I just love those somee-cards that are on Pinterest and facebook with sayings that are all-too-true. For instance, one of my favorites reads, “You know you’re a mom when going on vacation feels like work, and going to Target feels like a vacation.” (Or something like that!) Ha!! Too true. Anyway, it hasn’t stopped us from planning a vacation, and I am happy to report that we just got back from probably our best family vacation to date…
Why the best, you ask? Lots of factors… most importantly, sleep. Both the girls and Malachi went to sleep without issue and slept through the night. That is HUGE for us, folks! That hardly even seems to happen at home! And, the hotel was quiet — I don’t think I heard another person the entire time. Again — miracle. So, why am I so tired? Oh yeah — all the fun we had! 🙂
We spent the first day at the beach. This was our first trip to the beach with actual swimmers — and swim, they did! Well, Allison did… she literally swam out in the waves. I must say I was a little freaked out seeing my baby out there, but it was also fun. Watching them grow-up, as well as learning to let go, pray and trust God; yikes!
We were happy to leave the 100 degree day back home behind. The little ones were content to dig for quite some time. They got filthy. We all got filthy. It was lovely.
The best part about getting filthy is coming back to the hotel to get clean. This was our first test for Malachi; once he got washed up and smelling like a sweet little baby, we put him in his unfamiliar crib and walked out of that room. Silence. Granted, he was exhausted, but had that been one of my girls at that age — we would have had an hour of screaming first. It was awesome.
Meanwhile, the girls pulled out their math and got to work. Funny how it was fun for them in the hotel. I guess a change of scenery is good for all of us now and then!
Being in San Diego, we had to do Mexican at least once. We went to Casa Guadalajara for an incredible dinner. The kids even got to watch tortillas being made. I love Mexican, but we don’t do it very often because my husband gets a lot of it at work.
The next day began at the Birch Aquarium. We chose San Diego because of their “Kids Free in October” promotion. It’s a great deal, really — lots of places, including the aquarium offer free kids admission with a paying adult.
We expected that their might be some crowds due to the promotion. In fact, most places were still relatively empty. Of course, we went during the week, but it was still nice to avoid the crowds!
They had a see saw! I had not been on one since I was a kid, so I made Daniel get on with me. After waiting for what seemed like forever with a bunch of 5th grade girls on a field trip, I finally had to assert myself and let them know I was waiting, as well. Allison took the camera and snapped away. It was too fun! Alas, I thought I’d better let the 5th graders hop back on.
For lunch, we went to an obscure little restaurant Daniel found a Groupon for. I just love these little places that are off the beaten path and offer unique food choices. Lunch was delicious and finished off with a cappucino and coffee cake.
Back at the hotel, our little rock star took another stellar nap while Daniel and Sierra watched a movie and I took the big girls swimming. That night we found yet another yummy restaurant — this time we went Greek!
The girls brought their math books and did one page after another. Come to think of it, I haven’t even checked all their work, yet; must get to that!
After dinner, we went to a favorite spot of ours, “Extraordinary Desserts.” Daniel and I had been here a few times, but this was the first time we had taken the kids, (I think.) No words. Just look for yourselves:
Another great night sleep, despite the coffee right before bed; (You can’t have a dessert like that without coffee now, can you?) We spent our final day at the Safari Park; another kids’ free promotion.
Sierra is our animal girl. She has never been to the zoo, and we’d been wanting to get her here for quite some time.
The kids were quite tired by this day, but also very excited. The excitement kept them going until the afternoon — then we took the safari tram for a little break. (All together we walked almost 7 miles that day!)
My favorite part was the bird show. I don’t even like birds, but somehow they made me quite interested in them. It was a fascinating, entertaining, and even humorous show.
The girls fed the lorikeets. I took pictures as fast as I could before running out of their, afraid I would get pooped on.
Poor Sierra got bit by a lorikeet. Perhaps it will stop her from biting others. Probably not.Their petting zoo was one of the cleanest I have ever seen. The only other one like this was at Disneyland! (Yes, Disneyland has a petting zoo!) And, they had brushes for you to brush the goats; brilliant, I tell you!
One of the things we were excited to see was the cheetah run. 70mph!!! And, he can go from 0 to 40mph in 3 steps; incredible! As we were waiting a woman came up and asked Allison if she would like to run on the cheetah path first. Out of 100’s of people, she was chosen! Then we could have watched the cheetah run from a special reserved spot that normally costs $10 per person and have seen the entire run from start to finish. Unfortunately, my girl’s shyness kicked-in, and she said no. Even with some coaxing, she refused. Oh, well.
We finished the day with the carousel ride. Sierra had been asking about it all day. It, of course, was not free, but had a lot of very fun and unique animals. Just look at how tired these poor faces look!
I’ve decided that mini-vacations like this are the best. We were able to do the entire vacation on just one tank of gas! The tank is now empty, but our hearts are full!