I thought I'd finish out the last two days of our California trip. It's been a long time since I posted about the trip, but the Fall and holidays were crazy busy with so many other things going on.
After our 15 hours at Disney the day before, we decided to just hang low and relax. We were exhausted, but still had so much we wanted to see.
We started the day with a road trip. We headed out on the Pacific Coast Highway. It was such a beautiful drive. We stopped for breakfast at a little diner, and it was so quiet and quaint.
We continued on our sightseeing trip and saw the Queen Mary, so we stopped to take some photos of it and to just stretch our legs.
We decided to go and see the Hollywood sign. Ashton and I both wanted to see it, so we were off to LA.
This was the closest we could get and I couldn't get anywhere that there weren't wires in our way.
After seeing the sign and wanting to get out of the LA area (it was packed because Michael Jackson had died not too long before) we were on a mission to find an In and Out Burger. I had heard it was SO good.
Well, we found it!
O...M...G... these were really the best burgers I've ever had from a fast food restaurant! They were so beautiful, I just had to take a picture.
We just couldn't believe how fresh everything was. I love that they don't have microwaves, freezers, heat lamps, and everything is fresh and of good quality ingredients. When we first saw the limited menu, we were shocked, but after reading how they patty their own burgers, make the buns from scratch, cut the tomatoes, lettuce, etc. we understood and really appreciated it. Just looking at these photos makes me crave it!
We ate outside and had a few feathered friends watching us.
While we were eating, Ashton really wanted me to take a picture of this cool cellular tower that was next to the restaurant. It was really neat because it was disguised as a tree. I think they all should look like this.
We headed back to the hotel so we could enjoy the pool for one last night
the sprinkler pad
My little man was not happy about having to get out of the pool
Our hotel was so beautiful and amazing!
Jerry and I decided to walk to Sprinkles Cupcakes. We had heard that they were incredible and we all wanted to try them. They were delicious! We had to wait in line to even get into the store. But, they were definitely worth it!
Some of the beautiful scenery we saw on our walk
Since it was our last night there and we were exhausted from our very busy week, we decided to just stay in that night. My parent's room was next door and they ordered room service for all of us. We ate and packed our bags and showered so we would have everything ready for the morning.
The view from our room
At the end of the night, I had three exhausted kids!
This day was awesome! We spent it at Disneyland. It was amazing how close Disneyland was to our hotel. It was only about 20-25 minutes away. We got up early to get in line so we could get in when the gates opened at 8am. They actually let us in about 10 minutes early.
On the tram heading to the gate from the parking lot.
inside the gates
We headed to the Plaza Inn for our Breakfast in the Park with Minnie and Friends. We had a reservation for 8:10. My aunt, uncle, cousin, her husband, another cousin and her son met us at the restaurant.
Having fun with the characters
Ashton, Sawyer and Max on the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters ride
I love the colors
My mom and dad
The kids were shooting the targets trying to increase their scores
We had an appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. It was fun and they enjoyed it. The next time we go to Disney, they'll be too old , so this was fun.
They painted Mickey's head on the back of his head
They are adding the Disney themed confetti to his hair
He was presented with a sword and a dragon pin as part of the Knight's package.
Sir Sawyer getting to see himself for the first time in the magic mirror
Getting the confetti added to his hair
Ashton being presented with his sword and pin
Seeing himself in the mirror for the first time
I LOVE his expression
Hadleigh the pop princess
Seeing herself for the first time
The "knights" having a sword fight
My kids with their crazy hair
"It's a Small World"
look at that wild hair
Welcome to Toon Town
meeting Mickey Mouse
Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
The Jungle Cruise ride
Tarzan's Tree House
We took an ice cream break after riding rides and we decided to get a spot to watch the parade.
Ashton was able to participate in the parade
This little sleepyhead slept during the entire parade
After the parade, we rode the Disneyland Railroad ride. It was so relaxing. Sawyer slept through that entire ride as well.
After the train ride, we said goodbye to my Aunt Anne, Uncle Roger, cousin Jenni, her husband Antonino, my cousin Becky and her son Max. They were tired and ready to go back to Jenni's house. Jenni is lucky and lives nearby, so they will all be able to visit again soon when Becky is there visiting. We had a great time with them.
We walked back to the castle and got our seats so we would have a good view of the fireworks show.
I always thought that the castle at Disney World and the castle at Disneyland were the same. I was shocked to see how different this castle at Disneyland was. This is Sleeping Beauty's castle and the castle at Disney World is Cinderella's. They are both beautiful.
