Thursday, April 9, 2015

Our California Tour (in numbers)

I’m fresh off the plane and ready to tell you about Spring Break 2015 in the best way I know how.

  • Number of runs taken: 3 (San Diego, Westlake Village <- near L.A.)
  • Average miles per run: 5
  • Favorite run: San Diego Harbor


  • Number of nights our family of four shared a hotel room: 3


  • Number of times we got in arguments about the bathroom, what to watch on TV or when to turn out the lights: 49
  • Number of times I hated California traffic: 49+


  • Number of colleges visited: 5 (UCSD, San Diego State, USC, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara. Sam liked USC the best).
  • Number of really good tour guides: 1
  • Number of friends I visited in LA who I went to high school with in Greece 30 years ago: 1


  • Number of times I have seen her in the past 30 years: none
  • On a scale from 1 to 10 how awkward it was to show up with our family of four when she was only expecting two of us: 11
  • Number of times I ordered fish tacos: 3 (wish it was 90)


  • Number of times I counted down the seconds until the seatbelt sign went off on the flight so I could poop: 1 (sorry, no picture. Some things are not meant to be photographed).
  • Number of times I looked like a drunk college student: 1


  • Number of times I looked at my babies and thought how big and beautiful they are: 35


  • Number of mom points I got because we got to walk around Warner Bros studies (including the set for Pretty Little Liars) because my friend’s brother is a big time producer: infinite (for a moment my kids thought I was cool. It passed).


  • Number of times we took a family picture of the 4 of us on this trip: 2 (including an airport selfie)


  • Number of the coolest two blogger friend ever I met for coffee in San Diego: 2 (Teresa and Kate – love these girls. Teresa and I went to Jerusalem together. I have been following Kate’s blog for years and was so excited to finally meet her in person. She is as beautiful and dynamic as she is on her blog, btw).


  • Number of seals that wondered what the eff I was doing: 13


  • Number of times I remembered how much I miss the ocean (I grew up in Maryland and Greece, so there you have it): 24


  • Number of random things Ken secretly packed in my suitcase: 3 (ugly swim cap, sleep number bed remote ((it doesn’t work just anywhere, btw)), pack of Las Vegas slutty girl cards)


    Number of Grim Reapers who sat next to me on the flight: 1


  • Number of family selfies we took: 1


  • Number of times our family of four laughed our asses off together at random shit and it felt SO good: At least 75.

So…you may be wondering what the verdict is for Sam regarding schools. First of all, we didn’t get a killer vibe from UC San Diego. Sam really liked San Diego State. USC came in first, closely followed by UCLA. He liked UC Santa Barbara, but didn’t seem as interested as some of the other schools….so time will tell.

Did you go on Spring Break this year? Where to?

If you could only choose one, would you rather live near the beach or the mountains? This is a tough one. For day to day lifestyle I like the mountains. But I LOVE a good trip to the beach.

Where do you kids go to college?




  1. Looks like a great family vacation! We went to Florida (Anna Maria Island) over spring break. It was great. The first couple of days were dicey, but my oldest son finally loosened up and let himself have fun. God forbid I'd make him go to Florida....

    I have a few friends whose kids go to USC. They love it (the kids do)...

  2. You spent a week in my backyard (sorry the pool was so cold.) We are just over the mountains from Westlake Village in Simi Valley. Your traffic picture was perfect - 405/10 interchange is usually in the top 5 busiest in the US. It doesn't pay to drive late at night around here either because that's when construction happens so it can be even worse.

    I've only lived in California and Hawaii - I would rather live near the beach, hands down. Packing for Hawaii this weekend - no kids, so no Spring Break or tuition costs.

    1. We ran on the Simi trail. Gorgeous!! That area is amazing

  3. Beach! But I live near the mountains. Trade, anyone?

  4. I am a third generation San Diegan and my kids are fourth generation. My dad went to USC for a couple of years, graduated from SDSU. I went to UCSD for undergrad, UCI for grad, lots of friends went to UCLA and UCSB for both grad and undergrad. The question is, what does he want to do, and what does he want out of his education? He will find his 'tribe' anywhere he goes- so go to the 'best' school he gets into unless he has a specific thing he really, really wants to do, then go to the best school for that thing. College is awesome no matter where you go, but going to college near a beach can't possibly be a bad thing!

