(Ed. note: There is a lot to talk about with our Thanksgiving trip, and since this blog is really for my own documentation purposes, I'm going to have to split this into several posts to say all I want to remember.)
We left on Tuesday afternoon and headed to Avila Beach. The traffic through LA was really bad. The traffic the rest of the way was medium-bad. By the time we got to our hotel, I was not feeling too happy about things. BUT -- Ryan wisely took the kids for a beach stroll at 10:00 pm and I got to sit on the back balcony and listen to the waves crash very peacefully, and then I was ready to be Momma again. :-)
The hotel/resort was perfect, I would love to stay there again sometime. The kids went for a pre-breakfast swim in the heated pool on Wednesday morning (darn it, I forgot my bathing suit so Ryan got the privilege of joining them -- although he did enjoy it so it must have really been heated well!). After breakfast we went over to a local farmer's market that also had some farm animals that the kids could feed and make friends with. Well, that's all it takes for our kids to think that a place is wonderful -- critters! Delaney really goes into another world when she can play with animals, and animals seem to really like her back. I would LOVE to be able to eventually build a house a little more in the boon where we could have some animals that she could care for.
We then went back to the beach to run around a bit. We found some tide pools tucked away that were really amazing. It's funny, I've grown up around the beach and have always heard of tide pools, but have never seen any until this last trip in CA. We found crabs and sea anenomes and lots of cool shells and rocks. We did have to wade through some icy water to get to the rocks with the tide pools, which was an adventure all of its own. We then made it back to the sand and the kids worked on an elaborate dam system for about an hour. Finally we hit the small boardwalk and found the cutest little shop where we had lunch. I had the shrimp tacos which were delicious.
As we sat there for lunch and watched the waves crash on the pier, it began to pour rain. It didn't stop raining until we were well on our way to Darren's house, so the kids had fun gathering together under the umbrellas and making a quick run to the car!
This picture made me laugh -- apparently Ryan took this when we were getting settled in at the restaurant for lunch (and does include the twin family's kids -- those aren't all mine!). This could sum up some of my experiences on this trip of trying to take all of the orders of four kids everywhere we went, taking into account their preferences and also trying not to break the bank on food they won't get around to eating. It also reminds me of the fun and JOY of taking all of the girls to the bathroom at all of our stops. All of my girls who are wary of public, sometimes yucky, potties and especially automatic potties, which are of the devil. Did you know they could suck you right into hell??? So I have to stand there with a hand over the sensor to make sure that it doesn't go off until the pottier has finished her business and run far away from the potty. Times THREE. Sadie also decided on this trip that she is deathly afraid of warm water (as opposed to the usual cold water you encounter on a sink). It was ugly at times. It is at these times that I fantasize about going on trips alone with my husband. :-) Of course, we would miss out on some of the best parts of experiencing new things with your kids and watching their wonder and joy.