My amazing hubby whisked me away for a surprise birthday weekend last weekend - just the two of us - it was so amazing! We hadn't had a weekend alone for 7 years (sad, I know), and we hadn't had an actual vacation for just us in 11 years (downright pathetic!).

The fun started as soon as we got in the car to drive away from the house. We buckled in, started driving down the street, and looked at each other in complete and deafening silence. It was incredible! You mean I don't have to break up a fight, pass someone some pretzels, give the baby his binkie, and wipe someone's nose while I'm trying to have a conversation with my husband?!

The silence didn't last long, because it was about that time when the giggling started. Every now and then I'd just start giggling at the sheer joy and craziness...a vacation....for just US!

Once we got to our gate at the airport, I had to seriously fight the urge to go to the desk agent, ask for a stroller tag, and then cackle like a crazy woman! If I hadn't been worried about being kicked off the plane before I even got on it, I would have done it. Instead, I just giggled some more.

Those of you who have done airline travel with small children can appreciate what I'm about to say: I packed a book for the airplane. And I got to read it. AND I took a nap on the plane. Amazing, I know!

A mere hour and a half after getting on a plane in cold and grey Boise, Idaho....we saw this....see that little white strand of sand against the ocean? That's where we're headed:

Our hotel was incredible! We stayed at the Beach House in Hermosa Beach.

I could hardly believe it when I opened the patio door and saw this:

The folks at this hotel...they thought of everything! Crisp white sheets with a goose down comforter, a little basket filled with Aveda beauty products, piles of fluffy white towels, a couple of cold bottles of water in the fridge, even a rubber ducky on the edge of the tub:

There was even a real fireplace complete with a duraflame log ready to burn! This, however, caused quite the ruckus our last night there. Some moron poor guy pulled the grate out of the fireplace one night, and tried to light a fire on his WOOD deck. Lucky the brain dead idiot guy didn't burn the whole place down! As it was, the ocean breeze blew the smoke from his crazy foolish fire into his room and set off his smoke detector...which set off the system in the entire hotel in the middle of the night. We all had to evacuate to the parking lot. There's nothing quite like waking to a blaring fire alarm in the dead of night...I at least had the clarity of mind to grab my camera bag before leaving the room. Yes I did!

We walked up and down the coast, and found all sorts of wonderful and beautiful things. Everything looks wonderful and beautiful when it's 76 degrees, sunny, and you're holding hands with your greatest love :)

And, of course, we thoroughly enjoyed the California sunset like a couple of tourists from Idaho.

We woke the next morning to surf filled with guys on boards, and another gorgeous day.

We decided to take the short drive to The Getty in LA. The problem with the Getty Center is that there's just nothing decent to take pictures of. You can see from the following 2.3 million pictures that I took:

My favorite sculpture, "The Vexed Man" by a German named Franz Xaver Messerschmidt (from 1770):

I love Claude Monet's paintings. What a thrill to see his brush strokes and signature up close!

One of my favorite paintings, "Portrait of Jeanne Kefer" by a Belgian dude named Fernand Khnopff (1885). Isn't it just so sweet?

Hubby had me laughing out loud when we saw this outdoor display of sculptures of the nude female form. This isn't a great picture - can't really see much of the display, but there were all different shapes and sizes of women. Some "heavy", some "thin", some realistic and some more abstract. I said "Oh look, how nice of them, they put up a sculpture of little ol' me!"

Hubby's response was "Oh yeah? Which one?!"

"Well, which one do YOU think?"

And without missing a beat or step (but I'm certain his eyes widened as they darted around searching for the nearest emergency exit) he said, "None-of-them-of-course-none-of-them-are-nearly-beautiful-enough-I'm-hungry-let's-eat-wow-look-at-that-bird!"

That boy, he's a quick one!

The sunset that second night was made even more stunning than the night before with some low clouds to spread the color around a bit. I didn't get many pictures because I was having too much fun combing the beach for seashells in bare feet. Believe it or not, I do (occasionally) go places without my camera.

We woke the morning of our departure to a drastically different climate! It was chilly with a howling wind. It made for some monstrous waves:

Ahhh, I guess it's time to go. Back to the sweet, drooly, loud, crazy life. I'm ready (I guess).

Angie  – (11/11/2008 12:10:00 PM)  

How fun!! I love all of you pictures....the things that you think to take pictures of amaze me. I guess that's the reason you are the photographer and not me :)

I'm glad you had such a great time. It was a well deserved vacation for you!

You better believe that I will showing my husband those pictures ;)

Team  – (11/11/2008 12:43:00 PM)  

Wow, looks like an amazing trip...I always knew your hubby was a great guy, but dang he's impressive!

I love the pic right above the "Vexed Man", with the flower trees (not sure what to call them), very cool.

Anonymous –   – (11/11/2008 01:16:00 PM)  

I'm SO happy for you both, as a mom with little kids as well, I know how awesome this must have been!

Love the "Vexed Man", how funny is that?!

Lisa  – (11/11/2008 06:24:00 PM)  

NO WAY!!! YOU got away! AND your photos are amazing and wonderful and perfect and AMAZING...I said that.

You're good.

Husband of the Year goes to your guy!!

Katie  – (11/11/2008 08:07:00 PM)  

Thank you for sharing all of those fantastic pictures. What a wonderful husband you have!!

Lisa @ The Plain-Spoken Pen  – (11/12/2008 09:48:00 AM)  

It sounds like y'all had a wonderful and much-deserved bit of time together! The pictures are beautiful - thanks for sharing them. I like the Vexed Man, myself. I feel like that some days. LOL

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