Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, August 13, 2009

CA Summer Vacation!

July 14-24, 2009

This year we had a fun and spectacular family vacation in sunny CA. Below are the pictures and descriptions of the vacation. We really had a great time.

July 14 Today we left to start the long drive to San Diego. Here is Katie and Justin in the car.

They actually did really well for the 13 hour drive.

Megan eating some snacks on the drive.

We stopped in St. George for lunch and to play at this park for a while.

The giant thermometer in Baker CA I think it said it was 104 degrees I know it was hot that's for sure.

Katie, Megan, Justin, Rob and Ryan with Ronald McDonald. We always have to stop here in Barstow and eat at this cute train depot. The Kids love eating on the train cars and actual trains pass by often it's a cool atmosphere.

July 15th Our Hotel. Yeah we got here really late last night, it was good to just get to bed. We stayed in the Hilton San Diego Bay front. It was a BEAUTIFUL hotel. The only reason we stayed here was because Rob was here for training and we came with him. We thought we might as well make a vacation out of it. It was probably the nicest hotel the kids and I have ever stayed at. Very first class, not our typical family hotels we are used too that's for sure.

Nicole and Ryan by the hotel pool.

Megan, Justin, and Katie by the bay. They were so excited to see the ocean it was fun to be right on the bay.

The kids loved to see all the big boats in the bay. Here they are with some of them. Megan was the cutest she would see the boats and point and say yeah boats mom. It was cute at first but there were sure a lot of them and after that 500 times responding to her it got a little tiring.

Megan, Katie and Justin played in this fountain for some time. It was hot so I let them. This is in Seaport village a fun little place full of shops and restaurants only minutes from our hotel. We ate lunch and dinner here. Basically it's a tourist attraction only but it was fun to walk around and see everything. Best of all we could walk and get out for a while. I sure did get a lot of interesting stares and looks though. Me with 4 little kids and very blond ones too turned many heads.

While in seaport village there are several people on the boardwalk near the bay that sell things, or play instruments etc for money. One man was there with many different birds. He would let people hold them. These are some fun pictures of the kids and I with the birds. Above is Katie.

Justin with the bird. He is soaking wet from playing in that fountain.

Megan holding the bird. She thought this was the neatest thing ever. She was so excited that the bird would stay on her arm and not fly away. She kept trying to look at it and talk to it but the man preferred if you looked straight ahead and held still so the bird wouldn't get scared.

Ryan and I holding the birds. I had 3 on my arm at one point, but this picture only shows 2. Justin isn't the best photographer yet, but he did fine. This yellow one liked to be right up by your head I kept thinking it was going to bite my ear!

Katie swimming at the pool. It was so beautiful as you can see, the bay is just on the other side of the pool area, the kids and I loved to swim and watch the ships in the harbor go by. They also had a big screen TV with fish, dolphins, whales, turtles, etc. swimming on it, the kids thought that was so cool. I took them swimming several times and they sure loved it. Tricky to watch all of them by myself but I managed. And we couldn't have asked for nicer weather....Perfect!

Megan playing with the rings at the pool. She is my no fear child. Such a daring personality, I had to watch her very close! She sure does love the water. I think she asked me every day at least 30 times if we were going swimming!

July 16- Today I took the kids sightseeing a little around San Diego. First we went to Balboa Park. There are so many fun museums etc. we never could see them all, so we walked around. Here we are at the air space museum.

Me with the kids by the water Lilly ponds! These were so neat there was a lady there painting and it was fun to watch her.

The kids in front of the mosaic museum.

Then I drove the kids to Harbor and Shelter island then to Point Loma. I was hoping we could watch the seals here but none today. Then to Cabrillo above. Here they have tide pools that the kids can look in and find interesting sea creatures, all we saw was a snake by the path. I guess the tides were low when we came. It was still beautiful though! We did see the point loma submarine base and cemeteries though which was really cool.

The kids looking over San Diego bay looking at Coronado. We are walking up too see the Cabrillo National Monument and Lighthouse.

Katie in front of the lighthouse.

Justin & Katie in hotel lobby.

Later after Rob's classes we met up and drove over to Coronado Beach. We all had such a fun time! The weather was perfect, beach beautiful. I don't think any of us wanted to leave but we were hungry! Above Justin and Rob are playing in the water. Look at that wave!

