We’ve been home from our California adventure for a month, and we’re still talking about the fun we had. We drove straight through, both there and back, so we spent a lot of time in the van. The good news is the boys were amazing road trippers, I couldn’t have asked them to behave better. Happily, Lemmon didn’t puke in the car (she has before and we were dreading 24 hours of dog vomit action). The drive was hot and desert-y, but not a huge trial.
When we got to my sister-in-law (Angel) and brother-in-law’s (Randy) home, we got hit with our first hint of how amazing the weather in the San Diego area is as it was chilly and there was no humidity. Basically, weather heaven.
Angel is a fantastic host and we had so much fun staying with our family. The boys thought they were full-on teenagers when they were hanging out with their cousins (we were there to go to the graduation of A’s daughter and A’s son is 17, so there were a ton of teens around). I loved getting to hang out with my old friend, even if I was disturbing her homework time (the woman never stops going to college, it’s kind of a sickness).
The boys had their first experience of the Pacific ocean when our niece took us to the beach. Having been to California as a kid, I remembered how cold the water was, so we were interested to see how the boys would respond (it’s significantly colder than our beach’s water). Tobin didn’t love the water, but didn’t run screaming. Nicholas, on the other hand, loved it and didn’t think it was cold at all.
Of course we were so close to Disneyland we were all super excited to go (except maybe William, who was excited for the boys to go, but could have done without it himself). Thankfully, I had great advice from the wonderful Whit and Chris, so we easily navigated the park and had a relaxing, magic, wonderful day. We got to the park an hour before they opened, so we stopped in at Denny’s to have some breakfast. All was well until T leaned over to hug my arm and spilled his full cup of chocolate milk in my lap. All over my lap. I was sticky and wet for a couple of hours in the park, but I survived . Although I’m pretty sure my rear end is on a Tumblr blog somewhere because William saw a girl take a picture while I was bending over. Heh.
We were at the park a few days before N’s 8th birthday, so we went to City Hall and got a birthday button for him. One of my favorite memories (and pictures) of the day is N listening to the phone message from Goofy singing “Happy Birthday” to him. Later in the day when we saw Goofy, N told him, “I got your message!” Tobin also loved the characters and was yelling and waving every time we saw Mickey, Tigger or Pooh. Because they are buddies, and T just knew they wanted to know he was there.
One of the memories I have from Disneyland when I was a kid was the Dole Whip, so I was excited to share that memory with the boys. I wasn’t disappointed in their reactions, Tobin did a happy dance with each bite.
While the boys had fun on every ride, my favorite to see them on was the Tea Cups. They laughed their fool heads off the entire spinning time. It was the best!
We have some friends who live near the park, so Jennifer and her daughter Emily joined us at the end of the afternoon, just in time for the parade and a couple of rides. It was so nice to get to meet her in real life as she’s lived in my computer for almost 10 years now! We ended the 12-hour day with the fireworks, which Nicholas loved and Tobin slept through.
San Diego Zoo
William’s parents and Nana were also on the trip and they took the boys to the San Diego Zoo where they had a blast. Nicholas absorbed the facts about the animals like he was drinking them in. Tobin liked the monkeys.
Our niece’s graduation was at the end of our trip and it was surreal. I’ve known this girl since Angel called to tell me she was pregnant with her and I can’t believe she’s already going to college. K is fluent in sign language and was chosen to sign the national anthem at the beginning of the graduation ceremony. I may have gotten a little teary during the song and then a little later when they announced her scholarship to play lacrosse at Wingate College in North Carolina.
Storytelling and Relaxing
As much fun as all of the parks and beaches were, the best part of the week in California was listening to Nana tell stories and just relaxing. William and I read. Tobin fell asleep on my lap while I read my own book and I let his stay there until my legs fell asleep. Nicholas played video games until he passed out on the couch. We slept, we snuggled, we opened windows and didn’t sweat. We talked and laughed and listened to our kids cracking up while they played. It was the perfect vacation.