Monday, January 21, 2013

San Diego: days 1 and 2

Two weeks ago we headed out to San Diego to surprise my mom.  Why would we go across the country to surprise my mom when she lives just a half hour away? Well because she is turning the big 6-0 this year and she told my dad she didn't want any surprise parties, she just wanted to be with all of her kids. So we half listened to her. :) We all got together (just what she wanted) but we surprised tried to surprise her. For Christmas my dad gave her tickets to go to California, just the two of them. He was pretty vague about the plans so I am sure she was a little suspicious. But I think we all did a pretty good job of acting naturally and not raising her suspicion even more. So they went to California a few days before the rest of us and spent some time with Mario, a former foreign exchange student. Most of the rest of us gathered at the resort a few days later and dad was going to bring her there for the big surprise. Unfortunately, dad accidentally said something that mostly gave the surprise away just hours before they came to the resort. That combined with the less than smooth check-in process which left dad with the wrong room key and left us with no choice but to leave the door propped open made it impossible for mom to be genuinely surprised, but it was still a lot of fun!

In order to get to California before the surprise we had to take a flight out of Des Moines rather than the nearest airport. This meant driving two hours at 3 a.m. so we could catch a 6:30 flight. Crystal and Rich couldn't come until a few days later so Caden opted to travel with us to optimize his time in sunny California with cousins. It was real nice to have his help with Tatum during the travelling.

Despite some serious ear pain during the flight, we managed to make it to CA in one piece. But our car seat didn't. Eventually we were able to actually leave the airport (with a loaner seat) and begin our fun. As luck would have it Brennan's mom is living in Coronado right now, just minutes from the San Diego airport. His step-dad, Lester, was just finishing up a visit so we were able to spend Saturday with the two of them. We ate at a really delicious restaurant for lunch (Caden is still talking about how good this place was) and then headed to the beautiful beach.

 It got a bit chilly and we weren't very prepared. Luckily Caden was willing to share his jacket with Tatum.

After spending the day with them it was time to head north to Escondido, where we would be staying for the week, for the big surprise. (A huge THANK YOU to Melanie and Lester for loaning us their jeep so we didn't have to rent a car.)

Here is the surprise. It's just black until 1:24 or so. We waited in the dark (with 13 kids!) for a long time. I love how excited all the kids are to see grandma. She is definitely loved.

The rest of Saturday night we just spent time together eating pizza, explaining how we pulled off the surprise, and getting settled in.

On Sunday we headed to Church in the morning. However, the meeting times for that particular building had yet to be updated with the new year's schedule. We found ourselves sitting in the middle of a chapel full of hispanics.  We had come to the Spanish ward.  We stayed and even did our best to sing the hymns. But aside from Nathan and Dad, none of understood a thing. It gave us something to laugh about though.

After Church we drove to the San Diego temple to walk around and then to a nearby park to eat our lunch.

This picture of mom and lots of the kids is actually at the resort that morning.
 Papa with lots of his grandkids at the temple.

 Tatum and Claire are pretty good buds.
 "Where is it?" I have no idea what she was looking for.
Our final activity before heading back to the resort was a stop at the Mormon Battalion Museum. It was a fun tour, and great for the kids with lots of activities.

Papa watching the movie at the museum with two of us youngest granddaughters.
 Hugs! These two loved to give each other hugs. It was the first time Tatum has really been into that.
 Gavin was the lucky one to dress up as a soldier. His face in this picture is pretty funny when you zoom up close.
 Panning for gold.
 Pumping water.
 Trying to get a taste of the water.
After the museum we went back to the resort for dinner and just hung out. It was a great start to our trip!

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