Our California Trip

We made it in one piece to and from California for vacation! I didn’t want it to end… It was so nice taking long walks along the strand.

First, the plane rides: We had non-stop flights both ways on Virgin America. Dan booked seats in the back since we were installing a car seat and we didn’t want to be in the way. It took a lot of time to install, so that turned out to be a good plan. Security was fine. In VA I had to take Jax out of the baby carrier and he cried going through the metal detector. In CA he was asleep in the carrier and they let me just walk through the detector with him in it as long as I agreed to have my hands tested for bomb chemicals. That took less than 2 minutes. Of course Jax woke up as we were packing the carry-ons back up because it was so loud between the bags being slammed on the the belt and the carts full of trays. Jax slep 3 hours on the nearly 6 hour flight to CA. He didn’t sleep much on the 4 hour flight home, but never cried on either.

We stayed at a rental apartment in Manhattan Beach for the week and hung out a lot with our dear friends M & J.

On Sunday we drove down to the San Diego area for the 4th birthday party of Dan’s cousins. Jax had a great time and played non-stop from 10 am till 4 pm. He loved all the girl’s play food and kitchen items, especially this teapot (I wish it came in a gender neutral version!) Jax’s great grandparents were there which saved us a drive out to Indio. He loves them so much and spent much of his time playing with them.

On Monday we went to Venice Beach with M & J. I love walking around and looking at all the shops and tables of hippie-friendly goodies. I planned to visit Master Tony for a new bracelet and necklace and I wanted to find Jax a rasta beanie. Master Tony even made a tiny protection bracelet for Jax, but so far he just takes it off and hands it back to me when I put it on him. Heh.

Tuesday was Aquarium of the Pacific day with M & J. We arrived just before lunch and some ladies int he parking structure told us about a restaurant next door that was giving free aquarium tickets with sustainable seafood purchases off their menu. Since we needed to eat and the tickets cost $25 each, we figured it was worth it. We got all 4 of our tickets with the meal (I didn’t have seafood, but they got an appetizer to cover mine) plus the boys each got 2 free beer glasses with their beers. The aquarium was great, despite Jax going into serious toddler excitement overload. I knew he’d be into looking at the fish. He insisted on walking the whole time and had a blast.

On Wednesday we went to the California Science Center. Jax wasn’t as into that as the aquarium, but he enjoyed pushing the buttons and playing in the “Discovery Room”. He also like the rose garden. He wore out before we saw everything though.

On Thursday we drove out to the LA Zoo to meet up with Dan’s brother and his wife. They had passes for us all to get in free. Jax was woken from a nap when we got there so he was grouchy in the the carrier when we first arrived. He is still pretty young for zoos. He didn’t really see the animals that were just standing there. After lunch with the family we headed back to the beach.

Thursday afternoon the boys napped and I worked. We walked to dinner nearby then took a long walk on the strand. When I got back my laptop screen wasn’t working anymore. Yikes! A quick search brought up a known issue with my particular laptop. There were no morning Apple Store Genius Bar appointments available at the nearby location, but first thing in the morning one opened up.

Friday we headed to the mall for my Apple appointment while M & J went to an appointment for J. I checked in early for my 10:45 appointment. The store was packed! Like line-out-the-door packed. They finally called me at 11:30. By that point, Jax had insisted I nurse him in the carrier and then passed out for a nap. They ran a test on my computer by plugging in an iPod Shuffle programmed with a video card test to confirm the issue I’d suspected. It was confirmed and the repair was approved as I’ve had the laptop under 4 years. Repairs generally take 24 – 48 hours, but the Genius said he’d try to have it done that evening as we were flying home early the next day.

Friday afternoon we went to M & J’s house to hang out. Right after we ordered lunch we heard a big crash. We rushed out to the intersection to a pretty serious crash. We spent about an hour helping comfort with 16-year-old girl who had been driving alone and was beside herself. It was a scary situation, but it looked like the worst injury was a possible concussion in a boy who’d been a passenger in the SUV that did a complete flip.

Int he evening I called the Apple Store and my laptop was ready to pick up. We got it on the drive back to the apartment then we all hung out there while we ate dinner and froyo and I packed up Jax’s and my stuff for the flight home. Saturday 4am came way too early, but our trip home was uneventful.

Big props to our friend and house-sitter Ivan for picking us up and taking care of the dogs and house while we were gone. I hope you enjoy the Cali beers we got you!

Here are a bunch of photos from the trip. Hopefully I can steal some of the photos our family and M took as well.

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