November 10, 2015

california through photos

Late Monday night, I got home from a weekend trip with my parents to visit my uncle (my mom's brother). He has had some health issues, and I hadn't seen him since his last trip to Nebraska over Christmas 2013, so it was great to see him again! Here's a glimpse at our trip through photos ...

We left around 9:30 on Friday morning. Fortunately, we had time built into our schedule, as we encountered an unexpected detour. We still arrived in plenty of time.
On the shuttle to the airport. I forgot to alert Dad that we were taking a picture.

We ran into some of Steph's friends at the airport, and they ended up sitting right behind us on our Southwest flight to Vegas. Please excuse my wild selfie eyes.

As we neared Vegas, I couldn't help but take picture after picture after picture of the topography. So pretty, and these pics don't do it justice.

From my previous visit to the Las Vegas airport, I knew there would be a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, so we had to get hot drinks. I had hot tea, as I wasn't sure how my system would react to coffee after being on the AIP diet for eight weeks.

And then the fun part ... our first celebrity sighting! After boarding the flight from Vegas to Burbank, we got all settled, I turned off my phone (which was dying--my battery has the shortest life), and I looked up to see Nick Carter searching for a place to put his carry on. In case you've been living under a rock (or you weren't a teenage girl in the 90's), Nick Carter is a member of the Backstreet Boys and a current contestant on Dancing with the Stars. His partner, Sharna, was also on the flight. He ended up sitting about three rows behind us. Absolutely no one even let on that they knew who he was, and I played it cool, too ... until we landed and went to baggage claim. Mom noticed a man holding a sign that said "N. Carter" and told me to get a picture. So I did--not of the sign but of N. Carter himself.
Unfortunately, the picture was blurry, and there wasn't time to snap another. But I swear that this is Nick Carter!

Our friends Lee & Jean picked us up at the airport. Our first stop? In-N-Out, where I had my first fries in two months. And one very sorry "protein style" burger.

California is beautiful. I know that's general knowledge, but it's different when you're experiencing it for yourself! The weather was so fantastic--and there were practically no bugs! We spent most of our morning relaxing--and I spent a considerable amount of time in Lee & Jean's backyard.
Mom wanted to get a new Facebook cover photo. I think this one will do nicely.

My uncle is very protective of his privacy, so I cropped him out of the photos, but you can see that Mom and I enjoyed being with him! We spent much of the day at the assisted living place where he lives.

Back at Lee & Jean's, we started to watch the Husker game, but then it was supper time, so we went to Souplantation, where I neglected to take any photos. The food was good, though :-)
A photo posted by Becky Ritta (@beckyritta) on
After supper, we went to Walmart to get some things for my uncle. I'd been following the game on my phone, and, as we were standing in the checkout, I saw that we were up by one with 17 seconds left. I began obsessively hitting "refresh" on my Twitter feed ... and when I saw that we won, I yelled. In the checkout. The Californians though I was nuts.

We went to Lee & Jean's church on Sunday, and it was so nice to finally meet the people who were so helpful when my uncle had his health crisis. It was also, once again, nice outside ... so we walked home from church.
A photo posted by Becky Ritta (@beckyritta) on

While the others went to pick up my uncle for lunch, Mom and I relaxed in the back yard.

We had a wonderful time eating (outside!) and visiting with my uncle and Lee & Jean. Then Mom and I spent time with my uncle in his room.
While my uncle went to supper, Mom and I waited on a bench in the hallway. One cute little lady was so concerned about us because there was a fan on, and surely we were cold. I wasn't at all :-)

On Monday, it was time to head home. Pretty uneventful, except that we did have another celebrity sighting (though celeb might be pushing it a bit). "It's that guy from Spin City!" I exclaimed to Mom. No, not Michael J. Fox. Richard Kind. So not too exciting, but still fun to spot an actor.

We had a very long layover in Denver, and we ended up eating at McDonald's for lunch--because it was the ONLY fast food we spotted, and no way was Dad going to pay for a sit down meal. But then we found this, and all was right in the world.
This time, I took a chance on a latte made with coconut almond milk, and it tasted so good! Also, my body didn't rebel, which I appreciated.

A short flight to Omaha, supper with Blendy, and we headed home. I was greeted by these goobers, who didn't seem too excited to see me at first but have been very clingy in the last two days.

Overall, it was a fantastic trip, and I'm very grateful that I was able to go along with my parents. Also, I somehow managed to lose a pound--maybe I should disregard my diet more often!

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