Friday, March 30, 2012

San Diego–Day 1

We just got back from our first official Family Vacation!  I guess my definition of “official” is that we flew on an airplane to get to our destination.  However, aside from that, it was sort of a non-traditional set up.  My friend, Carrie, lives in San Diego right now as she works on her post-doc with Scripps.  She has a 2 bedroom apartment in an awesome, convenient location and she was generous enough to fly home (to Minnesota) so that we, the Runchey’s, could go crash her place (and her car) and call it home for 5 days!  She’s the best!

I wasn’t sure how the kids were going to react to the actual plane ride and I had packed plenty of activities to keep them busy (I’d hoped) for the almost 4 hours we’d be flying.  Ellie claimed nerves a couple times and held my hand, but I’m fairly certain that was just Ellie stealing an opportunity to be cuddly.  It’s how she is.  She didn’t seem the least bit nervous.

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Riley only asked Rob about 150 times (in the first 10 minutes) if we were there yet.  She left her beloved “Nala” stuffed monkey at home accidentally so before we even left Minneapolis we were spending money on a new stuffed animal for her.  A trend that continued throughout the whole trip.

 

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Austin was excited to have a window seat and spent the first 10 minutes of the flight shouting out things he could see.  We brought all their video game things, iPods, coloring books, new crayons, hidden pictures, dot to dots, and stickers.  That was just barely enough to entertain these guys for 4 hours.

Upon arrival we drove to Carrie’s and got settled and changed.  The kids were dying to see the ocean.  I had been to visit Carrie once last year and remembered a special beach where we would see seals and sea lions.  It’s called the Children’s Pool because it used to be a special place for the smaller kids to have fun in the water.  Now it’s been taken over by seals and apparently there is some controversy as to whether or not they should reclaim it for the children or let the seals take over.

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I don’t really have an opinion on the seals and where they live, but it sure was cool for the kids to see them all so close!

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After checking out the seals the kids could simply wait no longer to get their feet in that ocean!  We headed down to one of the non-seal beaches and they wasted no time running toward the water.  Now, it was probably only 63 degrees or so, and the water was freezing but that did not stop my kids from playing in the water!

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We played on this beach for about 45 minutes before I dragged everyone to the other cove near by where we could see the Sea Lions.  It’s a more popular beach for swimming, but being so cold, it wasn’t too crowded.  The sea lions are pretty close on this beach too, though I don’t think I got any pictures of them.  They swim pretty close to shore too….maybe only 30 feet away.

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In the above picture, the kids were “meditating” as the waves crashed into them.  Don’t ask.  I don’t know.  It’s some quirky 1st grade thing Austin picked up.  He “meditates” everywhere.  About 30 minutes after this picture was taken Ellie’s toe and knee collided with that rock in the lower right of the picture and we evacuated for medical needs (a band aid). 

It was time to go back to the apartment for showers and dinner anyway.  The temperature had dropped a few degrees and our children were cold, hungry, and crying (Ellie) so it wasn’t the most pleasant stroll along the ocean we’ve ever experienced.  Rob carried both Ellie and Riley for the majority of the walk back.  I carried Riley for the last 1/4 of a mile and thought my arms were going to break so I’m not sure how he managed both.

We had hopes of the kids crashing from exhaustion but that didn’t happen.  We also had hopes of them sleeping in.  More on that later.

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