Monday, September 3, 2012

the last days

I know I've dragged this vacation wrap-up thing along way longer than necessary. I'll go ahead and do you a little favor. The last days are all smooshed in one post so this can just be done with. It's been over a month since we got home and I'm kind of forgetting stuff anyway.

After returning home from the park, we walked down the street to the beach. That's when I started feeling a little sad to be leaving. The beach at sunset is quite a pretty sight.

We walked over to Eve's house for a little visit before bed. Danny and Cate ate ice cream while Dan and I were forced to eat chocolate cake and watch the Olympics.

Don't you just love Eve's kitchen? She doesn't have a microwave. "What do I need a microwave for?" Ha. That's Eve's friend sitting next to Dan. His name is Dale.

Sunday morning brought church (way too bright and early for my taste on a vacation) and then an attempt to rest when we got home. I leave my kids alone when they are napping. Why they can't return the favor is beyond me. Sheesh.

Then one last attempt at building a sandcastle and off to dinner with Eve and Dale.

Monday morning we packed up and got ready for the long and hideous drive back to Utah.

We drove over to Eve's house to say goodbye.

Eve let us raid her back yard lemon tree. I picked all the ones I could reach without a ladder.

We took pictures and said goodbye. Some of us cried. We tried not to but you know, Eve's 90 (or pretty close to that) and we're hoping she'll be around next time we make it to Santa Cruz but you never know. Dan's known her since he was a missionary over 20 years ago. She's a dear friend and I just wish we lived closer. She does too. She said it over and over.

We drove for a bit and then stopped to visit the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield.

The tour was nice but maybe a tad bit too long and boring for my kids. We got a free sample bag at the end. That was lovely. And we also got to get in line and have a few free samples of the flavors of our choosing.

Danny and I decided to be adventurous and get the gross ones.

Barf, centipede, booger, canned dog food, pencil shavings and skunk spray. Centipede isn't pictured because Danny tasted that one and then spit it into the trash before I could take a picture. He said it tasted like ants. How he knows what ants taste like I'll never know.

The most disgusting was the barf. It really tasted like barf. So gross. The canned dog food wasn't too bad. Pencil shavings and skunk spray were tolerable. I'm not sure that booger tasted like boogers. How would I know? Barf was definitely disgusting though. I could taste the stomach acid. Ug.

We spent the night in Reno at the Circus Circus hotel again. Cate stayed awake until 1:00 in the morning. I should've seen if someone downstairs in the casino could've just babysat her while the rest of us slept. Good grief.

And then we drove the rest of the way home. Cate didn't fall asleep until around 6:00 that evening when we were almost home. It was the longest day of my life. I scooped her up and put her in her bed when we got home. She stayed asleep until 10:00. And then she was up until 1:00 again. It's a good thing I love her.

It was a fun vacation and it sure took me a few days (maybe a week) to get back to normal living and not feel sad that we were home.

But here's the truth about me and vacations: I don't love them. I get extremely stressed and worried about the packing and the traveling with little kids and the being away from home. I just do. I try really hard to enjoy myself while we're gone and not to ruin it for everyone else. Sometimes the days are just long and trying to entertain little people all day is exhausting. But these poor little kids need to have some fun and make a few pleasant childhood memories so vacationing we will go.

Here's the best part about this vacation though: no diapers (not even for night), no bottles, no formula, no strollers, no diaper bags, no sitting off rides because someone wasn't tall enough, no nap schedules to keep to avoid cranky babies in the evening (although I would have loved it if someone had taken a nap once in a while). Ahhhh. It made the torturous driving conditions almost worth it.

According to Danny, we're now saving our money for a trip to Lego Land. I told Dan we're taking an airplane this time. And I mean it.


Marisa said...

That first photo is gorgeous! Print it—BIG—and frame it.

My kids want to try the gross jelly beans. Santa might need to find some for stockings.

That's the truth about ME and vacations, too. The stress and the things that go wrong whether you plan too much or not at all. The icky yucky hotel rooms or the crampy buggy tents. I just like my bed and my house. But yes, memories and all that jazz. The vacations are the things they'll remember.

Santa Cruz looks lovely!

Sell...Party Of 5 said...

You have inspired me to plan a Santa Cruz vacay for next Summer. Like I already told Paul and everything...this is going to happen and I will blog about it. Except your pictures are much more legit than mine will be.

Arlene said...

I loved every pic of your vacay. Awesome pics!