So as most of you know, Steve and I were married on September 1st at the Chapel of Flowers in Las Vegas, NV. It was amazing. So how about a walk through?
August 31st – 9:45 am – 0 miles.
With the car completely stuffed with wedding stuff, vacation stuff, and a super rad cooler… the back seats down to make room and a bunch of stuff even on my lap… we left home and started making our way towards the fabulous Las Vegas. Mockingjay, a book we have both been anticipating, was ready to listen to and the GPS looking fancy and helpful.
About an hour into the trip with like…7 more to go, I was sick of the drive. Sigh. What a long trip this was going to be. I do hate car rides.
We crossed the Arizona border at 2:22 pm and 314 miles, then entered Nevada at 2:47 pm and 344 miles, reaching Las Vegas at 4:03 pm and 428 miles. It was a LONG drive. The scenery was not impressive. The air was dry. However, I was excited to see cactus. Not just the little jumbles of it that grow in Utah deserts, but tall skinny stuff. It was ugly, but cool to see. And the colors of the dirt and mountains just kept changing from shades of browns to shades of red.
Getting out of the car when we got to our hotel, The Stratosphere, felt like I was being smothered. The air was hot and dry and uncomfortable to breath. But we were OUT OF UTAH!!! WOO HOO!!
Steve and I had separate rooms the first night. We went to my room first. It was pretty nice. A huge soft bed, tons of pillows, and a huge jetted tub. Perfect for relaxing the night before. Steve’s was a different story. The building he was in smelled musty, the bed was still big but not as soft, and the tub just did not compare. Of course, that made me giggle. He did however, have a much nicer TV.
That night, still 8/31, we had dinner with his mom Laura, brother Nick, and uncle Tim at a buffet in the Mirage hotel. They had a hue variety of food and it was not too bad tasting for a buffet. But ignoring the actual food, there were like 6 different gelatos. It was amazing. Later on, Steve and I went up to the “top of the world” which was really just going to the highest floor of the stratosphere hotel. It was… 109 floors up I think? And breathtaking. It was one of the better things we did in Vegas. Afterwards we went off to bed.
September 1st – Vegas – wedding day.
Steve and his mom came to my room to get ready while my mom was helping me. Laura ironed Steves clothes while he was taking pictures of me getting ready.. my mom did my hair, steamed the wrinkles out of my dress, and helped me get my shoes on. My hair took forever! Afterwards, we took pictures of Steve getting ready. Just to make sure that we captured everything! His mother helped him with his button hole and we were off! (yes, steve did see me in my dress prior to the wedding. Can you believe there was a $70 additional charge to be kept in separate rooms for a few minutes before the ceremony? what a joke.)
When we got to the chapel, it was somewhat rushed. Of course, they do so many a day. We signed the papers, told them it was ok to put our ceremony online for ppl to watch for a few hours, met with our minister, set up the sand, got in our places… and then our song started.
We had our song, Chasing Cars, playing throughout the time there. As soon as the music changed, I heard my mom start to cry. I put my hand through Robs arm and he walked me down the aisle. I watched as Steves eyes immediately started to tear up. This was unexpected since he had already seen me, but it was good. I was glad he was emotional. As I looked around, I saw my Grandma teary, and Steve’s parents teary, and everyone else smiling. It was super cute. Rob gave me to Steve and everyone was seated. It was the happiest few minutes of my life… walked toward my soon to be husband and seeing him happy enough that he was about to cry at the idea of me being his wife. It was perfect. The minister was wonderful. We exchanged rings and did our unity ceremony with the sand, and were pronounced husband and wife. I was shaky, nervous, but now could finally breath. Everything was just perfect.
We had some pictures taken…. or TONS of pictures taken, then everyone left to get changed and meet for lunch. We checked in to our super awesome hotel room, changed, then headed to IHOP. I should mention that our room was a mini suite. A little living room, a HUGE bed, and the biggest bathroom I have ever seen with two sinks, a glass shower, and a tub specifically made to two. Also jetted. There were doors on the other side of the tub that you could open. Once opened, it became a part of the living room. We could watch TV in the tub if we wanted. But… who has time for that
We gambled a little….and won nothing.
