6/40 - Go On A Work Trip With Matt

Last year, when Matt came home from this particular work trip, the conference in Laguna Niguel, he told me that I would love the trip!  He gets to stay at the Ritz Carlton when he goes, and the town is just beautiful, right on the beach, great food, wonderful, so he said!

laguna niguel, ritz carlton,

I was like, yah, sign me up, hello!  He travels quite a bit and I never go with him.  I have a fort to hold down, plus how many times can you enjoy Deleware (#justkiddingI'dgoanywherejusttogo)?

I told him I'd, of course love to go, and we talked about me going with him this year.

I was surprised when I followed up with him in July or August.  I asked if I was still going and he said that it wasn't going to work this year.  I was bummed, but let it go.  We talked about finding a different one for me to go with him on.  That was it, not another word from me.  I didn't think any more about it!

Back when I posted about my own birthday party, that I threw for myself, I mentioned Matt would never throw me a party.  I did say that, never did I say this man doesn't surprise me and do fantastic things for me!

A few days before his trip to Laguna Niguel, a week before my big Ragnar race, he asked if I'd help him with an errand.  Of course I said yes, I'm so nice!  We were going to meet a coworker at the airport and bring his car home for him.  Thus, two of us needed.  

That night (Thursday) I checked in with him on the time we needed to leave, he told me he'd let me know.  I had a bunch of other things going on.  I'm the best because I don't really question things like that, just tell me when it's time to go and I'll be ready!  

On the way to the airport though, I did ask if we should be embarrassed that we were meeting his coworker in our pajamas!  He was like, if I'm doing a favor this late, PJ's is what you get.  Alright!  As we pulled down into the pickup area I did ask why.  If this guy is taking a flight shouldn't we be on the top deck?  He told me some other garbage and I went with it again!  I'm such a trusting wife aren't I!?  It makes me wonder what other things he's told me, that I've never questioned! :)

We were sitting there waiting and he went inside to see if the guy was in there.  He came back out and told me he'd be just a minute.  I was deleting some texts (on my old phone) when I heard the door start to open.  

My immediate feeling was, who the crap is opening our car door, shot of adrenaline.  I turned my head and saw my mom!  What?  WHAT?  Whaaaaaaat?  I was excited, confused, in fight or flight mode, ready to cry, squealing with happiness, all over the place!

I jumped out and held her super tight!  I just kept saying, 'What are you doing here?'  Ahhh, it was such a great feeling!  I'd had a yuck day either that day or a few days prior and being in her arms was fabulous.  What a GREAT surprise!!!

We hugged and laughed, I was still reeling, thinking back, hearing how they'd been planning this for such a long time, putting pieces together... woooow!  That was good!  It was so good!

As happy as I was, I felt a shot of stress as well!  I had a race to prep for, a photo shoot, church stuff, but, it would be great!  I was so happy to have my mom here with me.

Then Matt told me she was actually there so I could go to CA with him, Saturday morning!  What?  WHAT?  Whaaaaaaaaat?  I get to go?  This is what they'd been planning!  It was like a whole new surprise!!!  

I did have to make several arrangements and cancel some stuff, but so is the nature of surprises!  

This is my surprised face!  Love my mom!


Now, our trip, oh our trip!  It was fantastic!

We arrived at the John Wayne airport on Saturday, early.  We decided to drive North to see LA and Hollywood before driving down to Laguna.  We stopped in downtown LA to look around.  Later we told someone at the conference this, and he asked us why we did that? :)

We walked around, saw some cool buildings and ended up eating in the library!  Down town is not where all of the action is!  

After eating lunch we headed to Hollywood.  We first tried to see the Griffith Observatory.  As we drove up the mountain all seemed fine.  As we neared the Observatory it got cra-cra.  The parking and driving was a complete joke!  So many people!  I don't know if they were hiking, going to the observatory, probably both.  It was way too busy for us, and our tight schedule.

Fortunately you don't have to turn back to get out!  We kept going, took in the view, I took a photo, and we came out on the other side.  It really was a great view.

hollywood hills, downtown LA, ccmcafeeperspective

We headed to West Hollywood next.  We parked, and paid for someone else to park too!

