What an amazing weekend and experience.
We FINALLY made it out to see the great and much anticipated Blue Whale in California. Katy was so super excited. We all made it on the plane out and it looked good to get home so we were excited to start this adventure.
We got to California and our great room in Newport Beach. We stayed at a Marriott Resort and Spa because a great friend of mine got us the friend and family discount so it was only $60 per night. Great deal!! The resort had 3 pools, a splash pad, sand box and then at night they did a family movie down by the pool in which they put bean bags for the kids to sit on and the nice pool side chairs next to the pool. They provided popcorn and the movie for FREE! How fun is that?
Friday night we were too tired for the movie but we did enjoy Toy Story 3 on Saturday night :)
Our room had a great balcony that overlooked one of the pools and a view of the ocean. It was a great room!
Saturday we went to Newport Beach and went out on the pier for a bit. Some fishermen had caught sand sharks and were attached to ropes to be kept alive tied to the pier. It was really amazing to watch the sharks swimming around.
We then drove down the the Balboa Island Ferry area and purchased the tickets for the much anticipated and purpose of this trip, Blue Whale Watch. Poor Katy got sick and started throwing up right before boarding the ship. We started dashing around trying to find anti-nausea so she could enjoy her blue whales.
We got out on the ship and within 15 minutes our first Blue Whale was spotted. WOW those things are HUGE!!!!!!!! Katy got in her Blue Whale and watched it spout water in the air and then the sea got the most of her and she layed across the bench area. She didn't get up again. Poor thing really did not feel well. After a while we went down below where the benches were padded and she fell sound asleep for the remainder of the trip.
Lyse made an instant friend with an 8 year old from Henderson, NV named Fiona. They even traded phone numbers - how cute is that?!? They followed each other around and shared the little candies we purchased for the 2 1/2 hour boat trip. Lyse begged and pleaded to call her friend, the minute they got off the boat!
Fiona asked Lyse to go to the beach with her after the boat trip. We were off the coast of Huntington Beach at this point. All those up above were watching the blue whales off the bow of the boat. I walked up to get some fresh air and watch Katy through the window instead of sitting next to her in the stifled air of "down below". Lyse came running up to me and pointed to the beach and said, "Mom, my friend asked me if we can go with her to the beach of this ocean. Can we? Can we? Can we go to the beach of this ocean?" I smiled and laughed and then tried to explain that the beach to "this ocean" was quite large and I needed more information to go off of!
After the boat trip, Lyse was so sad to say good bye to her sweet friend, Fiona. Lyse wanted to go the beach but Katy was still a bit whoozie and wanted to go back to the hotel. Since we were all beat, back to the hotel we headed. 10 minutes later the girls were in swim suits and exploring one of the many pools at the hotel. Ben and I found lounge chairs and soaked in some sun.
Later that afternoon the hotel provided free arts and crafts for the kids (I know great huh?!?) and a table with yummy grapes, cheeses and crackers. It was a yummy treat and fun hats, visors and sand bracelet making time with the girls.
We then went and got some food, did a few errands and went back to the room. The girls HAD to watch the movie by the pool so my mom walked down with them and I followed shortly. We didn't stay for the whole movie because we had to be up at 5 and it was almost 10. We went back to the room, climbed in bed and slept great after a wonderful, full day!
Sunday morning came early and ended up a LONG LONG day! We got to the airport and the flight had more transfers and we barely didn't make the flight. We rolled over and then got back in our rental car and went to the beach for a while. We were concerned for a while on what we needed to do for flights. When we got back to the airport the second time, the airport terminal was CRAZY. Weather back East created craziness on the West Coast and our flights. When we didn't make the afternoon flight, the night flight looked pretty much impossible and no other airline standby was going to work, we decided to rent a car and drive. At 5 pm (please remember we got up at 5 am) we headed out of the Long Beach area and started our 11 hour drive home.
The ride home was really great even with 4 of us snuggled up in the back seat of a Hyundai Santa Fe. Boy I am sure glad that we didn't get in a car accident or pulled over!! Prayers were answered, that is for sure!!! Not sure it was the safest but it was nice to snuggle my family in the back seat of that car!! The back seat reclined so the kids and Ben were snoring soundly after Vegas. I stayed up most of the night...only drifted off a little between Vegas and Mesquite and then St. George and Cedar City. From Cedar City to home, I was wide awake (amazing how 1 can Diet Dr. Pepper can keep this girl WIDE AWAKE!!!)
After returning the rental car with my mom, this tired girl came home with her well rested family and took a nice LONG nap (well 4 hours). Tonight bed is coming early for us all but I am so grateful for this wonderful experience.
I am grateful for amazing little travelers I have. We stopped 1 time for the restroom then they were asleep and no other stops were necessary...well other than in Vegas for gas and some fast food and then gas and go in Cedar City again. Really 11 hours from Long Beach, CA to South Jordan, UT isn't bad time! My girls played on phones, laughed and giggled and talked with us and sang songs. Lyse was the only one that asked if we were there yet and it was when we reached Riverside California and she never asked again after that! Seriously CA to UT with only 1 are we there yet?!?
The sunset in Death Valley was BEAUTIFUL! Seriously, amazing!!! The heat on the windows was also amazing. I mean seriously, it was sun set and the windows were so hot!! Then when driving through Phoenix and the desert area I was SHOCKED at the heat again. WOW even middle of the night you don't get a break from that heat! Grateful for a car with air conditioning!
An amazing weekend adventure. This little trip - this is what makes me say - I can love my job. It is a great job. It does more than just provide help with our mortgage and bills - it provides us with the ability to travel a little!
To end this all (pictures will follow when I get them all downloaded) I wanted to share what sweet Lyse said while we were driving home from California. We were talking about when she was 2 and we drove home from California in one day. That sweet little girl said, "That is what I liked. I liked that because of my mom, I got to travel a lot as a little kid." We all laughed and said, "You got to travel a lot when you were little not now?" and she said, "Well I get to travel now too and I like that. I like it a lot!"
I am so grateful that they love and appreciate travel and seeing the world. They love the ocean. They love the mountains. The appreciate the Deserts. The love the world our Father in Heaven has given us and I am grateful they have been so blessed to see so much of it!
Katy's favorite part of the trip (in order she stated it) : swimming in the ocean and hotel pool and Blue Whales ("But I was asleep and I hardly got to see any")
Lyse's favorite part of the trip (in order she stated it) : the whales and me getting my new friend!
Tauni's favorite part: Seeing Katy's joy in getting to see the blue whale, getting to see how excited Ben was to see those magnificent creatures as well, watching my girls chase the waves and loving the ocean (I will never tire of that) and snuggling my family while enjoying a road trip home (I LOVE road trips!!!)
Ben's favorite part: "You mean besides driving home?!? Probably the whales."