Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Girls Days 2017 - Oxnard

Another year of Girls Days! This tradition is always such a highlight for me. As is typical, we left on a Wednesday afternoon (actually the day after the 4th of July). George and Nancy came and picked me up before heading to Riverton to get April. Then we were off to the airport and our flight into Burbank. I had my very first airplane celebrity sighting! Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket from the Hunger Games) was waiting in line to board just behind April and I. She was there in a fedora hat with her two kids, and her husband. It’s funny how exciting it can be to see a celebrity.

Amy was already with Alli in California, so they were both there to pick us up from the airport. We went straight to the cemetery to take flowers to the grave of Grandma and Grandpa Banks. It is always a special tradition. Then it was dinner at Bob’s Big Boy (April's and my first time... and a Gruber/Banks favorite).


After dinner we made the drive to the Oxnard Beach House! It was actually Nancy’s year to host, but since we have three Utah years, she took up Alli’s offer to go to the beach house. Of course, this is always in thanks to the Corday’s as it is actually their property. When we drove into town, we did some quick grocery shopping for the weekend. Food is always such a huge part of our Girls Days, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

The process of picking out a watermelon...

We made it just in time to see an amazing sunset!

Goofing off at the beach house:

Well-stocked...we ain't goin' hungry...

Nancy did an amazing job planning our activities! On Thursday we had a great morning on the beach. We had BLTs for lunch, played Nertz, flew kites, and had dinner at Los Arcos.

Our itinerary

Our view for the weekend!

Early morning jogs and walks...

Los Arcos...amazing street tacos!

On Friday, Alli was not feeling well so we switched up the schedule a little bit and did the electric boats that day. Then we had more beach time. April and I got into the water and April suddenly got tossed by the waves resulting in water/ear issues for the rest of the weekend. Poor April! That afternoon we saw Wonder Woman at the movie theater (which we loved!) and then came back to roast hot dogs and marshmallows on the sand. It was a blast.

Again, well-stocked and well-fed.

The infamous beach tar!

Helping April's ear

Such a beautiful setting!

On Saturday we rode bikes around the harbor and had some more beach time. Alli was still not feeling well so she went to the Instacare to be tested for strep throat and to get some antibiotics. Poor Alli! Nancy had gotten a great idea from Steven and Annette for a fun painting activity and it was a hoot! She got small painting canvases for each of us and we all took turns adding to the canvas at five or ten minute increments. This meant that a painting starting out as a flower could end up being something completely different, thanks to the additions of many different people. It was really fun!

Strolling by Embassy Suites...reminiscing on an old Gruber Reunion!


The end results...I think we kept the one we initially started.

After painting, we had more beach time, this time Nancy surprised us with beach balls and ribbons. We also enjoyed some frisbee. Then it was dinner at Jetty’s Surf Cafe. It was seriously amazing Greek food!

That night, the time came...clean up time. We did a quick, but thorough cleaning job on the house before bed because we had to leave early Sunday morning to take Amy to the airport.

Sunday morning, after driving back and dropping Amy off, the rest of us went to Hollywood. Our flight didn’t leave until later that evening. We did a celebrity tour, thanks to Alli’s friend, Lisa. It was very hot, but super entertaining and interesting as we drove around different parts of Hollywood and LA to see where different celebrities live and stories of different buildings. Then we had lunch across the street at the Roosevelt Hotel and had delicious, fancy burgers.

Next we were at Trader Joe’s and Porto's (got to grab some pastries for the husbands at home) before visiting Steven and Annette. We chatted and had chips and guacamole. We ordered pizza and made a salad. It was a very lovely afternoon/evening with them.

Then the real time came for our departure. Once at the airport we were surprised to see one of Alli’s friends. Bekah was there traveling home from her flight attending shift. It was fun to visit with her and we were able to give her a ride home when George picked us up from the airport.

Girls Days is always SO MUCH FUN! I’m convinced that I have the best in-laws on the planet! I had such a great time and loved every minute. I’m so grateful to the effort and time put into making it happen, and especially grateful to the husbands and men who make it really possible by staying home with the kids! So amazing!

While I was away, this is what the boys were up to:

Jason had some mandatory work things he had to do, so we enlisted some help from babysitters. Kim babysat one day and Emma Steed babysat another day. When Jason was with them he lived it up by taking them to the park and the arcade. On Saturday they went to Riverton and helped Max unload some gravel for their backyard. On Sunday they got together in Alpine for a steak dinner, ice cream dessert, playing in the creek, and apparently tackling. They had a great time, and I am so happy for that.

Jason always impresses me with the elaborate meals he prepares when I am away!

Sunday dinner:

The serious man face...

Fun times all around!