Day 1639 – Christmas Tree Lane In Fresno, California

On Christmas Eve we went to this place called Christmas Tree Lane. Here’s a sign that explains how Christmas Tree Lane started.


In 1920, to honor a child who had died in this home, this first tree was decorated. Each year more trees were decorated and Christmas Tree Lane was born.

The whole thing was about a mile long and took us about an hour to drive through. It was so cool!!!”

Here’s a few of my favorite shots.









Day 920 – Road Trip Adventures

Where have I been? What’s new? What adventures have I been on?
Grab a cup of coffee, tea, soda or water, pull up a chair and I’ll tell you a tale.

Bret tells me sometimes my blogs are too long, so I’ll give you two versions – a short list for the readers on the go and a longer version for the readers on the stop. (one thing we learned while away is that Bret’s dad tells corny jokes….so do I…he was a bad influence.) 🙂

  1. We just returned from a cross country drive to visit family.
  2. The Hunger Games was a great book.
  3. A Honda Civic is a great traveling vehicle.
  4. We are a spotlight vendor in the newest Perfect Wedding Guide.
  5. We received The Wedding Wire Bride’s Choice Award for 2012.

Morro Bay California at night.

Now, I grab my own cup of coffee to write. Bret and I love to take this trip. It’s such a wonderful time of bonding and adventure. This was the second time we drove cross country to visit family. We learned a lot last year. So, this year, we brought a lot of cup-o-noodles and travel mugs because hot water is free and refills are cheap. We also brought our own snacks, sodas, water and juice beforehand. Saves a LOT of money. We also toss a ton of blankets in the back seat for sleeping. I have to say at this point that THE BEST rest stop in the country is Russell’s Travel Center. It’s located just over the New Mexico line after you leave Texas. They have showers, a game room, clean restrooms (this is a rarity on the road…really), lots of food, coffee and drinks. My favorite part is the chapel. A little room with sermons playing and stained glass windows. Such an awesome little touch for travelers. Last year we stopped here, took our coffee mug to the counter, told them it was a refill and they let us have it for free. This year we stopped because after only 2-3 hours of driving, I was done. My normal stretch is about 5-6 hours. Bret wasn’t ready to drive either…since he only had 2-3 hours of sleep! So we parked and I hopped in the back seat and we took a nap. About 4 hours. I was shocked when I woke up, to be honest. It’s hard enough sleeping in the car, but to sleep that long at a rest stop where people are milling around, it was quite an accomplishment.

We thankfully discovered one of the best secrets of long road trips last year…audio books. Now, they have to be interesting. We took a short drive (8 hours) last year and the book we were listening to was SO technical that it was putting us to sleep. My books on the way out were the Hunger Games trilogy. I lucked out and got them from a new library branch just before we left. Because of the movie coming out in March, they have been hard to find. It was a bit gorier than I expected, but still was a great read…listen.

I’m so thankful for my little Honda Civic! The gas mileage is incredible. We use mid-grade gas and it cost us only about $500 total (there and back plus driving around in California). It also has a 6 disc CD changer, which is perfect for the books on tape. Ah, love that car. ::swoon::

On the way out, we stopped at the Aquarius Casino Resort in Laughlin, Nevada. It was a really nice casino. The bed and sheets were just amazing. (Granted, I’m sure any bed, sheet or shower would have been awesome after driving for 2 days.) I had picked them because the traveler pictures from trip adviser looked like the website, that’s a huge thing to me. I’m so happy with the choice.

While we were in California, we mostly just spent time with his family. But we did squeeze in a few fun extras. First we went with friends to SkyWalk in Fresno. It was literally a room full of trampolines. Best workout I’ve had in a while!

We also took a trip up to Shaver Lake in the mountains and made a day trip to Morro Bay on the coast.

On the way back to Maryland we stopped at a few really nice car shops. First, we stopped by Garcia Honda in Albuquerque, New Mexico to make a copy of my car key. They had one of the nicest waiting rooms I’ve seen and all of the staff were very nice. I think it was Mr. Garcia himself who walked us to the service desk.

As we were driving through New Mexico, I noticed a chip in the windshield. Our first stop was Napa Silver Moon Auto Repair in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. They couldn’t fix it, but the guy that Bret talked to was very respectable. He told us to check out Amarillo. When we arrived in Amarillo, we put auto repair in the GPS (another huge essential in a cross country trip!) and were directed to AA & A Windshield & Glass in Amarillo, Texas. The guys that helped us were beyond nice, fixed the crack in under 5 minutes and gave us a very fair price.

Right before we left for California, I was contacted by my Perfect Wedding Guide agent letting me know they had chosen me as a spotlight vendor in the new guide. I get a two page spread with nine images from my last wedding, a blurb from the bride and references to other wedding vendors.

If this wasn’t exciting enough, while we were in California, I received an email from Wedding Wire letting me know I had receive the Bride’s Choice Award! Only the top 5% of wedding vendors receive this!!

I am honestly floored at all these things. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my amazing clients. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! I still can’t believe I get to do this ALL the time now! I’m so thankful I could just go to California whenever I needed to (we changed the dates several times). It’s a good thing my new boss is flexible. 😉

I am so excited about the next few months. I can’t wait to share all of my new adventures! Make sure you sign up to follow the blog so you don’t miss anything! (on the bottom of the page or to the right!)