Saturday, April 19, 2014

SoCal Family Trip

When we moved out to California, we created a California bucket list, things we wanted to do while we were living here. We have done a lot of them - drive Hwy 1, Yosemite National Park, Disneyland, drive through a redwood tree, explore San Francisco, Napa, and Cupertino (Apple campus). We've also visited a lot of California - way up north to Mitchell's power plants, east to Lake Tahoe, west along the coast, central California driving along I5, even all the way down in the desert in Palm Springs but we hadn't yet visited San Diego and LA. We decided this spring is the time because we didn't want to miss out on visiting before Greenleaf sold and we were packing our bags.

After much debate, we decided to fly down so that we didn't use a lot of Mitchell's vacation time with driving and for Logan's sake. This was a good decision.

We flew down to San Diego on the first flight of the day. Logan was so excited. Seriously, he perked up when we got to the airport and then had the time of his life the rest of the day.

He got his own seat on the plane! We love Southwest.

We rented a car and then drove to Coronado Island. Mitchell would have loved to see the naval base on Coronado Island but unfortunately, you can't just drive up on a naval base so we enjoyed it from afar. They were commissioning the USS Coronado that day and we got to see it through the zoom lens. :)

On Coronado with San Diego behind us!
We enjoyed a walk along the beach in front of Hotel del Coronado.

Pacific Ocean in front of Hotel del Coronado
Pit stop in Hotel del Coronado
Hotel del Coronado
In the afternoon, we walked around the infamous Balboa Park. It's beautiful and huge. Some of our good friends went to college in San Diego and were engaged in Balboa Park. We did some texting and found the spot where they got engaged - beautiful!

The Clan Logan at a Scottish Festival

Where our friends were engaged!
At the hotel, we set Logan up in the bathroom in his pack n play to sleep. We learned some lessons - it's best for him to fall asleep in the new room that he's going to be sleeping in so he doesn't wake up in a strange environment. He needed a sound machine that made noise all night (an app on my phone) and he needed a night light so he wasn't in the pitch dark. Once we figured those things out, he slept like a champ. The first night he ended up in our bed halfway through the night - the only time he's ever co-slept, haha!

He didn't sleep here, just played
He slept here - haha
The second day in San Diego we went to the zoo! It's a world famous zoo for a reason. It was incredible! It was so big there were buses that drove you around! We saw all kinds of animals that aren't in your average zoo.

Galapagos turtles!

Polar bears!!
Giant Panda - too bad Logan missed it!
The third day, we woke up in San Diego, packed up and started driving up the coast to LA. We stopped at Huntington Beach and let Logan dip his toes in the Pacific Ocean.

Mitchell wanted to see Muscle Beach on Venice Beach so we stopped there as well. Not my favorite. The beach was gorgeous and serene, the boardwalk was chaotic and a bit scary.

We drove down Santa Monica to our hotel in Hollywood. Logan was done with being in the car by then so we needed some chill time in the hotel to let him play around. Again, he slept in the bathroom. This time in the shower.

The next morning we woke up early, went out to Hollywood Blvd and saw the Walk of Fame, Grauman's theater, the Dolby Theater, Capital Records building, the Hollywood hills sign and Rodeo Drive. I'm glad we did these things to say we've seen them but, LA was not my favorite. It was either super, over-the-top ritzy or slummy and trashy. And trafficky. And busy. And Logan was done with the car seat and stroller.

After lunch we went over to the airport, returned the rental car and hopped on a plane back to Sacramento! We had a wonderful family vacation. Traveling with a baby creates new challenges but it was so fun to have him with us. In the future, I think family vacations will be more chill. Let's go rent a beach house and enjoy the beach for a few days. The constantly on-the-go vacations may need to be put on hiatus until all our kids are older. Or until we have lots of loving family along with us (Disney World in almost 4 months!).

Daddy the pack mule