California Vacation: Part 2 of 4

Day 6: (Monday, February 18th) PRESIDENTS DAY

  Poppi got the day off for President's Day so we were able to spend the day with him. Over all it was a relaxing day. We did venture out and walked to the Beverly Center Mall for a few hours, then later drove to Target in Hollywood, but besides those outings we stayed at home and played inside. (While at Target a cute older couple passed us in the isle, as they were approaching the man smiled at the children and said, "We'll take both!" with a huge grin. They then went on to tell me how adorable they were and offered to babysit any time:)) The children were able to take some good naps, Jada played with Poppi on his iPad, Tucker attempted to crawl for the first time, and we ate lots of yummy food:)  All in all, a great day!

Day 7: (Tuesday) HOLLYWOOD

  Tuesday was a fun filled eventful day for Maimi, Jada, Tucker and I. After Tucker's morning nap, we headed to Hollywood to see the Dolby Theater, the Chinese Theater, and the Walk of Fame. Somehow we missed the fact that the Oscars would be happening this weekend. While it was fun to get to see all of the preparation work for it, it was a bummer because lots of the stars were covered, and access to the Dolby theater was limited. We were able to still walk the streets (in the rain I might add) and see other fun things, but it wasn't as awesome as it could have been.

  After spending an hour or so in the rain, we decided to call it good and head back. On our way home we stopped at Mel's Drive-in to try their food and feed our hunger:) I thought it was a fun little restaurant, and Jada LOVED her kids meal that Maimi ordered for her. To all of our surprise it came out in an awesome cardboard car. I think that's what Jada loved the most. As for my mom and I, we split a burger, fries, and shake; all of which were delicious. Unfortunately, Tucker was not having such a great time so our lunch was rushed. We ate as fast as we could then took Tucker home for a nap.

  Later that night we went to the Kate Mantilini restaurant with Poppi (thank you Groupon and my mom). While the atmosphere was nice, the people kind and helpful, the presentation beautiful, the food was disappointing. I think my moms kale was the only thing that I was impressed by. It was fun to go to a fancy place though and we enjoyed not having to cook ourselves and being served.

the Harry Potter crew

Tucker with his make-shift rain gear. We were not prepared for the rain

As you can see she was pretty excited:)


    More fun adventures:) Today was an awesome day. We started off our Wednesday by heading to the Santa Monica Farmers Market. It isn't a huge one, but it's big enough, and it was fun to try different locally grown produce and fresh baked goods. I love farmers markets and really enjoyed walking around by the beach, feeling the ocean breeze, and smelling the fresh food. Tucker fell asleep shortly after our arrival and didn't wake up until I had to take him out to put him in his car seat. It was perfect. Jada on the other hand love riding around in her stroller and looking at everyone and every thing.

  After our time there, we went home, took naps, then headed over to the UCLA Institute to visit Poppi and so mom could bake some fresh bread for the students there. (She makes them bread every Wednesday:)) It was fun to see where my dad works and Jada just loved being able to spend more time with Poppi and enjoyed seeing him at work. Between his classes we were able to go for a walk and got some amazing food. We ate an early dinner at 800 Degree Pizza, which I LOVED. It's Cafe Rio style, where you tell them what you want on your pizza as you go through the line at the counter, then they cook it for you in literally 4 minutes. It was impressive how quickly it cooked in their brick ovens. But not as impressive as the pizza's delicious taste! I had a margarita pizza with fresh basil and fresh mozzarella and it was yummy! My mom and I also shared a good salad with olive oil and lemon dressing. My mouth is watering just writing about it.

  When all the pizza was gone, we took the scenic route back to the Institute and stopped to pick up a cookie ice cream sandwich at Diddy Riese. You pick which 2 fresh cookies you would like and an ice cream flavor, then they make your sandwich for you. DELICIOUS. They are always messy to eat, but well worth it:) By the time we got back to the Institute it was almost time for my dads evening class to start so we headed home and let Poppi get back to teaching.

  Jada and Tucker were exhausted by the time we got home so they went straight to bed. I followed not to long after knowing that Tucker would most likely have another rough night.

The Santa Monica Farmer's Market

The Santa Monica beach

Visiting Poppi at work

800 Degree's

Strolling down the streets by UCLA. Jada was so spoiled. She loved every minute!

Diddy Riese: so good

Day 9: (Thursday) THE PRICE IS RIGHT

  Oh man what an adventure! Today my Dad and I spent pretty much the entire day going to a taping of The Price is Right. Our call time was noon, so we got there a bit early and waited in line. Lucky for us we had priority tickets so we were guaranteed entrance into the taping. Poor 70+ people in the other line. I think only 5 or so actually got in.

  I could go into a ton of detail about the day but that would be boring. To make it short and sweet, we did a lot of waiting. A. LOT. We went from one area to the next waiting and waiting. It took hours to get our name tags and picture taken, then another hour waiting and getting a group interview, then more time watching old episodes and waiting for our turn in the studio. We didn't get into the studio for filming until after 5PM.

  My dad and I got to sit in the second row on the isle right behind the contestants. The whole filming of the show was quite surreal. It was not what I expected. It almost felt like we were just acting like we were playing a game show and not actually in one. It's hard to describe. It was really fun and exciting non the less. The lady who was in front of us in line was called up and won a bedroom set, that was as close as we got:) It was cool to see how everything is done and interesting to be "behind the scenes". A few things I found surprising: first, the cheering is so loud in comparison to Drew and the announcer that you can't even hear if your name is called. They have note cards in the front that have the name on it and they show it when they announce it. So everyone intently watches ahead at the cards for their name as they cheer. Second, the whole set is MUCH smaller then I could have imagined. Third, a few times throughout the taping they have to redo scenes. Forth, and last, during commercials Drew interacts with the audience and talks with a lot of the guests. He is actually a nice guy. I was never really much of a fan, but he is cool.

  Obviously we didn't win anything, but it was a fun experience and I would definitely go again:) I had a wonderful time spending the day with my dad. It was the best.

Our tickets. We were 230 & 231 out of 300

No cameras were allowed, so my phone camera was the next best thing.


  Today was probably one of my favorite days of vacation so far! While I was in Michigan for Christmas, my girlfriend Kimmie told me that I needed to go to The Grove while I was in LA, so today was that day. I wasn't sure what to expect. I guess I just figured it would be another mall, but fun to see; so I told my mom that I really wanted to check it out while I was visiting. So today was the day that we decided to check it out, and boy am I glad we did. It was awesome. Not just the Grove, but more specifically the Farmers Market next to it.

  We started off by checking out the Farmer's Market. It was such a fun place! I kept thinking to myself, "Michael would LOVE this!" over and over as I saw all the different shops and food varieties that they had. I wish he could have been there with us because I know he would have been in heaven. This farmers market wasn't your traditional one like the Santa Monica Farmers Market we went to a few days before, it was more like a market that you would see in movies in other countries. (It's difficult to describe) There are shops with fresh produce, but there are also souvenir shops, candy shops, fudge shops, doughnut shops, ice cream shops, and booths/restaurants with ever kind of food you could want. It is the perfect place to go out to eat. They have anything and every thing you can imagine. I got a caramel apple from one place to take home and share with my dad, tried a few doughnuts from their shop there, and had the best Philly Cheesesteak I have ever tasted. It was scrumptious.

  After spending some time there, we made our way to the Grove and walked around that area. Lucky for us, they were having their See's store grand opening which meant free chocolates and prizes. We all got to spin a wheel and went home with free stuff. Jada won 4 chocolate bars, I won a bag of mints, and my mom won a box of suckers. It was pretty awesome. As we walked around checking out the shops that we couldn't afford, we noticed there were film crews in the center. Of course we went to check it out. Apparently Extra fills there on a daily basis and they were in the middle of filming Mario Lopez and his co-host Marie riding a mechanical bull. It was fun to see Mario Lopez, another celebrity.

  After a fun afternoon there, we headed home and took naps. Later that evening I was able to go do a session with my mom at the LDS LA Temple. It was wonderful to be able to spend some time there with my mom and to serve others. It is a beautiful temple and I loved being able to visit. I am so grateful that I am worthy to enter the temple and am able to have that blessing in my life and in the life of my family. What a perfect ending to an already amazing day! Thank you Dad for watching my babies so that I could go with mom!

The Farmers Market by The Grove

Obviously she LOVED her sprinkle covered doughnut:)

Mario Lopez and the Extra crew

Inside the farmers market

The BEST Philly Cheesesteak

My silly boy found his thumb and thought that it was pretty awesome

Watching Cars 2 with Poppi

The LDS LA Temple

Day 11: (Saturday) STARLINE TOUR

  Today I got to spend some more time with my Daddy-o, kid free. He and I went to Hollywood and were able to go on the Starline Tour! We spent the morning riding on a tour bus seeing stars homes around the Hollywood/Beverly Hills area and driving down Rodeo Dr and other famous streets. We got to see Jimmy Kimmel, Sandra Bullock, Richard Simmons, Larry King, Simon Cowell, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Ellen Degeneres, and Tom Cruz's homes to name a few. It was so fun to see all their "homes", ok we saw a LOT of gates, but it was still fun to learn all about the celebrities who live so close to my parents! We also got to learn a lot of the history of Hollywood and lots of random celebrity info:)

  After our Starline Tour we hit up Madame Tussaud's. I didn't know anything about it, so it was pretty interesting to see what it was all about. I won't lie, it was a bit creepy. But, some of them were so realistic it was crazy. Over all I thought it was pretty cool. I think the thing that stood out to me the most was how surprisingly skinny and short a lot of the female celebrities are. Almost every one in there was smaller and skinnier then I would have ever imagined. Craziness, and a bit depressing.

  Once again, it was fun to spend the day with my dad:) Thanks mom for taking care of Tucker and Jada!

"Captain Jack Sparrow" taking a cigarette break

Hollywood Blvd.

Home to celebrities like Courtney Cox, Elton John and many others

Ellen's home

Greystone Manor (where many films are filmed)

The crooked house:) Love it!

Los Angeles, CA

Madame Tussaud's

Day 12: (Sunday) CHURCH & WEBCHAT

  Sunday was a pretty relaxing day, minus sacrament meeting at church. We survived church with crazy Jada (she was out of control hyper), took naps, played around the house, and webchatted with Daddy. To finished off the night Jada nearly broke my dads nose. She whipped her head back and whacked him so hard we all heard a crack. It was bad.

  After the children went to bed I stayed up teaching my mom how about Instagram and Draw Something, then played Draw Something back and forth with her and my dad for over an hour.

Tucker's first blanket ride (thank you Jada!)

Webchatting with Daddy

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