Friday, August 26, 2011

Vacation 2011

Oh, how do I condense 7 days and over 300 pictures into 1 blog post?!?! I'm not going to pretend that I am good at this, so prepare for a long post with lots. And lots of pictures!
This summer we decided to head down South to La Jolla (close to San Diego) for vacation. Jeff's mom and sister take this trip every year and always rave about how beautiful it is down there. We planned to go at the same time but didn't want to invade on their vacation, so we asked my brother and sister-in-law if they wanted to do a family trip. So the search for a house began. We found a cute 3 bedroom, 2 bath "cottage" a few blocks up from the beach and were very excited!
What we found when we arrived was not quite what I had expected! Yes, it could have been worse...but let me tell many things wrong with this place. I even found Connor one day chipping the paint off the exterior! But it did have a fenced in grassy yard and was super quiet. Except for Emma Kate's crying during the night. Ok, so no more focusing on the house because the rest of the trip was so much fun

We arrived on Saturday evening (after an 11 hour car ride which should've taken 8!) Scott and Shawna weren't expected to arrive till Sunday morning and Dominic was to come Monday morning. Dominic had performances all through the weekend so we got him a plane ticket to take his first solo flight! At first he was bummed that he was missing out on a couple of days vacation, but when we explained that he would be skipping out on a long car ride with his brother and sister as well as getting to fly alone, he was very excited!
This worked out perfectly...Sunday Jeff and Connor took off in the morning for a train adventure, one of which Dominic would have absolutely no interest in taking part. By the time they got back, Scott and Shawna had arrived and we were ready for some beach time. (Jeff was such a good sport...he is not a beach person...and we spent lots of time at the beach this week!)

Harley's 1st experience in the sand...

And Emma Kate, oh that girl...she wanted to play in the sand, but not sit in does that work?!?

She didn't want anything to do with that cold water either.

She was definitely Miss Grumpy Pants the first day at the beach! She looked so cute in her little bikini though:)

The boys on the other hand had a great time!

Monday morning. The boys leaving to pick up Dom at the airport...

Dom was less than thrilled to see what the house was like. At first he insisted that he was not going to sleep in his bed, sit on the couch, or sit on the floor. "Disgusting!" I told him it was going to be a long week for him...but he relaxed a little as time went on. (He's a bit of a germ-a-phobe.)

As I mentioned, Jeff's mom, sister, and family were down there at the same time, so Connor got play time with
Cousin Cale! (We took a blow up pool with us for hangout time at the house.) The boys had a lot of fun.
We spent a lot of time relaxing...just what we needed. Especially because nights were rough with very little sleep. Scott and Shawna were sharing their room with Harley and we had The Littles in with us. Dom was the only one with his own room.

Tuesday our immediate family headed to Legoland in Carlsbad. This was an interesting trip with the 3 kids at such different ages and stages. Both Dominic and Connor thought that the Lego creations were amazing!

There really were cool. Jeff and I took Dominic to Legoland when he was 3. Seeing the creations this time was no less exciting than the first time. The creators are so talented.

Yes, all of that next to Jeff is created using the regular size, little Legos!

There wasn't too much for Emma Kate to do. She did get somewhat of a nap in...

We enjoyed some Apple Fries! Mmmmm!

Emma Kate watched the boat ride go by. Several times. Where'd they go?!?!

There was one building where the kids got to create cars and race them against other kids. Both Dom and Connor really loved this, while Emma Kate grabbed handfulls of Legos to throw on the floor. Fun. We had to drag the boys out of there.

So Connor has always been really scared of rides...until now! If you know me, you know that I LOVE the thrill of a roller coaster. Ask my friend Jaime. (She'll tell you about our trip to Great America where I drug her and Dominic from one roller coaster to another! Dominic enjoyed it, but was super tired and ready to go home. Jamie, well she had had enough as well.) That being said, I was a little nervous that Connor wasn't going to be a "ride guy." This trip he mustered up all his courage and tried a roller coaster. Or 2. He loves them! He's hooked. For good!

It has been a while since I've ridden a really scary ride. So when Dominic asked Jeff or me to accompany him on the following ride, I was NERVOUS! (Especially when J bailed immediately saying there was no way he was going on it!) I had to remain the cool mom that I am, so I obliged. (Those are 2 people at the very tip of that arm!)

