San Diego | Matthies Take California

When Wisconsin drops from 80 degrees to 40 degrees (no joke, this literally happens overnight), hopping a plane to California seems like the best life decision, right?! A little over a year ago, Ben & I decided that we wanted to experience LIFE together over owning things together. This tiny decision changed the way we celebrate every milestone in our life together – instead of buying presents on birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, Ben & I have decided to invest in memories.

I absolutely LOVE being a wedding photographer but due to Wisconsin’s climate, wedding season means 80+ hour work weeks from May-October, which translates into not seeing my husband as much as I’d like to (or frankly, as much as I need to). Knowing that we won’t get that quality time together that we both crave, we intentionally set aside money + time to take a small trip prior to my wedding season. This time together is my absolute favorite and the memories that we form during that time are far more valuable than anything money could ever buy.

This spring, we traveled to San Diego for a 5-day getaway and experienced the most amazing things. I’ll be giving a little explanation on each of adventures but I’m so happy that this blog serves as a living journal of the memories that Ben & I are creating together <3

Day 1:  After jumping off our plane, we headed North to Carlsbad and made a quick detour to the Flower Fields, which conveniently only bloom from March-May! Over 50-acres of land planted with the most BEAUTIFUL flowers but their specialty are the Ranunculus. In some of these photos you’ll see personal homes that overlook the fields — I can’t imagine having these blooms in my backyard every year!!!

Day 2: Keeping up with the theme of “Experiences over Things”, I decided to surprise Ben with a sunrise hot air balloon ride his birthday (which is today!!!) over Temecula — this is the wine country of southern California. On our airplane ride to CA, I pulled out a box of cookies – hot air balloons & clouds – to clue him in on the big surprise! We woke up at 4:00am to catch the sunrise but it was SO worth it!! Honestly, this was probably one of my favorite life experiences to date!

Day 4: (I put my camera away on day 3 for some quality time without technology!) We took the afternoon to spend plenty of time outside with Ben’s cousins from California! They showed us around a gorgeous state park, Torrey Pines, and we hiked the afternoon away together. Shortly after, we headed to La Jolla to catch a quick glimpse of the sea lions who sun bathe there on the daily… ummm, for some reason this was the highlight of my day haha. Although stinky, I LOVED seeing these adorable creatures basking in the sun!

Seriously though, I think Sea Lions are my spirit animal. Sun bathing while embracing their bodies?! Yes please.

Day 5:  On our final day, we headed to Balboa Park — where culture meet nature. Spanish architecture floods this space and the buildings reminded me of being in Europe (hey Ben, trip goals?!). We roamed the streets and shortly after we headed to downtown San Diego to grab a few last beers before the flight home! This trip was amazing but more than anything, I am so thankful for this time together with my husband before our schedules get too crazy.