Justin and Rob jumping the waves!

Justin, Katie & Megan on the beach! Coronado beach is where the famous Hotel Del Coronado is that Baywatch made so popular.

Nicole with all the kiddos on the beach. Don't they look like they had fun. It was such a mess. I love sand but boy did I sure find it in everything the rest of the trip! After the beach we went to McDonald's for dinner. While there a lady came in with a little dog that ended up biting Justin. Thank goodness it didn't break skin. Why would anyone bring a dog into a McDonald's anyway of all places? Anyway the manager was sure nice to Justin and gave all of the kids huge ice-cream cones to compensate. The dog lady left really fast I don't think she stayed to get her order. Crazy!

Friday July 17th. Today I took the kids swimming again this morning then we packed up and checked out of the hotel. Then I took the kids to a park across from the Children's museum and to this pond to play.

We hung out until Rob got out of his classes. After picking him up he wanted to see Balboa park so we drove through there and the Gaslamp Quarter. Then we drove over to old town. Kind of a fun little place. The Mormon Battalion Center was under construction and closed so we were a little sad and didn't get to go inside. Oh well guess all the more of a reason to come back!

On our drive to Aneheim to our other hotel we stopped to see the San Diego temple. Here is the family!

The kids in front of the temple.

I thought this was a cute picture of all the kids asleep in the hotel bed. Ryan is in a playpen. They were so excited about Disneyland the next day they kind of had a hard time getting to sleep but they did eventually crash!

July 18th- Day 1 at Disneyland. The kids were so excited to come they couldn't wait. We went over to Fantasyland first and the kids rode almost every ride here. Here is Justin trying to pull the sword out of the stone. All the kids and Rob and I tried but to no availl. I love Disneyland it is such a magical place. It was so fun to watch our kids faces as they discovered and saw so many new and fun things. Megan was going crazy saying "Look, Look" at everything.

Katie, Megan and Justin in the Teacups. I loved watching them laugh on this ride.

We went over to Tomorrowland later to go to the Jedi training Academy. Justin got chosen to be in the show. Here he is training to fight Darth vadar which he did later from a Jedi Master. It was so cute and fun to watch him. He was so excited and thought it was so cool. We went on lots more rides then I sat and got us a place for Fantasmic, which the kids thought was so awesome. Justin really liked Peter Pan fighting Captain Hook on the ship. And the girls of course loved seeing the princesses. We all liked Mickey and of course the fireworks after!

On Sunday July 19th we went to Rob's cousins she lives about 20 min. from our hotel. We went to church with her and her family. Then we had dinner with them and let the kids play outside in the pool something we normally wouldn't do on Sunday but it was so HOT and we were out of town so we let them. They sure did have fun.

After dinner we drove out to the Long Beach temple with the kids. We took fruit and cookies and ate them on the lawn and talked for a while. It is a small temple put kind of pink so Katie and Megan thought it was a castle. There were also bunnies on the lawn jumping around. Rob's cousin said they are usually there. The kids enjoyed watching and chasing them.

Later that night Justin lost his tooth. It had been wiggling for some time. He put it under his pillow and the next morning he had a dollar! He was so excited to add it to the money he had earned before coming to Disneyland!

July 20- Our family in front of the Mickey Mouse at the entrance! The kids loved seeing all the characters walking around they thought that was so fun. I just thought they looked very hot! Megan was so cute with all of them. She couldn't stop giving them all high 5's and lot's of hugs!

Nicole, Ryan, Megan and Justin with TIGGER! (Notice Megan hugging his leg, she wouldn't let go it was so cute)!

Katie and Ryan at the Golden Horseshoe. We ate here several times YUMMY! We watched a great show that we all loved too while we ate!

The show at the Golden Horseshoe. Billy Hill & the Hillbillies! They were really good. All the kids were clapping along and singing they loved it!

Of course you have to take the picture by the castle! Here we all are! Megan would point out the castle every time she saw it.

Megan, Katie and Justin in the dog pound in Toontown. They liked the rides there too.

Then we went to Minnie, Goofy's, Donalds, and Mickey's houses. They liked seeing Mickey!

Justin & Katie by the white rabbits door!

July 21- Today we decided to go to Huntington beach for the morning and afternoon then to Disneyland after lunchtime. Here is Katie playing in the water!

