We left DCA at the end of a very long and super fun day! We drove about 45 minutes to our last stop for the trip: Hermosa Beach. Originally we were going to just stay at the Disney hotel for 4 nights because it was such a great location but we decided to have a day where we each got to "treat yo self." Zach had the opportunity to check out another top rated golf course (Trump National) and I REALLY was pumped for a spa day! I looked into spa packages at Disney and they were crazy expensive so it made more sense to spend more money on a fancy room for the night at a hotel that offered a spa than it did to stay in our cheaper room and pay for the spa at Disney.
We got checked in and enjoyed our beautiful room and super comfy bed! It was THE most expensive room we've EVER paid for (we've stayed in fancier, but it was on Aflac's dime!).
The next morning Zach headed out to the course and I was looking forward to a day of RELAXING. I had a big spa package planned (the spa had an awesome deal on a package when you stayed at the hotel) and just looked forward to enjoying the room and soaking in the tub. I had talked to the hotel in advance about being allowed to use the room past check out time and they were on board so I didn't have to rush and planned just to hang out in the room until Zach got back!
Rollin in the convertible...looking fly with all that luggage hahaha
(Sidenote: Zach's back REALLY struggled this trip. BIG TIME. We had to be smart in our traveling and tried to minimize luggage needs at each stop to make it as easy as possible for him with loading and unloading...hence why the big bags stayed in the car the whole time)
Zach had a great day! He got to enjoy the beautiful weather and got to see an awesome golf course! I feel bad that I can't say a whole lot about his day, I was pretty wrapped up in my own! Here are the pics he took from Trump National:
When Zach headed out I called down to the spa as soon as they opened to see if I could possibly get in to do my massage earlier since I was already awake and just hanging out. Well. THEY DID NOT HAVE A RESERVATION FOR ME.
Omg. Y'all. I was NOT happy. They had scheduled me for the week prior. And put me down as a "no show." I told them I understood the mistake. I mean mistakes happen! And I get that they wrote it down wrong but if they had called me when I "didn't show" the week prior then it would have been cleared up! They didn't have ANYTHING available that day at all. I explained to them that I literally ONLY spent that crazy amount for the one night in the hotel BECAUSE of the spa. Like it was my ONLY reason I was there at all.
They weren't very nice. They weren't very apologetic. And it took multiple phone calls and discussions to even get them to admit it was their error. They found me a time slot at 5:30 that evening which just didn't make sense at all.
I went downstairs to just SIT in the lobby. I mean I literally had nothing else I could do because since I wasn't getting a massage I needed to check out of the room. I talked to the lobby people about the situation (the spa is located inside the hotel but isn't actually owned or operated by the hotel) and they were MUCH nicer than the spa people were and told me I could go back and enjoy the room longer. So I hung out and watched daytime tv. I didn't even soak in the tub b/c at that point I'd already gotten ready for the day. LAME.
Thanks elevator, rub it in my face why don'tcha?
I had so much time to kill and was too worked up to really relax at all so I just went ahead and went to the lobby again. I had them hold my bags and decided to be brave and walk around the little town area some by myself.
I know that sounds dumb but it's a BIG deal for me to do something like that on my own. I get pretty freaked out in places alone (I had a lot of separation anxiety issues as a teen living in my "apartment" so a lot of it stems from that) but I was a big girl and prayed a lot while walking haha!
Beautiful empty beach!
Such a sketchy area, right? ;)
While I was walking the owner of the spa called me to personally apologize. She was VERY nice about it but it was just one of those situations where nothing could really be done to fix it. My frustration was more with the cost we spent on the room in order to have the spa than anything else. I wished I'd just stayed at Disney another night!
I tried to just put it past me but it was a pretty sad day. I don't love being alone and there really wasn't a whole lot to see or do in the little town. I did find a really great kids store and I looked at every. single. item. I bought a cute board book for the kids about California and wrote down like 10 other books I want to order cheaper from Amazon haha!
I really do LOVE the surfer kid style. I wish we had more of it available where we live! I think the Cali kids look is SO much cuter than the southern look around here. When we first had Kye we really wanted that beach vibe for him (I mean, hello, the kid's name means OCEAN) but quickly realized it's just next to impossible to find stuff and when you do it's CRAZY expensive.
It was also interesting to see the locals in this area. It's a fancier area I guess with a lot of moms who shop a lot. Several came in with their strollers and little ones and I felt like I was in a movie because they seemed like movie moms. Ya know all put together and spending tons of money on itty bitty baby things and their kids were dressed all on trend with modern, hip hairstyles. It made for some good people watching!
