Well, it’s finally happening. Almost three months after returning from my trip to California I am finally documenting it. Better late than never, right? In May Chris and I went to Fresno to visit with friends and to support my close friend as she got married. This trip was such a blessing. It was so good to be with people who I felt comfortable around and who I felt knew me. While going back to any place you moved from reminds you of the things you didn’t like (for example, bad air quality, which not only makes it hard to breathe, but gave me the worst acne I’ve ever had… aka I landed and immediately got a pimple. True story), I was more reminded of what I loved. A family that feels like my own. Friends who I have fun with, can have good conversations with, and who force me to exercise. And a community that I enjoyed engaging in. That community has been heavy on my heart lately due to a great tragedy and I can’t help but want to be there with them. So in wishing I was there now, I’m going to write about when I actually was there.
I went to California for about 10 days (Chris was there the first 7 before jetting off to another wedding… yes we were both in different weddings on the same day). While the wedding was the very last day I was there, I knew it would be impossible to only go for a few days because there were so many people to spend time with. While Chris and I were both in town our schedule was pretty planned out to maximize our time. We even put together a sleeping schedule so the people we were staying with wouldn’t get confused.
Another reason I wanted to go a week early was because Bekah’s bachelorette party was at the beach the weekend before the wedding and since I couldn’t help with much during the planning process, I wanted to be there for something! Plus, who can pass up the beach with their friends? So the first two days were filled with visiting with people and then it was off to the beach! It was awesome. We laid out, dressed up in ugly bridesmaid dresses to do a scavenger hunt around town (and got the best reactions from people), played games, made cookies, and enjoyed our time together. The only negative experience was during our scavenger hunt we saw a girl wearing a massive snake like it was her scarf… not cool for people like me and my other friends who are terrified of snakes. On a more cheerful note, beach weekend pictures!
We returned from the beach on Memorial Day, so Chris and I spend the afternoon with the family I used to live with and all of their friends. For me it was a great opportunity to see so many people from our church since I was not around on Sunday to attend. After the cookout we headed over to hangout with the family Chris used to live with to join their weekly family night. It brought back so many great memories. Plus who can turn down watching family videos, especially when you are not in them? I can’t. “Do you like my little twigs, do you like my little twigs [aka hair], do you like my little belah” aka butt… priceless.
Tuesday was filled with having lunch with my previous co-workers, hanging out with our friend Meagan, then seeing several of our former high school students at Yogurtland, and topping off the night at the Crantz’s for family night #2 (#1 was our first Friday there). The night was filled with dinner, good conversation, a spa treatment, snuggles with Meesa and Chris desperately wanting to take Dash home. Also, a bajillion selfies of Julia on my phone. I couldn’t ask for a better day than that.
Side note: before our CA trip, while in New Jersey I had only had frozen yogurt 3 times, and one of those times was in Michigan. That is a record for me (though I did consume plenty of Halo Farms ice cream). I think it was because we hadn’t found a place we liked. But in my 10 days in CA I managed to have froyo 4 times! That’s right, 4. Yogurtland is my best friend and I can’t help it.
Unfortunately Chris had to leave Wednesday 🙁 but I still had a great time with friends, my Fresno family, and doing wedding business. I almost had an epic fail when setting up for the wedding. Wednesday night we were meeting to set up. It was a Facebook invite and mine said to be there at 8:30pm. I thought that was kinda late, but I’m not going to argue. At 5:45pm I text my friend to see if she could give me a ride on her way over and she said she had already been there for an hour. In that moment I realized Facebook meant 8:30 EST, which is 5:30 PST… so I hurried my butt on over there. Close call haha.
One of the most shocking things of the trip: I read two books! I hadn’t read a book in over a year and I read two in 8 days. Divergent and Insurgent sucked me in. I found that the whole day Friday before the rehearsal I had no plans so I read all day until I finished! And then it was off to the rehearsal and dinner, which was so cutely themed around Robin Hood.
The wedding was great. Not only was it a union in Christ to be celebrated, but the whole day reflected the bride and groom so well. I love being able to support my friends and it was such an honor to do so that day. It was also more quality time with friends and I got to see so many people I hadn’t seen yet. The best part of the reception (besides celebrating marriage and the people) was definitely the cake bar. Bekah asked over twenty different people to make a cake for the wedding and not only did they look awesome, but the pink champagne one I had was to die for. I still need to find that recipe to make it! After the reception I stayed to clean up. I wanted to soak up every last second with these people, even if it meant only getting 4 hours of sleep before I jetted off at 6am the next morning.
So overall it was an amazing trip and writing this post reminds me of that. I love my friends and community in Fresno so much and I’m so thankful for the time we had with them.