First stop, after picking up the rental car, was In-n-Out for burgers. Priorities! As former Californians, we do miss our In-n-Out. We would visit two or three more times before we came home.
I packed some of my Etsy merchandise, so customers could still order from me at the peak of the Christmas season. And on one of my trips to the post office to ship orders, I saw this old brick building...a classic, early-19th century California brick building. And all those metal stars you see on its facade are the end bolts of long metal rods that run through the building and serve as an earthquake support system. If you are very observant, you can even sometimes spot those on older buildings on the east coast.
Then we moved on to stay with my brother, sister-in-law, and precocious niece and nephew. At their home, I enjoy taking early morning power walks in their neighborhood...studying all the charming California bungalow- and cottage-style homes and noting the landscaping differences between their climate and ours. THIS is certainly something you would NEVER see in New Hampshire!
Loved this home with all its original charm and pride of ownership! And just look at all those iceberg roses! They're such a bright and pretty spot in any California landscaping.
The day we celebrated Christmas (quite early) with my family was just fun from beginning to end! We started the day by a few of us picking up pastries and mousses at Porto's in Burbank for dessert that evening. These cousins are happy because they are together AND they are surrounded by dessert!
Then we all went out for breakfast pastries, coffee, hot chocolate, etc. at Le Pain Quotidien in Old Town Pasadena. Yum! I had a hazelnut log and hot chocolate. They give you a steaming cup of milk and a little pitcher of melted chocolate, and you get to blend it yourself. Delicious!
And later that evening, we celebrated Christmas! Love my family!
Then it was on to the wedding! Next posting!