Whenever we come back to the United States we split our time between Hood River, my old stomping grounds (remember here), and LA, which is where Stevie is from.
When I first drove into LA years ago I must admit that I was appalled! My first thought was, “WOW, so much concrete”!
But over time this place has grown on me, and the number #1 reason is the quality of friends and family we have here.
Below, Stevie’s little sister Alexis and her husband Phil give birth to baby Abby. Stevie was lucky enough to be there to see the whole thing!
Below, Stevie getting her lurk on in the South Bay with her BFF Jenn, Sol’s Abuelita Cyndi, and our niece Nica.
Stevie has a lifetime of peeps here, and over time her friends have become my friends, and the whole circle is one big family for us.
Below, catching a surf with our good friend Mikey.
Being in Southern California has also opened up the opportunity to see other close friends from the surrounding area. Chad and Emily, our traveling nomad friends, drove up to spend the day with us at the beach. We traveled with these guys through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.
While in El Salvador, Chad actually married us on a beach in El Tunco, (Remember Here). He didn’t have a Bible, so he used a Lonely Planet guidebook instead. My kind of people…
They were pretty excited to meet Soleil. It makes me so happy to know that she will grow up with wonderful friends from all over the world.
Below, Sol catches a nap on the beach. Note, the name of the sun shade is the “Sol Cabana”. A friend loaned it to us, but I bought one the next day. Awesome little thing to have in the van.
Our whole posse enjoying great food and live music in San Clemente after a day at the beach!
Below, Stevie and Emily snuggle at the Jazz Bar.
Me, Sol, and Noni. Sol is fixated on the live music up on stage!
My best friend John Simko and his two beautiful daughters also came up from San Diego to see us. I’ve been friends with this guy since grade school and he is definitely the 3rd brother in our family.
Soleil gets bounced to sleep by her Uncle Simko…
Below, Kayden and Avery Simko having a blast with their cousin Soleil…
Also visiting from Las Vegas were our close friends, Steve and Jenn. It was so good to see these guys. Thank you for driving all that way. Amazing!!!
In search of something hip to do, we loaded up our entire posse and headed out to the Hollywood Cemetery for Cinespia. This is one of the coolest things you can do in LA in my opinion. It was an all-night vampire theme and they were showing the classic movie “The Lost Boys”, projected onto the side of the mausoleum.
We got some pretty interesting looks that night while walking around with the baby. In hindsight, I look at the photo below and wonder… If we lived in the US, would we ever be in jeopardy of Child Services knocking on our door?
Check out Sol peaking out from the pouch. She was the only one who didn’t need fake vampire teeth. Here 3 little chompers already looked the part.
Love this photo of Cyndi and Stevie. Cyndi is our touchstone in LA. She opens her home to us every time we visit. She takes care of us in so many ways. We can’t thank her enough for all she does!
LOVE YOU CYNDI!!!!
My sister Indra also flew down from Seattle with her family to hang out with us. This meant the world to us. With our crazy schedule there was just no way we were going to make it to the NW this trip.
WHAT A GIFT. Thank you Indra and Brent. We LOVE you guys.
They rented a sick pad right on the beach down the hill from Cyndi’s house. Below, Sol plays with her cousins, Nica and Theo.
Both Nica and Theo were SOOOOOO good with their little cousin Soleil. Stevie and I were very impressed. Sol is lucky to have such wonderful family.
Below, Stevie rides the roller coaster at the Santa Monica Pier with Mikey and Kerri.
Indra and Nica rockin it on another ride at the Santa Monica Pier.
In closing out our week, we headed up to the valley where we were hosted by my cousin Paul and family. These guys put on a FABULOUS evening. The food and company was off the hook! Thank you so much Paul, Kelly, and Chloe for such a special night!
Our Aunt Debby and Uncle Berry also flew down from Bellingham for the party. Quite a crew…
So, this last month has been one non-stop party. We’re all a little blurry eyed at this point. Even Soleil is starting to show signs of cracking. As amazing as it’s been, I think we’re about ready to head back to South America for a little R&R.
Couple more days and we’ll be on a plane. Now I have to figure out how to pack all the stuff that’s been accumulated and get it home! Sol seems to have acquired quite the toy collection. 🙂