California Vacation

Soo…. many weeks later I finally have some time for blogging. I’d love to give a day-by-day account of our fantastic trip to California, but really I don’t have that kind of time, so here’s a summary blog instead. :)

On Tuesday, June 20th we flew to San Francisco. We had an easy, on time, direct flight. We landed late in SF, rented a car, and drove to Greg and Kathy’s house in Sacramento. I try to plan my trips alternating busy and not-busy days, so after a full day of travel we spent the next day just hanging out at Greg’s house. We did lots of swimming, played Scrabble and Risk, made dinner, and watched a movie. Daniel and Emily and Heather came for the afternoon and dinner, along with their dogs. It was relaxing and fun and perfect.

On Thursday we left Sacramento and drove back to San Francisco for some touristy activities. We stayed one day and two nights there. We spent Friday wandering around the piers, visiting the Embarcado, the Fisherman’s Warf marketplace, and the piers. We had lunch on Pier 39, and I tried to recreate a sourdough memory I have from visiting with Grandma and Carolyn. I found the restaurant, but the meal wasn’t as good as I remember. Perhaps my taste buds have evolved. Ha! More likely because by the time we got our food it was cold, and cold cheesy sourdough toast isn’t that great. Oh well. We ended the adventure at the Ghiradelli Chocolate place, which I was expecting to be a factory or something, but mostly it was an outdoor mall with a Ghiradelli chocolate store and ice cream parlor. We got plenty of chocolate and ice cream!

The next day we hit the road again, heading south. We stopped at the Google Complex, Tesla headquarters, and Carmel-By-The-Sea. Each was fun in it’s own way. We spent that night at a hotel in Santa Maria, then continued on through Los Angeles and down to Carlsbad — Legoland!! We got there in the afternoon, went through the extremely efficient check-in process, then headed out to complete the treasure hunt and open the safe in our room! Joyce met us at the hotel and explored the park with us.

Trip Photos: Part 1

The next day we spent the day at Legoland until mid-afternoon when everyone was done. It involved a lot of walking, eating, waiting in lines, and spending money. All in the hot sunshine. When we first went to Legoland in Florida a few years ago the concept was amazing and we marveled at everything. This time we were a little less impressed. :) Jaded, maybe. The California Legoland is older too, so a lot of it was faded and worn looking. But fun anyway. And the hotel was amazing! It’s interesting now with a little time behind us, but whenever anyone asks Lex what his favorite part of the trip was he always says Legoland, without any hesitation. Yet he was fussing my lunchtime and was eager to leave by mid-afternoon when we had had enough as well. It’s neat how different people remember things differently.

After leaving Legoland we continued south to San Diego where we “checked in” to our rental house. The owner was friendly but the house was TINY and so, so hot. Turns out AC is not standard in California (whatt??) and I hadn’t thought to ask about it. Joyce and I went for a long, oft detoured walk to the store for dinner and we all had a late dinner on the deck, which was finally starting to cool off. Joyce offered us her guest room and we happily moved there the next morning. When I first booked the trip she was expecting to be moving at the same time, but her plans changed and we were all much happier staying with her! :)

Tuesday we moved to her house, languished in her air conditioning for awhile, then attempted to drive to the beach, somehow ending up back in Carlsbad. I fell asleep in the backseat and take no responsibility for that! :) We stopped and got dinner and then went to Oceanside, CA for a sunset beach adventure. It was beautiful!! Alan and the kids swam, we all enjoyed milkshakes on the pier while watching the sun go down, and we went home tired and happy.

Wednesday, our last full day in California, we spent at the San Diego Zoo. I thought that would be a half day at most, but NO, there was so much to see and we lasted past 6pm! We saw lions and tigers and bears (briefly) and koalas and jaguars living with dogs, and a zebra living with a donkey, and elephants and giraffes, and gorillas and bonobo monkeys and hippos and a VERY hungry tiger!! We had so much fun!! Plenty of eating and shopping as well, but minimal lines and the temps were much nicer. When we left the zoo we explored Bilboa Park looking for dinner, but the places were all fancy and expensive and we were not in a fancy or expensive sort of mood so we headed home for pizza delivery instead!

