My life is to make everything around me beautiful.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Our 50th Anniversary Dinner and Vacation Part 2 for Pink Saturday

Welcome to Pink Saturday once again. I'm doing this early so you can read about our experiences this past week.

These are what we saw in our gardens when we got back home from California. The peonies are absolutely huge. But on with the story below the flower pictures. Do not stop reading here!

And 2 different colors of clematis on the same plant.

We arrived at my daughter's house in northern Calif. on Monday and on Tuesday she and her boyfriend and hubs and I traveled down 101 to Santa Barbara. The motel was booked on line. Let me say here the pictures do NOT do justice to the rooms. If they hadn't been so cheap at $189 a night we would have gone somewhere else. We were all disappointed in them, but as I've said many times before here we just laughed and giggled at how bad it was. Nothing—and I mean absolutely NOTHING—ruins my vacations.

My son and daughter had booked 5 rooms for all of our families. Hubs and I took a small room as it was just us and we aren't picky. BUT this place was sad. Most of the lights didn't work. The whole place was shabby instead of the perceived "ambiance and quaintness" visible in the photos. A nice regular room in Santa Barbara started at $400-$500 a night and since my son and daughter footed the bill for hubby and me we weren't about to complain. I mean they didn't let us pay for one thing the whole week. But as I said, it doesn't make a whole lot of difference to me where we stay as long as the bed sheets are clean. There were wicker settees outside of each room so we commandeered 5 of them and sat out there instead of in the rooms. Being right across from the beach was nice for the kids also.

This was our room and trust me when I say the actual room didn't look this good close up. The toilet in my son's room wasn't even bolted to the floor and moved whenever anyone sat down. Our toilet seat wasn't on tight either and at one "critical" point it slid sideways with me on it and I almost fell into the...well, you get my drift here. It was not pretty, let me tell ya. The phones in every single one of our rooms didn't work either. Thank goodness our rooms were next to each other. The closet is to the left of that mirror/alcove and there was padding on the concrete floor but no carpet. (Photos courtesy of the motel's website.)

A patio on the 2nd floor of the motel. We never went up there as stairs are still hard to climb with this foot, although, it is definitely getting better.

We had to fight for parking spaces in the motel lot. Parking was at a premium here with the beach across the street. There were 27 motel units but only 12 parking spots and only 2 or 3 on the street.

This was our son's room. He had 5 people in his party: him, wife, 22 yr. old son and 14 and 15 yr. old sons. The staff put a cot in the closet for our 22 yr. old son. Then my tall, skinny son sat in the one chair and fell through to the floor. They took the chair out to a vacant room and brought him another chair. It truly was laughable.

This was my daughter's room. My oldest grandson's girlfriend's little girl, 3 years old, had a fun time splashing in the jacuzzi tub. They are planning a wedding for next May. This room also looks much better here than in actuality.

This is how the skies looked all week down there. I think we saw about one hour of sun the whole 6 days.

I truly am not complaining as I'm grateful for my son and daughter and can adjust to just about everything. BUT it gets better, chicks...

An elegant dinner was planned for The Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch, ranked as one of the best hotels in the world. And it truly was elegant.

We had a party of 15: 2 babies, 2 teens and the rest adults. The menu was spectacular and pricey. The side salads were $13 each and the desserts were $14 each (Mine was caramel apple pie and just for the record my apple pie is better!). I had the Parmesan Encrusted Halibut, which 4 of the adults had, but 9 had the Steak Diane. I had a bite of my 22 yr. old grandson's and it just was incredible. My son had it and said it was better than Ruth's Chris Steak House steak and that was his favorite until this night. I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it tasted. For those of you unfamiliar with Steak Diane, this is how it is prepared: The steak is seasoned by rubbing garlic and pepper into it and fried quickly in butter. A sauce is made from the pan juices using butter, shallots, cream and beef stock with worchestershire sauce, which is poured over the steak just before serving. I actually prepare this a lot because we love it but I go very easy on the cream. Mine has never tasted this good though because the steak was Premium! My kids wouldn't let me see the total cost but with the prices on the menu I figured out this had to be a $1300 to $1500 dinner. (A funny thing happened with Caroline and her mummy. One waiter —we had about 5 waiters waiting on us—asked Mandy if Caroline wanted anything and since she's only a year old she told him no, she was going to give her Spaghetti-Os. We all laughed at that, but she couldn't have eaten anything on that menu.) The below photo was on the Stonehouse's website as I didn't get any pictures and the kids haven't sent me any they took that night. As an aside: Jackie and Jack Kennedy spent their honeymoon at this resort.

And better yet...

The dinner was Thursday night and took us about 3 hours eating on the elegant patio in lush surroundings. We had valet parking and there had to be at least 5 valets because all of our cars were brought up from the wooded parking area at one time. But later on that night people started getting sick—daughter, daughter-in-law, granddaughter and her hubby, one grandson and Love Bunny. He went to bed that night and stayed in bed until Sunday morning. I'm not going into specifics but he was queasy and used the facilities A LOT. I stayed outside on the little area outside our room with some of the others who weren't sick. We don't know if it was something in one of the food dishes or just a bug going around but I didn't get sick.

Now, for the clincher. I told the kids "NO GIFTS" and had no reason to doubt they'd adhere to our wishes. But while sitting in that beautiful setting at that stunning table, they whipped out a gift bag with a jeweler's name on it. I was in shock when I opened it up and inside were 2 gold watches with our 50th anniversary date engraved on the backs of both watches and a little stone on each one. Brats!!! They never did listen to me. :-) Sigh.


