2017 Spring Break in Southern California

I know, I know, it is almost summer and I am just now sharing our spring break getaway! But, better late than never and I've even got some tips on how to get away on a budget ;) 

We have a busy summer coming up and we'll be traveling in June & July without the kiddos (woop woop!) and our family vacation to Portland, OR is also in June.  The in-laws will be visiting this summer as well for a few weeks, which means we'll be getting away with them on some day trips too.  What I'm getting at with all of this is that we've been saving our pennies for this summer! But, we also love to travel and it had been a few months since we'd gone away as a family and I think we all needed a change of pace and a change of scenery!  So, this spring break we planned some fun local activities during the first part of the week, including a sleep over with friends, and then we took off on Friday morning to Southern California! 

We were really trying to keep this trip as budget savvy as possible, so after a yummy lunch at Porto's Bakery and Cafe, we made our way to  The Getty Center in Los Angeles.  After living in in Vegas for over 8 years and visiting L.A. countless of times, this was our first visit to The Getty.  It's been on my list of places to visit for awhile, but I just wasn't sure if the kiddos would be interested in the art when they were younger.  Even now, I was skeptical that they wouldn't enjoy it but boy was I wrong! They loved seeing all the paintings, sculptures, and the gardens.  They especially thought it was so cool to see some paintings by famous artists that they'd actually heard of, like Claude Monet! The Getty is located on a beautiful property, with several buildings and gardens and water features.  To get to the center, we had to take a tram up the hill to where there are amazing views of the city below.  The best thing about The Getty? It's free admission. There is a parking fee of $15 but it's totally worth it! We spent about 4 hours there and could have probably spent more time if it hadn't closed! 

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After our visit to The Getty, it was time to make our way through the L.A. Friday afternoon rush hour to our hotel.  We were staying in Ventura, CA because Saturday was another family first for us, Six Flags Magic Mountain Amusement Park! This was another thing we've been waiting on the kids, especially Elysse, to be tall enough to ride most of the rides.  To save money, we purchased our tickets online a week in advance.  This proved to be the biggest saving on admission tickets.  Our hotel, Hilton Garden Inn Valencia, was also located across the street from the park and provided a shuttle to and from, saving us the $25 parking fee! 

Being spring break, we were fully expecting the park to be busy and it was, but not so much so that we couldn't enjoy our time there.  We also met up with my sister and her family and another family we're friends with, so it really made it for a fun time for the kiddos.  They really enjoyed being able to ride the rides and hang out with their friends.  Amusement parks are not my favorite thing to do on trips for all the usual reasons: they're crowded, long lines for rides, and bad over-priced fast food. But, aside from the Disney theme parks and Legoland, the kiddos hadn't been to an amusement park with big roller coasters and had been wanting to go.  It worked out great and I'm so glad we went with a group of friends and family to make it even more fun! 

Sunday was our last day in SoCal before heading back to Vegas, so the kids spent the morning in the pool and then we made our way to Malibu Beach.  We couldn't come all the way to California and not at least see the ocean! The best thing was the fruit carts on the side of the road that make your bowls to order! So delicious!! Our time in Malibu was quick, we ate on the pier at the Malibu Farm restaurant.  I highly recommend it! Then we walked along the beach for a bit before the long drive back home. 

This trip was much needed for us!  It was a quick getaway from our routine, we saw the ocean, ate some yummy food, got cultured at The Getty, and screamed so much on roller coasters we woke up hoarse the next day! Yup, a seriously well-rounded and diverse trip for our family.  

I know it's late, but how did you spend your spring break? 

Our South Texas Getaway | Visiting Family & Friends

Today I just wanted to share a bit of our trip to South Texas earlier this month.  The main reason for our trip was to photograph Debbie + Oscar's wedding in Corpus Christi, TX and being that I have some family and friends in the area (about an hr from Corpus) my sister tagged along for a bit of a getaway too and we all got to see some childhood friends and family we hadn't seen in many years. Jason and I took advantage of the time away without the kiddos and took a little belated wedding anniversary side-trip to San Antonio, TX!  A huge thanks to my parents and brother-in-law for watching them ;) 

Here's me & my sister in front of the house where I was born (yup, I was born in there) and grew up in until I was 10 years old.  

Here's me & my sister in front of the house where I was born (yup, I was born in there) and grew up in until I was 10 years old.  

Horses and chickens at my cousin's house! She loves the country life! Me, not so much....

Horses and chickens at my cousin's house! She loves the country life! Me, not so much....

But it was fun visiting :)

But it was fun visiting :)

This guy being my "sexy model" while we were scouting for photo spots for the wedding in Corpus Christi! 

This guy being my "sexy model" while we were scouting for photo spots for the wedding in Corpus Christi! 

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Sunday Funday! Hanging out with friends and family.  It was a mini-reunion :) So much fun!!

Sunday Funday! Hanging out with friends and family.  It was a mini-reunion :) So much fun!!

Getting a little work done on the porch! 

Getting a little work done on the porch! 

At the Alamo in San Antonio with my love!

At the Alamo in San Antonio with my love!

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Jason and I crammed a 4.80mile run along the River Walk, couples massages, a little shopping, and some yummy food & drinks in our 2 days in San Antonio.  That's really one of my favorite cities!  It was a fun trip, can you tell?  What's one of your favorite cities?

Happy Friday | The Challenges of the Weekend

The weekend is almost here and we are looking forward to crossing a few more things off our Summer Bucket List these next 2 days!  I'm looking forward to spending time with my family and doing some fun stuff together.  Do you have any fun plans for your weekend? 

I'm a wedding photographer and lots of weekends are spent away from the kiddos, so we really try to make the weekends we have with them special!  As much as I enjoy having weekends off and spending them with my family, I do worry about how I'm going to eat healthy and stay on track while we're eating most of our meals out of the house.  I'll do really well all week.  I'll workout every day and cook and eat healthy meals. Then the weekend gets here, we'll be at the park or running around at stores and then BAM it's time for dinner.  Your options are limited and you aren't going to go home and cook (it's Saturday, after all).  You decide on a place to eat, vow to find something healthy on the menu, and then the bacon blue cheese burger and fries catches your eye....Is this scenario familiar to you?  Do you give in to the burger or make a sensible choice instead? 

Let's not let the weekend ruin all our hard work this week!  Here are 3 easy steps we can take this weekend when we're met with temptation while eating out!

1.  Tell your family or friends you're out with that you're going to have a healthy meal!  Just saying it out loud to others will help keep you accountable and when you start drooling over those chicken nachos, they can hopefully help steer you away :)

2.  Plan a quick morning workout.  You can find some on my Pinterest workout motivation board.  Anything from 15-30 mins. should do it.  Something simple you can do in your home that will help get your blood flowing & heart rate up.  I find that taking just a small amount of time for myself before starting the weekend helps me stay on track.  It reminds me of what's more important and I feel stronger when faced with temptation during the day.  I'm like, "I worked hard this morning and don't want to ruin it!"

3.  Have fun.  Don't be too hard on yourself.  If you give yourself a cheat day or a cheat meal once a week, then go ahead and use it on the weekend when you plan to eat out.  Enjoy the time with your family and friends.  Don't be so focused on counting calories or not eating carbs that you forget to live in the moment.  Eating healthy and exercising is a way of life, but it shouldn't consume your entire life.

Have a great weekend and enjoy your messy life! 

xo, 

Jessie 

 

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