Saturday, June 4, 2011

California with the kids

We decided to take the kids out to visit in California to hopefully get them excited about our upcoming move. We flew on a non-stop flight out of Ft Lauderdale. 6 people = 1 whole row on an airplane! 4 kids + 6 hour flight= a little bit of stress! The older three did pretty good, but Lexi got a little testy around the 4.5 hour mark. We got through it, but it wasn't my favorite hour and a half of life.
Loaded in the elevator in Ft. Lauderdale, and loaded with excitement!

In the terminal.

T Jay and Summer on our side of the aisle. They loved watching the TV screens and plying video games on the seat backs.

Jess' side of the aisle. I think I got the easier seat! Lucky me!

Lexi is ready for take off. She loved being able to buckle her own seat belt. She was also very possessive of her seat. No Chinese fire drills for this girl, she wanted her seat.

We flew into San Fransisco, and were able to meet up with my younger brother, Chris and his family. Lexi was thrilled that they had a little baby for her to plat with. She was thrilled that Brynlee was so cooperative about letting her hold her.

I guess Brynlee was equally as excited to check Lexi out. She was fascinated by her face. It made Lexi shriek with glee. Priceless.

Chris and Caevin, checking out the Sea lions that have taken up residence near Fisherman's Wharf.

Behind Summer and T Jay are the Sea lions laid out for our viewing pleasure, and boy did it bring pleasure to them, especially when they would knock each other off of the dock, or climb over one another.

We went to Rainforest Cafe for dinner with the gang and had no fewer than four spills. 4 kids + 4 spills = business as usual!

We made a stop at the Oakland Temple. The grounds and visitor's center were beautiful!

This is carved on two sides of the temple. I thought it was neat.

I like how Lexi is touching his feet. Kind of makes me think that's what the children in the scriptures looked like, too

The view from the overlook was amazing! You could see all of the way to the Golden Gate bridge as well as the whole city of Oakland and beyond. I can't wait to see it at night.

Lexi was willing to remove her "bink" for the photo, how sweet is she?!

Matthew was not willing to drop the pretzel bag, but he looks mighty cute anyway!

This is right outside of the office building where the new west office is for NextEra. It's a nice little part of downtown. A little walking area with cafes and small shops. The kids were big fans of the fountain. I like how someone puts out mats for people to sit on. I'm sure it encourages people to gather and...

Relax, nap, eat, whatever!

We found this cute little ice cream parlor called "Fenton's" You know how I like old things, and this place didn't disappoint. I loved all of the vintage decor and machinery. They even had a bar that they served ice cream and drinks from the fountain. How cute would it be to have ice cream parlor chairs at the kitchen table. I may have to look into that!

Check out my brownie Sundae! It's enormous!! And Yummy! What's not to love!

The children had a great time and learned that California is mostly like anywhere else they have been. They have the stores that we need and parks and schools, church was the same and even more taxes! Yeah! I think the trip was a success. They still aren't thrilled about leaving their friends and our house, but really, that's the hardest part about moving.

The trip home was a little trickier. After we made our travel plans, we found out that Jess had to stay in CA for a day longer for the office opening. That meant that I had to travel home alone with the four kids. The thought of this brought on borderline panic attacks for me. Jess kept all of the luggage for me, so I wouldn't have to wait for it, nor transport it to the car when we arrived. He was also able to walk us to the gate since he had a ticket. It was good that he was there, because he got to work with the desk person to get our seats together. Could you imagine 5 hours with 4 kids spread out all over a flight? Nightmare! They were able to get T. Jay and Summer together, and Matthew, Lexi and I together. Let me just tell you how many looks of bewilderment, concern, need for being committed, shock and terror I received as I we walked through the airport and then proceeded to board the plane alone with four kids! It's almost comical. I am used to it mostly, because it happens everywhere I go, but this was a little something extra. These people knew they were about to be trapped with us. Thankfully, the children were magnificent. I was really worried about Lexi getting a nap. That was the problem on the first flight. My neighbor let me borrow her portable DVD player and I put Dora the Explorer on a constant loop for her. She wore Jess' noise reduction headphones to listen. As she got tired, she just feel asleep. Since the headphones block out noise, I just unplugged them from the DVD player and she slept for just shy of 2 hours! God's little gift to me! Everything went off with out a hitch and we were home and in the car before we knew it. The hardest part was getting the kids back on East coast time! Now to get ready for the move...