Monday, August 16, 2010
Our California Vacation!
We're back, and boy did we have a great trip! It was, I'm almost ashamed to admit, D's first time to meet my family, with the exception of my mom, who came out both for my baby shower and also to meet Ava when she was a week old! Anyhow, I was nervous traveling with Ava, but she was AMAZING. I'm talking...just such a good girl!
She slept for an hour or so at takeoff, having been pulled out of bed at 5:45 (and this is my lazy baby who likes to sleep until ~9), but then was up and at 'em for the duration. She cooed, she played peekaboo, she charmed the pants off our seat mate. In short, I was stressed for nothing. From the airport we hopped directly into my mom's car and headed back on the road for the three plus hour trip up to the mountains where my family lives. A was a trooper for the drive as well, barring a bit of fussiness the last hour. She was SO ready to get out when we finally arrived at our destination, and SO WAS I!
We stayed with my aunt and uncle and four cousins (13, 11, 8.5 and 2), seeing as how they had the most room and also baby stuff so we could travel light, and this was an excellent choice. Definitely having access to a high chair/playyard/baby toys/bibs/etc was a lifesaver, and kept A on schedule better than she may have otherwise been. It was also great that she comes to work with me everyday, seeing as how she was around a ton of kids the entire time (not only my cousins, but my three little sisters - her aunts!).
After we settled in and A met her great-grandma (nana) and great-grandpa (papa), as well as her aunt, uncle and cousins, we let her take a little snooze while we got ready to head up to dinner with my parents and grandparents and let A meet her three aunts. They're 10, 9 & 6.5. Crazy, right? I was an only child until I was 16, when my mom and step-dad decided they wanted to start over again. Nutjobs.... ;)
Dinner was great, and we were able to spend some great one-on-one time with everyone and let them get to know A, who played happily on the floor with the girls, crawling everywhere and getting into everything!
The next day we went to Columbia, an old historic state park set up as a gold rush town. This place is pretty cool, though definitely smaller than I remembered, and all the buildings are either the original buildings or restored to their original condition.
We got some great pics there, and then headed into downtown for lunch at a Mexican restaurant. Mommy may have had a bit more to drink than she's had in a while, citing "vacation" as reason enough for midday booze, and may have cracked some inappropriate jokes in a children's toy store afterwards...one can't be sure :)
After we got back to my aunts for the afternoon, we went swimming and then took a slight nap until dinnertime rolled around, when we grilled some delicious BBQ chicken and sides. We were all exhausted from a combination of the time change, altitude and busy schedule, so we passed out early, ready for the next day!
Friday morning my dad came to get us and let us borrow the Yukon so I could take D around to do some exploring. I grew up in this teeny tiny town (until I was 13 when I hauled a$$ to Texas!), so I was eager to show him our old house, the school I went to, the lake, etc. We even managed to stop by and pay a visit to my best friend Katy's family, and managed to catch her brother, sister and sister-in-law as well! It was so great to see them and for them to get to meet D and Ava!!! AND...as an added bonus, Katy's mom makes seriously THE BEST chocolate chip cookies ever, so much so I hadn't had one in like 15+ years and still think about them, and she had some that she gladly let us take!!!! I'll admit I cheated on the dairy-free and ate some, and Ava hasn't reacted as of three days later!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!
After we left there, I took D and A for a walk on the stream that runs behind my house and stretches many miles each way, showing him where my grandpa taught me to fish, the fire station he used to work at (and I used to play at!), and all the "sights", and then we went to pay a visit to my grandparents.
That night was the big lakeside BBQ my mom had planned so that everyone could meet Ava at once, seeing as how our visits tend to be short ones, and so around 4:15 we headed out to the lake to meet up with everyone. A lot of my moms friends were there, as well as my entire family, and it was nice to get to sit and chat with them. The only major issue we ran into was that dinner wasn't ready until after 6:30 (8:30 our time) and A was starting to meltdown, which I knew would happen. Between that and being passed around, she was over it.
The next day was the trip back to the airport, and we stopped en route to see my best friend Katy and her boyfriend in Pleasanton, near where she lives. It was so great to see her - it'd been nearly FOUR years!!!!!! We miss you, Auntie Katy!
All in all, we had a great time, barring the transportation time. I just HATE the drive that follows/precedes a long flight - we end up traveling about 9 hours each way AT LEAST, and that's just...insane. Hopefully we'll see them soon in Austin!!!!!