Monday, December 21, 2015

SoCal Vacay!

We've been hearing from family and friends about how great it is to fly with young kids, so when we saw a really great deal on Southwest we jumped on it and bought tickets for our family to fly to LAX from Dec. 8-15.  The kids, especially Sammy, were SO excited to fly - it was everyone's first time except for Isaac, who didn't remember his epic flights to/from New Zealand.  They all loved the flight, though Sammy got a little nervous during take-off and declared that whole part of the flight to be kind of scary.  Interesting side note: I have always loved take-off but have always been slightly terrified of the landing, which was Sammy's favorite part.  Isaac loved the whole thing and Ellie was fairly ambivalent except when she wasn't allowed to stand up in her seat, which made her mad.

After a rather awful ordeal schlepping all our luggage (3 car seats, 2 suitcases, 1 Pack n Play, and a partridge in a pear tree) to the shuttle stop, dealing with an Ellie tantrum just as the shuttle arrived, getting off at a rather skeevy off-site parking lot to get picked up by the rental agency's shuttle, and finally getting the rental van, we spent a quality 2 hours on the freeway with a screaming baby to get to my parents' house.  No wonder we moved away!  Thank goodness for my mom's cooking and a bunch of tasty food waiting for us when we arrived.  That, and some karaoke.

We spent our L.A. time visiting friends, eating out with my family (my Aunt Lisa and Uncle Sing came out with us one night), and hanging around the house playing video games. 
One of the days we went to the La Habra Children's Museum because it was both close by and free due to our Thanksgiving Point Membership, because Science!  The kids had a blast - one of the best times we've had at any children's museum in a while.

We spent the second half of our week in San Diego with Grandma Coco and Grandpa Bruce, where Daisy and I promptly got sick.  It was Daisy's first cold, and she was none too pleased about it.  We didn't let sickness get us down, though.  The only plan we had to cancel was a visit with my cousin Sylvie to meet her brand new baby.  Collin and I even went on a date to RakiRaki Ramen and Tsukemen (much trendy. so hipster. wow.) for some seriously delicious ramen.

We went to the beach one day.  It was a balmy 60 degrees and the tide started coming in not too long after we got there, so we didn't stay too long.  But, the water was surprisingly warm and the kids still had fun.  Even Daisy enjoyed her view.

One of the highlights of our entire vacation was our trip to the San Diego Zoo.  Grandma Coco joined us for this outing.  We balked at the cost of admission even after several discounts, but it was worth the money.  The kids had so much fun, and the animals were all super active.  Ellie got her daily tantrum out of the way fairly early (and fell asleep doing so), so the rest of the day was quite pleasant.  As we approached the lion enclosure, the male lion started roaring (more like, calling out) directly at Isaac and Colleen.  He kept it up for almost a minute, though we only caught the tail end of it on video.  It was pretty amazing.

Grandma Coco's house gets chilly in the winter, and having a fire going in the living room is a real treat. 
Overall, it was a fun vacation.  Getting sick wasn't so great, nor was the absolutely abysmal sleep we got once Daisy got sick, but everything else was fantastic.  The kids loved seeing both sets of grandparents, and the plane rides were fun even if hauling all our luggage (one of which didn't make it on the flight home with us and had to be delivered the following evening) wasn't.   We arrived home after midnight Wednesday, and the kids went to school late that same morning. Back to the ol' grind for three more days before Christmas break began.  And now we're back in vacation mode, only this time without the crazy traveling!

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