  5. Looks like San Diego was beautiful and warm for you. We were there last year this same time and it was cold n windy. Not beach weather :( Nothing special for spring break this year.

    Hard to choose between the beach and the mountains. So, I will go with a nice place on a lake with a little sand and mtns :)

    Kids are only 13 & 10 so no thoughts on college yet.

  6. My son is a junior next year so we start the college process next spring. I am already getting nervous about the costs! Ugh!! We did Florida and Savannah GA for spring break. Not crazy about FL but my boys are baseball fans so we watched lots of baseball. However I Loved Savannah! I live in the mountains on a very large lake but I need my Martha's Vineyard ocean fix once a year!

  7. Southern CA is an ultimate place to live (or grow up, as I did) - close to the beach and mountains or desert an hour or two away. Best of all worlds, except for traffic.

  8. BEACH, hands down! I live in OC, MD and love it. Where in MD did you live?

    Both my boys went to Salisbury University.

  9. Beach *and* mountains... Oregon! I know, the 50 degree surf isn't quite the same...

  10. I think this is where San Diego wins all the time--beach AND the mountains not too far away. And perfect weather. But then there's that traffic and of course, the cost of living.

    Good luck with the college decisions--it is such a process now! Sounds to me like you'll have a pretty awesome place to visit once he's decided. The letting your kids go part--I'll never be ready for it. Wishing you the best with it.

  11. Wow, your kids are getting so big. Nice job parenting--your whole family looks really happy. Happy college hunting. :)

  12. UCLA - Go Bruins!!!

    Beach. So Cal is the best compromise as someone already wrote - we have beach, mountains, and the best weather.

  13. Beach, especially since I grew up in Santa Monica and now live in Seattle (sunny today, oh wait, nevermind), but I love the mountains so much - maybe timeshare. My daughter is going to go to Western WA Univ, but she really wanted to go to UIC (Chicago - too much $). Spring Break was kicked off with a 10-mile trail race in Bend, Oregon (my daughter did great - I did not finish last) and finishing it this weekend with a Half in Woodland, WA (my daughter isn't going). USC Trojans all the way!!!

  14. Ahhhh that was like the best coffee hour of all time for me. :)

    "Number of seals that wondered what the eff I was doing: 13" Bahahahha!
    Ok, now I realize that they must've moved the thingie that blocks people off from getting close to the seals. Initially I was like "how the F did she get that close!?" and I was cracking up!

    ^^I agree with what Miss Zippy says up there about San Diego. Just a drive away from whatever you're craving (mountains, snow, wine country, whatever). But I can't WAIT to visit Colorado.

    I am so glad you ate fish tacos. It really makes my heart warm! And since I've been following your blog for so long, I cannot believe Sam is already looking at colleges. Time flies!

  15. The best family trip we ever went on was a spring break road trip to visit schools. We drove from Atlanta to Boston. 9 days, 9 schools and an amazing time. 4 years later we are preparing for her graduation from Miami University (Ohio not Florida) and a wedding. The school call them "Miami Mergers" because so many meet their spouses there.
    We live in the foothills of the Smokey mountains so I love visiting the beach. The best of both worlds would be the house in the mountains and a condo on the beach!

    1. My dad went to Miami/Ohio!!! I Agree! House in mountains condo on beach!

  16. saw your post about yoga & running. about a month ago i tried a yoga class and that TORE my hip UP. i was almost limping out of there. and the class was not difficult. so i went to PT to fix the problem and i said "yeah i thought yoga would HELP, because yoga is good for everything, right?" he looked at me and was like not really. so i don't know...maybe yoga doesn't work for everyone? of course it is possible i was not doing something correctly or it works best if you are not otherwise injured (i have ongoing issues with my hip/knee, that i am attempting to get under control)

  17. 1)We had a staycation this year, but we live in Florida 15 minutes from beach, so don't feel bad for us.
    2) Beach every time. Despite living at the beach (see #1) we always vacation at other beaches, unless I'm forced to visit my in-laws in Kansas or NC. All of my family also lives by beaches in FL. We're very tropical.
    3) I went to Univ. of Florida (GO GATORS!) and hubs went to Miami/OH & Univ. of Pitt but my kids are only 8 and 12 and right now it feels like they will never, ever, ever be old enough for college.

  18. My oldest is a sophomore at USC. It's a great school. But agree with you on California traffic - it sucks.

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