We had lunch with everyone minus Steves dad, step mom and aunt Jackie at IHOP. Not the best food. But I do love breakfast and my french toast was delish. It was so nice spending all the time with everyone. Everyone was HAPPY and laughing. This day had ended up being completely stress free for us. Thank God. Afterwards, we left to find out that our car had been vandalized. Not really. But mom and Rob really had a good time with window chalk.
Later that night we had dinner with the missing people from lunch, plus Nick and Dave. Nick convinced me to try something that looked similar to a peeled grape. I popped it in my mouth, and right away regretted it. Thanks Nick.
Our hotel room was perfect. I already described it. But just to emphasize, wedding nights are pretty rad.
We had lunch with all of the Cochrans at the same buffet again. This was the last time we would be spending with them in Vegas. Afterwards, we walked the strip. We left the Mirage, found our way to Caesars Palace, explored the entire inside which was immaculate and fancy all the way through. I dropped a quarter in the fountain and made a wish for big winnings when we gambled. We went to the coke factory and tried 16 different colas from around the world,
headed next door to the M&M factory, Steve got his picture with Spider Man and Batman,
and then we took a Taxi home! A Taxi! I was excited. And it was super nice and so was the driver.
When we got back to our room we ordered room service… my salad was huge and the dressing sucked. Steves food looked good, plus he got mini bottles of ketchup, mayo, and mustard. So cute I had to bring them home and keep them.
Later that night we went over to the Bellagio to watch the dancing lights/water…whatever its called. It was amazing! We stayed for 3 shows and then on our way out, they did a 4th with the song Viva Las Vegas from my soul mate… ELVIS!! So of course we stayed and watched that one as well.
We went back to our rooms and took mom, rob, and wys up to the top of the tower so they could see how amazing it was. They went on some rides and we went back to our room.
On the way there, we gambled a little more. Again, won nothing.
September 3rd – California- 12:27 pm and 528 miles.
So we FINALLY cross the state line into California. How exciting! Except that it was still super horrible heat and tons of desert and cactus everywhere. I guess I just thought that once we passed the California sign that it would be cool weather and pretty beaches. Guess I thought wrong. at 539 miles, just barely into California, we started hearing a weird thumping noise. We slowed to a stop, and the noise stopped. It didnt feel like a flat but Steve got out and checked anyways. Nothing. So he gets in and we start driving again. Thump thump thump… wtf. So we stop again and Steve discovers that though we do not exactly have a flat, the tire has been ruined.
We left Utah knowing we needed to change our tires. When we went to get it inspected, the guy told us new windshield, new mirror, and 4 new tires in order to pass. This mean we did not license our car again as it would have cost us our entire honeymoon to do so. So… knowing there might be a problem… we left. I should add that I convinced Steve not to worry about the tires.
Anyways, there was a long piece of the tire just peeling away from the rest of it. You could see the wires poking out. If we had simply cut it off, or not even heard the thumping, the tire would have blown. So in the horrible heat, Steve changed the tire, put on the donut, and we were off to find a place with the right tire.
We came to a little place in Baker that had one, so we paid $150 to replace that, and since the other tire was just as bad, we replaced that one at another little place a half mile down the road for another $150. Great. $300 out of our budget spent on stupid tires. LAME. But, we were off!
At 7:07 pm and 832 miles, I got my first view of the ocean. It was foggy… but still there and just as exciting. The weather had gone from dry and hot to cool and slightly humid and it felt amazing. A half hour later we checked into our room at the Days Inn and another 20 minutes later we were out the door so I could see the ocean. We headed over to Mission Beach.. Of course, it was dark and I wasnt going to get the best view ever, but when we got there, it was still mind blowing. The feel of the sand between my toes, the coldness of the water on the shore… every time the water came up over my feet, i sunk a little lower until I was ankle deep in the wet sand. It was pretty cool. Even in the dark with the water super black, it was amazing. I couldnt wait to see it in the light.
