we booked some spontaneous (is spontaneous still applicable when most everything we do is last minute?) flights & took off to california last month. the trip was just too good to pass up. the nflpa takes pretty good care of their retired players. they payed for todd's flight, our hotel, rental car, & room service, all on the condition that todd do some work outs, visit a dietician, & get treatment (aka massages) not far from where he's from. and the timing was impeccable. my parents, my sister, & her family already had their plans booked to be in san diego at the exact same time. basically, it was a win all around.
the boys loved it. we tried to keep the trip a secret but coop is just too smart. he was on to us from the get go. when we finally spilt the beans he was not too surprised, but still very excited. tj was confused about the whole thing. it took about a week of being on california before he finally realized it wasn't just another hawaiian island. the flight over was easy peasy. mylo slept in my arms most of the way & the older two were happily occupied by handheld technology.
other than a day trip to anaheim we spent the first week & a half in carlsbad. you should have seen the boys faces when we pulled up to our hotel & legoland was next door. i doubt they have ever been that excited before. we picked up season passes & spent just about every day bouncing between the hotel pools & the park. ti's favorites were the dragon ride, & building & racing cars. coop loved the dragon ride, & the incredible designs in miniland. mylo loved the lost kingdom ride, & the boat ride. they were all completely ecstatic to come face-to-face with snow. they've asked about the freezing phenomena for months, years even & couldn't wait to experience it for themselves. i opted to sit that part out since the high 60's weather was enough cold for me. i am still amazed with how well my boys handled the southern california winter. i was so worried but obviously their skin is much thicker than mine.
staying in a hotel is probably my favorite part of vacationing. no cooking or cleaning? throw in a couple of pools & other amenities & i am so there. i may have to fight my germophob fears a little when watching my toddler roll around the hallway floor or sit bare bum in the hotel room chair. but what does it kill 'em makes 'em stronger, right?
i won't lie, i was a little shocked with how beautiful the california beaches were. i mean, don't get me wrong, they've got nothin on maui. like, not even close. but they were gorgeous in a totally different admire-from-a-distance kind of way. (heaven knows, i wasn't about to get hypothermia by jumping in that frigid water.) the boys were so excited when we showed up to the beach. they were literally mad when i told them i didn't bring their swim shorts-well, until they stuck their toes in & realized just how cold the water was. then they were more than happy to keep to the sand.
other than binging on mexican food & in-n-out, the highlight of our trip was family. we spent the last week bunking up with todd's grandparents, my parents, & a couple nieces & nephews. the boys were surrounded by so much love, they could barely handle it. cooper spent most the week touring the city with grama, papa, & jameson getting spoiled every step of the way. tj & mylo were obsessed with kam, rylie, "auntie kam's mom," & uncle scott. they made some lasting memories that the boys still refer back to on the daily (like never, & which hand). my favorite part was getting a little quality time with my niece & nephews that made the journey to see us. i was beyond excited to watch my nephew, kam, play in a soccer tournament. he is such an amazing athlete & so much fun to watch.
we had the unique experience of spending thanksgiving with my family & todd's family all together. which means, my dad's mashed potatoes, my mom's rolls, nana's creamed corn, nana's stuffing, & a couple julian's pies. it was everything our hearts & stomachs could wish for. we also got to celebrate nana's 82nd birthday with the lady we all so love & admire.
it was real california. but this island girl is happy to be home.