On Friday the 10th, we picked up the kids from school at 1:00, had them put their backpacks away and go to the bathroom, then got in Clifford the Big Red Van and we were off. We did our best to find things to see and do along the way so we weren’t in the car for more than 3 hours at a time the whole trip.
We stopped at Cove Fort in southern
After a few hours, we had snacks and were on our way to
We spent the night in
Eliza is obsessed with swimming. She loves being in the water and laying her head back. When we were packing for the vacation, she kept pulling out her swimsuit from the open suitcase and yelling, “Smimming! Smimming!” That was our first taste of the rest of our vacation. Once we got to
Saturday, we took our time heading to
The rest of the museum was really well done. They had science displays and hands-on learning and the museum staffers were all teenagers eager to help and play with the kids. In one corner, they had a dress-up theater. The twins dressed up and danced on the stage. It was so sweet, even when Michael dressed up like a superhero and tried to crash the party. Near the theater were water tables with various channels and stop gates that could be rearranged to divert the water. Joey spent a long time there, to no one’s surprise. There were also places to make giant bubbles and a playhouse and a moonwalk simulation. It was a ton of fun, even if we didn’t make it upstairs to see the rest of the museum – we figure we’ll go back again sometime.
After an hour and a half, we were on our way to
A few more hours in the car brought us to the Marriott resort in
Sunday, we went to church, then we went back to our hotel for lunch, rest, and then a trip to the tide pools at Crystal Cove. We saw lots of beautiful creatures and played in the surf. Allison and Sarah dragged seaweed around pretending it was their own sea creatures.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday we spent at
Our best memories of
*Lillian finally overcame her fear of the California Screamer roller coaster. It only took us a dozen trips to
*Eliza loved so many things at
*Sarah was so excited about the thrill of scary rides. She learned to put her hands up on
*Allison and Michael were both chosen to participate in the
*Michael was thrilled to get into the magic of pretend. His favorite ride was Pirates of the
*On Monday night, DH took Lillian and Joey back for their own thrills at the park. The fireworks were canceled, but they had fun going on tons of rides together.
On Thursday, we drove to
Next was the
We thought about going to
Saturday morning, we packed up and checked out of our hotel. As we put the last of the gear and kids into the car, we couldn’t get the passenger door to close. We finally figured out what was wrong – the latch was twisted out of place – but we had very few tools. DH was trying to reposition it using a pocketknife and a book to cushion his hand. I tried to follow Elder Wirthlin’s advice from last conference and laugh about it. DH was not amused. I drove to the main area, where we were able to borrow a screwdriver. It still wouldn’t move correctly, so while the kids played in the fish ponds, DH worked on the door and I tried to call a locksmith. Just when I’d reached the locksmith, DH came in and said it was all fixed. We loaded the kids back in the car and were off to
The exception was the first room we visited, where they had a huge display of live crazy insects from across the world: furry ants, huge millipedes, strange beetles, and more. They also had huge rocks to touch, furs of various critters to examine, and enormous shells. We had Joey partner up with Allison and Lillian with Sarah to view the room. We don’t do partners a lot since our kids are so young, but this time it worked. Joey was especially good about staying with Allison and examining each creature in turn.
Their rock and mineral exhibit was amazing, with tons of gorgeous rocks from all over the world. They even had a precious gem room that was actually in a vault and had a guard outside the door – I think some of those rocks are pretty expensive!
After this museum, we had planned to have lunch and then go to the Science Museum, but fixing the van door and traffic had cut into our day too much already, so we settled for a drive by Pinks (a famous hot dog stand where the line was out the door and around the corner so we didn’t stop) and then a drive down Hollywood Blvd to see all the freaks and eat at Tommy Burger.
Finally, we got back on the freeway and drove to