California Trip – so far

Safely arrived in California Thursday afternoon.  It has been non-stop ever since.

Thursday evening we went out for dinner with my sister and brother-in-law.  All of us enjoyed a delicious breakfast for dinner.  French toast with lots of peanut butter and syrup.  Yum, the only way to eat it.

On Friday, Hubby and I Christmas shopped, went “up the hill” to Hesperia to see son Darin’s and DIL Shannon’s new house that they had just moved into.  I should have taken pictures.  Lovely big beautiful house.  

We then went to the first of many Christmas parties.  It was an outdoor party with delicious looking food and a live band.  I say delicious “looking” because we were too cold to stay and had to leave before the food was served.  I heard later that the party went on into the wee hours of the morning and a good time was had by all.  Hubby and I were the “oldsters” at the party and just couldn’t handle the cool California night.  

Saturday, a little more shopping and then cooking in preparation for the Christmas party at my niece’s house.  This party was my sister’s family Christmas party.  Even though we are not immediate family, we are always invited.  Fortunately she has a beautiful big house that accommodates this huge family comfortably.  There were about 45 people who makes my sister’s immediate family – children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  I can’t even begin to describe the food – pot luck – but I’ll try.

Beef enchiladas – macaroni and cheese with lobster – salads of many kinds – fried chicken strips – beans of all kinds – prime rib – potato cheese and ham casserole – manicotti – meatballs – buffalo chicken with cheese – baked potato chunks with blue cheese – apple betty – cake – candy – cookies – I’m sure I’ve forgotten something, but that was the gist of it.  Why oh why didn’t I get a picture of this spread??

The special guests were the three babies that were born during this past year.




and yes Santa!!! 

We had the best time playing the gift exchange game where one person opens a gift and the next person can “steal’ it or any other opened gift or take a new one, and so on.  You can only imagine 42 people playing this game, stealing, laughing, etc.  Great fun.

The tree was so festive and beautiful.

Sister and brother-in-law joined their grandchildren and Santa for a beautiful Christmas picture.

Yesterday we took time to organize all the toys that were donated by my son’s Speech and Debate class.  Son Dave is the teacher.  These toys will be distributed to less fortunate children.  What a blessing.  

Look who joined the picture.  That’s my great-grandson, Deegan and of course, my little Meeka had to jump in too.

We ended the evening at daughter Karla’s house.  Son-in-law Carlos BBQ’d –  which is always a treat.  He makes the very best Tri Tip on his BBQ.  I don’t think I’ve ever had any better.  We stayed quite late, just talking and catching up, listening to great music, laughing and just enjoying each other.  Granddaughter Katrina was also there.

That’s about it for the first few days in California.  Lot’s more to come!

Leave a comment


  1. Wow, you were telling the truth when you said you had a busy weekend. It looks like a blast and the food sounds fabulous. It is so great when large families can get together for the holidays.

  2. HI Ellen! I’m got to sit down now because you’ve made me tired! 🙂 What a wonderful looking family you have and your little grand is adorable. Thanks for popping in to see me.
    be a sweetie,
    shelia 🙂

  3. Janette Merino

     /  December 19, 2011

    Wow! Time for a hot chocolate by the fireplace for sure!
    It all sounds wonderful,and Carlos does do a great BBQ, Karla usually does the sauce and marinade before hand and I have definitely never had better! My brother in law on angels side does the best carne asada though… (that’s the thin sliced steaks on the BBQ) something in his spices just works,and served with hot tortillas grilled on the BBQ ,salsa,Guac,and rice and beans….Yum! even his wife’s rice is different! But no rice is better than mana’s (carlos’ moms!) and I love her platinos con frijoles!!!
    I am glad to hear you are having as much fun as possible!

    • Ellen Beeton

       /  December 20, 2011

      Yep, Karla made the marinade. Carlos’ mom made her famous rice. The carne asada sounds delish. I want some.

  4. Ellen, I’m exhausted just reading about your trip. So glad you are having such a great time. Merry Christmas and a great New Year.

  5. those kiddies are gorgeous. i want grandchildren for christmas!!!

  6. It looks like you are having a wonderful time with your family! That’s what makes the holidays special!

  7. Looks like so much fuN!

  8. It sure sounds like a wonderful time you are having, and the food sounds good too!


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