  1. That bathtub looks amazing. I could sit in that all day!

  2. Hi Connie!

    Happy Anniversary! You are blessed for have so lovely family!

    Love those clocks!!!

    Big Hugs

  3. I never listen to my Momma when she said no presents either. I love the watches!!!! Happy day for you two!!! One time, Momma said no I couldn't buy her a new winter coat for Christmas. It was just too much money. (I was in college at the time and working 2 parttime jobs to pay for it) well, I ended up spending more than I would have on the coat because I kept finding all these little things she would like for Christmas. i got her some exercising clothes, shoes, all sorts of little stuff. She just gave me a look when she kept opening presents from me. I smiled back. Next time I wanted to get her something somewhat expensive, she chipped in and let me get it with her. He he he, see, I never listened to Momma either!

    Happy Anniversary!!!!


  4. Oh, Dear Sis, what a WONDERFUL anniversary trip you must have had! May God bless you and LB with many many more years of wedded bliss! Loved hearing your fun rants!! Those kids were certainly raised right ~ they know to celebrate the love of their precious mom and dad! BTW, what TIME is it?!?!

    Love you,
    Angelic Accents

  5. Happy Anniversary Connie, at least you were with the family and having fun building memories that you will talk about for years, Char

  6. What a fabulous celebration! Happy Anniversary...I love that pink peone.

  7. Happy Anniversary, Connie! You have me beat by eight years. I hope we make to our 50th lol!
    Rooms or not, I bet you all had a marvelous time, well, except for getting sick!
    The watches are beautiful and lucky to be so loved!

  8. Just remember it is the thought that counts. In California nothing is worth staying in unless you pay a premium price. Thank goodness everyone survived. Best wishes on your 50th anniversary. Does not happen too often anymore.

  9. Hi Connie...happy anniversary. I always think some of the worst things make the best memmories...cause you can always sit back and laugh about them in the future. You have a wonderful generous family. Love the watches, absolutely gorgeous.

  10. Oh, how wonderful!, sweet Connie. We just did our 50th last month. What a lovely gift for you ... a whole week of relaxation, fun & family ... & the beautiful watches.

    Glad to hear your foot is getting better. I feel more encouraged by you, as my foot gets the knife soon. Ugh.

    Thank you for your support this past week. Hubby is doing well.

    Have a beautiful PS weekend.
    TTFN ~

  11. ohh Connie what a trip ! I'm like you and will make the best of does sound like a touch of food poisoning went around and after those rooms oh my.
    What a wonderful family you have, and you know, grown children don't have to listen to you anymore LOL
    Beautiful presents and I'm glad to got to spend time with your family.
    and OH those peonies !!!!(())

  12. Happy Anniversary. Your story is full of love and memories. It reminds all of us to be happy and greatful whether abound or abased. You are a blessed lady.



  13. Wow, what an adventure you had. Glad the dinner was exceptional even though the rooms were not. What a lovely surprise to receive the engraved watches - so sweet of them. Congrats on your 50th - well done!

    Happy Pink Saturday ~ I hope you have a lovely weekend.


  14. Wow! 50 years. That is completely wonderful! congratulations! It sounds like you have a wonderful family.

  15. Happy Anniversary sweet friend! Your flower photos are lovely!

  16. Well, it sounds like it was good and bad! Great gifts and laughs all around, Happy anniversary!


  17. Wow, those flowers are amazing!

  18. Oh Connie Sweetie...
    Happy Anniversary and what a wonderful time you all had. Even when the rooms are not the best, when you are with family there is love, laughter and memories to share. How wonderful.

    I love the watches, that was so sweet of the kids, and yes we are all brats, and no we don't listen, even after all these years. I love it that they surprised you both. What a fun trip.

    Love the view. It is gorgeous. I could feel the breeze on my face, and hear the seagulls cry over head. So wonderful. Thank you for sharing sweet friend. So happy to hear that you could make the trip with your foot. I am praying you will be rid of that foot gear soon. Many hugs sweetie and so much love, Sherry

  19. It's been a while Connie! Congrats on your 50th anniversary and so sorry your time away was with trials! But you write it in such a positive and entertaining way I was riveted while reading it! Aside from all that how lovely to have that time away as a family and the watches are amazing. You are blessed with your family! Rachaelxo

  20. I think this is one time that it is great that they didn't listen to you! Amazing hotel, amazing food, amazing gift and most especially - amazing children!
    You're blessed,

  21. Hello Connie, Happy Anniversary, what a beautiful post! Looks like you had a wonderful time. I loved all your recent posts, your watches are beauitful and your great granddaughter is just adorable!
    Hugs, Shirl
    Shirls Rose Cottage

  22. Congrats, Connie, on your 50th Anniversary! Something to admire for sure.

    So sorry the hotel was not what it should have been but happy you were able to celebrate with your family. The watches are gorgeous!

  23. Happy Pink Saturday, dear Connie. This sounds like an anniversary you will never forget.♥

    It is just wonderful that your family is so close. I know they are a treasure for you.

  24. Happy 50th Anniversary, Connieness! Oh, my what a tale! Well, regardless of how things were - you had your family and you'll never forget it and I'm sure you're all laughing about it now!
    My daughter and hubby used to live in Santa Barbara - he went to graduate school there and it is so beautiful but man, it's expensive. I know exactly where that little motel is! We passed it so many times and I thought, "Isn't that a cute little place?" :)
    The watches are so pretty and what wonderful children you've raised! :)
    I'm been away from Blogland for 3 weeks and have missed visiting with you! I'm back now!
    Thanks for popping in to see little CArter.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)


Comments are so nice and I thank all of you that leave one for me.