vacation

monterey and big sur

i am not so good at giving gifts. they stress me out. it’s just not my love language. for example, poor tyler got three shirts for his birthday, two of which were just…. gray t-shirts.

since he was turning 30 this year, i had to redeem myself somehow, so i did what i do best. i planned a surprise trip! i told him to get a friday off work and not to scheduleanything for the weekend. he tried to guess where we were going all month long, but i wouldn’t give any clues. i’m a jerk, what can i say.

we packed some bags, i was completely vague on what he should bring, we loaded up the car early friday morning and i drove west… totally throwing him off the trail of where we were going until we pulled into a park n jet! at airport security i gave him his boarding pass right before we had to hand them to security. i had toyed with the idea of blindfolding him and making him wear headphones the entire flight, but figured TSA would not be so keen on my charade.

so anyway, we ended up in san francisco! but that wasn’t our destination. once we got there we loaded up a rental car and proceeded down the coast to one of my favorite places in california- monterey. DSC_0218we spent the long weekend exploring monterey and big sur. it is the most beautiful country. there’s greenery and crashing waves on the beaches and tide pools and oak trees. and seafood and sunsets. my perfect vacation.

neither of us had ever been to big sur, so we drove that stretch of the pacific 1 that morning and saw all the beautiful vistas, climbed trees, and hiked around for more views. it was amazing! i took a lot of photos and tried to narrow them down, it clearly didn’t work. so here are a bunch of them

here are two of the great views- the first one is the most photographed spot in big sur with a waterfall going directly into the ocean, and the other is the view from the 17 mile drive.

a couple more on the ocean at 17 mile drive, and a photo i took of the coastline from high up in a tree.

point lobos state park is a great stop on the big sur circuit. lots of easy hiking around and pretty overlooks. and! you can’t forget the lone cyprus, which we are pictured with above… even if it is just a kind of overrated tree being held up by stilts and wires so it doesn’t fall over and die.

sunset in carmel, two goons freezing during said sunset on the beach, and more point lobos park.

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we had a great trip! up until tyler almost made us miss our flight home because he drove the wrong way over the bay bridge instead of towards the airport because he was too excited to play a song he knew that mentioned the bay bridge instead of watching the navigation. it’s cool. i mean what’s a good trip without a little drama?

EDIT TO ADD: after reading this post, tyler informed me that i didn’t add enough detail to the bay bridge debacle. for instance, the song was called, “jungle” by andre nickatina. and he was feeling the music so much that he was completely oblivious to the fact that we were going the wrong way until our time to destination had doubled. and we had to wait in traffic for 45 minutes in order to pay a toll to cross the bridge again, this time going in the right direction. and we hemmed and hawed about whether or not we should just make a break for it and go through the auto toll lane and get fined instead of waiting in line… and how when we finally got the car back to the rental place, the gas tank was completely empty and we basically threw the keys at the rental car guy, grabbed our bags, and ran to the gate. thanks for jogging my memory, tyler.

february 2018… basically just spain

as of february 10 we have been married one year. we decided to go to spain for our anniversary and planning the trip and anticipating showing tyler all my favorite things in spain made winter bearable.

we didn’t have much of a plan, but tyler was convinced he wanted to drive around the country and see as much as possible in nine days… and by the end, i think we were both wishing we had taken things a bit slower! we got home definitely needing a vacation from our vacation! but it was so awesome. i loved having my worlds collide by taking my husband to some of the places that had shaped me. and seeing him try to understand castillian spanish and figure out how to order food and what the hell a “bocadillo” was ended up being quite hilarious.

so! our trip. we started out in madrid. we flew in on a red eye, got wifi at the coveted mcdonald’s free wifi station, and walked around a bit. we were incredibly tired, so we got churros con chocolate from san gines, the BEST in spain, and headed out on our road trip. we spent the night halfway between madrid and barcelona and slept for about 15 hours.

the following day we drove north towards figureres, the home of dalí and his art. we stopped at montserrat, a monestary in the high spanish mountains. i wanted to see the view i had missed when i was there in 2010. it was beautiful. and by the time we were heading back the fog had rolled in and the rains come. we had made it just in time.

figueres was a town i had never been to, but ended up loving. we stayed right next to  a church in a cute apartment that overlooked el museo dalí. we spent our time there eating tapas, walking the city streets in search of coca light, and visiting the museum. it was a sensational delight, truly. i recommend it completely. here’s tyler’s “art outfit” and “art appreciation stance”

our time spent in barcelona was short and COLD. haha we made the best of things and walked around the parque guell for the view of the city, then down to city center for a tour of la sagrada familia. also, more great food and expensive parking. sagrada familia was fantastic, even better than i remembered. it is still not complete, but much different than 8 years ago when i was there. it is so beautiful and indescribable, you must go. and we will have to go again too because we accidentally watched the entire video in catalán instead of english or spanish, so we definitely missed some important parts.

