My California Birthday Weekend: Hollywood Sign, LeBron James, & Baseball

For my birthday weekend, Ryan and I headed to sunny California. My little brother goes to school outside of LA, and my parents were flying down from Washington to meet us. We kind of had a wrench thrown into our plans when my dad had to be rushed to the ER the day of the flight, so my parents had to stay home (he’s okay, don’t worry!). Honestly, my husband and I think he is avoiding us because in January, when my parents were coming to visit us in Colorado, my mom is the only one that came because my dog had to go to the ER, too.

My birthday weekend was now just going to be the three of us. It was okay, though. A bummer, but okay. We should be seeing them in April for my cousin’s wedding, only if no one goes to the ER.

We were visiting California to celebrate my birthday but also to see my brother play baseball. On my birthday, we went on a hike near the Hollywood sign! The boys put up with it because I just kept repeating, “It’s my birthday!”

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After our hike, we drove down Hollywood Boulevard and Rodeo Drive since Ryan had never been. While driving, we were all talking about if we were going to see a celebrity or not . . . AND WE DID. This is kind of how it went:

Me: “Holy crap, that’s . . . what’s his name . . . gosh, what’s his name . . . oh, LeBron James!”

My brother: “No, it’s not.”

Me: “YES IT IS!”

My brother: (Actually looks) “That’s LeBron James! Holy crap, we just saw LeBron James!”

During the conversation, my husband didn’t say a word. But, he did snap this photo! It’s the best we could do since we were driving down the street. 

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If I’m really honest, the celebrity I was hoping to see was someone from Vanderpump Rules, Real Housewives, or if I’m really lucky Lucy Hale from Pretty Little Liars. But, I guess LeBron James will have to do.

For my birthday dinner, we went to Pono Burger in Santa Monica. And oh my gosh, if you live in the area or are visiting . . . it’s delicious! It’s a pretty small restaurant, you sit in something that looks like a greenhouse, but it is the best burger and fries I have had in awhile. Definitely worth the visit!

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We also got to watch my brother play some baseball, which was awesome! And . . . I hate to break it to you . . . I have seen more baseball games than you. And, I know more about baseball than you. This isn’t the life I chose, it chose me! Haha, but seriously, I’ve watched more baseball games than I can count, and it’s always great to see the “little” guy play. He is up to bat in the picture below.

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For my last birthday adventure, we were going to go to Magic Mountain. But, it ended up raining when we could do it, so that didn’t happen. Instead we went and saw Zootopia, which I would probably rate like a 6.5. I felt like they showed most of the funny parts in the previews, plus I’m still on that Frozen bandwagon.

It was a great vacation to see my brother’s school, celebrate my birthday, and just have a nice little getaway. Only three more weeks until our next adventure in Phoenix! Follow me on Instagram and Twitter to stay updated.

– the Helm Household

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Road Trip: Orlando, Savannah, Charleston

I’ve never told you what my day job is, so I will now. I’m a Marketing Specialist for a Software Company. It’s been the only job I’ve had since college. One of the great perks is that we do retreats twice a year. Since we’re a semi-virtual company, it’s the easiest way for everyone to get together.

And, this January . . . it’s at Disney World. Yes, Disney World. I’m so excited! We’ve only been to Disney World one other time, January 2013.

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My husband is coming for the last half of the week, and this is going to be our first real vacation since our honeymoon in July 2014. We’ve been a little busy since then: bought a house, sold a house, moved to Colorado, etc. So, we are really excited.

We have a plan . . .

Thursday & Friday Night: Disney World

Saturday Night: Savannah

Sunday & Monday: Charleston

We plan to drive from Orlando to Savannah to Charleston. And, we’ve both never been to Savannah or Charleston, so if you have any tips . . . send them our way! I’m so excited for our little getaway. It’s probably the cheapest way for us to do a little vacation, the only thing we will miss is our cutie lil puppy: Koda.

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I’m so in love with Savannah and Charleston from pictures and stories from those that have been there . . . it’s somewhere I think I could live, yet I’ve never been there. So, this is our first chance!

Our goal this vacation is to stay on the cheap end. Being newly married, the money definitely isn’t flowing in like it could possibly in our 30s. So, I plan to do a recap of the cost of our trip and give you an overview of how we paid for it.

Please comment any tips you have for Charleston and Savannah! I’d love to hear them. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see all our vacation pictures!

-the Helm Household

Travel Tips this Christmas Season

Traveling for Christmas can be a blessing and a curse. It’s tainted with crowds, irregular travelers, and grumpy people. But, the majority of us have to do it! At least to some capacity.

My husband and I are in that group. We live in Colorado, his parents live in Illinois, and mine in Washington. We’re headed everywhere this Christmas, we will be in Illinois prior to Christmas, then Washington for the week of Christmas.

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With all the Christmas cheer, it’s important to keep in the Spirit! There is no need for traveling stress. So, here are some tips to help your travel:

Attempt to find a ride to and from the airport

Parking at the airport can be crazy during the holidays, finding a ride from a friend or Uber can cost you less and diminish stress. Plus, then you don’t have to scrape your car windows when you get back from your trip!

Give yourself extra time

I travel a decent amount for work and to see family. But, during the Christmas season, a lot of people traveling don’t travel that often. They might miss the 10,000 signs that explain you have to take your shoes off. Or, possibly forget to take their laptop out of their bag? Allow for that when getting to the airport.

Be nice to the airport employees and flight attendants

During Christmas, everyone is normally in such a good mood . . . but then you get to the airport, and every single person turns into the Grinch. Don’t be the Grinch! If something has gone wrong and you have to wait in a terribly long line, I promise if you start with a smile—you will get better customer service.

Download a Christmas movie or two for the flight

Stay in the Holiday Spirit! Why not order a hot coco from the flight attendant and watch a Christmas movie? My personal favorites are the Polar Express and Santa Claus.

Bring along a Christmas treat

If you’re traveling with your significant other, friend, or family, bring something to eat that reminds you of Christmas. It could be as simple as candy canes. Anything that reminds you why you’re traveling, even if the day has been stressful.

Hope these tips help with your flights for Christmas! Follow me on Twitter @HelmHousehold to stay updated on all posts.

– the Helm Household