So we ended up in Orange County at some crazy hour in the night. The first thing we wanted to do was get the kids beds’ set up so they could go to sleep. Unfortunately, Levi woke up as soon as the car stopped and was following me around as I unloaded the car, and he tripped on these stone steps and banged his head pretty hard. He had a huge lump, and as you can imagine he was pretty upset. We just took out the minimum things we needed and then headed to bed.
The next morning we spent most of the day unloading everything from the car and getting all the sand out of it. We set up the tent and hosed it off, and then we let it dry. Later that day Ariel and her family came up. We played lots of board games, and at the end of the day we had a campfire in the backyard. It was a lot of fun!
The next morning we woke up and headed to the beach. Ariel’s family came to and all the cousins were able to play together in the sand. It was nice to spend time with everyone at the beach and just relax. It had been such a crazy week, and it was nice to just have a little down time.
When we got back we took a little nap, then we got everything packed up because we had to drive down for an interview. We had applied for a trip to Israel and our interview to see if we qualified was that night. We dropped the kids off with Wendy and then headed down to San Diego. Everything seemed to go pretty well, and it was nice to just go back to Wendy’s and go to sleep. We were pretty wiped.
The next morning we woke up pretty early and headed to Sea World. My brother spoiled us with free tickets into the park. It was so fun taking the boys to Sea World. I have been countless times but going with my own children made it a whole different experience. We wanted to take full advantage of our tickets so we made a goal to do a little bit of everything! We started off going to the artic exhibit where we saw polar bears, penguins, walruses, and many other cool animals. We then headed over to the sharks. Levi seemed pretty fascinated with the sharks. I think he had a fun time.
Later we went to the Dolphin Show. We didn’t get to there too early so seating was pretty limited. The splash zone however was full of front row seats! Somehow I convinced Wendy and Elizabeth to sit in the splash zone with me and Levi. Morgan was not quite man enough to brave the splash zone, so he took Parker and moved to dryer ground. I will be honest I was pretty excited to be in the splash zone, but I was a little worried as to how Levi was going to handle it. At the beginning of the show there was a little splashing and we got a little spray of water. It definitely startled Levi, but he showed no emotion. He didn’t seem to get too upset, and was able to continue watching the show. Later the Dolphins came out and did lots of splashing. Levi did not really enjoy this part, and he did get a little upset, but he was immediately distracted watching the rest of the show. Towards the end of the show I notice out of the corner of my eye that they opened the gates for more animals to come out. I can see a big dark shadow of a whale coming through the bottom of the pool. At this point I knew that a tsunami was about to be coming our way. I try to grab Levi and shelter him from the wave of water that was coming towards us, but it was not enough. We were soaked and Levi completely lost it. The poor kid was traumatized. I instantly knew this would be out last soak zone experience of the day.
By the end of the day we saw all the animals, fed the stingrays, saw the Shamu Show, Pets Rule Show, Cirque de la Mer Show, rode Atlantis, rode Manta, rode the gondolas, and pretty much did everything the park had to offer. We made it a very full trip. It was so much fun, and we are so grateful for the experience.
The next day we woke up pretty early to get ready for a fun day at the San Diego Zoo! Mike’s sweet mom planned a beautiful gathering at the zoo so that the two families could sit and have lunch together while celebrating Wendy and Mike. It was fun to have some more time to visit with both families. Before lunch we got a private bus tour of the zoo. This was pretty cool, and Levi loved being able to ride on the bus. After the delicious feast we had several hours to walk around and enjoy the zoo! At this point in the trip we hadn’t had much time with Aaron and Gina so we planned on spending the rest of the day with them. The first thing I wanted to do was see the zebras since those are Levi’s most favorite animals. Little did we know that in order to get to the zebras we were going to need to encompass quite the hike! We walk all the way down this crazy hill, only to find Levi asleep in the stroller upon arriving at the zebra exhibit. Since I do not believe in waking a sleeping baby we decided to hike back up the hill to head to the next animal exhibit. Of course Levi wakes up shortly after we make it to the top. We made the unanimous decision not to go all the way back to the zebras, although we did consider it.
