In the middle of our trip to LA last week, we took a few days to drive up to Santa Barbara to visit friends. One is a friend from college and her husband and little boy, and the other is my friend Ashley whom I’ve known for years from when we were both ex-pats. I was in Dublin when she was in Berlin and we used to travel to blogging conferences and with our friend Anne. She drove down from San Luis Obispo and spent the afternoon with us at the loveliest, most kid-friendly beachside restaurant/sand box while Maya played and Noah mostly slept. It was so fun to have a reunion on another continent!
Then we met up with our friends, Randine, Travis and little Carver, who is about the sweetest little dude ever. Maya was in heaven with room to run and a little playmate. We spent a few nights with them on their friend’s avocado ranch high above the Pacific Ocean, with 200 acres of avocado trees, citrus trees, a horse and chickens. Maya was absolutely obsessed with the “donkey-horse” and making sure it had food, and with feeding the chickens even though she was totally terrified of them. Happy, happy girl. There was also a perfectly positioned pool. And warm enough weather to spend some time at least in the hot tub portion of it. Even Noah got in on the lounging. There was an outrageous amount of cuteness with the two tiny ones. Can you even? One night, we all went out for pizza in downtown Santa Barbara, and I still crack up over this photo of Michael and Randine wrangling their respective toddlers. How things have changed in 11 years since we were all in college! The light at sunset was incredible up on the mountain. And some gratuitous photos of the avocados (or as Maya calls them, adocado-cados) and citrus trees because that is the dream, isn’t it? Picking limes from the front yard for margaritas by the pool. Yikes, what a wonderful visit! Earlier today I described our trip to LA as exhaustingly refreshing, and it was. It was more work with two kids away from home, but it was also very restorative during the days, to be with friends and family without work obligations or real life chores.