This trip was definitely a last minute excursion. I had both Monday and Tuesday off work (woo hoo) and we didn’t know Shawn’s schedule until last Wednesday. Fortunately, he ended up getting Monday off as well which made this trip possible. It also was predicated by the fact that his brother and sister-in-law live in Orange, County AND his brother was throwing a surprise 40th Birthday party for his wife in Newport Beach on Monday night. I never dreamed that we would make it, but here we were in Monterrey about to hit the road for the 6 hour drive back down to Southern California. We woke up Monday morning and I went for another run. I didn’t want to totally slack on my workouts, especially since I knew we’d be sitting in a car for hours upon hours. I actually did a fartlek workout and did 8 repeats of 2min fast/1 min recovery. I know, I’m such a running nerd…always looking for a good workout.
We started the morning off by driving the 17-mile drive in Monterrey and Pebble Beach. I try not to be envious, but damn these people are rich!!! You know you’re rich when you can charge admission to drive around your freaking neighborhood. Huge houses on the golf courses, amazing beaches and cliffs overlooking the Pacific, trees, wildlife, etc. The natural beauty was astounding even on this cool, foggy, misty morning. It was about 58 degrees outside and we were both wearing shorts (hello–this is California after all!) We’d hop out of the car, take a quick photo and jump back in the car just to soak it in…
The next 6 hours were spent hauling ass down the 5 to make it to Newport Beach on time for the Surprise Birthday Party. It was on a Harbor Cruise boat so we had to be at the dock by a specific time so as not to miss the boat. Let’s just say that I’m happy to be alive and we DID make the boat–barely. We made it to Newport with plenty of time to spare, but between not knowing where the boat was docked and trying to find parking on the 4th of July weekend, things got a little scary for a bit. Shawn’s on the phone with his Dad trying to Google Directions. Meanwhile, his Mom is calling his brother to let them know we were in town…blah, blah, blah…It was a relief to step foot on the boat and be able to yell “Surprise.” Monica started to cry when she saw us. I think she was overwhelmed that we made the trip from Texas. Hell, I wanted to cry too since we almost missed it! The rest of the evening was fun and, once again, spent observing how the other half lives. It was a gorgeous evening and heavenly to watch the sun go down again.
Luckily, Brett and Monica opened their home to us that night and we crashed at their place. Little did we know that they were also having a 4th of July picnic at their house the next day. We woke up on the 4th and after relaxing over coffee for a bit and visiting, we headed off on (you guessed it) a morning run. We ran around the neighborhood and through some wooded trails for about a total of 5 miles when all was said and done. I was also jonesing to lay on a beach somewhere for a few hours so, we drove down to Laguna Beach, had lunch and crashed on the beach for a couple of hours. After all of the travelling and being cooped up in a car, it was wonderful to lay there and do NOTHING. We headed back to his brother’s house at 4:30pm, visited with the party guests and got ready to go home. Our flight left at 9:00pm last night and didn’t make it back to Austin until 6:00am. Shawn had to literally hop in a cab and head straight to work. I had enough time to get our bags, get to the parking lot, drive home, shower and head straight to work.
I absolutely loved this quick trip and can’t wait to go back to Santa Barbara, Carmel and spend more time in Souther California. Driving through Big Sur, Shawn planted the seed that I should run the Big Sur Marathon. I corrected him and said that WE should run the Big Sur Marathon. We’ll see what happens. The best part is that I didn’t have to take any days off work and there was no race involved which meant that there was no anxiety!
We didn’t overeat or go crazy with horrible food. However, we did discover a new poison. Snyders Pretzels has Buffalo Wing and Jalepeno pretzels..They are so good!!!