California, Here We Come

Ben and I are coming up on 5 years since that warm July day when we threw an, if I may say so, awesome and completely fabulous party for about 75 of our nearest and dearest. As wonderful as our day was and as fun as it is to look back on, I would be lying if I said I hadn't been planning some kind of amazing trip for our first milestone(ish?) of marriage ever since then. 

However, a lot of things have changed since July 10, 2010, the biggest one being my huge, giant, never-saw-that-coming career change 2 years ago. Because of that, weren't really sure if we would get to take a trip at all, anywhere, this summer to celebrate our anniversary. Fortunately it turns out that I have a two-week window in August when I'll be able to take a (slightly belated anniversary trip)! 

I was originally picturing a tropical, second honeymoon type of vacation (Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas were the top contenders), but the more we talked about it, the less that made sense. While a Caribbean destination would certainly be a memorable trip, it wasn't anything unique or special to our marriage. Our New England road trip a few years ago was the best and most special trip we've ever taken together, and we've been talking about a West Coast version basically since we got back from that trip. I'll admit that I was a little hesitant when Ben brought up California for our anniversary trip (I still had visions of laying on the beach and having drinks with little umbrellas brought to me), but the more we talked about it, the more it just made sense. Maybe we don't get another stamp in our passports, or even to save money (an all-inclusive trip to Jamaica is actually cheaper than going to the other side of the US - who knew?!), but we will get a trip guaranteed to be chock full of memories for a lifetime. 

And suddenly, the decision was simple. The next thing we knew, we were booking a flight to San Francisco (which will be the longest flight I've taken since 2012 and I'm already nervous about it...someone pass the Xanax). Here's how our itinerary is shaping up:

All the baseball. Like I shared a couple weeks ago, we've made a pretty good dent in our quest to see all MLB parks (9 out of 31 so far), and we're adding 4 more on this trip. We're starting in San Francisco with a Giants game, road-tripping down to LA for some Dodgers and Angels action, then back north to Oakland to catch the A's.
Photo credit: edwardconde / Foter / CC BY-NC
All the bridges. Okay, mainly just two: Golden Gate and Bixby Creek. My love for bridges is far outside the realm of normal and getting to see these in person will be a dream come true!
(via unsplash)
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Hiking up to the Hollywood sign. Because...why not? We have no real plans in LA other than the ballgames, and I thought it would be fun to do a little hiking, see a famous landmark, and get to see the whole city all at the same time.
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Road tripping the PCH. I get serious butterflies in my stomach just thinking about this! I don't know how this trip will stack up to our New England adventure overall, but our route will definitely be more scenic, that's for sure. After we leave San Francisco, we'll start our trek to Los Angeles by heading south on Highway 1. So far we plan to make a few stops in Big Sur and stay the night in Santa Barbara.
Photo credit: jvoves / Source / CC BY
Renewing our wedding vows in Big Sur. If you've seen me pinning random wedding stuff recently, now you know why. Going to Big Sur has been a longtime dream of mine, and that's part of the reason Ben suggested this for our anniversary trip. I know we've only been married for 5 years, hardly a milestone most people would blink at an eye at, let alone celebrate in such a big way, but I've been waiting for this for a long time. While our wedding day was a beautiful and perfect day spent celebrating with all the people we love, we had a traditional ceremony and have never felt like it really represented us the way it should have. We aren't planning on having a second wedding by any means, but instead we'll have a quiet reaffirmation of our vows, just the two of us (and our hopefully snap-happy photographer), as the sun goes down over the California coastline. 

And now a pop quiz: Which dress should I wear for the vow renewal (select all that apply)?
a. black and white
b. lace
c. neither
d. you should get a new mirror that isn't cracked all to hell*
*this is the result of some recent early morning cat shenanigans and an unfortunate subsequent pillow-throwing incident
That lump in the one on the right isn't because I've been drinking too many IPAs (I mean, I have, but that's not what's going on) - I just pulled the fabric up a bit so the length would be right!


Ever been to San Francisco, Los Angeles, or anywhere in between? What are some things we have to do?! 

31 comments :

  1. OMG that lace dress is GORGEOUS!! Will you wear it everyday, please? ;)

    Also, I'm so jealous of your California trip. You'll have to tell me all about it when you get back, because that's definitely something I want to do in the medium-term future.

