Thursday, September 1, 2016

California Vacation!!

So our vacation to California did not start off as planned. We were suppose to fly out Tuesday morning (August 9) but we woke up at 3:45am only to find out our flight was cancelled due to Delta's system going down the day before. The next flight they could find 5 seats on wasn't until the next morning, so that's why we went to Virginia City and rode the train. The next day we did the same thing, woke up at 3:45am only to find out that flight had been cancelled. The next flight they could get us on was the next day out of Billings (which is 2 hours away). By this point we were starting to feel like we were being held hostage, not able to start our vacation. So we decided to take matters into our own hands and not depend on Delta to get us to California. I went online at 5:45am, found Southwest tickets from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles for $160 each (which was cheaper than our Delta flight), we bought them, quick got the kids up, loaded up the van and were on the road by 6:30am. We made the 6 1/2 hour drive in 6 hours and 15 minutes and made it to the airport an hour and ten minutes before our flight (our kids did awesome on the drive, we only made one 5 minute gas/bathroom stop the whole way)!
We made it on a plane!! Can you tell it's been a rough day already for me? :) I know, I look horrible, but you have no idea the stress of that morning! And did I mention that this was my birthday? :)

So happy to finally be on our way to California!

She's pretty happy that we finally made it to California!!

We were originally suppose to fly into Ontario but it was way cheaper and direct on Southwest to fly into LA, but then we got to deal with lovely California traffic :) It took us longer to get from the airport to my parents house than it did to fly from Salt Lake to LA, but we didn't care, we were there!!
And I finally got to introduce my grandma to her namesake! Anna's middle name is Leona which is my grandma's name, so it was so special for the two to finally get to meet!

My grandparents and brother's family came over that night to celebrate my birthday. The boys were excited to get to eat with their cousin. Funny story, David goes up to my niece who is 2 1/2, goes right in her face and says "Can you talk?" :) And she responds "yes I can talk!" I've never meet a 2 1/2 year old who talks so clearly!! We had lots of fun with her!

After dinner the boys quickly put on their suits to swim in the pool, something they had been really looking forward to. They swam in the pool every day we were at my parents house!

And then we got to have some birthday dessert! It was a long day, not what I had planned (my original plan was to spend my birthday at the beach since we were suppose to get there the day before), but we were there and ready for a fun vacation!

Steve and I had already booked a hotel in Carlsbad for Thursday night, so the morning after we got there he and I headed out just the two of us. On our way we had lunch with our friends Adam and Mia. I went to college with Adam and Steve went to seminary with him. It was great to get to catch up with him and Mia!!

After lunch we headed to the beach!!

Finally able to relax!

At night we went to Ruby's on the pier, one of our "musts" when we go to California

After dinner we stopped at Cold Stone to pick up ice cream and drove back to the beach to eat our ice cream while we watched the sun set

The next morning we went to Coronado Island to play tennis at my favorite tennis courts. Unfortunately we forgot that normally we are then in September or October when school is in session, this time it was August and all the courts were reserved :). But we were able to get on at the high school courts, just not quite the view, but still fun. And of course I forgot to take a picture of it, so here is Steve driving on the bridge :)

Looking back at San Diego

And then another "must" for us, Lolitas and their Carne Asada nachos!! 
It was a great little get away for us! Now that we live in Montana away from grandparents it's not very easy for us to go away overnight just the two of us, we we're so thankful we were able to in California. Thanks Mom and Dad for taking care of our kids!!
While we were in Carlsbad I got this picture from my mom. Silly girl had pulled herself up on her knees trying to get to something (at this point she wasn't really crawling yet)
The boys didn't mind mommy and daddy going away, then they got to get really spoiled :). Micah talked Grandma into playing Monopoly with him and letting him be the banker. 

And then they got to go to Chuck E Cheese, so fun!!
Anna and I matched :)

They all loved jumping in the pool!

Giving Anna a ride in the pool

When we first got there Jonathan wasn't a big fan of the pool. It didn't last long, by the time Steve and I got back from Carlsbad he was a big fan and had to be dragged out of the pool every time

She was a fan of her ride
There was lots of jumping in the water
Friday night my sister and her family came down. This was the sight Saturday morning.
The boys checking out Grandpa's cows

Eating at In 'N Out (another "must," did you notice all our musts revolve around food :))

Hanging out with her cousin who is only 2 1/2 months older than her
They got Grandpa to put his kayak in the water and give them a ride

Micah got to try it on his own. He did pretty well driving it
4 Generations

Anna Leona with Grandma Leona

David and Caleb in the toy box

So of course Micah and Jonathan had to have a turn

Cousins eating ice cream bars

Anna's first trip to the ocean

So much fun!

Daddy helping Micah boogey board


Anna and Grandma hanging out in the shade
It wasn't on my birthday but I finally got my strips and cheese!! And they were so delicious!!

