We got back on Saturday from a few days in California. It was a great trip. Our very first family vacation. (I define vacation by going somewhere by choice and NOT staying with family.) :)
It was a much needed break from the cold and dirty snow, and the monotony of late nights at work, pinkadink busy-ness, and feeling stuck inside with the kids.
Here is a bit of what I learned on vacation:
* My kids are good travelers. The airplanes were very cool at first, but then quite boring. But they still did great. Brielle refused to sleep the whole trip up there, and kept me very very busy trying to entertain her, but it ended wonderfully with a long nap once we arrived. :) The big kids were just great (well, on the way up there anyway).
* Starbursts are great airplane candy because they require lots of chewing and produce an obscene amount of saliva which needs to be swallowed. :)
* California really does have a layer of brown smog that you have to fly through to get there. Lillian kept yelling to me, "mom! I wanna fly into that brown stuff!" and we did.
* 3 kids and 3 adults fit into an impala quite well.
* Playing outside feels SO good. So does sitting and chatting with old friends.
* Brielle is not so keen on sharing toys, espicially when said toy is a pastel colored molded plastic house.
* IKEA is freaking awesome. I want one here. I need one here.
* Giving the kids thier own disposable camera for the trip was possibly my best decision regarding the trip. they LOVED it, and they didn't always ask to borrow ours to take pictures!
* The beach is cold and wonderful this time of year. and my kids do not think surfing is as cool as I do. and it's okay to grab the camera when you know a wave will knock your child over, instead of warning them about what will happen. :)
* a warm cement porch is a perfect place for a snooze.
* In-N-Out is tasty. quite tasty. But I'm super glad we left right after the roaster started on fire, because that was quite stinky. And then we had to walk right past it outside to get to our cars. The kids were convinced we should call 9-11, even though we tried to explain that they had it under control.
* Best friends, no matter when they held that role in your life, will always feel like best friends, regardless of how much time you spend together. It's not a matter of "picking up where you left off." it's more like "picking up right where you are."
* AeroBeds are awesome.
* Fresh orange juice is fun to make, and delicious to drink!
* Disneyland is warmer than the rest of LA, thankfully.
* Princesses are not out in the evening at Disneyland. :( But quick thinking by parents can smooth over any situation. Lillian got a pack of princess lip gloss from the princesses with a note saying sorry that she didn't get to see them, but they still wanted her to remember them. And she thinks it's the best thing ever.
* When princesses cannot be found, Minnie Mouse will do. In fact, she may even be cooler than princesses, because the souvenir doll can talk, AND looks exactly like the real life Minnie. And she got her autograph.
* Boys like Tinkerbell too. especially if she shows up during the fireworks show.
* My kids have the best dad ever. He will sacrifice any amount of comfort and endure all sorts of pain to give his kids the chance to see the fireworks show.
* It's pretty funny when a dad gets soaked by his daughter's diaper. It's HILARIOUS when two dads get soaked by their daughters' diapers.
* It's possible to change a diaper while holding a child in mid air while waiting in line for a ride on Dumbo.
* It's very hard to take pictures when you're busy having fun. :)
* I married by best friend. And while he may be better than me at HORSE, I can whoop him in the ladder ball yard game thing. It's fun to be somewhere where you can play together, and not have the distractions of "everything" that needs to be done at home. I'm going to make a point to play more at home too.
* The Hydeens oversleep a lot.
* Trips home are not nearly as pleasurable as trips TO somewhere.
* Parents of kids with peanut allergies can somehow mark it on the reservation so that the plane will be peanut free for your flight. If you aren't aware of that, and just tell the flight attendants or the desk lady right before your flight, you will get a variety of responses. yes, thank you people, for the info that I've heard FIVE times already. I'm sorry to inconvenience you by asking you to pass out pretzels instead of peanuts so my daughter doesn't puke her guts out all over the plane. If I had known 6 weeks ago when I made my reservation that there was a place to mark that, I certainly would have. But now I know for next time. So just pass out the freaking pretzels. OR...MAYBE...since peanut allergies are like the fastest growing food allergy EVER, you might want to reconsider your little peanut thing anyway. Then those of us with a child with an allergy won't have to inconvenience you at all, and the world will be happier for the moms who just want to be home and are about to burst into tears because we don't want to hear it all AGAIN. I messed up. SORRY.
* When I'm tired and crabby, and my eldest is making decisions that are not safe and drive me crazy, I don't much care who sees me discipline her, or hears what I say to her, or to my husband, or how I say it. I'm not saying it's right. I'm just saying I don't care who sees it.
* Parents can make up "no interacting with each other" rules if necessary to keep their kids from talking, looking at, poking, and tapping each other. And if you threaten their chicken strips with it, they will follow it.
* Home really is sweet, even if it's messy, and you're tired, and you don't want to be back in the cold ugly midwest. You're home sweet home.
And here are a few more pictures, just for fun: