You know what they say... You can take the boys out
of California but you can't take California out of the boys!
Honestly, I've never seen Wills so happy! Happy to be with mom
and dad and happy to be home on the Monterey Peninsula!
He was even happy to go to church!
We enjoyed 4th Sunday of Advent Mass...
And, midnight Mass at the Carmel Mission!
After Mass on the 4th Sunday of Advent we went to
another of my favorite places... The Carmelite Monastery!
The Carmelite Monastery is home to the order of nuns referred to as the
Sisters by the Sea. It is one of the first Carmelite monasteries on the West Coast...
And, it's as perfect...
As the view!
After our visit to the monastery, it was time to return to my
spot in Pacific Grove to feed some more of my little buddies!
And they were waiting for me too!
Have you seen anything cuter today?
Of course, there was plenty of competition
for the organic treats I brought along!
But that's okay because I brought plenty!
Somewhere between here and Lover's Point we lost Wills! He took off
on his skateboard and that was the last we saw of him for six hours!
The young man was home... He was born and raised here...
I don't blame him for wanting to check out all the familiar places!
I mean, it's all I did the first five days of my trip!
Seriously! They were following me!
Like a dog follows a girl with bacon in her pocket!
Not that you'd ever catch me complaining!
After all the nuts were gone we headed over to our
favorite hole in a strip-mall for some really great food!
Nothing beats Michael's for blacked chicken sandwiches!
We walked off lunch on Lighthouse Avenue
where we hit a few of the antique shops!
There was a lot to see!
Eventually, we ran into Wills... He was doing a little car shopping!
We started to worry about whether or not he'd
show up for our flight back to North Carolina!
I know I caught myself leaning the other way a few times!
A little day-dreaming at Christmas never hurts!
Speaking of Christmas!
No Christmas Eve dinner is complete without dessert from Paris Bakery!
It was hard to resist the Princess Cake,
which has always been my favorite!
After the bakery, we took one more drive down Ocean View...
Picked up our skateboarder...
and headed home!
But there was one more stop we made...
To pick up a fresh supply of John Pisto's sensational seasoning to take home!
Then we went home!
Mom had dinner waiting and as always, she was very glad to see us!
Of course, bringing along a hazelnut bûche de Noël, and a tiramisu tort
from Paris Bakery helped! I even surprised Wills with a brioche snowman!
Christmas Eve we all met at the Vietnam War Memorial in Salinas...
Then the girls went one way and the boys went the other way...
Mom and I headed back to Monterey...
To my favorite spot for a quick peek at the ocean...
Then to Whole Foods for our Christmas Eve dinner sea bass!
After dinner our little family exchanged gifts and
then went back to the Mission for the best gift of all...
It was another tough deployment year for our family... But
what a blessing it is to have it end with another thrilling
homecoming and a visit home with mom and dad for Christmas!
God is good!
It's crazy how quickly ten days at home went by!
We sure did make the most of them though!
Going home is always a little sad... Initially I was looking forward to
having a week to myself before going back to work... However, the second
we pulled into the driveway I was feeling homesick. Fortunately, I have
the best friend in the world because when I woke up this morning there
was an e-mail inviting us to join SpaBoy at a beach house on Hatteras!
I've never unpacked and packed at the
same time as quickly as I did this morning!
But here we are... Rushing to catch the sunset on Bodie Island Lighthouse!
It's the second time this week that we've rushed to catch a sunset!
On Wednesday night we rushed to catch it on the west...
And tonight we rushed to catch it on the east!
How's that for a bi-coastal holiday vacation?
My dad will be happy to see these photos
and to know we caught the sunset just in time!
This one's for you, dad!
We're missing you and mom on the opposite coast!