California coast & family time!

Happy Labor Day! Spending the weekend puttering about our house has been so nice. I feel like I'm finally getting back into the swing of things after being on vacation and bringing a nasty chest cold and sore throat back to work with me. Thankfully it is passing on by just in time for us to fire up the grill in a little bit.

My trip was so nice! So much time with the family: my mom, my brothers (Michael and Brian), and Michael's fiancé Julie (love her!). Tuesday and Wednesday were spent in Menlo Park at Mike and Julie's and Capitola at my mom's. Homegrown tomatoes and beach walks make for a relaxed and happy me. 

(Clicking on any pictures  in this post will bring up a larger photo lightbox view.)

We drove down to Santa Barbara on Thursday and stayed in a house by the beach that my mom rented for the weekend. It was so nice to have a comfortable home base where we could all hang out. We were in town for Jared and Angela's wedding - Jared is my brother Michael's longtime best friend, and Michael was the best man. Michael and Brian went out for the bachelor party festivities on Thursday night; Mom, Julie, I went out for mani/pedis on Friday morning (while the boys slept off the aforementioned festivities); then Michael and Julie had the rehearsal dinner on Friday night. Mostly, though, we all enjoyed the beach, the house, and the town! Santa Barbara is gorgeous. I've driven through the town before but haven't really spent much time there; it was quite a treat.

The wedding, on Saturday, was just perfect. A beautiful beach, a happy couple, a fun reception with lots of old friends. Such a joyful day! Congratulations again, Jared and Angela! 

Sunday we drove back along the coastal highway and took in Hearst Castle - I've wanted to go for ages and am so happy to have had the chance! My mom treated the whole family to a tour, and we were lucky to be there on a ridiculously gorgeous day. We wandered the grounds to take in the eye-candy: so many statues and pools and buildings and flowers and incredible coastal views. I'll upload those photos in my next post!