6.04.2013

California Vacation: Part 1 of 4

I know this is overdue, but I have had a number of other things to get done that just bumped posting on my blog down the priority list. Luckily, I have finished all my other tasks ahead of this and now it is time!

WARNING: My 4 part series posts on our amazing vacation to California will include more pictures then you probably ever care to see in one sitting; especially of me and my children. So if you don't wait to see them, skip it:) This is pretty much my journal these days, so I want lots of them documented!

Alright, HERE WE GO!!!

DAY 1: (Wednesday, February 13th) FLYING TO LA

  Michael drove us to the airport early Wednesday morning to catch our non-stop flight to LA. I had 3 bags and 2 car seats to check, a carry on duffle, my camera bag, a stroller, and 2 children. Needless to say, Michael had to park the car and help me through the airport as far as he could. After checking the bags and car seats, I put Jada in her stroller, Tucker in my Moby wrap, and loaded everything else either on my back or on the stroller. Everything went smoothly and we were at our Southwest gate with plenty of time to spare. Within 40 minutes we were on the plane. Jada was so excited to get to fly in an airplane! She couldn't wait to go "way high" in the sky. As for me, I was nervous about Tucker, but excited to have an entire row to ourselves! The flight wasn't full so most people had empty seats between them. The flight went great. Jada entertained herself by coloring, making Valentines cards for Maimi and Poppi, eating, and playing with her cars. Tucker on the other hand kept himself happy by eating and playing with a cup for hours:) It was a long 5 hours in a small area, but Tucker did sleep for a little bit, and was pretty happy the rest of the flight. Everyone around us was so nice and helpful. I never once got a nasty look or felt like I wasn't welcome (which I have felt EVERY other time I have flown with a child NOT on Southwest). Jada and Tucker both did awesome.

  We arrived in LA a little before schedule, which gave us a good amount of time to get to the baggage claim area and get our bags before my Dad arrived. Our original plan was for me to take the children and car seats out to him at the curb, then he would get them loaded and in their seats while I ran inside and got the bags. Well, since we were early, I had all the car seats and baggage before he had arrived at the airport. So, thinking I could do it myself as usual . . . I attempted to take all 3 bags, 2 car seats, a stroller, Jada, Tucker, my camera bag, and carry-on bag all to the pick up curb. It didn't take me long to figure out I needed some help. So, what did I do?! I put Tucker in the stoller, put a smaller bag on top of one of the rolling suitcases with a car seat on top of that, put the other car seat on top of the other big rolling suitcase, put my camera bag on my back and my carry on duffle around my shoulders, and told Jada it was her job to push Tucker in the stroller and "follow me" as I attempted to keep everything piled up and walked backwards out the doors and to the curb. Surpisingly, it worked perfectly. Jada did an awesome job pushing Tucker and following me and we made it! We got lots of laughs and smiles along the way. I couldn't help but chuckle to myself the whole time thinking about what we looked like. I wish someone could have taken a picture for me! I am sure we were a sight to see.

  My Dad was at the curb as soon as we arrived. Once everything was loaded we headed to Ralph's to get my Mom some flowers and kill some time. (My Mom was flying in from Idaho about an hour after we arrived) While at Ralph's, we got to see Steven Spielberg shopping for a Valentines day card! I was so excited to see a celebrity in my first hour in California!

  The rest of the day was pretty relaxing. We picked up my Mom and headed to their home in Beverly Hills. The rest of the afternoon was spent playing with Maimi and Poppi. Jada was so excited to be with them again (as was I)! We love our Maimi and Poppi! She was in heaven. With the time change things got a little tricky as far as naps and bedtimes, but after a few days we had that figured out. As for day 1, the children went to bed between 5-5:30. I think I followed close behind and went to bed myself shortly after 8:)







 




 Tucker had a rough adjustment to the time change, plus he was over-tired from not sleeping much on the plane. Luckily Maimi was there to use her magic and sooth him in ways that I wouldn't have thought of.


DAY 2: (Thursday) VALENTINES DAY!


  Jada woke up bright and early around 4AM. Lucky for me, I have awesome parents. I didn't even know they were all awake until around 6:30 when I got up with Tucker.

  For breakfast my mom made us some yummy pink pancakes! Jada just loved it. After breakfast I helped my mom make and frost some sugar cookies, then we went for a drive to see the LA temple and to get some See's! (This was one of my gifts from Michael, permission to go buy myself a pound of delicious See's:)) So, we stopped by the Century City mall. I got to go to H&M, tried Pinkberry for the first time, saw their sweet movie theater, and of course, got myself a box of the best chocolates in the world.

