Saturday, October 24, 2009

Family Vacation to Southern Cali... (FINALLY!!)

I know, I know, I know... It's been almost a month and a half since I've posted anything new... It has been busy not only since school started for Emma, but getting ready for our major family vacation to Southern California this year. It was SO much fun getting together with everyone that I really am aching for more. It went by so fast I sometimes wake up wondering what we did.
It all started with a promise 2 years ago to our then 3 year old Emma; We'll go to Disneyland when you turn 5. Ever since then, she has NOT let us forget. So, we figured we HAD to live up to our promise and take her. Well, what started out as just a fun mini family vacation ended up being a HUGE extended family vacation. Everyone in my family was able to come and it was better than I had hoped. My mom, Brett, Bonnie and their 4 kids as well as Brady and Gretchen and their little 10 month old girl, Lucy came for the full week. Nate, my dad, Kaleb and Jordan showed up Thursday night to enjoy Disneyland together. We decided since we were going to be there for a week we would rent a house. It was ok, not what I expected, but would def. do a house again (just a little more room than we thought we were getting). Just a few highlights shots I got in between travels (it did have a beautiful pool; the weather just didn't allow us to swim at ALL as it rained a majority of the time. It did brighten up at the end of the week and so made it nice and HOT at D-Land.) The kids enjoyed the pool (throwing their toys in it)... The boys couldn't resist bringing the WII and at night relax a little to some games..
The boys having a little TOO much fun...
Day 1: The beach. What is Southern Cali known for other than their most GORGEOUS CLEAN beaches? Even though their first beach visit was to Santa Cruz boardwalk a few years ago, the girls didn't skip a beat running after the waves.... as well as AWAY from them. They were so giddy and so hilarious!! I took advantage of my new lens and totally wanted to get some fun family shots as well. Here were just a few of my favorites...

This family came walking by us with their rather large dog (I thought it was a pony) and Mae Mae just had to pet him...Claire couldn't resist a little snuggle either...
Claire and Lilly were SOAKED at the end of our visit. We should have brought their swimsuits, but we weren't expecting to get in that day... oh well, they had fun.

We then spent a day at the San Diego Zoo where we really enjoyed seeing a ton more animals than I had ever seen at any other zoo. We, did not plan well and so didnt get enough time to see all that we wanted to; which actually worked out best because by the time we were done the kids were dropping like flies.. they were so tired!!
Em and cousin Mae Mae find a bug... uh, girls, there's animals you won't see anywhere else, drop the bug. You can see those anywhere..

Lucy (my niece), got a stuffed Koala; we'll just say she was in love. At 10 months, she was such a trooper what with being completely off schedule and hardly any naps during the days. She was so great and LOVED everything we did that week!!
Lilly did ok at the zoo. She loved the monkeys (her being one herself), as long as they were a STATUE. She had to make sure it wasn't real.

Here she's getting attitude with the mommy monkey telling her what to do... bossy little thing; wonder where she gets it?

As you can see, the kids were just dropping like flies.

Besides the SLC Temple, the San Diego Temple has GOT to be my next most favorite temple in the whole wide world. We got to stop off for a little bit on our way back from the Zoo and take in some beautiful shots of this magnificent temple. I love how you can see it from the freeway. It is just so breathtaking...

Universal Studios was very interesting. It rained, it closed earlier than we had anticipated thus we only got about 4 hours of fun in. We enjoyed going on the Universal Studios Tour which is really what they are known for. The girls enjoyed Shrek. Couldn't even get Lilly on any other ride for that matter, and Em did NOT like the Simpsons; even though she was yelling pure joy the whole time she was on it. Funny little thing.

We were on the tour and we got to the Jaws scene where it comes popping out of the water right next to the tram, and Emma happened to be on the side it pops out of the water... Enough said. (Wish I would have gotten a picture of her face; she traded me spots immediately after.)

We did spend a day at Sea World, my camera's battery died thus I had to wait to get my charger when Nate came that Thursday night. It was fun to see Shamu (Lilly, Claire, Bonnie and I sat in the soak zone; we didn't get soaked as I had hoped but did get wet. It was so much fun. We got to pet the dolphins (they are so SILKY SMOOTH!!).
We had a great 3 days at Disneyland. Emma had a wonderful time having lunch with the princesses at Ariels' Grotto (great place to get a TON of princesses' autographs btw..). Lilly did ok on some rides, but other than the princesses didn't like any of the Disney characters. She flipped out when Goofy surprised her by poking his head over the stroller and saw him pearing down at her (flipped out is not even the best way to describe how she reacted). The girls first visit to Disneyland went well and Em is now telling her friends, "We went to Disneyland and saw Ariel for my birthday."

Sucha little poser!!
Emma said, "Mommy, that's the letter 'A', just like the a in my name!!" I had to get a pix.
Emma and Morgan had such a great time going on rides together.
Lilly did NOT like toon town very much. So this was the only spot in Toon Town we could get her to be comfortable enough to get herself OUT of the stroller. The last day we were there, however, she saw from across the park she saw Goofy and Donald running and bouncing into eachother (putting on a show for the kiddies that were watching and surrounding them). Lilly started FREAKING out and ran into Nate's arms. (Poor thing is scarred for life).
Em and Lu and a couple of their cousins...

Emma was SO enchanted by each princess. She would ask them questions (have no idea what she was asking them; she was too quiet about it). She was so star struck!! It was so much fun to watch her and Lilly as they got their books autographed.

Lilly LOVED the princesses as well, but did not take to any of the other Disney characters.

Lilly, Em and their cuz Lucy.. they were so cute with her.
Daddy and Emma had to persuade her to get on Dumbo with them..
One of the VERY few rides Lilly would actually go on.
Can we spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E?

Alice was such a great baby... She was so happy and content sleeping in the stroller.
Me and my girls... Poor Nate is so outnumbered.

Fall Pictures

I got a new lens for my camera (FINALLY!!) right before we left for our D-Land vaca and I decided to test it out on the girls out in the backyard. I saw the leaves had fallen from our huge tree in the back and decided I couldn't resist as it made for such a great Fall background. These were just a few or my favorites.