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  2. That's so sweet and romantic! I love road trips with my boyfriend, even though we have different travel styles (I want to stop and see everything, and he wants to power through until we arrive at our destination). But whether or not we stop, there's so much time to talk, admire the view, and just enjoy being together without a bajillion other responsibilities.

    Both dresses look awesome (as do you), but my vote is B, for the white, lacy one.

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  3. oh my gosh. first off, tell me where you got both of those dresses please. secondly, wear the white one for the vow renewal, then change into the pretty one on the left for more photos. they are both absolutely stunning but the one on the left is an absolute stunner on you. knockout. fo shizz. sorry i'f i'm getting creepy but it is gorgeous.
    poor cracked mirror though.
    i am so happy for you that you all decided on something that is more for you and less what you're 'supposed' to do. every time KC and I talk about a beach type vacation, we're always like 'or.. we could go here'. we're not lay on the beach kind of people. i mean, we can be and we have been but given the option to do other stuff, we would. so i dig your plans.
    i have been researching all the tips and stuff for flying, have you? you are going to be F-I-N-E! :) repeat that till you believe it ;)
    ok lastly - 5 years is a big deal. sometimes i forget that KC and I haven't (or actually, we have but that's a different story) been married for 2 years yet. I would love to do something for our 5th, but we are more than likely going to have kids by then and they always throw a spanner in all the fun things in life!

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  4. not sure why i put a ' in if but whatever. seriously both dresses: thumbs up emoji.

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  5. Driving down the PCH is magical and lace dress all the way!

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  6. Ah! this sounds like such a fun trip. i think it is so special you are renewing your vows just to each other- i think it makes it that much more special and sacred. five years! a milestone worth celebrating.

    I am going against everyone else and like option A. you look beautiful in both though and really, either would be perfect. this is so exciting and i am so glad you are taking time to celebrate- you guys deserve it!

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  7. Oh my god. OH MY GOD. I mean I already knew about this but I'm so happy it's officially official and you're taking this trip. It's going to be so amazing and you guys are going to have a great time and it's going to be so beautiful and I'm so, so, so jealous but whatever. I want to do a good chunk of these things too—my friend and I are discussing how to make a PCH trip happen right now—so you better take notes to share with me afterward. And I'm beside myself, both of those dresses are ABSOLUTELY STUNNING and you look gorgeous in both and I really don't know how to pick. The lace is more traditional and would photograph beautifully and is just incredible but the unconventional in me says go with the b&w, which also looks perfect on you. Which are you leaning toward? Either is amazing.

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  8. Uhm, love the white dress. It's gorgeous! I've never been farther west than Colorado, but we are planning a trip to Seattle for next summer. Just to go see the city.

    Also, if you run the Big Sur marathon, you can run over the Bixby bridge! I think. If I'm remembering correctly...

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  9. Oh my goodness. You look stunning in BOTH dresses. Seriously I love the lace, because I'm a huge lace fan, but I think the black and white dress would be perfect for a "beachy" feel. Either way, you won't be going wrong. Bummer about the mirror.

    And your trip! That sounds absolutely amazing. You're going to have such an amazing time. I'm so happy for you. And 5 years?! That's totally amazing. With everything that you two have been through together and separately, I think a vow renewal is perfectly validated. I love that you're doing it just the two of you, too. So special and sweet.

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  10. Ooh the black and white is extra stunning but both look perfect on you. You'll have the best time in CA. Hello, baseball fans! Love that you guys have such a passion for something together ;)

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  11. It's way too hard to pick because you look GORGEOUS in both! I love the idea of renewing your vows and your trip sounds like its going to be amazing. I'm hoping to make it out to California within the next year so I'll be anxiously awaiting your recap so I can start planning the things I need to see/do!

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  12. pretty! i love the lace one on the right. i've been to all three cities and i liked san fran the best! ride the trolley, eat all the food! go by the pier and smell the stinky walruses, visit bubba gump shrimp restaurant, eat all the amazing sour dough bread.

    for LA, it's only a 4hr drive to vegas! if you decide to go, drive at night because when you approach vegas and you come up the road, it's pitch black and then you see brilliant lights of the vegas strip. so awesome!