Micah wanted to try the strips and cheese too, he said they were delicious!

Poor twins, they had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

But then Micah was nice enough to share some strips with them

So glad we were able to make it to the beach. Steve went home the next day, the rest of us stayed 6 more days so I could go to my cousin's wedding. Unfortunately since we ended up having to drive ourselves to Salt Lake City, we had to change Steve's returning flight back to Salt Lake so he could drive our van back, by himself. But he said it wasn't too bad. It's a really pretty drive and he didn't get to enjoy it the first time because he was so focused on getting us to the airport in time.

My Dad wanted to take the boys to the LA Zoo, so Tuesday morning he and I and the boys headed there. We didn't know it but that happened to be the day that the LA public schools started, so no summer groups or school groups came, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves, it was awesome!

My favorite animals to see were the giraffes, they are just so cool! 

Checking out some chimps

My Dad got us passes on the tram that goes through zoo so we didn't have to walk so much (it was about 100 degrees so we greatly appreciated it!)

David "reading" the zoo map

This was my second favorite animal although it's a terrible picture of his backside :) but this is a hippopotamus and seriously, they are huge! It was so fun because when we first walked up to where they are there were three in the water and then as we stood there all three walked out of the water so we could really see how huge they are

Grandpa with his boys!

Needless to say they all conked out on the way home :)
While we were at the zoo Anna got to stay home with Grandma and be very spoiled :)

Back in the pool

Notice anything different? No puddle jumper! One of the things Micah wanted to do while we were in California was learn to swim, which he did!
This was right after he had learned, by the end of our time there he could jump in the deeper end and swim to the steps!

We got to meet my brother's new baby, he was only 6 weeks old (and he still weighed less than Anna did when she was born :), he felt like I was holding a feather)

Silly things happen at Grandma's house :)

We went up North to my sister's house for my cousin's wedding and we spent an afternoon at my aunt's pool with some of my cousins. They boys were big fans of the diving board

Can you tell he had been watching the Olympics? :)

They also had a pool which was a big hit

Jonathan getting fancy going down on his stomach

Uncle Robert building them a tower (which David knocked down before anyone could actually enjoy it)

Having a snack outside (and me trying out my new iPhone. No, I didn't win that before and after picture contest, thanks though for those who voted for me, but Best Buy was having a 50 hour sale for their 50th anniversary and you could get an iPhone for $1!! Can't pass that deal up! So from now on my pictures should be much better quality :))

Uncle Robert is a lot of fun!
My Dad got ahold of my phone and took a selfie :)

At the wedding having lots of fun with my cousins!!

Me with the bride!

We went to my sister's church on Sunday where a lot of my mom's family also goes and while we were standing around after church we realized my grandparents were there with 16 of their 30 great grandkids, so we had to take a picture!

Grandpa and Grandma with my kids.
Group shot before we headed back to my parents house. Thanks so much Robert and Tracie for letting us all stay at your house! We had so much fun!!

One last time in the pool before we had to head home

At the airport early Monday morning. We were just glad our flight didn't get cancelled :)

On the plane

We were on United on the way home and they serve Stroopwafels (a Dutch treat) so we had to take a picture with them :)

I had been a little nervous about the fact that we had a 37 minute layover in San Francisco when I was by myself with 4 young ones who had to pull their luggage because we are too cheap to check in more than one suitcase :). After we landed and quick all went to the bathroom (which is quite an ordeal) I got a text that our plane was delayed an hour, so we didn't have to worry.

We found a kids play area to kill some time at

Getting on the plane!
So we all got on the plane, and then they realized that the pilot was not on the plane. A minute later they came on and said we all had to get off the plane because the pilot had missed his flight and wouldn't be arriving for 2 more hours. So we all got off the plane, dragging all our luggage back up the big ramp into the airport

Anna decided it was a good time to take a little snooze (mommy would have loved to have joined her, I was about to lose it at this point, I just wanted to get home!)

The boys were so good, they greatly enjoyed getting to eat the chips and cookies United provided and watch Planes on my iPad. Well once the flight landed that the pilot was on they realized that the pilot wasn't actually on that flight, so they had to scramble to find another pilot. So what was suppose to be a 37 minute layover turned into a 4 1/2 hour layover which when you are by yourself with 4 kids is so not ideal, but it's better than it getting canceled. :) We did finally make it home that day

And this about sums up how we all felt by dinnertime :)
And that sums up our California vacation! Troubles with flights at the beginning and end, but a great time in the middle. And I have to say through all our flight troubles our kids did awesome! And hey, we now have a lot of flight credit towards flights for next summer, although I have to admit, I'm not looking forward so much to dealing with airlines again :).
Thanks so much Mom and Dad for hosting us and giving us a great time!!

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