my family has a christmas tradition to visit the mission inn in riverside every christmas season. the whole place is lit up with millions of christmas lights and hundreds of caroling elves in the windows. the mission inn is surrounded by the dreamiest boutiques and antique shops, an ice skating rink and carts selling fresh tiny donuts (i dream about them all year!) cinnamon rolls, gingerbread cake, roasted cinnamon almonds, and hot chocolate. we've been going ever since i was a little girl and i am excited to carry on the tradition with my own daughter. ava was a tiny baby last year so it was fun to see her interact and experience everything going on around her.
before we shopped and hit up the donuts, we ate at a little thai food place. ava is going through this stage where she is really into doing the opposite of what i tell her, which is awesome...but the second my mom takes her, she is good as gold. she was not having any of her high chair, but then she stood on the chair next to my mom and ate off her plate like a well-mannered little darling. i've always said that i fear her adolescent years. pray for me.
my mom was still into the yolo-spirit from thanksgiving so she got us a ride on the horse-drawn carriage, which was really sweet with our ava. she thinks every animal says "woof woof" and horses were no exception. she is the cutest with hot chocolate too. she barely lets it touch her lips then says "mmmmmm!" with enough enthusiasm to melt your heart forever. she points with her little pointer finger at all the lights and i am so excited to experience christmas through a child's eyes all over again. there is nothing like it.