After Mason's (Kent's brother) wedding, we stayed in LA for a few more days to have a little beach vacation.
I think this was our very first just-our-family vacation.
We've gone lots of places with other people; our kids have traveled back and forth from state to state many times over, but this was the first time we went somewhere,
just us, just for fun.
Traveling with kids is no easy thing. Ellie is a walking, shrieking mess-waiting-to-happen with a sparkling little smile. Nicholas was mostly delightful with a few epic tantrums sprinkled here and there. ("WHY ARE THEY PUTTING A STICKER ON MY SUITCASE???")
We did it, though.
Eating out, ordering in, sleeping in big fluffy hotel beds, walking hand in hand on sidewalks and making sure not to step on the cracks--or else we'd fall through, of course, collecting flowers and sticks and leaves, swimming in pools, watching movies in bed, diaper changes in the car, eating ice cream in bed at night while the kids slept.
On Monday we went back to the beach in the afternoon; this time the sun was out and it was beautiful.
Ellie spent almost the entire two hours we were at the beach just climbing in and out of this hole.
Stairs, steps, tree roots, ledges, rocks, and holes were her favorite part of the trip. She could go up and down and up and down and up and down for as long as we let her.
Kent and the trusty smartphone-that little thing found addresses, restaurants, phone numbers, and I think in this photo Kent is even researching the time of high tide.
What did parents do on vacations before smartphones and gps?
And yes, my husband wears jeans and work shoes at the beach. Halfway through the afternoon he realized he wished he'd worn his swimsuit, but I'm sure that next time we go to a beach, he'll be in jeans and shoes again. It's just the "Kent" thing to do.
Our little man was a real trooper. He was happy, cooperative, and excited almost the entire trip. (As long as we didn't forget to feed him...)
Some memorable one-liners:
"Is this car stinky too?" (getting the rental car-Ellie puking in our van has scarred him--and the rest of us--for life.)
"That's called 'walking on water!'" (we saw some people riding jet skis in the ocean)
"Look at her, my baby sister. Her face is just so cute!"
And indeed she is.
This vacation was anything but relaxing for me as a mom. We've been home for one day, though, and already I'm realizing how very fun it was. We were all together, just the four of us, exploring and playing and learning and gosh was it glorious.