  After naps for the children, we went on a stroll to the grocery store. It was perfect weather, and Jada and Tucker loved being outside, as did I. California is such a beautiful place. It was so fun to walk to the grocery store instead of driving! (It is only a 10 minute walk) I had to smile at all the attention that Tucker was getting. Jada usually gets a number of comments every time we are out, but in California, it was Tucker. I felt like no one had seen a baby in years! More then once during our visit Tucker had people come up to him and tell him that they loved him over and over. It was pretty cute. Very different from Utah where there are always lots of children everywhere.

  That night we made a heart shaped pizza for dinner. I also got to try a healthy Blendtec drink for the first time (kale, carrot, celery, strawberries, blueberries, yogurt and ice). I won't lie, it was not what I expected. I didn't love it, but over the few weeks that I was there I drank them about every other day, and after a few of them I got used to it and didn't mind them. Are they delicious like a yummy smoothie? No. But they aren't bad! They are definitely worth drinking for all the great nutrition.

  That evening my parents neighbor brought Jada a ginormous bear! He is such a nice guy. Jada sure got spoiled.





Santa Monica Blvd.


Doheny Drive, the road my parents live on


Heading home


At the LA Temple



Valentines Dinner . . . delicious!



Playing Poppi's iPad


Tucker & Jada with her new huge bear!


 

My Valentines:)


 DAY 3: (Friday) ENJOYING THE WEATHER

   Friday was another low key relaxing day. We did get out in the morning to run a few errands (like going to Kohl's to use my Kohls Cash before it expired) and even stopped for a delicious lunch at Panera.

  In the afternoon, dad was able to get off work early and came home to join us. Together we went for a walk to the post office, bank, and to another grocery store. It was fun walking down Santa Monica Blvd. and seeing what is around my parents house. I saw a few things that I didn't really care to see, since we were walking in West Hollywood (which is a large gay community), but it was still fun and nice to get out and about and explore our surroundings. Jada and Tucker both enjoyed their rides in the stroller.


Tucker decided that he wanted a sip of Poppi's smoothie:) This is the beginning of Tucker's "I need to eat/drink whatever you have or I will scream" phase


DAY 4: (Saturday) RODEO DRIVE

  My mom and Jada started their Saturday off right by exercising, doing Yoga specifically:)  Jada just loves doing Yoga with Maimi. She often does her "yoga poses" when she dances throughout the day. Jada was so cute trying to do all of the moves. I love watching her "exercise".

  Later that afternoon we took a long stroll down Santa Monica Blvd. in the other direction. This time our destination was Rodeo Drive and Sprinkles. It was a beautifully perfect day. There is a park that runs parallel with Santa Monica Blvd. so we walked through the park until we reached Rodeo Dr. On our walk we got to see some fun statues and sculptures, took some pictures with the Beverly Hills sign, and Jada especially loved the water displays. One of my favorite things was a mural of sorts that they have over a construction fence surrounding a building that is being renovated into a theater. All along the fence it say things like, "Today Diggers, Tomorrow Dickens and Today Bulldozers, Tomorrow Ballet". I thought it was creative and fun. There were 5-6 similar sayings along the long wall/fence. It was obvious when we got close to Rodeo the crowds became crazy.

  Walking down Rodeo was an interesting experience. We saw tons of expensive cars, luxurious everything, fancy clothing . . . all things I will never own. But it was fun to see it all and see another world. I won't lie, the entire time I just hoped I would see a celebrity. No luck. We did have a great time though. We finished off our time on Rodeo by going a few streets over and buying a few Sprinkles cupcakes to enjoy once we got home. Jada and Tucker did awesome. Jada literally ran over a half mile on our walk home. I guess she was done with her stroller.

  After a delicious dinner with cupcakes for dessert (Coconut is my favorite BTW), we put the children to bed, then watched the newest White Collar episode! It is shows like White Collar and Psych that make me wish we had Cable TV. Oh well. After that it was bed time for me. It took me longer than the kids to get use to the time change . . . maybe that's because Tucker was waking me up every 2 hours at night. Sigh. Anyways, many nights I went to bed shortly after 8. I needed all the sleep I could get!







Exercising is exhausting!

 The park that runs parallel to Santa Monica Blvd.



























Hotel from Pretty Woman

















DAY 5: (Sunday) A DAY OF REST


  As is usually the case on Sundays, we spent the day attending church, eating a yummy dinner, talking with family, and webchatting with family:)

A cute series of pictures of Tucker from the plane:)





 

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