Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Northern Cali - Day Five

The last day was spent visiting with Blake's dad and grandmother in Gilroy. Blake's dad took us out to Famous Dave's (which we live next to, but ironically, I have never been to). Even though it was raining, we sent out for Gilroy Gardens which is, I kid you not, a botanically-themed amusement park. Of course, there was a train and that was all Chase wanted to do for the whole time. Since it was raining we got to most of the rides in the park in about three hours. I hate lines, so this made me VERY happy! The park was actually very cool, there were a ton of rides for the little kids and a few for the big ones! Brittany and Tyler were very patient with all the little kid stuff we did. Actually Tyler and Brittany were amazing in general... absolutely golden. I would take them anywhere, anytime! They were a huge help with all the little ones and had such a great attitude at all times. Thank you Tyler and Brittany!

Northern Cali - Day Four

We went to the Aquarium early in the morning the lines to get in were massive. Four small kids in crowds full of people were hard to keep track of, but Brittany and Tyler were a HUGE help! Seriously, I don't know if I could have done it without them. We each had a buddy. Tyler was with Logan, Brittany with Reagan (which she called her "Mini-me", I swear they look like sisters), Blake with Chase and I was with Emma. Their displays were so impressive. It is so much bigger than when I was a kid. The younger kids were tired by one o'clock, so I took Logan, Reagan and Chase back to the hotel for a nap... I needed one too! Blake stayed with Brittany, Tyler and Emma and looked at more of the Aquarium and took them to the Ghirardelli Ice Cream Shop. When my half of the kids woke up, we all met up on a small beach on Cannery Row. Chase ran after birds, Tyler and Brittany pushed each other into the waves, and Reagan fell into the water (of course).

Logan and his friend.

Tyler and Emma

Brittany and her Mini-Me

These kids take so many better pictures than mine! Jealous!

Northern Cali - Day Three - Blast From the Past

Today we were driving to pick up Blake's nieces and nephew Tyler, Brittany and Emma as they were going to go with us on the rest of our trip. As we were going to Merced to get them, we went through Modesto (where I grew up) and Atwater (where Blake grew up) and checked out our old houses. I got to see an childhood friend of mine, Erica Baird Evans. Then we picked up the kiddos... so we had six total and headed out to Monterey so we get to the Aquarium early the next morning.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Northern Cali - Day Two

We made our way into San Fransisco itself on day two. We first went to the Exploritorium but it wasn't opened yet so we wandered around the outside of the building. It has a huge duck pond and Chase was so excited. (Chase has a thing for any water and trains and we expect a huge fit if he leaves either.) The kids practically fell in the water a few times while chasing birds.

The Exploritorium was just as I remembered it as a kid. It is so nice to go places where your kids are actually EXPECTED to touch everything. What a relief! Reagan stood for quite awhile at this display that had you put your hand in and try to grab the tea cup, but it was an illusion made with mirrors. Reagan tried forever to get the darn tea cup, but her hand kept going through it. Chase, of course, found a train and proceeded to refuse to leave, or let anyone else see while yelling "Train! Train!" Ahh, small minds. After we finally wrenched him away (45 minutes later) he cried about the train the rest of the time. Where Logan lacks focus... Chase has an unwavering single-mindedness. Could I transfer a little between the two?

While the kids slept, Blake and I drove to a few historical sites that we'd never been to and took turns sitting in the car while we checked them out.
Once the kids woke up, we took them to Ghirardelli Square (chocolate, of course!) and the Maritime Museum which had several restored ships that you could look around on. They had a tugboat, a large ferry, a steamboat and this large sailing vessel.

Chase eating Daddy's face while we were trying to get a picture. I think the picture turned out well.

Northern Cali - Day One

The first day in Northern California we went to Muir Woods and Point Reyes. It was an interesting experience to be in the Bay Area and have so much wilderness and empty space around us. The giant redwoods were beautiful. Chase, as usual, saw a stream immediately and didn't want to go anywhere else. It took some convincing for him to realize that the trail followed the stream.

Then we went to Point Reyes and the kids played on the beach. Reagan did her normal beach thing and sat on the towel, wrapped in a towel and watched the boys play. Chase made Blake run after the waves and Logan played in the sand. We saw a sea lion trying to come in to the beach but it was too scared of us. Can't say I blame it. We didn't last long since the water was cold and the wind was blowing the sand around, but the kids had fun.