My mom, my dad, the kids and I went shopping on Main Street while waiting for the fireworks to start. Jerry saved our spot for us. Hadleigh had to have a baby Pluto, and here she is posing with it next to a Pluto statue.
The fireworks show begins with Tinker Bell flying by the castle
The crowd for the fireworks was unbelievable! There was a sea of people. This is just one direction and was behind us down Main Street.
After the crowds thinned out, we decided to ride more rides. We were only there for that day and who knows when we will get back. The kids were getting tired and the last attraction we walked through was the Pixie Hollow attraction. We were the only ones in it, but the fairies weren't there. It was still neat to see the flowers and details put into this place.
Ashton turned out fuzzy, but I loved the mushrooms
After being at the park for 15 1/2 hours, we decided to head back to the hotel. We were all beat, but we all had a great and memorable time. My dad was there in 1966, so it was neat that he was able to see it again and with his grandchildren.
I loved the street lamps along Main Street. They were just beautiful.
I love this saying and had to take a photo of it. It was on the Kodak shop. I truly believe it.
On the way back to the tram, we passed the entrance to California Adventure Park. I loved the big C-A-L-I-F-O-R-N-I-A letters.
I was so excited for this particular morning, because we were having our family photos taken by Tonya of www.tonyajoy.com . Tonya is my favorite photographer that I've ever come across online. I LOVE her blog and could stare at her photos forever. She's awesome!! We had so much fun exploring Old Town Orange and getting our photos taken. I was a little star struck and had to have Jerry take my photo with my photographer idol Tonya. Thanks for meeting us and providing us with the incredible family photos that we will cherish forever Tonya!
If you are interested in how our photos turned out, you can click on the link to check them out. That link takes you directly to our photos, but be sure to check out her blog for all of her amazing photos. www.tonyajoy.com/myjoy
After our photo session, we got in the car to head to Dana Point Harbor. We were going whale watching with Capt. Dave's Dolphin and Whale Safari. They were so friendly and informative and we couldn't wait to get out on the boat.
Sawyer insisted that I take a picture of his Altoids container while we were waiting for the boat. I love his little hand in this photo, because I can see all of the creases in his little fingers.
My dad and the kids waiting to board the boat. I love their sun hats.
On the catamaran and hanging out on the nets.
Pelicans and Sea Gulls hanging out on the rocks as we were heading out to sea.
Some of the beautiful scenery that surrounded us.
My mom and Hadleigh looking for dolphins and whales
My dad and Jerry
The Common Dolphin pods swimming with our boat. They were so neat to watch.
We were so lucky that day, because we were able to see a Fin Whale. They are the second largest whale and second largest living animal after the Blue Whale. It was beautiful!
We had so much fun on this dolphin and whale safari and definitely want to do it again someday. We did find out that Ashton and Sawyer get seasick. Ashton was fine after he closed his eyes and rested, and Sawyer unfortunately got sick on the ride back to the harbor. They still enjoyed it and next time we'll know to give them Dramamine.
After we left the harbor, we drove up a mountain to see what the view was like. Gorgeous!
Three exhausted kids on the way back to the hotel
That night, we met my friend Jen and her family at Fashion Island. We went to California Pizza Kitchen for dinner. This was the first time Jen and I have met, but we've known each other for almost 8 years. We both had babies in November 2001 and belong to a message board of about 20+ women that have been together since our babies were babies. She and her husband were so nice and down to earth and we chatted like we've hung out before. Her kids were gorgeous and it was fun to see them in person. All of the kids had so much fun together, especially after eating when they played in the fountain and sprinkler.
Hadleigh and Reese
Jack and Hadleigh, our November 2001 babies. They didn't want to get too close to each other. lol
Jack, Ashton, and Sawyer being silly
playing on the sprinkler pad and looking at the fountain, wishing they could jump in it
We were up early and hungry, so we headed over to Balboa. I fell in LOVE with this area. I can't wait to go back someday. We took a cab to Balboa Island and then caught the ferry to Balboa Peninsula.
We headed to Ruby's Diner for breakfast. It was on the pier and was a reproduction of an old time diner. It was so peaceful that morning and there was only one other family in the restaurant. I'm so glad we chose this place to eat.
A little bit of fun on the beach before we walked around the adorable town to check out shops.
Jerry was trying to round them up so we could shop a little bit before meeting the rest of the family at the beach.
While walking around the town, we found the Balboa Fun Zone.
The kids had to try the trampoline bungee jumping
The rest of the family found us as they made it over to the peninsula. They found us as Sawyer was getting his turn.
