On Friday night we went to Santa Monica to check out the lights on the temple where Brandon and I were married. The temple is located on Santa Monica Blvd. and surrounded by city so it's always nice to go through those gates onto the grounds. It's beautiful anyway, but with the Christmas lights and balmy, cool weather it was just what we needed to kick off our Christmas break. Kate and I fought over the camera all night and ended up with a lot of great pictures.
I think this looks straight out of a Dr. Seuss book.
The mushroom tree. This light tent was HUGE!
Elizabeth under the mushroom tree. Look at those gnarly roots!
Kate and I must have stood under this tree for 15 minutes smelling the flowers.
Brandon and I took a wedding picture under this tree almost 15 years ago.
Kate took this one with downtown Santa Monica in the background.
There is a huge expanse of grass between the walls of the grounds on Santa Monica Blvd. and the temple itself. During daytime hours when you can see the grass from the temple and the street I would never let my kids do this, but there was something about the air, the darkness, and the lights that led to my family running races and rolling head over heels down the grassy hill. It was dark enough that my kids persuaded me to run and roll too. I felt like a kid playing on the front lawn of some heavenly home.
This is the shot of the evening. I balanced the camera on a sweatshirt.
Afterward we met up with Trenton and Laura who live just a few blocks away and they took us to a part of town with tons of Japanese restaurants and stores. (Brandon is dying to go back to a particular bonsai nursery.) This is one of their favorite frozen yogurt places: Yogurtland. The Japanese LOVE to put "land" at the end of the name of any establishment. I remember going to an onsen in Nagoya called "Lucky Kenko (Health) Land". Whatever - these guys make good frozen yogurt.
Elizabeth didn't get the message to take only two toppings.
I tried a bite of this mix and it was disgusting. Frozen yogurt joints are a good place to learn this lesson: all good things combined together do not necessarily make one big, good thing. Case in point, my bridal shower. I invited all my favorite people from all my various "lives". None of them knew each other so when they were all mixed together it was slightly awkward and not as fun as when I was with them separately. M&M's and kiwi fruit are best enjoyed separately.
The kids were all over Aunt Laura - she's so fun!
Rachael working her spoon skills.
"Tokidoki" means "sometimes" in Japanese so I don't know what this means. But the Japanese are famous for not making sense when using English. If you don't know what I mean, click here. I miss Japan.
Heading back to the freeway at the end of the night I couldn't resist a picture of our van mascot, Bob, with the temple in the background behind the city.
I always love to see downtown L.A. at night.