Monday, July 29, 2013

LaJolla Sea Cave Kayak Tour

As I mentioned in this post, Ian and I recently when on a kayak tour and I finally got my CD of the pictures back!  We had to buy a disposable underwater camera, in case we tipped (thank goodness we didn't), and I got a CD made at Walgreens (who knew they still developed regular film?!).

I thought I would post our pictures in a separate post since the other was a few days ago and was already full of pictures.  Plus, I finally got BlogStomp so I wanted to try it out here!

I got a Groupon for the tour and we used Bike and Kayak Tours to take us out.  We saw some other tour groups while out on the open ocean and I am happy we picked this one, they seemed really professional, knowledgeable, safe and really put my mind at ease because I was SO NERVOUS (I had never been kayaking before and love the beach but hate the ocean!).  Our two tour guides were awesome!

The pictures turned out kind of grainy, because they are actual film, but I think that makes them look even cooler.  I highly suggest this 2 hour trip, and this company - it was SO MUCH FUN!


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Friday, July 26, 2013

Family Trip: Encinitas, CA

My mom and dad only had one child, me, so I've been an only child all my life. My parents got divorced when I was 12 and my mom got remarried over 10 years ago to my step-dad Joe. He had 4 kids (2 kids each with 2 previous marriages) so I gained 2 step-brothers (we really don't see the other kids).

My step-brothers are both in the military so even though they have been in my life for awhile, I haven't spent much time with them. Joe (yes, Joe's son is also Joe) lives in San Diego with his daughter, my niece, Amanda, and my other step-brother, Kevin, lives with his wife, Hazel, and 3 daughters, Mia, Kayla and Ella, in Kentucky. Kevin and his family lived in Germany for awhile and also in Italy, where we visited them 5 years ago, and returned to the states just over a year ago. 

So my mom and Joe now have 5 granddaughters (a 1 year old, Lemon, a 4 year old, 2 almost 8 year olds and a 12 year old) and it has always been my mom's dream to get all of us together. This year they decided to rent a condo in Encinitas, California for a week so that we all could finally be together. I have never spent this much time with my step-brothers and nieces so I was really excited. 

I will summarize our trip here instead of doing daily posts. This one will be full of lots of pics so enjoy!

Day One: 

We left about 10am (an hour later than I had planned, how does that always happen?!), stopped in Yuma to eat Chipotle for lunch and made it to the condo at 5:15. Lemon was a super good traveler, again, but only napped an hour total in the car so was pretty grumpy at lunch and when we got to the condo. She also didn't eat much today and I'm wondering if she's just tired because she was a total mama's girl all day. 

We went to Whole Foods (Encinitas is SO cute!) and made sausages for dinner (spaghetti for Lemon that she didn't eat). The weather is amazing, this condo is rad and I'm excited that we get to spend our last week of summer here. There are two master bedrooms, ours has a giant shower, and a view of the ocean off the balcony. Seriously amazing.

Hates the hood over her head!

My mom, Joe, Joe and Amanda were here already and Kevin and his family are coming soon, I think (from Disneyland). It's 8:30 and I'm trying to out this overly tired baby to bed so I can go out, visit and drink sangria!

I made my step-dad take a selfie with me when I finally made it outside and to my sangria!

Day Two:

The baby didn't go to bed until 10, we had a bad transfer from me to pack n play, and then she woke up at 6:15 because she could see us in bed. She was so tired and grumpy but wouldn't go back to bed so at 7:30 we decided she was up for good.

Ian and I had a Groupon for a Sea Cave Kayak Tour in La Jolla so we left for that and got there right at 9:30 to be fitted for life vests and helmets. I started to regret my decision of going and got really nervous about tipping over in the kayak. We left our phones in a locker, bought a disposable underwater camera and headed out. At first I was ok, then we got super far from shore in the open ocean so I freaked out and then was ok again.

Seriously we were so far from shore that I couldn't even see it and I started to get nervous that if something happened or I wanted to go back, I couldn't. We were in a double kayak and had to have "family time" with the other annoying people on the tour where we stopped in the water, pulled next to each other, grabbed boats and learned about the caves and marine life. It was at those moments, in the middle of the ocean that I freaked a little because we were just sitting there. But once we were paddling or looking at something, I was fine.

We got to see sea lions super close, basking on rocks and tons of leopard sharks. We even got to be pushed into one of the sea caves, by our guide, and that was amazing, with sea lions swimming all around us. We saw Dr. Suess' house, that will probably slip into the ocean in 20 years, and a lot of other gorgeous millions of dollar homes that will all fall off the cliffs one day, including a house where some guy dug down and put in steps all the way to the cave below him. The trip was fun and I'm glad we did it, even though halfway through I wanted to go back! (I will post pictures when we get them developed, hahaha!)

We got back to the house and discovered that Lemon walks now, actually sets off on her own and walks. We are crediting the carpet for her newfound courage and were amazed when my mom showed us. Then Lemon took a nap and Ian and I joined the fam at the beach.

Our condo sits on a big cliff and so we have to take over 100, rickety, wooden steps down to the beach. It was fun but after my 5 hours of sleep and paddling arms, I was tired. It was a super hot, sunny day so I was happy to just lay while Ian played with the kids and my bothers in the water.

