If you follow us on Instagram or Facebook, then you probably already know that we recently hopped on a plane to CA last week. Conveniently, it was right after we got a few inches of snow here in Minnesota, so it couldn’t have been more perfectly timed! We stepped off the airplane into 70 degree weather and we didn’t notice a cloud in the sky the whole 5 days we were there!
The thing that prompted this little trip was that my best college friend got hitched! Grant is very good friends with her as well, so we wouldn’t have missed it for anything (unless we were in South Africa picking up our child, bittersweet that that didn’t happen). The question was whether or not we should take the boys with us. We decided we really wanted to make this a family trip, and knew they would love the ocean, so we chanced it!
We started by waking up early (and I mean EARLY – 3:30 a.m.) and got everyone packed into the car to head up to the airport to catch a flight at 7:30.
We got to watch our plane pull up to the terminal, and that’s when the boys finally woke up!
The pilots and attendants were SO nice to us, and even told the boys to check out the cockpit.
Sorry this pic is so blurry. Andrew went on in, but Eli freaked out and insisted on clawing his way up my leg. When Andrew realized his brother was bailing, he freaked out and got out of the cockpit as fast as he could. So this was the best shot I got! They were excited about getting their wings from the pilots though! They wore them “just like the pilots so we can fly the plane now!”
Luckily, that was the only freakout incident on the planes, and otherwise they boys loved it, especially landing. Otherwise the screens we shoved in their faces kept them very occupied.
We landed in Sacramento, and our first stop was In-N-Out Burger (YUM!) since we don’t have them in MN, and then to our hotel to swim.
The next morning, we had the day to ourselves for a family adventure day. We headed off to San Francisco and on the way stopped by the Jelly Belly Factory.
Perfect place in a kid’s world, but parents’ worst nightmare, wondering how much sugar will be pumped into the kids before leaving. Luckily we were there in the morning so the kids got to run off the energy acquired from tasting the booger, lawn clippings, and sweaty feet flavored jelly beans.
After the sugar high, we headed on to San Francisco.
We headed downtown to the Fisherman’s Wharf. We heard that if you are at the Fisherman’s Wharf, you have to try the fresh clam chowder in bread bowls. And now I know why.
Complete and utter goodness. Not good for the diet, but oh so good for the soul!
We wanted to get the kids to the beach, so we walked from the Fisherman’s Wharf through all the touristy stuff, got conned into giving some magician five dollars when he lured us over with cute kids, and then made it to the beach on San Francisco Bay. We really wanted to get the kids to the ocean, but there just aren’t any good beaches right in San Francisco, unless you want to see naked people. And since we were going the family friendly route, the bay had to work.
Looking out farther from the beach, we had a great view of Alcatraz.
I would have loved to take a tour of that place, but again, being that this was a family friendly vacation, we didn’t think toddlers would do so well.
One of my biggest goals of visiting San Francisco was to visit “The Painted Ladies.”
Being that I was a huge Full House fan (WAS – funny how I see it as so cheesy now that I’m older – but still, you don’t get wholesome family shows like that anymore!), I had to see them in person! Hey, by the way, did anyone hear that they are making a spinoff series called Fuller House with D.J. and Kimmi Gibler?! Not sure if it’s an April Fool’s joke or if it’s for real, so if anyone knows, let me know!
We happened to get stuck going out of San Francisco right around 5:00 p.m., which was a huge mistake on our part. It took us 1.5 hours to get out of the city due to rush hour. Sitting in traffic initially made me mad, then slightly panicky, then finally very thankful that I live in a small town where everything is 10 minutes away and “rush hour” is nonexistant in comparison.
We finally got back to Sacramento to our hotel, and the boys were beat.
Job well done, parents! **pat on back**
The next morning, we packed up and headed up to Chico, about 1.5 hours north of Sacramento. Andrew was still trying to catch up.
That’s pretty much how he looked any time were were in the car.
When we got to Chico, we had some time to waste before the rehearsal, so we found some fun parks to play at and explore.
I met some amazing ladies at Mariah’s rehearsal. She had bridesmaids from all over the country, so it was such a cool testament to where Mariah has been in her life. Even though I got to hang out with these girls for only a few hours, I know we will keep in touch!
The morning of Mariah’s wedding, it was beautiful. The weather was perfect, the sun was shining, and Mariah was getting married! We all met at one of the girls’ house to primp. We also made the bouquets with bunches of flowers from the Farmer’s Market. I absolutely loved that idea and the flowers looked so natural and beautiful!
I got to be escorted by one of Mariah’s handsome brothers:
I’m looking down because I had on wedge heels and really didn’t want to step in a divet in the park and break an ankle.
Mariah was such a beautiful bride. Absolutely radiant, just beaming with happiness!
In true Mariah form, she wore flowers in her hair. She grew up in Hawaii, and I’ve always known Mariah to wear a flower in her hair. So it was only natural for her to have a real Haku Lei flown in from Hawaii! It smelled AWE-SOME!
Great looking family right there!
That right there is a carrot cake. So so good!
Eli made some friends during the day.
Andrew made some friends too – as long as Eli was right next to him.
And this is the best family photo we could get.
They had a Piñata set up – actually two. The adults got their own, filled with adults stuff. You know, like candy, gift cards for Starbucks and Victoria’s Secret, and straight up cash.
And of course we had to have one for the kids too.
And the best part of the wedding (well, besides cake of course)??
That’s right folks. That’s a bounce house. Seriously THE best idea ever!! I didn’t see my kids all day, and had no worries because I knew exactly where they were. Genius idea! Grant, we need to get married again just so we can do this!
We used our bouquets of flowers and tore all the petals off to use to send the happy family off.
Overall, we had a great time! Thank you, Sister, for giving me the honor of being a small part of your special day!! I love you!
Meanwhile, back at the
ranch hotel (later that night), the boys got in their jammies and we gave them each an iPad to just relax a little.
Notice that they are watching the same movie, about 5 seconds apart. Talk about noise overload.
The next morning, it was time to leave. We had a 6-hour layover in Seattle, but luckily the Seattle airport had a nice play area (and lots of food) to keep the kids pacified. And the iPads. Those things are seriously lifesavers in airports/airplanes/anywhere you need your child to be quiet!
We hitched the redeye and flew into Minneapolis around 1:30 am. This is what the kids looked like:
That is a picture of their heads. Collapsed in my lap. They were done for. Why is it I always feel some sort of pride or sense of accomplishment when my kids pass out cold from exhaustion?
Overall, the boys did great and we had some really fun adventures. And we only have two packages coming to us from two different places of things they left behind, so not bad!