I love (love love love) being able to visit California. My parents live up a hill over looking the ocean in the town of Pismo Beach – a lil down to earth and quite tiny paradise. This past christmas we had the ability to go spend the holidays with them and visit Brian’s grandmother who is down in San Diego. Leaving the freezing Colorado air was far from difficult and packing only 3 outfits per person that consisted of shorts and tank tops was completely thrilling.
Our days were full of playing outside, visits to the beach, splashing and running from the waves, building sandmen, feeding animals, singing christmas carols, walking the pier, eating wonderful food and watching the sunset with either wonderfully crafted beer or wine in hand.
A few of our highlights:
Avila Barn. This is one of the best petting zoos I’ve ever been to. They have a farmer’s market selling local fruits and veggies, preserves and an assortment of goodies. Surrounding the outside of the farmers market are pens of animals who live at the farm. You pay $1 for a bag of lettuce and mixed veggies and fruit to feed their goats, pigs, sheep, cow and emus. One of our trips to the barn we actually got to go on a hay ride. Liam was ecstatic. I loved hearing about the daughter’s wedding taking place in the apple orchard (yes please! I’d photograph one of those any day!). Also, on a side note, if ever you are looking for a lunch place – check them out. AMAZING sandwiches. Amazing. Couldn’t recommend them more.
San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum. While visiting Brian’s grandma, we took a morning and visited the museum. We were one of the first people there, which gave us a whole world to explore in. The kids loved it. We loved it. From building, to pretending, to designing, to creating – it was tons of fun.
Emery. Now… you might notice there a few more photos in this series of Emery than of anyone else. This was Emery’s first trip to California that she was able to walk and walk well. She was running through christmas trees at Avila Barn. Pretending to be a monster chasing me on the beach. This also was the first Christmas Emery was able to understand all the stories that go into Christmas and Hanukkah. Her listening to Christmas carols being sung made her cover her ears. As we all kept singing, she would uncover her ears and chime in. It was a really magical to watch her soak the whole Christmas thing and our time in California in.
Ornament Painting. My mom had this idea of everyone painting an ornament on a christmas tree. We bought a canvas and painted the tree on it. Then Christmas Eve we all painted an ornament. It was kinda fun and really sweet to see what the kids wanted to paint. We also made the dogs make ornaments. Winston’s nails stayed blue for a while.
GiGi. (Brian’s grandmother) This woman is inspiring. Her love for life, souls and God radiate off of her like the sun off the moon. We got to spend 3 days with her, soaking in every moment. When we were away from her, the kids kept asking to go see her. They picked flowers from the retirement communities’ front entrance (don’t tell) to give to her one morning. From swimming in the afternoon to eating meals on top of buildings and inside the dinning room, our time spent with her was precious. (Thank you sweet GiGi!)
Glow Stick Dance Party. GiGi gave us a bag of goodies in our “hotel room” that consisted of glow sticks. The first night we arrived, we cracked the glow sticks, put on some dance music and danced. It was brilliant.
Mr. Sandman. We were scheduled so spend Christmas in California a few times before this trip ever happened… unfortunately, planes never made it to Alaska because Seattle got snowed in, Emery was born way before schedule, along with a few other things. We had always talked about the requirement that a snow sandman needed to be made whenever we actually would be in town for Christmas. Well… this year it happened. And he is… was… beautiful.
Pismo Sunsets. Enough said.
Liam. Ever since he met the ocean, he was hooked. Granted, he was born here, but… his love for the ocean is such a wonderful thing to watch. The last few trips we’ve made it to Pismo, we had to leave Brian behind for work or school. With this trip, Brian got to take part in Liam’s ocean adventures. We got to the beach and both of them ran for the waves. And kept running. And kept running. The tide was either coming in or out… enough that it was at it’s lowest point. They had to be the furthest out I’ve ever been and soon the waves started heading up the beach. Not tall waves mind you, but tall enough to knock over a 5 year old at the knees. He went down, Brian went to grab him up, and Liam was laughing so hard. So very very hard. He was soaked. And loved every minute of it. Oh goodness.
My Parents. We don’t get to see them as often as we want to. When we can make a trip to see them or them us we always try to make the most of it. You always love your parents. But there really is something deeply special seeing them play and bond with your kids. Laughing, to reading, to playing, to exploring, to getting into mischief. Thanks for making this trip loads of fun… even if we were just sitting on the porch
eating marshmallows drinking hot chocolate watching the moon set. Love you and miss you.