Trip Photos: Part 2

Thursday morning we said our goodbyes and headed home. Another on-time (early, even!) easy direct flight home and we were welcomed back to the east coast by a beautiful sunset over Boston.

We had such a fine time and once again I marvel at what great travelers my kiddos are. They held it together the entire time and were a pleasure to be around. I can’t wait for our next trip! Where to next…. hmmm…..

Eve off to camp!

We dropped Eve off at camp today, the same camp that my siblings and I all went to so many years ago. Not much has changed. It’s still a sweet little camp, all centered around a fire pit. Eve passed her swim test and made friends with her bunkmate before we left. I know she’s going to have a blast!

I already miss this crazy girl!

She picked a bottom bunk and immediately found a poem written on the underside of the top bunk.

She forgot to bring a book, but it looks like she’ll have plenty to read!

I love this child. <3

First things first, pass that swim test! (Eve is in white, putting on her goggles)

Lex wasn’t terribly excited to be there. Camp is not his thing.

Out of about ten hug/wrestling pictures I got one sweet one. :) I’ll pretend this is how they parted. <3

Doktor Kaboom!

We went to a really funny science/comedy show tonight, staring Doktor Kaboom, “an over-the-top German physicist with a passion for science that knows no bounds.” It was informative and hilarious!

They said no photography, but he had kid volunteers come up and he said of course parents of those kids are welcome to take pictures. After a particularly funny first volunteer, Eve quickly raised her hand when he asked for another kid to come up on stage, and I pulled out the camera!

Handprints

We stopped by the new house today and found fresh concrete!

There’s our porch and garage.

So we stuck our hands in it! :)

We look so organized, don’t we?! (Ha!)

I love it!

Left to right and apparently best to worst in the handprint department: Alan, Eve, Lex, Tessa

Truth be told, it wasn’t like that at all. They have been talking about pouring concrete for weeks now and we have been “on deck” to do this project. It kept getting delayed due to rain. Last week they said they were pouring so I stopped by in the morning to find out what time would be good for handprints and the concrete guys said they were just pouring the foundation that would be under the house. No use putting handprints in that! So we went back to waiting. Friday they told us they’d pour Monday (today), but we woke up today and saw “Severe thunderstorm alerts” in the forecast and figured it would be delayed again. I stopped by around 9am as Lex and I were heading to a volunteer event, and found fresh concrete!! I called Alan, who had just got to work after dropping Eve off at camp. He called the builder to make sure we weren’t too late and we all scrambled. We got there in time and I’m so glad we did. The concrete guys were great and even took pictures for us. One guy worked hard to make sure the heart stone was placed well and smoothed out all around.

We stopped by later with cold lemonade and warm cookies as a thank you, but found the concrete guys gone and the framing guys starting to lay out the rooms!! That was exciting! They appreciated the cookies and lemonade too. :)

Eve in the pantry.

It all looks so small. I’m so nervous!  Alan and I decided to go over with a tape measure and double check it against the floorplans, but then those severe thunderstorms did come (not so severe, really) and that plan got delayed.  Maybe tomorrow evening.

