it though…..I couldn’t imagine a prettier place to get married.  (I apologize for the abundance of pictures…it was just so beautiful)

 

A view of the Japanese house.
The drum bridge by the Japanese Garden
It looked like a fairy land from a children’s book
Cascading waterfalls

 

 

 

Mom walking through the bamboo

 

I wish you could smell this picture….scratch and sniff online photos…maybe the next million dollar idea?

Another view of the Japanese tea garden

 

A walk up to the Japanese house where everything was simple and fung shui
The Bonsai court in the Japanese section. I haven’t researched, but these were some of the most interesting plants I had ever seen. They looked like a miniature version of full-grown trees.
My favorite Bonsai

 

The Huntington tea room was the cutest. I opened the door to find ladies in dainty hats having tea with fancy finger sandwiches and tiny pastries and on fancy silver platters. We had our hiking clothes on and were not dressed the part, but I wished we were!

 

Mariel under more Wisteria. You could smell the Wisteria and roses almost the entire time. It was heavenly.
Wisteria everywhere!

The tropical section of the garden was beautiful as well.  I love cacti and succulents and there was some of the most interesting looking varieties that I had ever seen.

 

Entering a tropical garden….
Going into the tropical section
This reminded me of Truffula Tree’s from the Lorax. πŸ™‚
Bright fuchsia color in a sea of green
Emmy and Sarah don’t touch!
 

  • Another favorite spot was on the trip was the LA Fashion District.  Niki, my sister in law, always gets a great deal on clothing so we were excited to see what the buzz was all about.  It starts early every Saturday morning and goes until around lunch.  We were exhausted from the day before so didn’t start until about 9:00 AM but there was still plenty to choose from.  It was VERY crowded, but you can get things dirt cheap.  I bought two pairs of bobble earrings for $11.00 each.  They look like the same pair at Bauble Bar at Nordstrom for $45.00.  (Niki still thought I paid to much)  I also got a cute pair of loafers for the low price of $10.00.

If you want clothing, makeup, purse or a shoe bargain, this would be for you!  I thought it was so much fun to see and bargain.

One of the many streets, lined with vendors

 

  • Lunch at Grand Central Market in downtown LA was crowded but fun.  There are over 20 different small restaurants in the space and everyone tried a little something different.  We wanted to try a place called Egg Slut but the line snaked around and we could’ve been standing for hours.   My favorite was the vegan Ramen that Sarah and Mariel decided on.  It was delicious!

 

A panoramic view of Grand Central Market
Even little Nick loved the Ramen!
 

 

It was hard to choose where to eat! Everything was original and creative and there were so many options. No chain restaurants here!!

 

  • The beaches were beautiful and we spent a little time each day at a different LA beach: Day one was Venice beach:
Pickleball on Venice Beach….I want to learn to play this! πŸ™‚  This was a very active community.  Muscle Beach was just down a block.

We enjoyed Venice for the people watching.  If you have been there, you know what I’m talking about.  Lori, you are not in Kansas anymore!  πŸ™‚

  • Day 2 on Santa Monica Pier and shopping on 3rd Street Promenade

 

 

Santa Monica beach

The shopping and restaurants on 3rd street Promenade were awesome.  Think ‘The Ivy’ and Wine dives with incredible views of the beach.  They had every shop you would want as well.  For entertainment, they had singers, musicians and performers in the street that had great talent.

  •  Day 3  Newport Beach

 

 

 

My sweet sister in law Lindsay made us these shirts. The last time we were together, I jokingly said that we needed to have an annual Mom’s Great Escape trip and she made shirts with the tag line. I guess it’s now an annual thing…  We are dragging her with us next time!  It’s hard leaving with toddlers and work, but we missed her so much.

 

It was so much fun seeing Nick, Niki and Nick jr. I really loved seeing Nick relax with Nick jr
I bought this inflatable the first day on Venice beach for my boys. I always try to find them a fun souvenir to take home, and had to try it out to make sure it was comfortable. Yep, it passed the test! Jack slept on it instead of his bed all week.

 

 

 

 

My mom got some grandson time in with Nick jr.! It’s hard living so far away.

 

 

 

 

 

I am grateful to have friends and family that I want to travel and see new things with!  I truly hope we make it an annual ‘Great Escape.’  Everyone is so busy, but when you carve out time, it makes bonds and memories that can’t be broken or forgotten.   Christy thought that we should each throw a place in a hat that we want to see, then draw one every year for the escape.  Eventually, we would get to everyone’s bucket list.  I love that idea!

It was an awesome month of seeing new places, cultures and food, but it’s back to reality.  However, I am a Kansas girl at heart and there is no place like home!

 

 

 

 

In April, I am growing a green thumb. I purchased an above ground garden and ready to start growing.  More to come!

 

4 thoughts on “March: A Month Of Travel

  1. I love all the pics! Now, let’s transform our yards to look like that!

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