West Coast Has The Sunshine

Well, we made it all the way to San Diego without too much hassle! This trip went through many variations in the planning stages, but I am pretty sure we made all the right choices. We started with an invitation to my mom to join us on our family trip and the thought that we’d rent a condo or something for all of us. She mulled it over and countered with an offer of keeping Vivian home while we take Mac and Josie. I wasn’t so sure at first that I could leave her or that it would be “fair,” but after lots of talks with friends, sisters, and of course Jeremy, I could see that what my logical mind was telling me was true – the 2-year-old will be happier if she is NOT stuck in a stroller/plane/hotel room/car seat for her entire vacation! What then developed was a plan that would take Vivian on her OWN vacation, to Nana’s house! Mom (Nana) and Auntie Clare drove up yesterday to pick up Vivian and take her back to Madison for the week. I was a wreck, but Vivian was happy! It helps tremendously that Mom and Clare have the technology to send photos and videos so we can see how she’s doing for ourselves. She went out to breakfast with them and my cousin this morning, and she has been very happy with her free reign over ALL of the toys:

And the rest of us… we traveled just as long but much farther today! We packed everyone up, and I’m proud to say I did it with only 2 large suitcases to check (plus 2 car seats), not counting our backpacks and the diaper bag. We decided that since we’re renting a car, we could save on the checked bag fees and buy consumables when we arrived. Mac has been so excited about this trip that he was willing to do just about anything this morning if it meant we could “go to San Diego quickly.” I could not be happier with how today turned out.

We arrived early to the airport, checked in and checked baggage without incident. Mac even sang his San Diego song on the way to the gate:

We all got through security fairly quickly – I had forgotten what a hassle it is to take a baby in a stroller through, and the excited 4-year-old who needs constant supervision did not make that task any easier, but we did well, considering. When we checked in, the ticket agent told us there was a playland near our gate. I told she had made me very happy, seeing as how we were early! Josie slept while Mac enjoyed playing for a while in HIS park:

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We boarded the plane, again without too much trouble. Mac was greeted at the door by a flight attendant who invited him to go into the cockpit! The pilot even got up and put Mac in his seat so we could take a picture! I don’t think he really understood how very cool that was – I think he was a bit in shock. But I got the picture:

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And we got settled in our seats, where Mac happily worked on one of his books that Grandma had sent along for the airplane:

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The kids did GREAT during the flight. From the air, Mac got to see our house, mountains, snow, and the Grand Canyon before we started to land. Josie ate a few times, at take-off and landing, and once in between I think. And she slept for about an hour or so. We didn’t have any issues at all, and it was a very smooth flight. I can be a nervous flyer, especially when it’s been a while since I’ve flown, so our seating arrangement worked well with Jeremy by Mac and me distracted with Josie. I was ok once we got cruising, but the first part of the flight, if it’s been a while, I get nervous. But it wasn’t bad at all. Josie even got to try out the seats while the boys were in the potty:

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So we landed, got our bags, found the car rental shuttle, got the car, and headed to the hotel. I have to back up a minute here… Several weeks ago I contacted my sister’s sister-in-law who lives in San Diego to ask if she had any kid stuff we could possibly borrow while we were there. She gathered a bunch of stuff for us and brought it to our hotel. They had even moved all the stuff to our room for us by the time we arrived! And Mac dove right in to the Legos she left, while Josie enjoyed the very extravagant exersaucer:

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HOWEVER, we did have a bump in the road for today when I got a call from the San Diego area after checking in at the hotel, asking if we’d left an iPhone on our flight! Both Jeremy and I had ours, but… I had gotten one of our old ones set up for Mac with games and videos for the plane. Somehow it didn’t make it back into his backpack! So poor Jeremy had to navigate back to the airport tonight to get it, and from what he says, that was no small feat – it is under major construction and was packed. What a great dad. :)

For those of you wondering what the heck we’re doing out here, I am working! I have a conference to attend on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We used the opportunity for a family trip while we can get some of the cost covered for my stay. We’re hoping to get to Sea World and the Zoo for sure, and the beach. Other than that, we’re going to relax and see where the days take us!!

For those who want to keep up with us, the best thing to do is keep an eye on our Flickr photostream. I have an app on my phone now that lets me upload multiple items from my phone. That might mean some duplicates when I get around to uploading from my computer, but you’ll have to just deal with it! I have no idea what kind of blogging time I’ll have while we’re here.


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