We gathered some sand in a zip lock bag – no shells – and went back up to have some dinner, and of course, a funnel cake.
Well, the bed wasnt amazing, the bath tub wasnt amazing, but it was still good sleep. We woke up around 10, and headed to La Jolla (hoy-uh) beach. On the way we stopped for goggles and boogie boards. When we got there it was CROWDED. But we were able to find a decent spot to set our things. I watched Steve head in to the water… still too scared to go in too deep. I wasnt actually sure that I would go more than ankle deep, let alone take a boogie board out there. I watched him a few times jumping over waves and stuff.. and then finally I decided to try. So when Steve came back I went out there with him. He made it look so easy. Everytime a wave came that wasnt worth trying to ride, he jumped. That way the water just lifted him up. When I got out there, however, it was a whole different story. The first few little ones were easy. But the further I went out, the harder it was. Then came one that knocked me off my feet and pushed me 5 feet closer to the shore again. I instantly knew I had just gulped half the ocean. I was gagging, coughing, and my throat was on fire. I thought was going to throw up. Of course, Steve just laughed. I tried keeping my mouth closed, and instead it would go up my nose and down my throat. We were out there for about a half hour… the water was nice when it wasnt choking me, and I really didnt want to leave… except that just trying to stay still was a giant work out and I was exhausted. So we collected some sand and left, again with no shells.
We went back to La Jolla this day. Not to swim but to look around. When we got there, we saw a shop that had a sign for a cave entrance. So, we paid to have a look. We walked down this little staircase in the store that turned into steps down a tunnel. They were super steep, narrow, small, and slippery. There was only room for one person at a time. With as careful and as slow as you needed to go, it probably took about 15 minutes to get to the bottom of the 145 steps. Once we got to the bottom, we had to duck under a ridge and finally made our way into the opening. It was a small cave. And that’s pretty much it. We would never do it again as it was not that amazing, nor was it worth paying for or worth the climb back up those tiny slippery narrow steps.
When we got out, we just walked along the path that went around the area. We saw sea lions and pelicans.. tons of people snorkeling and kayaking.. and we came to a spot that had a man in a speedo… just laying out… so of course I took a picture and left it as a surprise for Steve on the camera. He loved it.
After exploring La Jolla, we went to Seaport Village. This is one of my favorite places we saw while there. We ate at Harbor House out on the patio… it was soo nice. This patio was surrounded by glass and looked out right over the bay. The food was ok, but the view was worth the dining I think. Afterwards we did a little shopping. I found a matryoshka doll in a viking type store. Steve somehow saw a quarter sized horse that looks totally like a pinata… and had to have it. What a retard.
Sea World! This was amazing! The dolphin show was okay, free willy was okay… but the sea lions were amazing! The show was super cute and feeding them was adorable! So, as I picked up one tiny fish to give to him, a crazy ass bird swooped in and tried to take it. The stupid thing missed the fish and instead got my finger, cutting it and making me bleed in two places. Stupid bird.
But the sea lion was just barking and barking… so cute. And then we also fed the Bat Rays! When you hold the fish in the water, the ray swims over your hand and you can feel a sort of suction feeling as it slurps the food out of your hand. The flamingos kept fighting over food, the Walrus and Belugas were so neat, and I got a fun hat. Really just a white summer hat to help keep my scalp from burning… but it was fun. More fun because Steve had never been there either.
