life is good.
we rode with the mitchells- little ben and violet are close in age so we were excited for them to spend some quality time together in the van. honestly, we were a little worried about how they would react to the idea of driving to california in one day but they shocked us all as they chatted and giggled (almost) the whole way. the minivan was littered with snacks and toys that had been thrown and half eaten, but overall, we couldn't have been more pleased!
whenever i would find a sticky piece of red vine mashed into the seat, i would thankfully remind myself that the van was only a rental. they had their work cut out for themselves cleaning up this town and country!
we arrived in california just in time for dinner with friends. we all gathered at a mexican restaurant near russ and katie's where the food was delicious. with all our kids so close in age, we truly were quite the spectacle. russ and katie have little lucy, who is a few months younger than ben and vi. mike and carly have two lovies who are a little older and a little younger. and on top of all of this, there were two of us who were clearly showing our pregnancy bulges. as we were walking out of the restaurant, i heard a man say to his wife, "i sure hope we didn't order what they had. there must be something in their water!"
for sleeping arrangements, it was perfect that russ and katie and mike and carly live just a few apartments away from each other. that way, we were all able to sleep in comfort while still being so close. mike and carly were SOOO generous to let us stay with them. in fact, they even gave us their bedroom to use and they slept on the couches! i promise i tried to talk them out of this extreme generosity but they insisted so we slept like royalty.
our first day, we hit the beach.
vi wasn't so thrilled to be there at first.
but the rest of us sure were!
it really took her a long time to warm up to the idea...
but eventually she came around.
we lounged, played paddleball, played with the skim board, ate, chatted, dug in the sand, and threw the babies.
it was a GREAT day at the beach. that left us with some tuckered out chillins.
that night, we decide to take a trip to downtown disney to eat at the espn zone for the men and get some delicious beignets for the ladies. we also shopped around and watched the fireworks with the kiddos. i love disneyland- and even though we didn't go inside the park, it was fun to have violet there with all the excitement. her face doesn't really show that excitement in the picture below... but trust me, it was there.
the next day, we were trying to decide what we wanted to do and as we went around throwing out ideas, we decided that the beach was really the highlight of the trip. so, we loaded up and hit the sands again- this time with a larger group. by now, vi had finally made up her mind that the beach was actually fun. hallelujah.
she loved walking in the uneven sand, picking up shells and seaweed, sticking everything in her mouth and she even liked dipping in the water a bit. it made for a great time.
that night, katie and carly had arranged for a group date for all of us by hiring some babysitters from church. it. was. awesome. don't get me wrong, i love violet and i love spending time with her... BUT i also love getting some one on one with cade every once in a while. so with babysitters a-plenty, we headed off to an angels game on our date.
sunday, we headed to church where katie had volunteered us to be on a missionary panel so the youth could ask us questions about serving a mission. it was fun to think about the time i spent as a missionary and all the ups and downs that came along. looking back, it all seems like ups but i still remember the time an old lady asked if my acne was a whole bunch of cockroach bites.... that was a down i can't forget. ahhhh, the mission. overall though, it is always fun to go to church in a new state. same church, different saints.
later, we had a birthday bash for mike complete with great food, fun games and yummy dessert. after the party, following california tradition, we had a root beer tasting party that ended with cade jumping in the pool while still in his sunday garb. never a dull moment and a perfect ending to the trip.
the next day, we were off early. the kiddos had anther fabulous drive home. we were so sad to go but we know that we will be back! we LOVE our california friends.