our next day was a travel day in which we had to cover a lot of ground in our volkwagen polo, so we stopped in multiple cities along the way. valencia for orange juice (duh) and then alicante for the beach, sun, food, and people watching. it was actually warm there, so i was incredibly happy and my spirit renewed. and i got to take off my ugly black coat so i was happy. that night we stayed in granada and had a lovely dinner of paella for el dia de san valentín!

in the early AM the next day we piled our stuff back into the car and drove to el caminito del rey, which is a hike along sheer cliffs that tyler had wanted to do. it was scary. i like to try everything and heights usually don’t get to me, but this place took my breath away. it was beautiful country though. and tyler was happy, and we were outside, so overall good? besides the terror.

our next stop was ronda. favorite part of the trip for me! ronda is small town high in the mountains of andalucia. hemingway loved ronda, and wrote about it a lot. it is also the home of bullfighting. ronda is built up on a cliff, and there are multiple connecting bridges all around the city that are so lovely. below the city are farms and olive groves for as far as the eye can see. it was such a relaxing, beautiful stay. we explored the city by foot and by car for all the best sites. also, we found a grocery store where you could squeeze your own orange juice from the BEST oranges and i felt like i had won the lottery. from ronda we took one day trip to marbella, which is on the sea to the south. lots of boats, finery, and money clearly run the city. it was a fun trip to see how vacationing europeans live.

and on our last day in spain we drove to alcalá de henares to see my poveda familia!!! it was almost nerve wracking driving to see them! tyler said he felt like he was going home to meet my parents. haha being in alcalá was great and strange. seeing streets i had walked down a million times and places i had forgotten about was a real trip! and i only got us lost once.  🙂

we ate dinner with fernando, pilar, and the whole gang. they recently sold their house and renovated the store they owned into a house, so we spent time going through and seeing everything, right now to the closets’ interior. it was great. both their sons and their families came, so i got to see everyone and try to understand everyone’s accents. between tyler and i, we did ok. it was so great to see everyone again. they are completely the same, only fernando has a few less teeth. after dinner we went on a walk through the city, and tyler couldn’t believe the dining options we was having just then. i think he thought i was holding out on him. haha! guess we will need to take a trip back to alcalá soon.

the next morning it was back to the USA. such a great trip, i already want to go back.

 

 

june 2017

IMG_4604june was busy! my cousin was coming home from a mission and my parents were planning a trip that coincided with my work vacation, so i invited myself and it was the best idea! we went to moab, glendale springs and hanging lake, and then on to aspen, breckenridge, and finally denver, where tyler met up with us. it was the best trip!!! colorado is so beautiful.

these were taken at the maroon bells in aspen. so beautiful! and we only got lost once…

hanging lake and more maroon bells.

pretty colorado scenes, a bike ride through breck, and the continental divide.

a hike to high mountain lakes with snow! and a trillion people.

i made us wear matching colorado shirts. it was everything! and welcome home, chandler!

the rest of june was great. we did some hiking in our own backyard, went to the strawberry days rodeo with friends and our favorite 2 year old, ate nachos outside, and had way too much fun with snapachat i guess.

lindsay and i also went up to albion basin to see the wildflowers…. only if you can’t tell, we went too early. ha! it was pretty nonetheless.

and! the most important part of the month, tyler and i went to see dead and company in concert. tyler’s grateful dead loving heart has never been happier. it was a great show, i just wish i had had worn more tie dye…

 

 

 

 

june 2017: mexico

when i married tyler i also married baja california off road races.

in all the months of our togetherness, i have learned more than i ever thought possible about trophy trucks. so, in order to be a kimball for real i had to be christened in the ways of the baja 500, an off road race around ensenada, mexico.

it was a cultural experience, for sure. please enjoy my outfit in the last photo, everyone was impressed with my BFG sweatshirt, i definitely played the part of bad ass pit girl… or something. maybe the lululemon leggings proved otherwise.

before the race started on saturday, we had a day to kill while our team’s truck was getting ready. we spent our time going to town to see contingency (mostly all the competing trucks parading through town while mexican children run amok, chiding drivers for “estickers! estickers!) riding motorcycles, and eating tacos. so many delicious tacos.

i’d never been to mexico, so driving across the border (and getting kicked out and having to try again at another border crossing, lol) was fun.

and tyler was 100% happy all weekend doing his thing, wearing his race shirts, chasing the trophy truck in a raptor, and using a radio. i was happy for most of it… until half way through the race when i was in the chase vehicle for nearly 24 hours and got verrrry carsick on a long, windy, bumpy back road. i am too weak for this type of excursion)

we had a great little trip to mexico, though! and now i see what all the fuss is about. … but i think next time i will enjoy the race from the comfort of my couch OR mexican beach resort via text updates from my husband thanks very much!