Sweet Evan with his dad
Samuel and Aunt Isabel
As we were walking, we saw a pelican and a sea lion hanging out behind a boat. We walked out on the dock to get a closer look. The deck hands gave Hadleigh some squid so she could feed the sea lion.
A cute little shop with a neat Woody car
A cool sign
Evan's first time in the sand
Max with his mom
Samuel having fun in the sand
with his momma
Some of our family went to Ruby's for lunch on the pier while we were on the beach with the kids, and they spotted us on their walk back.
My uncles, aunt, and cousin
two of my uncles
The beautiful pier
Brr, it was a bit chilly
A trip to the beach isn't complete without a little burying in the sand
"but I don't want to leave the beach!"
Goodbye to Balboa.
wiped out in the hotel lobby
That night we went to El Torito Grill for dinner with all of the family. My Uncle Bob and Aunt Isabel hosted the dinner and it was the last night everyone would be together. Most of the family left the next morning. I didn't get any pictures at dinner, but it was really nice. We had a private patio and it was beautiful out.
On our walk home from dinner, I took some photos of our beautiful hotel in the dark.
We went for breakfast that morning at CoCo's. It was a nice walk to the restaurant and back.
Here is my cousin's little boy, Evan, enjoying his first Cheerio.
I know, I know, this picture isn't anything special, but I can't get enough of the palm trees. I just love looking at them. This was on our walk back from the restaurant.
Hadleigh getting her hair done for the wedding.
After her hair appointment, Hadleigh and I went to Fashion Island with my dad and Ashton. Sawyer and Jerry took a nap, and we had to do something to kill time but wouldn't mess her hair up. We went to a pet store that we had walked past that morning on our way to breakfast. The stores in the mall were all closed in the morning, and we were dying to hold the Persian kittens in the window. We did that and went into a store I wanted to check out. I fell in love with it and it's now my favorite store. It's called Peek, Aren't You Curious and it has the cutest clothes and decor. After shopping and oohing and aahing over everything in the store, we headed back to get ready for the wedding.
My aunt, uncle, and cousin Jackie.
She's such a beautiful bride with a gorgeous dress!
Congratulations to the new husband and wife
My three after the wedding
I wish I could fix Jerry's collar in this photo. We forgot his tie at home in Illinois. I swore I packed it, because I remember getting it out and putting it in the suitcase. We tore apart the hotel room looking for it. When we came home we found it. We took it out so we could pack something else beneath it and forgot to put it back in.
My parents, aunts and uncles with the bride and groom
We ate breakfast at the incredible restaurant, Sam & Harry's, which was located in the hotel. They had an amazing breakfast buffet with the most adorable kids set up.
We visited the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach. I found this center on google when I was searching for fun things to do and see. They rescue and rehabilitate sea lions and seals.
We walked along Laguna Canyon Road looking for something else to see and found this pond and Koi place. We were able to feed them.
My aunt, uncle, and cousin (the bride).
The bride, bridesmaids, and Hadleigh the flowergirl
Surf lessons in the pool sponsored by Toes On The Nose
A little tandem surfing
Enjoying the hot tub
Sawyer couldn't get enough of this thing.
My cousin, her little guy Samuel, and the rest of her family arrived that afternoon.
Sawyer and Samuel loved the sandbox
This hotel was not only incredible for their decor, they were incredibly child friendly. They had cute games for the kids, like guessing how many swedish fish or gumballs were in a container, and a scavenger hunt. They also had arts and crafts and movies by the pool. We had rehearsal dinner so we couldn't make the movie, but Ashton and Hadleigh were able to make a cute luggage tag during the craft time. They were set up in this amazing sitting area by the pool.
It was so fun to have my family all together. It doesn't happen very often at all. This picture is of my mom (the one peeking her head behind my aunt in the floral swimsuit), my dad (in the brown shirt), and 4 of my mom's older brothers with their wives. A fifth older brother and his wife were not there.
My dad and 3 uncles had t-shirts made that said "Jackie's Favorite Uncle" and they wore them under their shirts. They opened them later and surprised her. I think she loved it!
Hadleigh opening her present from Scott and Jackie for being part of their wedding. It was a beautiful personalized jewelry box, with a personalized bag, and a silver starfish necklace. They went way overboard. Hadleigh loves all of it so much.
A picture of me and my mom and I'm chatting away as usual. Don't mind me, I was in the pool all afternoon and in the sun for 2 days. lol I also put my hair up wet after I showered.
I'm trying to catch up my blog. We left on June 26th for a week in Orange County, and I was swamped the week before trying to get things ready. I'll be going through those photos and blogging over the next week.