Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Our California Vacation

In addition to pastoring, my husband also owns and runs a fire alarm company. This often requires him to travel to other states, and the kids and I occasionally go with him. Last week, we decided to make a vacation out of his business trip to California.

We left leisurely on Monday morning, planning on driving all the way to L.A. that day, where we were dropping my Dad off at the airport. We first drove 3 hours to Yuma, AZ and stopped for lunch and to play at an absolutely amazing playground that is there.

After driving the rest of the way to L.A. and dropping my Dad off, we continued on to our hotel. That night (Monday) we stayed at a very posh resort in Oceanside, CA. On Tuesday morning, my husband got up early and went to do a couple of jobs while the kids and I slept in, had a leisurely breakfast, and then the boys went swimming in the heated outside pool.

Rebecca was sleeping in one of the pool chairs while Miriam was more interested in keeping her dolls wrapped in towels than in getting in the pool. Which worked out nicely because I had no interest in getting in the water myself. As soon as Becky woke up, Miriam proceeded to mother her instead of her dolls.

Once my husband got back from his work, we went out to lunch and then drove up the coast several hours to Morro Bay, CA, a famous tourist spot. After checking in to our hotel, we went down to the beach to see Morro Rock, a famous landmark, which is actually an extinct volcano. After it got dark we found a little restaurant that sold the most wonderful fish 'n chips, and then drove out to the base of the volcano and enjoyed our dinner while listening to the ocean waves crashing in and looking at the many stars overhead.

We stayed in another wonderful hotel that was right on the ocean. We could actually see the coast right from our window!

On Wednesday morning, we continued up north. I dropped my husband off at the San Jose airport just after lunch - he was flying home just to preach in our church that night, and coming back early Thursday morning. The kids and I drove another hour north to Vacaville, CA, to go to church and spend the night with some very good friends of ours.

On Thursday, after a wonderful breakfast, my friend Joann, her son, and me and the kids went on a tour of the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield, CA. I thought it was funny that their cafe serves jellybean-shaped pizza and burgers. The tour was very interesting and we also got lots of samples.

As we were leaving, we noticed a brochure for another factory tour nearby, Mrs. Grossman's Sticker Factory. It was a good 45-minute drive away in Petaluma, CA, but since both Joann's husband and mine were still at work we decided to go. It was fascinating to say the least. I never knew how much work it takes to make a sticker. We again got lots of samples, and I bought some more stickers which were great for keeping the kids busy while we were on the road.

On Thursday evening, my husband's sister and his Mom (who live in the area) both came to our friends house to see us and the kids. My sister-in-law had sewed matching skirts for the two girls, which I absolutely loved. Thanks, Aunt Lisa!

Since we knew we had a long ways to drive back to Arizona, we wanted to drag the trip out as long as possible and decided to head south again on Thursday evening. We drove a couple of hours and spent the night at a quaint and romantic hotel in Monterey, CA. The kids absolutely loved the fireplace. I was fascinated by the vegetation, which was very thick and lush.

This historic inn was right in the heart of downtown, within walking distance of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. After a long breakfast at the hotel on Friday morning, we visited the aquarium and were, of course, fascinated.

On Friday afternoon, we continued south and stayed in Santa Maria, CA, where my husband was doing another job on Saturday morning. That particular hotel suite was about as big as an apartment, with its own living room. The kids had fun looking down from our window on the fifth floor.

We spent all day Saturday driving home. For the first several hours, we took Highway 1 which runs along the coast and has some of the most awesome views. Somewhere along that drive, we parked the car by the side of the road and took a hike down to the ocean, where we played for an hour or so before getting back on the road. As we passed through Yuma, AZ on the way home, we stopped at the nice playground again for a couple of hours and also ate dinner there to give the kids a break from all the driving. We arrived home shortly before midnight on Saturday.

While we were gone, the butterflies that we had raised from caterpillars had hatched, and we released them on Sunday afternoon.

This was a wonderful vacation, and one we will remember for many years. It was my husband's gift to me for my birthday this week. If this post left you with the impression that I have a wonderful life and a great family, you are right! God is so good!


  1. What a nice gift for your birthday!!!
    You look great in all the pictures....so how old are you!?

  2. Happy birthday! What a great-sounding vacation you had. God is good, indeed.

    As another advocate for nursing, I'm glad to have seen the picture with you feeding Rebecca. From time to time public nursing will become an issue (which the media loves) because some see it as indecent, which has always puzzled me.

  3. Happy birthday! and yes, what a great vacation you had. Memories is what is all about with kids. :) You guys really need to write a book or something about finances! How DO YOU DO IT????



  4. That sounded nice and relaxing.... it's nice that you decided to have a flexible vacation. I'm sure that made it easier with kids.

  5. I too noticed you nursing! How wonderfull!! I was wondering how you made it with out a baby sling or such.
    We sure do have to meet soon!

  6. I am glad that you all had a wonderful vacation. Rebecca looks so much like you in the face. Look at the way she smiles. She has your smile.

  7. Oh my, I had no idea that anyone would notice I was breastfeeding in the pictures. It's a long story.

    I usually never nurse in public without a sling or blanket because it's just easier that way. BUT I forgot the sling at home, and for some strange reason, only brought one huge blanket that did not work at all for nursing (more like a quilt).

    Of course, Becky still had to eat, and I do know how to nurse without using any cover without showing any skin. After five kids, I can do pretty much anything while nursing. Right now, for example, I am feeding Becky while typing this up faster than most secretaries could.

    In the particular photos in this post, my husband insisted on taking the photos of us, in spite of the fact that I had to feed the baby.

    When I was uploading the photos today I didn't stop to think that I was feeding in a couple of them until Sally commented on it. I didn't want to delete the photo after her comment, which would have drawn even more attention to it, and maybe it would have made people wonder whether I pulled the photo because I was baring it all.

    Somewhere else on the internet, I am probably being decried as a nudist hippie. And somewhere, one of the pastors who stalk my blog is fainting in his office at the mere thought of a baby attached to his mother's breast, covered or not. Personally, I find people very weird who have a problem with breastfeeding.

    Anyway, I wasn't setting out to offend anyone, and I don't think it is wrong to nurse in public discretely. Nobody approached us about it on our trip even once.

    Not sure why I felt the need to defend myself at such length when I got nothing but positive feedback! :)

  8. Love seeing pictures! You're kids look so cute and happy!

  9. I think the pics are wonderful - I'm just amazed though, After 7 conntinuous years of nursing children I don't think I could manage and walk/stand at the same time (without a sling). I always end up one handed... Kudos to you though. And ignore anyone who would chastize you. Babies are designed to eat. You are designed to feed. Very simple logic.


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