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Julian, California

On a Friday night after work, Greg and I chased the sun out to the West Coast.

We landed first in Los Angeles, the city sprawl somehow feeling like home, even after being gone all these years.

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

We flew on to San Diego, where we surprised our Uber driver with two requests. The first was that he take us to Julian, California, a tiny town in the Cuyamaca Mountains.

And the second was that he stop at In-N-Out on the way!

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

It tasted just as glorious as we’d remembered!

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

We arrived in Julian well past midnight, quietly slipping into our airbnb so we didn’t wake up my brother, Josh, and my sister-in-law, Kate.

Still on East Coast time, I woke up the next morning to a silent house, with mountain views spreading out behind the floor-to-ceiling windows. It was one of the most peaceful mornings I’ve had in a long time.

Eventually everyone else woke up, and my parents, cousins and grandma stopped by too. Our house became the party house, just like I wanted!

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

And the party really got started when Matt created his own pie-eating contest!

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Julian, California is know for its pies, and apparently Julian Pie Company and Mom’s Pies make some of the best.

But we were going to determine, once and for all, who makes the very best.

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Matt was throughout in setting up his experiment, calling both companies to find out exactly how they recommend reheating their pies. And then once everything was piping hot, he excitedly cut slices and passed them around.

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

The clear favorite was the apple crumb pie from Julian Pie Company.

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

But some of my cousins thought that Mom’s pies had fresher apples for the filling. So if you can order an apple crumb pie from Mom’s, that may be the best one yet!

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Full of pie, we got dressed and moved on to the main event of the weekend: my cousin Jamie’s wedding at Sacred Mountain Ranch!

My mom and 90-year-old grandmother were so cute as the flower girls!

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

And Jamie was beautiful, as always.

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Afterwards the guests relaxed on the grass.

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

And played lawn games too.

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

As the sun got lower in the sky, Jamie and her husband, Josh (so many Joshs!), had their first dance.

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

We found a swing which was just begging to be photographed…

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

When I went through my pictures, this one made me laugh. It looks like Josh is pushing me off, but he was really trying to help keep me from tipping, I promise!

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Matt and Trisha were a little more elegant in their swinging.

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

And then Greg had a fabulous idea. We’d always loved this shot from Josh and Kate’s engagement pictures, so we figured this was the perfect time to recreate it.

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Nailed it?

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

By the time the sun set behind the mountains, the party was in full swing.

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Everyone is always surprised when I tell them how many of my cousins are getting married this year, and they usually offer some level of pity in their response.

But I’ve absolutely loved getting to spend so much time with my family, and wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

The next day, I finally got to see downtown Julian.

It didn’t take long.

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

It’s the smallest town you’ve ever seen, with only 1,000 residents and one main road.

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

But it’s lined with quaint bakeries and shops.

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

And stocked with good used books.

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

And beer, so the basics are covered.

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

After picking up a few things, we piled into the back of Matt’s pickup truck and headed back to Sacred Mountain Ranch for the post-wedding festivities.

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

We ate a few breakfast tacos, Jamie’s favorite.

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

And had a few glasses of champagne too (also Jamie’s favorite).

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Then the rest of the guests headed down to the pool for a pool day, while we sadly headed back to the airport.

Julian California - travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Congratulations, Jamie and Josh!

~A

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