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  13. Oh my goodness! I LOVE that black and white dress. Girlfriend, I'm pumped for you two. What a beautiful way to reaffirm your love for each other :)

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  14. THAT WILL BE SO MUCH FUN. I love love love love PCH. Love it. I've been to California twice and want to go back SO BADLY. You guys are going to love it, and I love that you're going to do the vow renewal.

    I already voted on Instagram, but I stand by my vote of the black/white dress. Both of them are GORGEOUS, but you look absolutely flawless in the black/white one. Like.. I want that dress now. :P But either way, my vote shouldn't really matter. Just wear whatever makes you most comfortable. :)

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  15. I went to LA 2 years ago with my dad and brother! We didn't get to do alll the girly things I would have wanted to do but I left wanting to come back the next chance I could! One of Peter's close friends lives out there now so I'm hoping we'll get to go visit him soon! You're already planning on doing my one suggestion, PCH. It's ridiculously pretend and I could get lost just staring at the window while driving! Luckily my dad was driving so I could :)
    I love that you guys are renewing your vows! Some people (Kim K) don't make it past 72 days so I think any amount of time you want to celebrate you should!! I'm glad you'll have the chance to take a vacation and I love the idea!! When I was reading your post about your NE trip it sounded like the best time so I think this is a great way to celebrate! Maybe while at one of the hotel pools, someone can bring you an umbrella drink? :)

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    1. and by pretend I meant pretty :)

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  16. Ahhhh vow renewal in Big Sur... so dreamy!! Sounds like a wonderful trip you are going to have a blast. I love AT&T Park.

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  17. OMG vow renewal in Big Sur?!?!? My favorite place on earth! It was my husband and my's first trip together - San Fran and Big Sur/Carmel. I hope you went with the lace dress! So pretty on you. Have so so so much fun!

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  18. The first dress!! It looks amazing and you guys will have such a fun time. The west coast is amazing and so much to do this time of year

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  19. How cool is this trip going to be?!!?!?!?
    I love you take your anniversary's so seriously & doing a vow renewal - no one has a time set to do that - I love you're doing it for the two of you <3
    Oh girl - either dress looks great. The first is a little less "bridal" & I always love a dash of black... but the other is gorgeous too. I'm awful at helping you ... find a reason to wear them both :)

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  20. I'm SO excited for you! Aaron and I have been wanting to road trip the PCH forever. It was actually the first trip we ever decided we wanted to do together. One of these days! And both dresses are gorgeous! Is it possible to have a wardrobe change and wear both!?

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  21. So sweet!!!! What an amazing trip to plan, I would love to visit there one day!!! I already left my thoughts on the dress on Instagram but I really don't think you can go wrong with either of them!!!

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  22. Black and white! Although they're both really pretty. This sounds like such a fun trip! Excited for you guys!

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  23. Awesome!!!! I've been promised a trip BACK to Hawaii for our 5th and I can't wait.
    LOVE both of the dresses. I vote lace, but keep both.

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  24. Sounds like an amazing trip! I love that you guys are renewing your vows in such a beautiful place. My first choice is the lace dress, but they both are gorgeous on you!

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  25. First things first, my dress vote is the lace. It's so romantic looking, perfect for a vow renewal! Of course the best pick is the one you feel fantastic in! This sounds like such an awesome trip!! P and I are planning on driving to SF from San Diego at some point this summer/fall. I just need to plan the trip and then we will pick a date. You guys sound like you have such an awesome trip planned!

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  26. How did I miss this?! Am I too late to vote on a dress? I think you look amazing in both, but I think for the purpose of renewing your vows my vote is for the white lace! You guys are going to have such an amazing trip-- I can't even imagine seeing so many cool places all at once-- though that sounds like the way to do it! When we were looking at honeymoon destinations we were looking at a few places in Northern California/Napa area and it would have been a lot more expensive than going to Cabo (where we ended up going). Also, I'm hoping your cat was okay after whatever happened with the mirror?! haha.

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  27. As a native California, I approve of this! If you can, make sure to visit my hometown of Sonoma :) And I hope that the A's win!!

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  28. Ahhh and now I fell really bad for missing all of this! I love both dresses but for a vow renewal maybe the white one. its gorgeous and Im so happy for you both!!

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  29. I think it's SO great that you are taking a trip like this, AND I'm so jealous that you'll get to see some more baseball parks!! What a sweet thing for you guys to do for a vow renewal :) I know it will be so special!!

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