Where to start, where to start.....I'd better just warn you now that these are going to be some very picture-heavy and lengthy entries. I mean, we just spent a full week in San Diego with my entire family and we had a lot of fun, and a lot of adventures and we took a LOT of pictures.
This trip was a long time in the planning and coming to pass - we were originally supposed to be going to Mexico last October but due to this teeny little natural disaster called a hurricane, the trip was cancelled. I sure hope that area has recovered well. The family decided that despite the set-back we still wanted to travel together and began planning another trip. This time we decided to stay state side and found a lovely beach house on Mission Bay in San Diego California. It was nice and big and had plenty of space for us, which we especially needed because my momma's Alzheimer's disease has progressed enough that we knew we needed a care-giver to join us or we just couldn't help mom the way she needs. Actually, that one extra person (Magic Elizabeth, we like to call her) made our housing just slightly crowded and so my sister decided to stay in an Air B'n'B nearby, which she was happy about because it gave her and her older daughters a little bit of privacy and separation from the rest of us crazies with little kiddos running around. In hind sight, maybe my mom and Elizabeth should have stayed elsewhere....they may also have benefited from avoiding the commotion!
|My kids were so excited to take their first plane ride|
The first travelers to arrive at Mission Bay were Peter and Sheri, then my parents, then my family. We enjoyed spending the evening together out on the sand which was directly out our doors. Well, there was this pathway you had to cross first to get to the sand. It was only about 5 feet wide but it was treacherous - I've never seen so many walkers/bikers/roller-bladers/skateboarders in my life! So many people there enjoy exercising at ALL times of day. But once you traversed the busy sidewalk, there was a wide and warm beach leading down to very calm water. I was glad that was right outside our door because we felt pretty safe with any of the kids playing around there except the two babies.
|I might have more pictures of this sweetheart than I do of my own kids - she kind of stole the show!|
On Sunday our small group tried to observe the Sabbath at least a little bit - we went in to Old Town San Diego where a Mormon Battalion Museum is. It is a really fun place to visit - it's not just a museum that you browse through, occasionally reading descriptions here and there. It's really like a fully interactive experience with the missionaries serving there all dressed up in period costumes and guiding you through a story-like experience that really brings to life what the battalion must have experienced. I was really impressed and enjoyed it a lot.
After the museum, we totally lucked out - it was Father's Day, around 11:00 am and we were all starving - it seemed like a tough day to eat out since so many people would be taking out their dads for a celebratory brunch. But there was a big Mexican restaurant just up the hill from the museum and they happened to have a table available for a large group so we walked right in. Wasn't expecting that! We enjoyed a really delicious Mexican buffet with everything from basic breakfast fare like waffles and omelettes to fantastic cheese enchiladas and chile verde and all sorts of tasty stuff in between. We ate our fill, I'll tell you that.
|I've never seen a balloon guy quite like this before - those hats were quite impressive|
After lunch came a quick trip to the San Diego temple where we briefly wandered the grounds. We bumped into another Utah family who was gathering there for a family reunion just like we were and enjoyed chatting with them for a bit. We laughed as we both discovered that we were waiting for relatives from Seattle to arrive.
Sunday afternoon brought the arrival of Margaret and Adam and their families, and the partying began in earnest after that. We decided to spend our first weekday of the trip at the beach. Not only was our beach house comfortably settled on the side of the quiet bay, but it was just a 5 minute walk across to the actual ocean. We packed up lunches, made quick shopping trips to buy stacks of beach towels, coated our selves in sun screen, donned our new swimming suits and headed out. We should have brought some sort of luggage carrier with us we had so many beach chairs and umbrellas and towels and blankets and cokes and chips and sunscreen. And the more family members who joined us the more stuff they brought!
|Park and Iva - these two cousins were a kill. They were so cute together and so busy and fun - especially when they were trying to chat with each other|
We spent hours in the sand and waves. I absolutely love the ocean. I find it so fantastic that kids, who seem to get bored at my house after every 30 minutes, can spend hour after hour just running, splashing, digging for sand crabs, building stuff in the sand and asking to be buried alive. It was late in the afternoon before we knew it. And now is the part where I confess that I can be fairly accused of child neglect. I really did re-apply sunscreen two or three times that day. But each of my kids wound up with pretty impressive sunburns. I felt so horrible! Cap's was mostly on the back of his legs. I had been on the lookout for chaffing from the boogie board he rode for so long, not realizing that he had spent the day turning his calves to the sun and they were pretty baked. Skippidy basically toasted her eyes - they're still slightly red today and it's been more than a week since this happened. Plus the top of one ear in particular got so burned it actually blistered. Where oh where is my shame-faced emoji when I need it! And poor poor Bitty - she was maybe the worst. Not only did she also broil her thighs, but I guess I was nervous about getting sunscreen in her eyes and so I didn't reapply very well there. She ended up with basically a bandit's mask of sunburn that didn't blister but was swollen and puffy made her miserable. I remember the many sunburns I got in my life and I know just how rotten they all felt. I'm so sorry kids! I wasn't trying to neglect you! I will say that every day after that saw the kids receive a measure of sunscreen they had never seen before. I absolutely plastered them every day after that. They didn't get any more sunburned but they were pretty toasty for most of the rest of the trip.
|attempted beach selfie|