Thursday, August 15, 2013

California Part 3

Thursday August 1st

Paul had some work to do again in the morning so I let the kids sleep in. I made two trips to the hotel buffet to get all this food for our breakfast. I hope they appreciate me! Once he got home we headed to the Irvine Spectrum for some shopping and then to the beach! We rented a boogie board for the kids. They had a blast. After we were done at the beach we did a little back to school shopping at the surf shops. 

This was our view during dinner. I think we all could get used to this! 

To get back to our hotel we could go by Disneyland, or not. We debated and finally decided to. How bad could it be? Oh it was awful, we wanted to go in so badly. But we didn't. This wasn't a Disneyland trip. We walked around Downtown Disney for a while. We ate beignets and soaked in as much Disney as would could from outside the gate. It's been WAY TOO LONG!  

Lego Land

World of Disney

Disneyland fireworks

California Part 2

July 31st-San Diego

Paul had some meetings Wednesday morning. We had a hard time deciding what to do when he got back to the hotel. Finally we settled on driving to San Diego to see what it had to offer. We had our sights set on Old Town and The Mormon Battalion was also on our list. We had no idea that they were right next to each other. What a happy coincidence. We went in and found out about their tours and then headed out to shop.

As souvenir lovers the kids and I had a blast in Old Town. Paul was a good sport but it really wasn't his thing. The weather however was EXACTLY his thing. It was perfect! He was just so happy to not be working and to be walking around in weather that was in the low 70's.

After shopping around (all we bought was one Christmas ornament for me, a pair of earrings for Emma and a Mexican sweatshirt for Andrew) we headed back to the Battalion to go on a tour. It was super cool. It was very interactive and informative. I'm so glad we took the time to do the tour. 

Andrew got to dress up like one of the soldiers. They didn't have much in the way of uniforms. The Mormons chose to wear their own clothes so they could use the money they were given for uniforms to help their families get out west.

At the end of the tour they take your picture, print you a copy and even email you one.

 From there you get to pan for "gold" which the kids really enjoyed.

We climbed up into the tower and looked out across San Diego. It was awesome up there. There aren't words to describe just how perfect the weather was. You have to understand that we have had a record number of 100+ degree days in Utah this year. You also have to understand that we don't have an air conditioner. It broke earlier this summer and we decided to make due without until we know what's happening with Paul's job. Our swamp cooler keeps us cool for the most part but to be in this weather was just heavenly. 

The sisters at the Battalion gave us coupons for dinner. Ah Mexican food, how I love thee.

After dinner we drove near the coast and saw this cool ship at the Maritime Museum. Did you know that I've always fantasized about being a pirate's wench at sea on a tall ship? That may or may not be true...

From there we drove to the temple to show the kids just how gorgeous it is. 

It was our first time being in San Diego together and we all loved it. It is such a beautiful place!

California Part 1

Early in the morning (like 6:30 am) on July 27th we went to pick up Emma from EFY at BYU. (Her Especially For Youth experience will eventually have it's own entry but I need to get a bunch of pictures off of Emma's phone before I can blog about it.) 

This had been her home away from home for the past week.

It wasn't ideal to leave for California just hours after picking Emma up but Paul had work in California and this was our only chance at some sort of vacation. Paul wanted to hit the road by noon. I'm not sure why but he was determined. Poor Emma was so tired. She missed her home and her bed but we rushed her through packing and we were off. (It was not that smooth. There were tears. It was hard on her but we managed.)

We made it to Beaver without incident. We made a quick stop in St. George and then headed to Las Vegas for the night. On our to do list was Serendipity 3 to see the fish tank that they Tanked guys installed. We were very disappointed to find that the fish had been dying in the heat so it had been removed.

We decided while we were there we would get a frozen hot chocolate. It was delicious but not as fun as having one in New York. The presentation lacking.

We of course had to stop by the Bellagio conservatory. On a side note, being in Vegas on a Saturday night with kids was...interesting. They were shocked at all the body parts on display. We are so sheltered here in Utah. They had never seen such short dresses or so much cleavage in their lives.

The next morning we woke and leisurely got ready before heading to California. We didn't take into consideration that there would be a lot of people heading back to LA from Vegas on a Sunday. Add in some flash floods near Primm and you have for a very slow drive. Paul was about to lose it. We waited a couple of hours in Primm for the traffic to clear and then hit the road again. Smooth sailing from then on, mostly. 

 We made it back to our home state. It was so nice being back. It looks like we were planning staying for good the way we packed doesn't it. It was SOOO embarrassing getting all of our stuff into our hotel. I felt like the Beverly Hillbilly's.

Paul didn't have meetings until Tuesday so on Monday we decided to take the kids to Hollywood. I don't think it was what they were expecting but they had fun.

We were actually stopped on the sidewalk and asked to be part of an interview segment that would air on Jimmy Kimmel that night. The kids really wanted us to participate so we did. Thankfully our footage never made it to the air. They asked us a very personal question that was in relation to the Weiner scandal. So embarrassing. 


We headed to The Grove for some shopping and dinner at the Farmer's Market.

Emma is too old for American Girl but since she has been to the stores in New York and Chicago we wanted to go in here too. She was a great sport.

I fell in love with Dylan's Candy bar and their freakishly tall toilet in New York. I was excited to see one in California. We got some unique flavored gummy bears (pineapple was quite awesome) and unique flavored chocolate bars. Bacon chocolate is NOT good. Just so you know. Such a fun and happy looking place!

Can you spot Emma in the Barnes and Noble?

Grandpa Bruce calls Emma Snicklefritz, sometimes. It has been shortened by Paul to Fritzi. When we saw Fritzi Dog at the Farmer's Market he got all excited and made her take a picture next to the sign.

Later we ordered some Fritzi fries (she is now Fritzi fries for those that care) with a garlic dipping sauce that was amazing! 

From there we headed to the LA temple. Paul was amazed at all the changes they had made in the Visitors Center since he was a missionary 20 years ago. He also ran into a friend from his mission! Crazy. He had a lot of fun catching up while the kids and I played with all the interactive displays.

They have these displays with the Book of Mormon in all the different languages. The senior missionary had the kids back up to the display and blindly pick the book that felt right to them. He told the kids that is where they would serve their missions ;) Not an exact science but a fun experience.

Andrew predicted he would serve in the Philippines. This cute sister is here in the states from the Philippines so she was pretty happy when he pulled that Book of Mormon.

Emma predicted Korea. I think she was shocked. She's actually hoping to go Spanish speaking.

Of course they had to go through every book until they found the one from Mongolia where their grandparents are currently serving. Andrew found it, not Emma. 

After some time playing at the temple we headed to Santa Monica to watch the sun set. 

The next morning we knew Paul would be working most of the day. We slept in but got up in enough time to get food from the hotel breakfast. We ate breakfast then played in the pool for over an hour. We had the whole pool to ourselves. It was so nice. 

After swimming we got ready for the day, went to lunch and caught a movie. We saw Despicable Me 2. Cute movie! For a while we thought we were going to the only ones in the theater but eventually it filled up. After the movie we went and did some back to school shopping. 

Paul got home pretty late that night so we didn't get to do anything else but it was a nice relaxing day.
More to come soon...