Remember when Caroline and I painted Lainey's nails for the first time this summer? Well, the little monster can't live without them. She climbed up onto the counter like this nearly every day we were on vacation demanding for someone to paint them. I don't know where she came from! (sick me of saying that yet?)
Pa left the morning after Disney, and we had one day left on the beach. I arrived and helped everyone set up. Lovely, isn't it?
Blake arrived back from an errand and I traded spots with him. I hit the wall at some point and needed a nap. He stayed with the kiddos at the beach.
And, took some great shots.
Shake that booty, Laine.
Lainey + Meow Meow = LOVE.
Headed out that evening for our last dinner in San Diego.
Kansas City BBQ......represent, Midwest! I love it.
By the water, admiring the mega-ships and aircraft carriers.
I know. It's rare you see me in a shot. There I am!
After a few prior failed attempts (no cash, ATM broken, etc), we finally made it on the carousel.
And later, found this unusual book store while searching for penny press machines. I could have looked for hours.
Headed home for last minute laundry, cleaning the house and packing.
Our drive out on day 15........just like we drove out to go anywhere from the beach house......sadly, we were en route to the airport.
Kids did as well as they could. Our flight from San Diego to Denver left late, so we were hysterically running through DIA to get to our connecting one home to Kansas City. Frustrating doesn't quite cover the feeling.
Ring Around the Rosy helps, though.
***15 days is a long time for young children. By the time Pa arrived, the little ones were in melt down mode. As fun as vacation is, it's still stressful at times - kids out of routine, getting accustomed to a new place and naps are often missed. Not sure if we'll stay so long again next time we travel.
***Connecting flights are tough with 2 car seats and 3 kids. We bought 1/2 our flights with miles Blake accumulated while working in Denver, so it made sense financially, but we were regretting the double flights per travel day once we were in the middle of them.
***While flying, taking car seats is a must. Despite the difficulty of lugging them from one gate to another (we used an Eddie Bauer travel bag to help), the seats on the plane absolutely helped to keep the children in their "norm" and feeling safe. Which helped them nap often. Which makes everyone on the plane happy. :)
***Get a routine down and you'll be happy you did. I basically had the kids running laps through the airport while Blake boarded with car seats during that pre-boarding (families/medical/elderly) window. He hooked them in, arranged bags and toys as needed and so we were all set to go walking on. Flight attendants even remarked, more than once, on how organized we were. (If they only knew!)
***If you choose to fly, make sure your seats are FAA Approved. Click here for a link with info. Most people know that Britax seats are flight-friendly and that is why we purchased them. We also have an Evenflo Titan, which is designed ergonomically like the Britax. It, too, is approved for air travel. We boarded 4 planes and each time, the attendants checked for the sticker stating approval.
***Depending on which airline you use, there are options for upgraded seating, which include "free" bags. We bought 2 Classic seats on Frontier because 2 checked bags were included per ticket. These tickets also included free drinks and free TV. We limited our packing to 4 bags due to these tickets and it worked out fine. Research your options with each airline. After considering all of our options, we chose the best combination that worked for us.
***We've traveled with 1 child and attended 5 theme parks in 10 days (2003). We've traveled with 2 and went to 3 parks in 7 days (2006). We've traveled with 3 and went to 3 in 18 days (2009). This time, we went to 2 in 15. Theme park days are big ones. But, they're magical ones - especially Disney parks. Don't wait until your kids are "old enough to remember". They're fun at all ages and if you wait until they're older, you'll miss the magic. Trust me on this one.
***We love California. Have I covered that yet?