May 26 2016

Handy Vacation: The Trail of Diapers, Part 2

If you didn’t see part one of our family vacation be sure to check it out.

We continued moving southward on Route 1, stopped at a delicious cookie store called the Brown Butter Cookie Company, and moved on to stay in a suburb of L.A. In the morning, it was a mad dash to get to the beach to see the tide pools before they disappeared with high tide. We got our first experience with LA traffic when it took up an hour to go 5 miles. Phew! Finally we got to the beach and it was fun to show Charlee all the crabs, and sea urchins left stranded by the tide.

2016-05-23_00402016-05-23_0039We stopped by Ostrich Land on the way out of LA to feed the ostriches. It was a good 30 minutes. These animals are vicious. 2016-05-23_00362016-05-23_0035 2016-05-23_0037The most beautiful chapel was on the shores of LA. called Wayfarers Chapel. It was gorgeous. Designed by Lloyd Wright, the son of Frank Lloyd Wright. Its mostly glass designed in geometric patterns to incorporate the natural landscape around it. I loved all the trees and ocean view around it. I would do a wedding for FREE if I could shoot here. 2016-05-23_0041 2016-05-23_00462016-05-23_00452016-05-23_00442016-05-23_00432016-05-23_0042And of course we had to stop and pick blueberries since they were in season. Charlee will eat blueberries frozen but not fresh. Explain that one to me.2016-05-23_0038 2016-05-23_0047

I had a beautiful vision of taking pictures of Charlee in The Flower Fields in Carlsbad. Looking at their website I noticed that we were going to be in the area during the time that the flowers were going to be bloom. It was going to be gorgeous. We failed to realize, however, that they close their gates after Mother’s Day (3 days before we got there)! I wandered around the perimeter, looking through the gates, devastated. I didn’t even take any pictures of the flowers I did see because I was so mad. We seriously considered jumping the fence, because the flowers were still gorgeous. But I was a good girl.

The next morning, it was on to San Diego and straight to Sea World! This was one of our favorite spots on the trip. One of the main reason we chose to take our vacation to California was that 2016 is the last year that Seaworld is doing the killer whale shows. I’ve always wanted to go since I was a child so it was amazing. We watched three orca shows total and two dolphin show in the two days we spent at Seaworld. Charle was able to spend the rest of the day on the Sesame Street rides, which essentially had no lines, because it was a Thursday and the kids were still in school. Charlee also really enjoyed the otter show and was the most attentive during that show.

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We thought Friday would still be a great day to visit the famous San Diego Zoo since it isn’t summer break yet. We forgot about field trips and the zoo is huge. It was hot and our feet hurt from all the walking we did at Seaward the day before. We didn’t last too long at the zoo before we were all grumpy and sick of walking. If you want to ride a bus around the zoo its more than your zoo fare. Most of the animals were sleeping and in the time span of 3 hours we saw a panda butt, a tiger ear, and some really awesome orangutans. We decided to call it quits and head back to the hotel. We spent the rest of the day preparing for our family photos on the beach. I was excited to get some gorgeous photos of my little family in an environment we don’t spend time in. Charle was crazy though. Most of the weather we had up to this point in our vacation was cold and cloudy so we didn’t spend any time lounging and playing on the beach. She was so excited about the sand that we couldn’t get her looking at the camera for more than a second, and never with a happy expression. LL’s Photography did an awesome job though with her craziness and we have some cute photos to remember our special trip with. I can’t wait to pick one to print for my wall.

This is Charlee when I told her that she had to sleep in her own bed. Her and daddy slept together for a lot of the trip so that I could sleep with Everett and get up to feed him when needed. This was one of the only nights that Dave and I got to sleep together. Charlee didn’t take the news very well.

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Saturday in San Diego was cloudy and a bit chilly. Since we loved Seaworld so much. We decided to spend the morning there again.

Sunday we took it easy again and went to Balboa Park for Charlee to get some park time. We spent the rest of that day after nap time at the hotel pool and lounging around.

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We knew we were going to be headed to Las Vegas for our final week of our trip. We thought we would hit Safari Park on our way out of San Diego and see all the African animals. It was a lot better than what I thought it would be. The lines were low since it was a Monday and we were able to hop on the Safari bus twice in a row. The animals are given acres to wander and interact with each other. It was a definitely a different zoo experience. We saw elephants, giraffes, the rare white rhino, and several African herds. Charlee liked riding the “train.” The rest of the day was spent in the car getting to Las Vegas. We stayed at a really great hotel called Tahiti. It had a fake beach near its pool and Charlee LOVED it. We spent a lot of time out there the next couple of days playing in the sand and water. We tried going to the strip to see some of the kid friendly attractions, but after about two hours of walking and getting nowhere, joustled around by the crowd and getting really hungry but unwilling to pay $13 for a hot dog, we gave up and went back to our hotel. Las Vegas is just not for us. We visited the Ethel’s Chocolate Factory and the cactus gardens (lots of rocks!) And the downtown area of Las Vegas, which has a great park for children made out of storage containers. That night we went to Tournament of Kings at Excalibur which was really stupid but Charlee loved it. Horses, fireworks, and a clown what is not to love right.

Our last day we decided that we would do the 8 hour round trip to Grand Canyon. It was a good decision because it ended up being amazing! It is huge and magnificent. We did a small little hike out to the edge.

2016-05-23_0062See the tiger?2016-05-23_00642016-05-23_00632016-05-23_00612016-05-23_0065 2016-05-23_00662016-05-23_00672016-05-23_0071 2016-05-23_0070 2016-05-23_0069 2016-05-23_0068

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