We are currently relaxing in our beautiful hotel in Solvang, CA -- Chris is reading his new book while I start sorting through pictures and updating the blog while waiting for Super Nanny to come on.
Umm, vacation rocks.
We have had a ridiculously amazing vacation so far, and we are only halfway done. After narrowly escaping catastrophe in the form of a tan cow in Moab, we've had a safe, relaxing, and exciting vacation.
Here are a few pictures out of the, literally, 200+ pictures we've taken so far.
After I enjoyed my yummy waffles in Moab, I rode down Mineral Bottom Road and Chris surprised me by showing back up after his White Rim trip in under 8 hours! WOW!
We quickly got on the road and drove until we got to Zion National Park. We ate pizza and slept in the Hotelement and woke up the next morning to a delicious breakfast and a day of hiking to Angel's Landing (a 3-4 hour hike, tame most of the time, but with some steep 'climbing' -- albeit with chains available to hold onto -- towards the top. Lots of fun, would totally do it again. The view from the top was spectacular and worth the techy/steep climb at the end).
That night, we left Zion and drove through St. George on our way to dinner in Vegas. We originally didn't plan on stopping in Vegas on the way out, but we happened to cruise through at dinner time and decided to catch some dinner, a few sights, and play $2 worth of slots (we actually got to play for a solid 30-45 minutes on $2, we are THAT good at quarter slots). We ate at the Carnegie Deli at the Mirage. I ate here with the girls last spring break and knew I'd have to bring Chris back one day. The MEAT on the sandwiches is ridiculous. Let's just say, Chris had no problem downing the meat, but I think he's still regretting it a few days later...
"It would be possible to write an entire chapter on the subject of bike racers and their food obsessions, but the bottom line is that they are skinny guys who eat like fat guys. Eating with a group of bike racers is like being in an aquarium during feeding time: they gather frenziedly, open their mouths, inhale, and the food vanishes..." Lance Armstrong's War by Daniel Coyle
After Vegas, we drove through to some town in California (Bakersfield?) where we slept nicely in the parking lot of the Ramada (thanks again, Ramada) and then woke up to delicious IHOP and our first view of palm trees! We must be getting close!
We left the Ramada and drove our way to Santa Barbara and Rufugio State Beach. We set up camp and spent the rest of the day on the beach with the cooooooold water, warm sand, and perfect weather. We rode our bikes on the beach path and enjoyed a picnic lunch on the beach. We later read our books in the sand, I took a nap in the sand (mmmmmmmm, wonderful), we made our camping dinner, hiked up the bluff to view the sunset (and saw three dolphins! REAL dolphins! In a REAL ocean! WOOOOOOAAAAH! Good thing my husband has eyes like a hawk!), and we slept comfily in the Hotelement while listening to the crash of the waves.
The next day we had a half day of horseback riding in the hills near Refugio beach. The ride was awesome. My horse was stubborn and Chris's horse wanted to bite my horse in the butt the whole time. At one point I got yelled at by the cowboy for not properly reigning in my horse when he wanted to nibble on the trees and so that part sucked. Minus getting yelled at (the man obviously deals well with horses, not so well with people), the ride was great. The views were unbelievable. Chris and I both decided that we'll stick to bikes.
Today, Chris and I rode up Figueroa Mountain Road (for our noncyclist readers, it's a regular training road for Armstrong and the Discovery boys) on the mountain bikes, came back and had lunch, got massages (uuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhh yeah), had a gourmet dinner, and now are relaxing in our extreme mushiness. California really is a very beautiful place. I can't believe how green it is!
This is how we look now... post danishes, wine, riding, climbing, horseriding, and most important, massaging:
Up next will be Vegas and heading east toward home...