Visiting Family in California, pt. 1
It's not everyday you get to spend time with your extended family who live more than halfway across the country from you. It's also not everyday that you have family you adore so much. I wish all families could be so lucky.
In this case, I got to see my aunt, uncle, and cousins from my mom's side of the family, and meet four of my second cousins (two sets of twins!), the great-grandchildren of the family, for the first time! Mike and I traveled to Carlsbad, California and spent two short, lovely days in their company.
Fortunately for me and my camera, we had a lot of time with Leo and Hazel (or Hazi, as Grammy so affectionately calls her), the newest additions to the Kriech family. Bright and blue-eyed, they are rife with camera-matter. I am especially happy that, for whatever reason, it was extremely easy to take candid photos of everyone together. The lighting, the activity, the expressions on everyone's faces - couldn't have been more perfect for nabbing some pics for the road.
This short clip of Hazel sharing the love sums things up nicely. And by "nicely," I mean you might have to squeal out loud at the amount of cuteness in this video! I melt every time I watch it.
Over the course of two evenings we ate dinner together, got to know one another and caught up, and enjoyed watching the kids play and laugh. Although my cousin Scott has been married for seven years, this was the first time I was able to meet his wife, Jennifer: stunning, stellar, kind-hearted woman that I am happy to call family! And, I regret to say, we MISSED Robin, my cousin Randy's wife, as she was out of town for work while we were visiting. BOOOOOO! We did, however, have the pleasure of sleeping in Robin's house, hanging out with her kids Piper and Houston, setting up her new patio furniture, gawking at her new beautiful pool, cuddling with her dog, and scheming about our next visit and what shenanigans we will get into when we are together. :) Our future is promising, Robin. Until then, see you on Instagram.
What else? Well, to my great joy, my aunt asked me at one point if I liked shoe shopping. Of COURSE I WANT TO GO SHOE SHOPPING WITH MY AUNT! So we did, and I bought some sweet fluorescent tennies that blind your eyes when it's dark.
My other great joy during this leg of our California trip (we visited the Brown family relatives after Carlsbad) was seeing with what ease Mike fell in line with my side of the family. He experienced an overwhelming dosage of the Kriechs at my grandmother's funeral this past winter, so this union in Carlsbad was a total breeze in comparison. Mike deserves an award for his amazing ability to fit in with any crowd. He not only fits in, but knows how to make genuine connections. It's one of my favorite things about him!
Now without further ado, the photos. What some are lacking in technique, they make up for in content. I was enamored with the plants and succulents that make up California suburban yards, so there are plenty of photos for fellow plant-enthusiasts, too. Enjoy.