KEEPING UP WITH THE DELAURAS!

Some of you may have seen or heard through the grapevine that we moved to Big Sur, California. Most people assume that we moved to the ‘Big Sur Area’ and live in Carmel or Monterey, but we literally moved to a mountain top in the middle of the Ventana Wilderness. You could say that living 1 hour drive from a grocery store, several acres away from our closest neighbor, power outages every time the gale winds blow, and satellite internet (comparable to dial-up modem) is quite the change of lifestyle from Laguna Beach, but we are lovvvving our ocean view, taking daily hikes through the forest together, and being completely emersed in nature!

What’s probably the most shocking part about our move is the fact that we have been here for 7 months already! WHOAAAA. Our mind is blown too…  We never got around to sending out ‘We Moved’ postcards in the mail, so you could say that this is our official letter!  Over the next few weeks we are going to share a series of blog posts about our move, our new home, and what life looks like living in Big Sur; the good, the bad and the ugly!

On a fun note—we still keep an office in the OC and are in Laguna Beach at least 1-2 times every month so if you’re missing us, leave us a message and let’s hang out next time we are in town! 🙂

Part One: THE MOVE–LEAVING LAGUNA BEACH

This post has been hard for us to write, maybe there is part of us that didn’t want to write about leaving Laguna because once it has been written, it really is a place of the past; a home that no longer exists, a chapter of our story officially closed. Change is hard, even great amazing changes are hard, and now as we write this blog post, tears pool in our eyes.

Laguna Beach was where we grew up, not in the same sense that you would think of (born, raised, elementary school, childhood memories) but where we grew up and became the people, friends, artists, photographers, entrepreneurs, adults, and spouses that we are today.  Kendal moved to our adorable beach cottage (aka 1000 square ft apartment) in North Laguna right after college and lived there for over 12 years; she spent most of her twenties and half of her thirties in that apartment, she painted every wall at least 3-4 different times, decorated and redecorated, and had 9 roommates before Anthony moved in and became her permanent roommate.

The entirety of The DeLauras–Kendal + Anthony; who we were, who we became, and who we are now, happened while we lived in Laguna Beach. Our first date was in Laguna (dinner at Nicks) afterward we walked along the boardwalk hand in hand–our first kiss was in the doorway of Kendal’s bedroom.  We cooked our first meal, slow danced in the kitchen, became foodies, wine lovers, adventurers, soulmates and best friends in our apartment. We first said ‘I love you’ at the ocean view lookout point down our street, and we became a ‘family’ when we adopted Otto, our Boston Terrier, who became our little love/super unphotogenic child-pup! We got engaged and planned our wedding from our apartment (There were boxes and BOXES of wedding goodies stuffed into every corner) and when we got back from our honeymoon Anthony carried Kendal, his bride, across the threshold.

The beach was our backyard; we spent our summer days down at Crescent Bay (you could always find us to the far right of the beach with our colorful blankets and Tommy Bahama umbrella) and we never missed a sunset at the Point with a glass of wine in our hand. We had friendships and lives, dinner parties and backyard BBQ’s–our home had a warm and inviting feel to it; everyone and anyone was welcome (and we often had friends crashing on our midcentury modern couch!)

We became photographers in Laguna, Kendal photographed for several clothing companies, swim brands, jewelry lines, fashion editorials, magazines, and for hotels and local businesses all over Laguna–she also photographed her first wedding at Crescent Bay Point (Hedy + Eddie–Happy almost 10 year wedding anniversary, let’s do a vow renewal, Kendal has improved on her wedding photography skills a bit in the past 10 years and has added on an incredible photographer/videographer partner 🙂 !!!!) Kendal taught Anthony everything she knows about photography and we practiced daily, and on every travel/adventure/vacation. After photographing nearly 100 weddings we rebranded and launched THE DELAURAS our husband and wife wedding photography/videography team!

We never thought we would leave Laguna. During our 8 years together as a couple, we built a life, a marriage, a business, and a family within these four walls on McKnight Drive, but adventure was calling our names–calling us to explore new sites, visit new places, and fall more in love with one another, with life, with photography, and nature in a completely different way.

So how do you pack up 12 years of your life, your marriage, your family and move away from everything you know???!

You do it together (and you ask an amazing friend to help–THANK YOU Kati Baucom-Acker). Start by packing one box and one room at a time, talk about the memories, laugh at the stories, and revel in the history. The last month we lived in Laguna were some of the best days of our lives. We went to the beach and swam in the ocean daily, (thankfully it was July and the water was warm), we went to all of our favorite restaurants, watched the sunset every evening, hung out with friends, and treasured those 4 weeks knowing they were the last.

On that final morning, we stood in our empty apartment and hugged one another for a long time.  We walked from room to room and said goodbye—we will be forever grateful to 176 Mcknight for being our home, for being a part of our history and our family. We will never forget the memories, the laughter, the adventures, the life changes, career moves, the tears, the lessons, the personal growth, or the goodbyes. We kissed one final time in our ‘first kiss’ spot, and slow danced in the living room where we practiced our wedding dance, we locked the front door one final time and we both cried….  We took Otto down to the beach, it was stormy and empty, we ran around together blissful and happy, then got on the road (Anthony in the 26 ft Uhaul—Kendal and Otto in the Subaru) and made the 6-hour drive North to Big Sur. Kendal cried the entire drive.

We closed one chapter of our lives and started another….. you might be wondering WHY the move??!! Stay Tuned for the next blog post—We’ll tell you how and why we picked Big Sur and show pictures of our new home!!!!!!

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THANK YOU to Kelsey Christine for the BEAUTIFUL photos taken of us in and around our home and neighborhood during our last week in Laguna Beach!!!


If you are interested in checking out Kendal’s fashion work click here www.kendalriley.com
If you are interested in checking out our destination weddings click here www.thedelauras.com
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