I went into every store on the street and one of them was wall to wall BIKINIS. I was so embarrassed when I walked in b/c, hello, clearly this mama ain't rocking no string bikini! It was an awkward moment because I was the only person in the shop other than the 12 year old sales girl haha!
I did find another store that allowed for some browsing. It was one of those shops with a ton of random things in it that I feel like people don't buy but just take pics of, right? So I went with that and took pics and sent them to people who I thought would enjoy them. Kept me entertained a bit!
For Casey ;)
For Courtney haha
I went into a home decor store and fell in love with this awesome mirror. Then I asked the price. $4,000. Y'all. For a MIRROR. I told her I might come back hahaha Yeah right in a MILLION years!
I got back and STILL had time to kill. By this point the shift had changed and new people were working in the lobby who didn't know my whole story. I filled them in and they were even nicer than the people earlier in the day. I let them know that my husband would be coming soon and that he WOULD be upset. Zach and I play a very good good cop/bad cop. He's an awesome bad cop and I def excel at the good cop. I find that usually being honest, nice, and crying when the emotion strikes (I have shed some hardcore TEARS over our dang internet the last few months) usually works just fine. But sometimes you need that bad cop. Zach is always respectful but will get the point across when it's needed. And, honestly, sometimes people just respond better to a man (don't hate me for saying that but it's true!). My being nice about the whole spa issue wasn't getting me anywhere and the staff at the hotel weren't really offering me anything (other than not charging us for our parking the night prior).
Once Zach got there it was a totally different ball game. They were already nice but to him they were bending over backwards to make things right. They offered to refund our room but told us they couldn't because it was purchased through hotels.com. Well they ended up finding a way to make it happen! While it didn't make up for the bummer day, it was nice to have that hefty cost off our card and know I could book myself a spa day at home for WAY cheaper!
We headed out and got some dinner and refused to end our trip on a sour note! It took me a little bit to get out of my funk. I mean I hadn't hardly talked to another human all day which is weird for me so I was not in my normal element haha. We found an AWESOME little pizza place and it was FABULOUS. I think it helped that I hadn't eaten lunch or anything and it was like 5:00 at that point!
Once we finished eating we headed to our last hotel of the stay: at the airport. We saved money by going ahead and turning our rental car in the night prior and thought it made sense to have a room booked at the airport to use their shuttle. The hotel was SO great. The shuttle guy was super, super nice and offered to pick Zach up from dropping the car off! We spent the last night just relaxing (I read the entire book of Sharp Objects...great read if you haven't read it!).
Over that weekend Kye spent the night with Aunt Karen and had a BLAST. They went and got pizza, played games, and saw a movie (Zootopia)
Tess got to spend a couple hours with Carter...I ADORE this picture of them together! Sweet cousins!
And G-Mama took all the big kids to play games together. This was THE most talked about event from our entire week away!
Our flight was nice and early! We flew American (usually with Aflac it's Delta) and could def tell a difference. The seats with American are WAY bigger which was great for Zach, but the entertainment options are awful. We actually just used Zach's computer and watched How I Met Your Mother on the flight home!
Goodbye Cali! We will miss you!!!!!!
View of Trump National
Jealous that he got some sleep!
We had a layover in NC (random) and I FINALLY was able to get some MEXICAN with QUESO! I couldn't believe the entire time in Cali I couldn't find any stinking QUESO! I mean how can you eat Mexican without it?!?
We flew back into Atlanta and stayed the night there to split up the trip and drove back first thing the next morning. We were SO PUMPED to see the kids. We went to our church and picked up Kye from Aunt Karen and then went over to Zach's parents house and picked up the girls after they got back from church with them. We stayed and ate lunch and visited and got to give Zach's parents their thank you gifts from us. It is always so fun getting away together but ohmygoodness that moment when we first see the kids is just so awesome. We love our babies and miss them terribly when we are away! We are SO SO SO blessed to be surrounded by such supportive family who understand the importance of keeping our marriage a top priority and who always ENJOY visiting with our babies. I know Mrs. Charlotte loves getting them all to herself and we're so blessed that they have such an amazing, hands on, G-Mama!
Lots and lots of Disney goodies :)
Tess may have been more excited to see the cat than us haha!
While it was quite a shock to have Italy get canceled on us, I'm SO thankful we didn't let the news stop us from celebrating Zach's accomplishments and from enjoying time together. California was above and beyond any expectations either of us had. We had an AMAZING time together and being able to blog about it has brought back all those great memories. I'm truly so blessed to be married to Zach and so thankful for our bond, our love and our experiences together!