Wednesday, February 16, 2011

California Dreamin'

We kicked off our Californian vacation last Saturday - yay!! We loaded the boys up on McDonald's at the airport before we left hoping we might get a nap out of them on the 3 hour flight. Luke slept for about 45 short minutes...

I can't complain, neither of them cried or made any scenes on the plane or at the airport. The weather was absolutely amazing when we got there...nearly 80 degrees. The rest of the week has been a bit chillier, but no complaints here as it was still warmer than back home. We stayed in a beach town called Dana Point, which was just a little bit south of Newport Beach and Laguna Beach. The views were spectacular...and to see trees with leaves, flowers and grass - ahhhhh.

Our biggest challenge was adjusting to the 2 hour time change. It was hard to keep the boys up, especially after long days out and about. So there were a couple of evenings when they were in bed by 6 o'clock local time! Kurt and I enjoyed some quiet dinners and got to watch some grown up movies for once! Of course the flipside to an early evening is an early morning...we were all usually up and at 'em by 6:30! The first evening there we drove to a beach close by and watched the sunset. It was so beautiful.

On Sunday, we hit up another beach that had a playground so the boys could burn some energy. There we met a couple that were super helpful and gave us a great idea on how to spend the rest of our day. Ironically the husband was getting his MBA at IU at the same time Kurt and I were there for undergrad! So from there we spent the day in Newport Beach/Balboa Island. We had lunch at a Tommy Bahama restaurant where Blake and Luke quickly became the entertainment. A man was singing and playing guitar and the boys decided to start dancing. The man was so nice and even dedicated a song to "his friend Blake". He gave Blake one of his CD's too! From there we took a ferry to Balboa Island and we took a harbor boat cruise, rode a carousel and a ferris wheel. It was the first time on a ferris wheel for both boys and I forgot how high up you go! Luke was with me and did such a great job. He told me "I not (s)cared". Blake loved it!

Right before Blake fell in the ocean. We tease him about his "dip"!

There is a sea lion asleep on the back of this boat!

Monday was the big day...Disneyland! We were up early and on the road to ensure we got there right when the park opened. It was a beautiful day, but was going to be a tad bit cooler so the park was not busy at all. We got right in and were able to ride a ton of rides. The longest we waited for anything was probably 20 minutes and that was unusual. Even with Blake's obsession with costumes and dressing up, we discovered his phobia of costumed characters. He melted down when we saw Mickey and then when we saw Minnie a little bit later he came completely unglued. Luke, on the other hand, was about to run over other little kids in an effort to get to Mickey! The minute we went into the "meet and greet" room, Luke started exclaiming "HI MICKEY, HI MICKEY, HI MICKEY"! He loved it and even gave Mickey one of his coveted "kiss on da cheeks!" By the time we saw Pluto we were able to bribe Blake for a quick picture and Luke was over it. They had a blast! Blake got another sword and a pirate telescope after riding Pirates of the Caribbean and Luke got a stuffed Dumbo. It's his favorite movie and he loved the Dumbo rides.

Blake proceeded to growl at people that looked at him the rest of the day!

After some intense negotiations (aka bribes) Blake finally let us get his picture with a Disney friend.
Having tea inside Minnie's house.
She had him at hello.

Mickey and his #1 fan!

Tuesday we laid low and hung around Laguna Beach. Wednesday was a rainy day. :( Our big excitment for the day was going out to breakfast. It turned out to be quite the exciting adventure and only lasted about 30 minutes. Within minutes of getting our food Blake puked at the table. The waitress was insanely nice and cleaned everything up and Blake assured us he felt better. So, we continued to eat UNTIL Luke decided to start spewing uncontrollably! Needless to say we decided to just box up our pancakes and hit the road! The boys were totally fine after that, but we still decided to stay in and watch movies most of the day.

It seemed like a good idea at the time...on second thought, sand is not very tasty!

Mommy's kind of heaven...a cupcake shop.

Thursday we drove to San Diego and went to Sea World. It was a lot of fun. The main draw is definitely the shows. We saw the Shamu show (or Shampoo as Luke calls her), a Sea Lion show and a Dolphin show. After Sea World, we went to Old Town and walked around and had dinner. Kurt and I spent our honeymoon in San Diego almost 10 years ago, so it was fun to go back.

Ugly fish...Blake thought it was going to get him.

Blake practicing his photography skills.

Friday was a cool but sunny day so we headed out early to get some adventure in before the rain came back. We first drove out to Casper Wilderness Park. It was a decent drive into the hills/mountains. Beautiful. Our adventurous sides took a little dip when they handed out literature about what to do when confronted by a MOUNTAIN LION! The playground had signs around it with the warnings too. We decided to keep our playground fun short and just drive around a bit! After that we headed into San Juan Capistrano for lunch (Ruby's Diner) and then a visit to the Mission there. It was really neat. Blake is starting to understand the concept of history so it was fun to see him realize that the Indians and pioneers used to live there.

The boys throwing coins into a wishing well. I'm not sure if I should be sad or proud, but Blake's wish was to be a soldier someday.

Another photo courtesy of Blake!

Us being really loud to keep the mountain lions at bay! After completely freaking ourselves out, we later asked a park ranger if there was any real threat and he of course said no.

Saturday was our journey back home...totally uneventful. Blake actually slept the entire flight and Luke was tame. We had such a good time and enjoyed our much needed break from our busy life here. Luke might still be a bit young, but we are definitely starting to make memories with Blake and these are moments that we will all treasure forever.