California Dreaming….

This naughty mummy managed to scab a week off away from the family in December, and I decided it was the perfect chance to attend the wedding of my good friend Rochelle! The wedding was held in Sonoma (North of San Francisco in the wine country, so I flew into Los Angeles, met up with my good friend JG, and the following day flew up to Santa Rosa/Sonoma for a long weekend.

Iconic Cali street scenes.

Iconic Cali street scenes.

After flying in and picking up our hire car (a Toyota Prius that was forever screwing with our minds!) we drove to Sonoma, a cute little town oozing charm and “country style” character. JG was craving some Mexican food, and we found this gorgeous little “dive” restaurant that served the best food! It was away from the tourist centre, it was a tiny little kitchen diner with an old Mexican “Senora” cooking away, but it was awesome! The evening before the wedding we caught up with our old friends and drank at Murphy’s Irish pub. Good times for this mummy who hasn’t been out for a long time!

The following day was Ro’s big day! It was such a beautiful ceremony, in this gorgeous little country town church that oozed “Americana”. It was the kind of church I’ve only ever seen in movies and shows like the Gilmore Girls. It was a crisp but glorious day, and the colours of autumn/winter added to the beauty. The reception of course was fabulous too, and it was so great to meet up with the “Patagonia crew”. It had been 7 years since I hiked with the gang! So a great reunion party was had!

The following day was a rather late seedy wake up – a few too many drinks the night before! After brunch we said our goodbyes and drove to Napa. Another lovely town, surrounded by lovely vineyards. We came across one that looked like a grand french chateau. Had to stop for photos when I saw how beautiful it was! But it was so cold that day in Napa, that taking photos from the car was the more preferred option! Lol 🙂

Local Mexican eats.

Local Mexican eats.


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Wedded bliss.

Wedded bliss.

Napa Valley

Napa Valley

We arrived back in warm LA on the Sunday evening, and I was to fly home on Tuesday, so I had the Monday to myself. I was fortunate to be staying 5 blocks from the beach in Santa Monica, and close to the action of Third Street Promenade shopping district. It was so nice to walk on the beach, sip a latte in peace (sorry screaming child back home!), and to just be able to “play the tourist” like I did pre baby. After fuelling up on coffee I checked out Santa Monica pier, then hired a bike and rode down to Venice Beach. Even though it was the start of winter, the sun was out and the weather in LA was lovely! A perfect riding day! I checked out Venice, was a tad disappointed (they always make it look better in the movies), rode back to Santa Monica, hit the shops, bought gifts for everyone back home, enjoyed my final Mexican meal (Australia needs to lift its game on Mexican cuisine), sat with another coffee and overlooked the Pacific Ocean and then went on my own personal shopping spree! A perfect day!!

Dork on bike.

Dork on bike.

Venice Beach

Venice Beach

Santa Monica beach.

Santa Monica beach.

Best seat on the Pacific!

Best seat on the Pacific!

The following day was airport time…. I could not have asked for a better ending to my 5 day vacation then getting my upgrade request confirmed from Qantas. With a sick person having to be offloaded on our flight causing delay, it was 17.25 hours sitting in that chair from LA to Melbourne. It was a long flight! Then I had another 4 hours to Perth. A long trip for 5 days, but the joy of the wedding, seeing my wonderful friends and having some “time out” was oh so worth it!

Upgraded to business for 16 hour flight LAX-MEL = victory!!

Upgraded to business for 16 hour flight LAX-MEL = victory!!

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