Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Our 10th Wedding Anniversary

So, Hello everyone, this is Adam writing for a change, and because I have the time, I thought I would create a post to show you what Mandy and I did for our 10th wedding anniversary.

As you probably know, I have been spending my weeks in Pasadena, CA for work and coming home every Thursday.  I miss Mandy and the kids quite a bit and now I have the opportunity to possibly bring all of them out here for a few months.  In order to make sure that Mandy liked the area, we decided to combine our 10th anniversary celebration with an apartment hunting excursion out here in California.

I should also point out that this is our first "no kids" trip together since Jonah was born and probably our first actual vacation since we were married.  The mere coincidence is that almost exactly 10 years earlier, we were in the western U.S. for our honeymoon and actually went through LA and up the Pacific Coast Highway.

Day 1 - 1:00 P.M.

I decide to rent a car from a local Enterprise where I think that I can get a vehicle upgrade.  After speaking with Mandy the day before I know that her preference is a convertible.  I plan on dropping the name of a co-worker who regularly gets luxury cars for low prices at this Enterprise location and I am please to see that this co-worker is actually dropping off a car when I walk into the store.  So I was upgraded to a Mustang convertible which is due back on Saturday morning at which time I will switch to a different car.

Day 1 - 2:00 P.M.

I check into our hotel, The Langham, Pasadena.

The hotel is beautiful but when I get to my room, the temp inside is 80+ degrees and it won't cool down.  They promptly switched me to another room which was not as nice but much cooler.

Day 1 - 9:00 P.M.

Mandy arrives at the airport tired and hungry.  We head back to Pasadena for a quick bite to eat before returning to the hotel.  We ate at a small pizza place in Pasadena called Tarantino's.  The pizza was great!

Day 2 - 10:30 A.M.

We went to Old Town Pasadena for some food and shopping.  We ate breakfast at Russel's and then toured the streets.

Day 2 - 2:00 P.M.

After telling Mandy how nice our first room was, we decide to complain.  I'm glad we did because we were upgraded to the "Club Floor".  Here, rooms are much nicer but the biggest benefit was the Club Room where they serve 5 "Presentations" of food per day FOR FREE!  It's safe to say, we went there A LOT!

Day 2 - 3:00 P.M.

Pool Time!  By the way, I traded in those goofy glasses for a different pair.

Day 2 - 8:00 P.M.

Dinner at Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine - Excellent!

Day 3 - 7:00 A.M.

Mandy wakes up because I'm snoring so loud so she goes to the gym / spa and works out.

Day 3 - 9:15 A.M.

I wake up in a frenzy because the car has to be swapped out at Enterprise before 10:00.

Day 3 - 10:00 A.M.

It all works out when I'm upgraded to a  Mercedes C-Class :)  I quickly fall in love with this car and I think I have it worked out so that we will have one the whole time that Mandy and the kids are here!

Day 3 - 11:00 A.M.

We tour the Archstone at Del Mar Station apartment complex.  We really like it.  It is literally a train station.  The boys will LOVE it.

Day 3 - 12:00 P.M.

We leave for a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway.  Our destination is Point Dume State Beach.  I have an idea of how to get there but decide to let the Garmin direct us .... MISTAKE.  It takes us 3 hours to travel 40 or 50 miles.

Day 3 - 3:00 P.M.

We arrive at Point Dume State Beach.  It's very beautiful.  There are a lot of people rock climbing which looks really fun.  There is also a remote section of beach that we attempt to get to.  It's blocked by large rocks that we have to climb over and the tide is coming in.  Waves are crashing against the rocks every few minutes and we are warned that what we are about to do is very dangerous.  We turn back.  We'll try it some day when the tide is going out.  Here are some highlights:

Day 3 - 8:00 P.M.

Dinner at Mi Piace.  Good food, bad service.

Day 4 - 11:00 A.M.

Leave for a hike in the Angeles' National Forest.   THIS...WAS...AWESOME!  The roads to the hiking trail are on a winding road that twists and turns through the canyons.  Here is some video that we took of the road when we were done hiking.

Day 4 - 12:00 P.M.

We arrive at the Switzer Picnic area. First we drive about 1/2 mile down a road that winds down into Bear Canyon which is part of the Arroyo Seco. At the bottom of the drive is a large parking lot, this is the Switzer Picnic area.

We begin hiking the trail that leads to Switzer Falls.  It's a 2 1/2 mile hike to the top of the falls.  Here are some videos that we took on the trail.

The falls consist of 3 pools that stretch along 1000 vertical feet, each with a waterfall flowing into the pool.  Pool 1 is 2 1/2 miles in, pool 2 is 3 1/2 miles in and pool 3 is 4 1/2 miles in.  We made it to the first pool but didn't think that we could do the others and still get out comfortably.  We only had 3 liters of water and the temperature was 103 degrees in the sun.  Here are some highlights from the first pool.  It was seriously one of the most amazing things that we have ever seen or done.

Here is a topographical map of the hike:

This is an image of pool 3 at the bottom of the falls.  MUST, MUST go there.  I'm thinking I will take Jonah.

Day 4 - 8:00 P.M.

We ended up back in Pasadena and finished our day at Celestino's.  We ordered an appetizer that looked like cat food, which we didn't like but otherwise it was great food.

Mandy returned home the next day and was thrilled to be back with the kiddos.  I have one week of work to finish and then I will be home for 10 days before coming back.  This ends our California adventure for now but hopefully we will have some fun stories to come.



  1. awesome. I also LOVE Roys...a favorite when living in Tampa...Onion gratin...yum. You guys look like you had a great time. Miss you both...all.

  2. Looks like a blast. The falls part looked awesome.