Check out this awesome kimono that my bestie Christine helped me make!  You make them out of a scarf and she has a super easy tutorial on her blog, here.  She also makes the cutest bags on her Etsy site, here, check them out!

After her nap we took Lemon to downtown Encinitas and walked around some shops. We brought her alligators so she also got to cruise around and smile/talk to people, her favorite. We came back and I helped make tacos while Ian took Lemon swimming with the other kids. We ate, said goodnight and now I'm putting the babe to bed at 8:30, laying here thinking about my sangria.

 Playing poker before bed.

Day Three:

(I am so mad, I wrote this post on my phone and then it disappeared when I logged in here, so I will do my best to remember.)

Lemon slept horribly last night.  She was up at 2am and would not go back to sleep.  We put on Bubble Guppies and after every 22 minute episode she would cry.  It really sucked because we had nowhere to take her when she was crying, my step-brother and niece were asleep in the living room.  I don't think we went to bed until 4:30am and then she was up again at 7.  Ugh.  (And Ian just snored away next to us!)  It was the first time, however, that she slept in bed with us, that was how she actually fell back to sleep, and it was fun snuggling with her, although I couldn't sleep with her there.

My step-brothers, sister-in-law and step-dad headed to a winery while my mom, the nieces, Lemon, Ian and I went to the beach after lunch.  My mom had the best time sitting and playing with Lemon in the water and Lemon played with the sand for the very first time.  She loved clawing the wet sand and seeing it fill with water.  She got super sandy in her bikini before we realized we had her little wetsuit with us so Ian dipped her in the ocean and we did a quick outfit change.

My nieces had so much fun playing with their uncle.  They boogie boarded and played in the waves all day.  My sister-in-law's brother and his family met us at the beach and Ian and I headed back to the house to put Lemon to bed.  It was nice just sitting around before everyone came back, relaxing without all the kids for a bit.  The winery people came home and started cooking dinner, then my mom and the girls came back and Lemon slept almost three hours before waking up to play again with her cousins.

I put her to bed early tonight (around 7:30) because she was so tired from not sleeping the night before.  We all were so tired.  She went to sleep around 8 and everyone wanted to head to the bar, leaving my mom and Joe with all the sleeping kids.  I was so exhausted from being up all night with the baby that I stayed home and sent Ian and was in bed myself by 9.  Sure enough, around 10:30, Lemon started in again and was up until 1am.  It was crazy!

She rolled around and around in bed with us, wouldn't sleep in her pack 'n play, for almost 3 hours.  Ian came home at 10:30 and poor guy, he was a bit drunk and had to deal with a crazy baby.  But, she wouldn't lay with him so it was all me again and it took her so long to finally fall asleep.  She ended up face down at the bottom of the bed and I was worried Ian would kick her so I had to move her.  She slept all night until around 6am but then we put her back to bed until 8 because she (and we!) were just so overtired.

I talked to Ian and we decided that we'd better leave the next day, instead of staying until Friday, because I had a training I was supposed to be at (was going to just skip it!) and Lemon was just sleeping so badly here.

Day Four:

We woke up later and I headed to the store to get everyone stuff to BBQ that night.  Ian stayed and played with the baby and then everyone headed out to Sea World.  We packed up, said goodbye to lovely Encinitas and hit the road about 11am.  We drove down the Pacific Coast Highway, saw all the little beach towns (I LOVE Del Mar!) and then got on the freeway to head home.  We stopped in Yuma for lunch again and then got home around 6:15.

We ordered Streets of New York, ate dinner and then just as we were putting Lemon in the bath, discovered that our air conditioning unit was leaking and had leaked all under our floorboards in the hall.  Lemon was naked, running around the house and pooped on the floor all while I was using all the towels we had brought on our trip to soak up water.  It was crazy and we were so tired, just not the best thing to come home to.  Plus we knew that this would cost us money and we weren't thrilled about that either.  But, it's a good thing we decided to come home early, our floor would have been ruined if we hadn't!

Our family trip was fun but tough with a baby who didn't want to sleep.  She sleeps pretty great at home, once she falls asleep, and only wakes up during the night once or twice a month (for the last couple of months).  But there, it was madness and I'm not sure what is was - maybe because she could see us?  Maybe because it was a lot to process, so many grandparents, cousins and uncles?  Either way, she slept great last night, our first night home, and it was much needed for all of us.

We loved spending time with our nieces and I actually missed them when we got home last night.  Lemon loved playing with all the girls and any time I get to spend with my mom is my favorite too.  We loved seeing everyone and it was just oh so short.  I am excited that they are coming back to AZ for a bit too before they head back home to Kentucky!

Lemon walked so much on this trip, all around the condo, it was pretty amazing.  She even ventured out on her own, all over the place, and when from squatting to standing for the very first time, without holding on to anything.  We were worried that it was just the super thick carpet and that she wouldn't do it once we got home, but she walked last night from the kitchen counter over to her play kitchen, so here it begins!  We officially have a walker and she's just shy of 13 months old.  It is the cutest thing but now the baby proofing begins!

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