Justin playing on the beach!

Rob & Megan jumping the waves. Rob would help her run out of the water before it would catch her. They were laughing so hard. She had a great time.

After the beach we went to Disneyland. It was so nice, not nearly as hot. We went over to California Adventure and went on several rides. Then we watched the Electrical parade. Above is Goofy in the parade.

July 22- Today we went to California Adventure again to finish up all the rides we hadn't done the day before. We headed to all the other shows as well. The kids loved the new toy story ride. Here they are with their special 3 D glasses.

Nicole, Ryan Megan and Justin with Mater and Lightning McQueen.

Megan hanging around while waiting to ride a ride in a bugs land. This was a perfect place for the little kids. Justin and Rob went and rode some of the big kid rides.

Katie's turn to hang around now!

Our family with Koda and Kenai from brother bear.

Megan and Rob at "It's a Srteet Party" Celebration that they do! The kids loved this parade.

July 23rd- Today we headed straight for the submarines one of the longest non fast pass lines. We still waited about 45 min or so. The kids really liked it though.

Then I took the baby and the girls to wait in the never ending Princess Fantacy Faire line to meet 3 princesses! Though long the girls met Cinderella! Rob and Justin went off on their own and rode lot's of their favorite rides some several times!

Megan and Katie with Belle!

Katie & Megan with Mulan!

After seeing the princesses we went over to pixie hollow to see Tinkerbell and her friends! Tinkerbell was off helping Peter but we got to see Fawn and Rosetta two of her pixie friends!

On our way to meet Minnie we ran into the Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter & Alice. They were so cute with the girls!

Ryan and I with the girls meeting Minnie Mouse!

That afternoon we went to California Adventure to see some shows on the way the kids saw Handy Manny!

Watching the Playhouse Disney show live! This was really cute even though we don't have cable at home the kids have been watching it on the trip and knew all of the charachters still!

We also all went to the Aladdin show as well. This was amazing, it was seriously like watching a Show on Broadway we could have watched it again if we had the time and the Genie was wonderful!

Aurora and I with the girls, there was just something magical about meeting the princesses!

After the Tikki room and riding some more rides we went and found a great spot in front of the castle to watch the firework "magical" celebration again. Due to wind conditions we had to wait an extra 30 minutes but it was worth it. The kids loved watching Tinker Bell fly over the castle and the fireworks and little Mickey confetties everywhere at the end were really fun! After the fireworks we went on a few of the kids favorite rides then we went home!

Here we are standing by the "A" for Anderson saying goodbye to Disneyland for a time! Hopefully we can get back again in 2 years. What a fun and magical experience! The kids each got to buy a special souvenier while there as well. They had been filling a jar with marbles to earn different prizes and a large souvenier from our trip. Justin chose a Mickey Mouse Light Sabor, Katie a black cat stuffed animal, and Megan a snowglobe with the castle and princesses. Each one totally defines their personalities. It was fun to offer so many suggestions and see what they would choose!

July 24th- Katie, Megan and Justin on our way home we stopped to eat lunch. Everyone in the restaurant was so cute with our kids and very sad when we left. The waitress gave them toy swords, spelling cards, books, crowns, and stickers. She thought they were so cute. We had a long drive and got home after 2 am. What a long 10 days but it was sure a vacation we will never forget and one we hope the kids won't either.


Turnbow Family said...

Looks like a fun vacation!! We're headed down in the fall to do the same thing and we are all VERY much looking forward to it :)

Shannon said...

Man, you guys really know how to take Disneyland by storm, I'm proud to call you family! Looks like the kids had a blast. Looks like it really is the happiest place on earth.

Dial Family said...

Ok, so I am just EXHAUSTED reading about your vacation!! What a super fun trip you guys!! We are actually taking the same trip later in October (em's turning 5 and we have been promising her since she was 3; she's so anxious that she's saved up her allowance so she can have lunch with the princess'.. she cannot wait). We are doing a week thing as well and so reading your blog just gave me some other great places to go and see while we're there. Thanks for blogging and your little one seemed to have been a great baby along the way. I hope Alice is that good.. Wish us luck!

Christenson's said...

Nicole, that looks like so much fun, I love Disneyland and love work trips that pay for hotels etc...I love the San Diego temple too what great memories your kids will have!