What I’m working on…

Life is busy.  So much for the lazy days of summer!  I’m working on:

  1. Getting our house ready to sell.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, we have four showings and one of them has already made an offer! I have spent the past few days cleaning, straightening, taking things down, filling holes, painting, sweeping, etc.  Our house is looking spic and span and sparse!
  2. Coordinating contractors.  The upstairs bathtub started leaking, through the floor and through the bedroom ceiling!  A project which wasn’t on any list suddenly jumped right to the top!  We have a contractor here now who is doing the work, very well, but very slowly!  I’m also trying to line up someone to hang drywall and someone to fix our bulkhead door.
  3. Keeping up with the new house.  They are behind schedule (of course!) because of all this dang rainy weather we’ve been having!  The foundation is pour and at this point they are planning to start framing on Monday. They are also hoping to pour the garage and pour concrete on Monday.  We have been eagerly awaiting that so we can try to put hand prints in fresh cement on the porch.  I started a shared Google album where I’m putting pictures of the house project.  I’d like to make it into a book when it’s all done. Feel free to check it out.  I’ll add photos as the house is built.
  4. Finishing up my two grad courses.  I have a project a week due and a big one due on Sunday.  I worked hard to get ahead of the assignments before leaving for California, but then was behind by the time I got back.  One more week and all the assignments will be due and done!  Then I get a break before the next round of courses start. :)
  5. Inventorying the library collection.  I got approval for summer work to conduct a full inventory of the library, which hasn’t been done in over ten years!  That was great news, however now I’m trying to get those hours in before heading to Franklin next week.  By the time I get back from Franklin they will cleaning the carpets in the school and very shortly after that we will be back at work!  Where is my summer going?!?
  6. I was trying to make a Snapfish book about our vacation because they had a great promotion running, but I missed that deadline so now I have a half finished book.  I’ll try to finish it soon so it’s ready for the next time they are running a special.  Also, this blog. :)  I think I’m a few blog posts behind.
  7. Ferrying kids back and forth to camp this week.  Ignoring the dog.  Ignoring all my healthy eating and exercise efforts.

Last week I got last minute tickets to see Beauty and the Beast, but put on by the theater company who is running Eve’s theater camp.  I took Eve and one of her classmates.  We had a great time!  It was a fun little break from the busy chaos.

Eve and her friend with Belle. Eve’s friend got all decked out in her pretty clothes and high heels. Eve grabbed a stuffie and flip-flops.

Also, Lex loves the cat.  I love Lex.

They are adorable. <3

And my fish at school had babies!  Surprise!  I was there doing inventory and a summer school teacher (they are using the library) came over and asked if the fish were mine.  Umm… who else’s would they be?!  He said, “Did you know you have babies in the tank?” Ummmm… nope!  I had five cichlids, one died (or was killed by the others) and the others are two mating pairs.  Surprise!  I didn’t even know the females were pregnant.  I don’t even know which ones are females!!  (You’d think as a librarian I would figure these things out, but really, who has time for that?!?)  So now there are lots of little babies swimming around.  I hope one or two survive to adulthood.  :)

Babies! Fries? :)

Doggie gets a nose job

I walked in to Lex’s room this evening and saw this atrocity!  Arlo has attacked again. Every time he chews up a stuffy I’m always thankful it isn’t one of the Doggies.  This time it was. 😕 

Lex still sleeps with his doggie every night.  I asked is I should fix it or just out it away, and he said “Please fix it Mom. I still want him.” Don’t have to ask me twice!  I think I love the doggies as much as the kids do! 

So, I present, Alex Doggie with his new nose job!

I know Lex will be happy when he wakes up.  Not sure if he’ll be this happy though!!  

A four year old Lex, very happy to be reunited with his missing doggie!

The trip so far…

My phone posted these pictures backwards, so scroll to the bottom and work your way up.  More details will come later.  ❤️☀️

Sunset over Santa Maria. Settling in for the night.

Back in the ocean for this little fish. Overcast and 64° but she was thrilled anyway. (Carmel By The Sea)


Alan bought a Tesla… hat!

@ the Googleplex

Drooling over Teslas

Tasty treats everywhere we go.

Touristy things in San Francisco. (Lombard Street)

Trying not to get blown off Beacon Point overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.

We love the ocean. (Muir Beach)

Their first time at the Pacific Ocean!!

Lots of this.

Little fishes swimming in Greg and Kathy’s pool.

We made it to San Francisco!

A beautiful, uneventful flight.