This day was meant to be rest. We were so sore. Every muscle in my legs ached and my feet screamed in pain to stand on them. I took a hot bath, and a lot of the pain went away. So later that afternoon, we went out again. This time we went to Coronado Island. Immediately I knew this is a place we needed to live. We have always talked about living in California, but this little island was amazing. It was sooo cute… and the houses were amazing. We gathered sand, finally found some shells, and took some pictures. While Steve was in the restroom, I suddenly hear a bunch of kids start screaming “Shark! shark!”. Now, I have been terrified of going in the ocean because of the very idea of a shark eating me. So even though I am less than ankle deep, I immediately back out until I’m on dry sand. I look out where they are pointing, and sure enough I see a dark pointed fin poking up from the water. And then another, and then one more. Which then led me to believe they were not sharks, but actually dolphins. So I was safe to put my toes back in the water.
Later we went back to Seaport Village and ate at a different little restaurant. We bought a few more souvenirs… one place was super cute. It was called Captains Cove. This place was full of everything nautical; mermaids, pirates, treasures, fish… Since I had not found any sea glass at this point, we bought some mock stuff that was just as good in my book. At some point we came to a shop full of shells and what not… Steve, of course, found a tiny quarter sized seagull and had to have it. So… thats it for the only two things he picked out the entire time. What a retard.
Our last day in San Diego. Actually, we had planned to leave a couple days before, but then we found out that Steves grandma had passed away. So this did prevent us from going up to San Fransisco and seeing China Town and Little Italy…and Pier 49.. and all that stuff…. but honestly, Im glad. I mean, I wanted to see all that. It would have been fun, but since we had not seen any tide pools yet, we spent this last day at Cabrillo park playing in the tide pool there. We found so many intact and large shells, saw hundreds of little crabs in rock crevices, Steve saved a snail, and we saw these giant sea slug things. One was on dry rock instead of in water and we thought it was going to die. So Steve tried to save it.
I found a clam shell…the two pieces still connected, just empty. I thought that was really neat. There were a few anemone and we walked all over some weird squishy things… I felt bad but its too hard to avoid with them being everywhere. And against the cliff were just thousands and thousands of shells with little critters hanging on. And hermit crabs!
I think the tide pool was my favorite part. Everything was so neat. I wish we could have seen more of that stuff.
Of I forgot to mention that squirrel! There was a squirrel we were feeding before we hiked to the tide pool. It was super cute.
After, we went up the hill and had lunch. It was amazing. We set out our picnic blanket and glasses and ate sandwiches and chips. Then we had some really icky champagne.. all with an amazing view of the ocean. It was mind blowing to think that we were right on the edge of the country.
And then….at 6:40 pm and 1150 miles… we packed our car and checked out that day. We were on our way to Simi Valley for his Grandmas funeral.
Simi Valley – 9:23 pm and 1370 miles.
The funeral was short. It was held at a pretty cemetery on the side of a hill. After, we had lunch at a Mexican restaurant with lighting so low you could barely read the menu. They had fried ice cream… I have been talking this dessert up since Steve and I started dating 3 years ago.. finally he could try it. And of course, he loved it. Thats because its amazing. Later, Vicki, Steve, Laura, Dana and I went and played bingo. No, we did not win. I am positive that the wish I made for good winnings in Vegas totally jinxed us.
After going through some of his grandmas paintings and photos and stuff, we headed home. We got out of California at 4:08 pm and 1648 miles. We did stop in Vegas long enough for Steve to gamble a little more, lose a little more, and pick some oysters… I chose two and got a big blue colored pearl and a white/gold colored pearl. It was pretty neat. We pulled into our driveway at 3:16 am (Saturday morning) and 2131 miles.
Our honeymoon was over.
A few things I did not mention… We ate at this amazing little mexican place one of the days called Super Sergios. It was sooo good. On our wedding day was the first time I had met most of Steves California family. I met Tim and Nick the day before, and everyone else the day of. They were all amazing. I met Andrea when we got to Simi Valley. There are still a few I havent been able to meet but Im sure they are equally as amazing as the rest of the family.
So…. thats our trip in a nutshell. Steve looked at the average cost of homes on Coronado Island… AVERAGE is 1.7 Million…. I guess that is not our future home. One can dream though right?