This thing was crazy! You could pick any level from 1 to 5, 5 being the most extreme. Of course Dominic wanted Level 5! This long arm extends over water and it whips it's victims  every which way. One second we were hanging face down over the water, the next we were being whipped up and over backwards and upside down. It was (felt) totally random and we never knew what was next. It was so scary! I felt like my brain was going to explode! The whole time I was thinking of a lady we knew who shortly after riding rides at an amusment park, died of a brain anurism. Extreme. I know. But at the time I was sure I was going to die!
I laughed the whole time, all the while tears were streaming down my face! 
We didn't have time that day, but we went back a couple of days later to finish up the park and enjoy the water park. There wasn't a whole lot to do there, bit it was really fun. The lazy river was our fave! These big legos were floating throughout and there were platforms at the ends of the innertubes to build on.

The Girls...not so flattering of me...but I had to include it:)

And The Boys...

Another day we took a trip to downtown San Diego to The Firehouse Museum. It was a big hit among the kids as well. (Emma Kate walked around saying, "Cooo, Cooo..." (Cool, Cool.)

The kids were able to climb around on all the fire engines. So fun!

More beach time!

Notice she is on the skim board. Not in the sand.

Scott and Dominic spent a lot of time body surfing. And Scott has spent a lot of time since then recovering from a back injury! He got pretty messed up in a couple of those waves :(

Dominic spends a lot of time on vacations, and otherwise, doing things that The Littles want to do (or can do.) Very little does he get time alone with either Jeff or I, so one evening Dominic and I took off on a beach walk. He has been really in to photography lately, so we walked and took some photos just after the sun had set. We had fun playing with the different settings on our cameras. 

The Men had a little treat of their own one evening while The Ladies watched the Season Finale of The Bachelorette.

Our last day at the beach was the best. All of us were there at the same time...both the little kids and the big "kids" had a great time!

The tide was in really high and the waves were super strong, so the guys built a moat for the water to flow into instead of all over our blankets, etc... It really worked!

I love this picture of Corbie...with all the ladies in the background:)


We spent our last evening down at Mission Beach.
Scott, Shawna, and Dominic rode the roller coaster.

While Jeff and I hung with the little ones.

Connor and I rode the Tilt-A-Whirl. For the first 30 seconds I thought he was going to puke all over me! He was S-C-A-R-E-D! He loosened up a little and ended up enjoying it after all.

Dominic tried the Hurricane Simulator...It was really funny watching his hair blow around.

I love this picture of Connor. He was really excited because he was chewing his first piece of gum! I had told him that when he was 5 years old he could finally chew gum. You can't see it in this picture on the computer, but on the camera you can see the gum in the corner of his little smile.

Some had Funnel Cakes.

While others had ice cream...yumm!

And the last family photos of the trip...

I wish I could say that the trip was relaxing...not so much. (I use the term "vacation" loosely!)
But we did have a lot of fun!
Until the ride home..Emma Kate whined and cried from about 1:00 till 7:00 when we got home. Nothing made her happy for more than 5 minutes. I was literally begging Jeff to let me drive so that I wouldn't have to be the one trying to keep her happy anymore! She was exhausted...and miserable. Thankfully the boys were on their best traveling behavior. Anytime I tried to give Emma a snack, it would end up thrown on the floor. At one point I had a choice...laugh, cry, or simply take some she is...however I think I was crying too at the time.
Here is a smidge of what we later found on the floor of the van. Yes, those are oranges, raisins, and some magnetic robot pieces!

Yeah I did it! I did a vacation post! I am always so intimidated by these...there is SO much that happens!
Until next time...


  1. So much fun! You make me want to go to Lego Land! I LOVE Emma Kate's beachwear!!

    p.s. Maddie was the SAME way last summer with the sand...must be a girl thing.....

  2. Oh. My. Goodness. You are the bravest person alive for going on such a long trip with so many little ones. I am still traumatized after a weekend at the cabin with AB. The pictures are great, though. Sleep is overrated, right?

  3. So fun!! Sometimes the best memories are when the event or trip didn't happen as planned! :) And the picture of you on the tilt-a-whirl makes me a bit woozy...ha!