We walked around the zoo for a while. We saw the bears, gorillas, Pandas, monkeys, and lots of other fun animals. Once we decided we had seen enough of the zoo we decided to head to dinner. We all seemed to agree on trying this cute little Greek restaurant. It was my first time having Greek food, and it was my first time trying lamb. It was a fun experience. My favorite part was the company. It was especially nice to spend time with Aaron and Gina. We really enjoyed spending the day with them.
Finally we get to the big day! The whole purpose of this trip! The grand finale! The wedding! Elizabeth and I woke up early to go and join all the bridesmaids in Wendy’s hotel room to get ready for the wedding. Once we were all beautified, we headed out for pictures. I drove everyone to designated picture spot, and somehow we ended up being the last to arrive. It was ok though because we had the bride so technically we were not late. After pictures the other bridesmaids and I boarded the boat first to set up, before all the other guests. I guess I forgot to mention earlier that this wedding was to take place on a boat! So cool! I took Parker on the boat with me so that I could nurse him before everyone else started boarding. Levi also came on the boat early. He was so excited to ride the boat. He kept saying “Levi ride the boat” over and over again. It was so cute!
We stayed on the bottom of the boat until all the guests were seated. As soon as everyone was seated the ceremony started. I stayed back to help the kids down the aisle. I guess I should specify that Levi was the ring bearer and Amelia was the flower girl. Levi had his pillow all ready and Amelia had her basket of rose petals. Amelia loved her flowers and her basket. That leads into the next part of the story. As we were walking up these very steep stairs to the start of the aisle the wind blew Amelia’s petals right off the boat. To say she had a meltdown does not even begin to describe the devastation she felt as she watched all of her beautiful roses blow away. She threw herself on the floor screaming, until finally her dad went and picked her up. I am sure this is a story we will look back at and laugh at one day. Levi on the other hand walked down the aisle and would not even give the slightest smile. He just stood up there with a very serious expression. I guess you could say he took it job a little too serious. Haha, that’s Levi for you.
After the ceremony we ate and partied on the boat for a couple more hours. It was a lot of fun to be surrounded by so many friends and family. When the ceremony was over Wendy and Mike were carried off in a horse and carriage just like Cinderella. It was very sweet.
We went home to Wendy’s after the reception and immediately changed into sweats. We lounged and watched TV with Elizabeth and we all took naps. To say we were pretty wiped would be an understatement.
The next day was also pretty full. We drove up to Orange County to return the car we were borrowing. On the way home we swung by the Rainbow Outlet and bought ourselves some new rainbows. That was definitely a highlight. Our old rainbows were four years old so we were due for an upgrade! After that I needed to go and find myself something yellow to wear in our family pictures we were going to be taking that night. I was not originally planning on taking family pictures when I went out to San Diego so I did not plan out matching clothes for pictures. Wendy and I drove all over town searching for something yellow for me, but we were having pretty poor luck. Finally we decided to try Target before calling it quits. I walked into Target and searched everywhere and could not find a single item that was yellow in the women’s or juniors section. Finally right as I was giving up Wendy suggested I check the children’s section. So I did, and of course I find a yellow shirt in the little girl’s area. Luckily I am small enough that it fit, because if it didn’t, I was out of options. We rushed home changed and headed to the beach to take our family pictures! They turned out great! I could not have hoped for a better photo shoot.
As soon as we finished the pictures we rushed over to Chins to meet my Dad and Denice for dinner. It was fun to be able to squeeze in one last visit with my dad before we were going to have to fly home.
Finally it was time to go home! We woke up the next morning, and packed all of our stuff. We helped Wendy clean her house so that we did not leave her with a big mess, and then we rushed out to meet my grandma at her house because we were all going to be heading out to lunch. On the way over Levi fell asleep in the car. We transferred him to the bed at my grandmas and he stayed asleep. My grandpa said he would stay and keep an eye on him in case he woke up. This was a great idea because the poor kid was so exhausted from this crazy busy trip. Morgan, Parker, Wendy, Grandma, and I all headed to the garden center for lunch. It was nice and relaxing. We enjoyed and valued the time we were able to spend with Grandma before leaving for Texas. We went back to grandma’s house and picked up Levi. Turned out he had slept for most of the time we were gone, and enjoyed playing some ball with grandpa when he woke up. Grandpa is really excited for him to become a left handed pitcher!
After that we picked up our luggage and headed to the airport. It was a very busy and fun trip, but it felt so amazing to be home. Glad we had the opportunity to do so many fun things!