The Festival of Lights

Hello everyone, and happy Monday! We are excited to be sharing pictures from our Christmas Eve trip to The Festival of Lights. The trip didn't go exactly as planned, but it was still a lot of fun.

We are linking up with Heather at My Glittery Heart for the Monday link up.

Our original plan for the festival was to stay the night at a hotel. I had been told by patients of mine that it can get REALLY crowded and parking can be extremely daunting during the festival. I was picturing a LARGE festival that would require lots of walking, breaks at our hotel room and thought having that 'home base' would be ideal for us. Especially for feeding Ella/diaper changes. Well, once we were there and explored, we saw how small the festival actually was and realized this was not a place we needed to stay for very long. We opted to drive home afterward, instead of staying the night.  (But yes we had paid for a hotel room.) It was only an hour drive back home (no traffic- yahoo!) and we were all able to sleep in our own beds.

We started our day by grabbing some lunch at a seafood restaurant in town.

A selfie for good measure... You can see that Michael is thrilled. 

A few pictures from lunch.


Someone was feeling a little tired after a big meal of salmon, veggies, avocado, and french fries.

After lunch, we headed to the festival. There was no traffic on our way in, and plenty of parking. I think it was less crowded because we went on Christmas Eve instead of on a busier weekend. Either way, it was a nice surprise.

I thought this big bow was so fun. I absolutely loved The Mission Inn. How gorgeous!!

It was 50 degrees but I felt absolutely freezing. How the heck I grew up in Maine and survived their winters, I have no idea. This felt like frigid temperature to me. Poor Ella had a fur coat, a hat, and several layers of blankets.

Michael was the best photographer, haha! 

I tried to take some pictures of him and Ella as well.

There were lots of little food stands, so we checked them all out before deciding where to stop. Roasted nuts, gingerbread, tamales, hot dogs, and more! We decided on funnel cake and hot chocolate... Very healthy choices, haha!


Ella tried a bite of funnel cake, and she was a big fan!

I loved all the festive touches throughout the downtown area.

Eventually it was time to line up to check out the lights... We got in line around 4:40ish and we were toward the front. At 5 pm, they turned them all on and it was magical to be there for the moment that they came on. 


Ella was obviously thrilled.

My new favorite picture, hahaha! Ella loves making this face now.

It was so magical, I just wish we had more time to walk through the lights and take better family photos- will all 3 of us. The amount of people behind us in line, waiting for their chance was BIG. We did not want to hold up the line, so we took as many pics QUICKLY as we could and got ourselves out of there. As you have noticed, Michael is not a picture fan, so I don't think he minded being on photographer duty.

The Mission from the outside. SO pretty, pics don't do it justice.

I really wanted to go on a carriage ride, but it was 50$ and we were all freezing. We opted not to this year, but maybe next! Hopefully it's less cold, or we are better prepared. I literally wished I had brought mittens and a hat.

We walked around the entire Mission so we could see the entire building from all angles. It is a gorgeous building.

We stayed a bit longer in the downtown square to enjoy people watching and the general ambience. It was such a fun night, I definitely want to go back next year.

We made a stop at In-N-Out for dinner on our way home... 

Talk about a magical end to our Christmas Eve... I love me some In-N-Out!! I was secretly happy to be coming home to my own bed... I told Michael we are way too much of homebodies to book overnights anywhere, especially when it's within driving distance... we always find our way back home instead. :) Thanks for checking out our Christmas Eve trip!!

How was your Christmas Eve? 
Does your family have any fun Christmas Eve traditions?

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