September 9, 2012

California Trip--part 2

The final few days of our trip was all spent up in the Bay Area.  We were able to go to my cousin Christopher's house and visit with them for a little bit.  They live in a great house with a HUGE backyard that the boys loved exploring every inch of!  They have a Great Dane named Sly that was seriously like a horse for the boys!!!

The boys were fascinated by Sly!!
 I'm not sure they knew what he was at first since he was about 20 times bigger than our Betsy!
Danette and Sara trying to see if Jack could ride Sly!  
Sly didn't seem to mind too much!
The boys also got to jump on their trampoline with their cousin Olivia!  Such fun!
What is a good little boy to do?  Try to sneak the doggy a drink, of course!! ;-)
Look at the size of this dog!!!

We drove down to Palo Alto, where Unca and Sara live, and got to have a fun afternoon with them. They took us to a small zoo near where they live, and the boys had such a great time looking at all the animals!

 The group, minus Gigi taking our picture
They love Hop-Hops!

Their first ever view of a raccoon!
Watching for the mountain lion

Just their size peek-holes!  Watching the raccoons again!
Jack & Unca
Sara & Will

Trying to ride on a turtle statue!
Inside the zoo was a kids exploration museum.  We only had about 15 minutes to play before they closed for the day, but the boys LOVED every minute!!  They love getting to touch, explore, and play, and it just amazes me how big they are!  We definitely need to find a hands-on kids museum around here.

Such a boy... the couch and remote were the first things he found!

Jack was sporting Unca's monkey hat for quite awhile! =)
The last days of our trip were at Aunt Sharon and Uncle Dan's house.  I feel like these were finally the days that we got to slow down and have a bit of down time! 
They loved sitting on their bench seats eating their meals like big boys!

Peaking down the hallway at Coquetta, Aunt Sharon's parrot.
It was a toss up of who was louder--the bird or the boys!
We went the Alameda beach one day with the boys and Gram.  It was actually chilly enough to need our hoodies and jeans!

Enjoying the view of the bay
And afterward, they got to run in a big grassy area and explore, which they loved!
Jack going for geese... Run Gigi Run!!

The flag was a favorite!
And they found a friend too! 
Will pointing out his brother to the 'girl' (what they called her)

Giving high-fives!  Kids are just so friendly!

And thanks to Gigi volunteering to watch the boys and do bedtime alone one night, I got to go for a special night out with Uncle Dan and Aunt Sharon! Dan is a really talented landscape architect and is currently working on a project that is redoing the whole Presidio near the Golden Gate Bridge.  They took me on a tour, showing me details of what is to come, and it is going to be gorgeous!  They also showed me George Lucas' new beautiful facility and grounds that are now on the Presidio property as well.

They gave me a great tour of the Golden Gate was just too bad that the fog had rolled in and we couldn't see it!  But it was okay, because I have seen it before, and I was REALLY enjoying the cool weather! I haven't worn a fleece jacket in ages! =)
We had dinner at the Beach Chalet, with delicious fish and chips and a gorgeous view of the ocean right out the window!  What a treat to get to eat without helping boys eat or rushing through my own dinner!
Thank you Sharon and Dan for the wonderful memories with you both!
Tuesday morning, in the last few hours we had before heading to the airport, the boys and I played with Aunt Sharon at a park near her house.  The boys had a fantastic time, had fun running in the long wet grass, and getting really dirty!  A perfect morning for two boys!!
The boys having a blast with Nana Shay!

Total boys! Climbing and playing in the dirt!!

Doing their best to run up the hill!
And before we left, we made one final stop to see Grammie.  Mom had spent the morning with her and had her all fixed up so beautifully!  The boys just love Grammie, asking for her and pointing at her saying, "Grammie!" What a treat that we were able to spend so much time with her while we were out there.  It makes me sad knowing that she won't be around forever, but that makes me treasure these times all the more that I am able to be with her, and that my boys get to have time with her as well.  I know they probably won't remember this trip at all, but my own memories of it will never be forgotten!!

These two beautiful ladies are the most influential women in my life.  I am such a lucky person to have my mom and my grandma.  They are both such strong and capable women, with caring and giving hearts.  I have learned so much about patience, love, and following Jesus from watching their lives, and I'm so very proud that I get to follow in their footsteps!  I pray that I can even be half the woman you both are!  I love you!

What a fabulous and memorable trip this was for us! I was so thankful every moment for my mom! We were both on-duty 24/7, and I have to say, we are great tag-teamers!  I love that the boys had this special time with their Gigi--they truly both deepened their bond with her, and she with them!  Up until this trip, they would typically cry for me when I would leave them, but now they cry for her when she leaves!  I feel so blessed every day that my boys get to have such a special relationship with my parents! What a gift to get to live so close-by!

And the top three things I learned on this vacation:

#1--as mentioned in my last post--23 1/2 month-olds are NOT meant to be lap babies! But my inner-bargain shopper made it a necessity!

#2--Zipping your children into a toddler travel tent is THE ONLY way to travel! I'm sure that our tents saved many of our gracious host's homes from being quickly trashed by our little "twinadoes"!


#1--Ice cream can be a perfectly fine dinner when on vacation with super-picky eaters! (I may or may not have let the boys eat an ice cream cone for dinner--twice--instead of fighting them and not getting to eat my dinner. =)

Good times and GREAT memories!!  I'm so thankful we were able to take this trip!

1 comment:

Jenny Brannan said...

You did pack a lot into this trip!! I'm so thankful for you and amazed at your adventurous spirit to take two almost two-year-old boys across our nation! Phew! I'm tired just thinking about it! I'm so glad we got to be one of your stops.