🙂 🙂 🙂

costa rica wedding video!

psych!

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i guess i am not done, because i made this video finally and i am posting it here!

i felt like an idiot the whole time i was filming clips for a video of our whole wedding thing, and i am pretty sure tyler got sick of me shoving the camera in his face and saying, “it’s a video!” but all is well that ends well.

ok now i am never talking about my wedding again. carry on.

our honeymoon in a treehouse and getting assaulted by monkeys

after our wedding we spent one night in san jose, and then the real fun began!

a couple months before our wedding we were trying to figure our what we wanted to do for our honeymoon. we wanted to see the most of costa rica we could, but we also didn’t want to spend tons of time driving. we decided to do a sort of road trip through the country… which meant we ended up driving 4-5 hours every few days, but it was worth it to see so much of such a jaw-drop beautiful place.

our first destination was finca bellavista, a treehouse community high up in the western rainforest only accessible by four wheel drive. the place was amazing! totally worth it. basically, the place has 10-15 tree houses that have been built in a 3-5 mile area hooked by trails. we stayed in a remote cabin totally secluded from everything, private access to the river below, and surrounded by the deafening sounds of bugs, monkeys, and other animals i could never hope to identify! we spent our time hiking, picking vegetables and cooking our own food (beans and rice! what else!), exploring the various tree houses, swimming in the river, and mostly being in such bewilderment that the place we were in was real! if you’re looking for a remote, relaxing, fun-but-kinda-rugged vacation, this is the place.

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after our glamping experience, we drove across the country and spent the night at a bed and breakfast in cartago. cartage was beautiful and confusing… mostly because the pueblo we stayed in was overrun with costa ricans in neon workout gear running around? it was the funniest thing. i never pictured these people to be such avid runners, but that’s why you travel i guess!

the next day we continued on our journey to the caribbean side of the country. we passed lots of banana and pineapple plantations, causing us to become pretty obsessed with figuring out banana manufacturing and exportation (so romantic, right?). we made it to puerto viejo, where we stayed at an airbnb for the next few days… cocles, to be exact. we spent our time reading on the beach, playing in the ocean (and getting pummeled by waves if you’re me), snorkeling, eating all the seafood we could find, trying to find the sloths that lived in the trees outside our rental, and falling asleep by 7:30 pm (if you’re tyler). we were awoken most nights by monkeys shrieking and throwing things at our roof. one day we decided to go to panama and took a speed boat to boca del toro islands. all days were spent eating plantain chips and ice cream bars from the supermarkets. we would wake up with the sun hard decisions at hand, like should we go to the beach or breakfast? it was paradise. and then just like that it was over and we were turning in our beloved JIMNY car that took us over 13,000 km. sigh.IMG_3790

(and one more of my favorite sous chef working in our treehouse kitchen)

anyway, there you have it! two weeks in paradise! that’s all she wrote! (no really. i am not writing any more about this, it makes me too jealous of past alyssa.)

more photos  here 

 

 

wedding: our civil ceremony & sealing

because we are mormon, our wedding was a little different from traditional wedding-ness in the way that the most important part of the wedding, to us, is our temple sealing. in the states, a temple marriage is considered legitimate, but abroad it isn’t always, as is the case in costa rica, where you must be married by a lawyer or a catholic priest. after we had scheduled our temple ceremony, the temple was able to put us into contact with a lawyer who would be able to marry us at the chapel next to the temple a few hours before our temple sealing. she also offered to get me a bouquet, which was helpful, not not necessary when i realized just how many beautiful flowers one can forage for because COSTA RICA. anyway, it was great. i liked having a civil ceremony because our family and friends could all see us get married, which isn’t the case when you get married in the temple only. it was fun! and low key! here‘s more photos of our civil ceremony

between our wedding and sealing, we were able to get some photos of everyone together. there’s more here! i just have to give a shout out to my friends pictured below for coming all the way to costa rica from the east coast to celebrate with us. they are the best.

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and we will end on my favorite photo from our wedding. i love this one. 10820030

and then we had our temple sealing, and it was wonderful and beautiful and i am not stuck to this guy forever 😉

as soon as our ceremony was over we said our goodbyes and headed out on our honeymoon adventure! more on that later. let’s just say we are really glad we decided to forego a reception and wedding dinner and whatever else fluffy stuff happens at regular weddings 😉

it was the perfect wedding weekend. thanks to all who came/ cheered us on!