We took a vacay to Cali. We had the most fabulous time. I was actually suprised by how much we loved it. The thing is, is it was our first real family vacation that didn't involve us just driving to Utah and dividing our time between families.
I was super unsure of how it would all play out, but found myself pleasantly suprised again and again throughout the week we were there. I discovered how fun it is to watch your kids delight in new experiences. Constant fun. It never ended.
On our way home, I said to Kris, "So should we plan to come back next year?" He was all for it.
Anyway, I wanted to document our first family vacay on the bloggy woggy because there were so many memories made that are near and dear to my heart. Our schedule went like this: Saturday-Sea World, Sunday-Huntington Beach, Monday-Disneyland, Tuesday-California Adventure, Wednesday-Santa Monica Pier (and saying goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa-sad times), Thursday-Disneyland again, Friday-HOME (more sad times).
Ive chosen my favorite pics to share. Just going through them makes me want to go back again. Disney/California/Beaches.....the whole nine yards, it was all the bees-knees!
Kris' parents came with us and it was WONDERFUL to spend such quality time with them. They were so much fun to have around and they were always helping with the kids, which allowed my sanity to stay neatly sitting beside me.
The lot of us waiting to see the Shamu show. We sat in the soak zone all ready and rearing to get wet but didn't. Boo!!
Whales!! They have fun personalities too! p.s. This guy sitting in front of me with the flourescent yellow shirt on was the MOST enthisastic adult in that entire audience. TICKLED about everything, shouting and cheering, hooping and hollering, he put the rest of us to shame.
I was so thrilled during the show when I got this shot...then I scrolled through my camera hours later only to find that it wasn't all that and a bag of chips. But man!!! Those whales!!!
Okay, I need to explain the picture below. We went to the dolphin show. I loved it. It was cool. Who doesn't love dolphins? I could never get a really great shot of them cause everything was moving too fast, and anyway I was too busy eating the trail mix my mother-in-law brought that contained peanut butter m&m's!! But what I did notice were these performers that took part in the show. HILARIOUS!!
By facial expressions alone, they would get me chuckling but then add in their actual parts in the performance and I was almost rolling on the ground. You can't just love dolphins to be a part of this act folks, you gotta know how to put on a SHOW!! These two made the show for me. The dolphins were a sort of secondary bonus.
This is Sennah holding a sardine (or something) to feed the sea lions. She was SO excited to be holding this thing. And it stunk! This is my child who gags at the smell of peach yogurt and/or bananas, but give her a warm, slimy sardine and she is happy as a clam. BAFFLING.
Next stop? Huntington Beach. Tops my list. Loved seeing my kids play in the sand and splash in the water. It was super chilly but we still enjoyed every second. Dutch fell in the water after being there for like three seconds, so he was really cold and ornery, but we still tried to make the best of it.
Love this picture. Grandpa was taking him for a walk to try and walk off his grumpy.
Kris catches a bunch of sand crabs, which Sennah begged him to do, then upon seeing them she was unimpressed and demanded that they use the collinder for digging in the sand.
She is thrives in freezing cold water. If she had been Rose on the Titanic she could have switched places with Jack and been hunky dory.
The sun came out for about 45 seconds.....glorious.
Building a sandcastle with Grandma and trying with all her willpower to not stomp it down.
Two peas in a pod.
Gonna post all the Disney/California Adventure ones I really liked. I didn't get a ton of great pictures. Its hard to get out the camera and worry about capturing the moment when you just want to see it with your own eyes.....worry free!
On our merry way. We could walk to Disney from the condo. Thanks Stef and Chad!
Families are fun. They make life worth living.
Dutch started out so brave walking up to him and then melted down when it came time to pose. Sennah just wanted to touch his antennae SO bad.
Just riding rides as you'd expect when you're at a theme park.
Dutch and Poppy Kerry being rascals.
Bumper cars. This was funny because Sennah was adamant that she did not want to drive. Told me at least a dozen times that she wanted me to take control of the wheel. Then we got going and she was like "Mom, I want to do it." Too late. I was already in my bumper car groove. Maybe next time Sis.
First time trying cotton candy...which Grandma Karla payed $5 for.....which after a tiny bite, she declared to be "disgusting"...crazy child.
My hand placement on Mickey's arm is MY FAVORITE!! What in the world was I thinking? I don't really know....but whatever the case, I felt it incumbent upon myself to take hold of his elbow. Cause that's what ya do.
How can you not LOVE this place with all your heart?
The kids met Merida. Sennah was paralyzed with glee. She literally could not speak, she was so excited. Dutch took it all in stride. He gave Merida a big, old hug too. The only character in the park he didn't melt down around.
Sennah in toon town. This was her favorite "land" in Disney. "I just love everything so much Mom."
We packed our lunches in the park and probably saved hundreds of dollars. HUNDREDS!!
This was my favorite moment of our entire trip. It happened on our last day there and it was something she had been waiting so patiently for. She was overcome with joy....so was I.
*Something I loved about Sennah at Disneyland*
After passing the line to see 3-4 of the Disney princesses I asked her if she'd like to wait in line to see them and say hello. She turned and looked at all of them very curiously and then asked me, "Mom, where is Sally?" ....."Why isn't Sally with all the other princesses?"
She was talking about her favorite character on the Nightmare before Christmas. She had seen some memorabilia from the show in one of the gift shops, and I had nonchalantly said that maybe we'd see her around. Well, she remembered what I had said and had been waiting to see her.
The thing that I LOVED was that Sally was just as much a princess to Sennah as Jasmine, Cinderella, or Sleeping Beauty....it doesn't matter what she looks like on the outside to Sennah, she absolutely LOVES her and thinks she is beautiful with stitches and all. I never want to forget that about Sen.
This is Sally for those that don't know.
Last picture dump is from Santa Monica Pier. One of my most favorite parts of the trip.
It was everything I hoped it to be. So vintage and so cool!
A state-fair, type amusement park right on the beach. Such a dream!
Fresh popped kettle corn? Of course we did. Sennah shooting a stink eye? Of course she did.
One of my favorite pictures of these two.
Watching my kids swing on the beach and feel the sand in their toes was really cool. I wish we lived in a place like this. Doesn't everybody though?
Kris was a grump while we were here. He was super put-out because as soon as we got the popcorn we got surrounded by seagulls and pigeons wanting anything that may drop. I kinda wanted to drop-kick him in the bum and say, "WHO CARES!!!!" "HAVE FUN!"
Sen's hair was something else this day. Puffy as it comes.
I can hereby report that TyAnna Lee Powell was TICKLED to be at Santa Monica pier with the ones she loves. No seagull or pigeon could get in the way of that!
Kris and the kids looking at one of the performers on the pier....Kris was probably cursing all the seagulls and pigeons and grumping about anything he could grump about.
This reminded me of the movie BIG and I just had to have a picture.
I will conclude with my favorite picture taken that day. I instagrammed it. Just perfect....ha ha ha love that Kris is kinda surrounded by birds. Cheer up grump sauce!
This calls for a yearly family vacay! Better start saving our pennies.
Good day to ya!