Wednesday, June 28, 2017

California Rat Pack

My parents had meetings on Tuesday so we journeyed up to Newport without them. We were on the hunt for starfish in the tide pools. 

We saw hundreds of crabs...
 and little else.
But the boys had fun hopping around the rocks trying their darndest not to slip in a pool.

We resorted to playing in the sand after our efforts to find sea life proved to be in vain.

Lincoln found his zen by becoming one with the sand.

Then we found a park called "Top of the World Park."

We met up with my parents at Chuck-E-Cheese's. As we were telling Eli our dinner plans, he wisely said, "The worst part about Chuck-E-Cheese's is Chucky." We preferred the rat to stay in his hole, but he did make one unwelcome appearance during our visit.

Eli found some game that you had to hit with a hammer just right to get into a target. He managed to get the jackpot once...
but experienced much more rounds of visible disappointment.
These little cheesers got their prizes and left a little more possessed than they were when they went in.

Life's a Beach

Would you believe me if I told you we drove all the way to California and back without the aid of a single motion picture? You heard me right. Thanks to the Wayside Stories series by Louis Sachar, my kids had 0 interest in movies for the entire duration of 4 days' worth of driving, instead violently demanding the clever audiobook that had us all captivated while being held captive in the car. Thank you, Louis for single-handedly saving our road trip!
I was nervous to embark on such a journey not quite sure how the littlest guy would take to being strapped in his seat for so long, but he was just as mellow as ever.
He fussed every now and then, but mostly he sat in his seat with alligator eyes trying his hardest to stay awake and experience the road trip with the rest of us.
There were only a few times I had to hop in the back between 2 boys to mediate.
And then, we made it (including Lincoln who joined the picture via a strategically angled mirror).
My parents finally got to meet their newest grand baby and all was right in the world. 

And then my mom cut up the meat from their traditional-we-ate-it-every-Sunday-growing-up-roast-beef-dinner, and all was even more right in the world.
We got there on Father's Day, so I had to get a shot with Jeff and the most recent contribution to his fatherhood.
The boys ran wild in grandma and grandpa's backyard.

Then on Monday morning my California dreams came true when I convinced the whole lot of us to board an 8-passenger bike.
I giggled the whole time. It was my highlight of the whole trip.
You can see here that I got really into it.
The rest of the bunch had less patience for the bike than I did (think Jeff), probably because they were actually pedaling and working hard hauling the whole load around the boardwalk instead of giggling and snapping pictures and forgetting to pedal like other passengers. Whatevs.

We took a walk on the pier to lick fish guts off the railings (think Carson), or enjoy the view for the rest of us.

We got back in the afternoon just in time to wet our pants at the sight of the garbage truck (think Lincoln) and enjoy a doughnut snack for the rest of us.

After lunch and naps, we made our way back to the cement for a little boogie.

Once those skills were perfected, we took them to the ocean. 

Living the good life in shorts for the first time in a year.

Days 1 and 2 were absolutely perfect!