We saw the walk of fame/Hollywood stars on the sidewalk, the Hollywood sign from a distance, Capitol Records, TCL Chinese Theatre, the Dolby Theatre.  We also drove around a little bit to get a feel for the area.  We drove past Rodeo drive and I saw the vignettes from the opening of Beverly Hills 90210!!! 

We did want to get on the road to still be able to enjoy some time at our destination before the sun went down.  As we were finding the freeway we passed the LA Temple!  Glad I had my camera on my lap... totally got a photo from my car!

I do not like traffic, my husband dislikes traffic even more than I do!  We experienced enough traffic on our way in and out of LA to last us for the next 5 years!  Blahhhh.  

I will be posting my photography over on my photo blog.  Be sure to take that in!  See those three bars on the top left of your screen?  That is a drop down menu.  You can switch from there.

We got to Laguna Niguel later, the sun was down.  It was still a fantastic arrival, beautiful even in the dark!  We were greeted and treated fabulously!  After we put our stuff in our room we went and walked on the beach.  It was amazing.. and I was freeeeezing!  I don't know how, but I was freezing!

Sunday morning we headed out for a workout.  I usually don't run on Sunday, but I didn't get a workout in on Saturday.  I got werked adjusting to the area, but I loved the trail by the hotel, it is a hilly area!

The surfers were out early, oh I mean they were there all day long!

Sunday we headed to the Mission at San Juan Capistrano.  It was beautiful.  I've already posted my photography from that fun field trip.  Here are more of us.  We learned a bunch, wandered together, enjoyed the sun and ended with a drink from Starbucks.

After our excursion we had lunch with a client, then went back to our hotel.  We sat out by the pool together, Matt swam, I was too cold!  M went to his conference and I stayed where I was by the pool.  I napped, read, called the kids and soaked in the sun.  I loved it!

That night we stopped at the mixer that was at the hotel, then we met a different client for dinner.  We ate at Selanne Steak Tavern.  I hardly ever eat steak, mostly because it doesn't taste all that great to me.  The steak I had that night was hands down THE best steak I've ever had.  I get why people eat steak now!  I would eat steak like that a lot more often... it makes my mouth water just thinking about it... and I don't eat steak!  That's how good it was!  The whole meal was delicious!

I don't pretend to really understand all that my husband does.  I do understand bits and pieces of it.  As little as I know, I still enjoy watching him be 'the man', seeing him do his thing, being able to be with him in his world just a little.  It was a treat for me to be next to him, to be on his arm, his lady.  I'm proud of him.

Monday M was pretty much gone the whole day.  I went for an 8 mile run, (full of hills, which I rocked) in the morning.  I got ready then sat in my room for a bit, writing and watching TV, drinking my chocolate milk, eating my grapes!  My room overlooked the pool, so I opened my doors and let the breeze come in.

Next I headed down to the beach, to take photos, then work on the laptop.  It was so completely refreshing to feel the ocean breeze and hear the waves coming in.  I could never tire of that.  I totally enjoyed taking photos of the beach and the grounds.  I'll share those too.

Here are just a couple... I'll post the rest on my photo blog.

I spent a good chunk of my day perched on the top of the cliff, typing and taking photos.  It was quiet and glorious!  I did see my man at lunch time, and I did talk to my kids again.

We had another dinner that night, at the hotel.  I visited with a bunch of people, mainly a man from CO who loves public speaking and is a forever bachelor!  He was a treat!  I'm so glad I sat by him!

Tuesday morning we went for a walk together, sat by the pool again, under the umbrella because it was misting.  We got all packed up and drove back to the airport.  We arrived early so we could go to this yum Mexican restaurant.  It was good, so glad we hit that!

Our trip home was a mess.  A complete and utter mess, buuuut, I don't want to leave that taint on our fabulous trip, so I won't write about it!  

As we were driving home from PA, the next day, M asked me at what point I fell from the cloud that was our trip!  It was about the point I heard 'delay' at the airport!

I was on cloud 9 though.  This was such a great tag along trip!  I loved it start to mostly finish!  I'm totally planning on going again next year! :)

I'm so grateful my mom came out so that I could go with Matt... and that he surprised me with it.  Fabulous, just fabulous!  I'm so very blessed!