*Caution this is a very long post*
I know… I know… I’m the last to post about our family reunion in California. I really have no excuses. So that being said… let’s begin. We headed to Irvine California in July to stay with Jason and Sandy. We were joined by Mark and Emmett (Laurel was unable to come as she is expecting twins!!!), and Kim, Joe, Hannah, Mason and Ella. We owe a big thanks to Jason and Sandy for hosting all of us at their house. They were awesome hosts! I’m sure it will take them a few months to recover from all the craziness .
The first couple of days were spent at the pool, park and playing SingStar and Dance Dance Revolution on the playstation. The Saturday after we arrived, we rented a Bounce House and let the kids go crazy. John’s aunt and uncle and three of his cousins came for the day and we all hung out, went to the pool and just had a good time.
Connor and Lauren having a good time at the park.
“Just let us jump already!”
A family pic
On Sunday after church we went to the coast to walk along the beach. There were a bunch of tide pools there and the kids got to see all kinds of baby fish and crabs. They found a bunch of really cool shells, and were so excited to add them to their shell collection until a not so friendly beach goer informed them that this was a nature preserve and that they would have to put them back So… a picture will have to do.
“Mom… I can hear the ocean!”
A sweet moment between John and Emily
What trip to California is complete without a trip to Disneyland? Lauren was very excited to go. She doesn’t remember our trip to Disney World, so this was all new to her. We got her a Minnie Mouse shirt at the Disney Store before we left Arizona, and every day she asked if it was the day to wear her shirt. Finally… the day was here.
Lauren in her Minnie Mouse shirt in front of the castle.
“We can’t wait to ride the Winnie the Pooh ride… again!”
You can see that Kim’s enjoying the Winnie the Pooh ride too!
Of course Lauren had to have the orange Dumbo.
We had a really great time at Disneyland. It wasn’t nearly as crowded as I thought it would be. We were able to ride all of the rides that we wanted to. We stayed to the bitter end, and had some really exhausted kids. Here’s how Hannah and Emily spent the ride home.
Knott’s Berry Farm
While Cailyn and Emily were excited to go to Disneyland, what they were really looking forward to were all the rollercoasters at Knott’s Berry Farm. They’ve moved beyond the little kiddy rides. So once we arrived at the park, we had to divide and conquer. Kim and I decided to take one for the team and volunteered to go with the older girls (Hannah, Cailyn and Emily) to ride all the thrill rides, while everyone else headed to camp Snoopy to ride the kid rides.
This car ride was one of the kids’ favorites. It would really whip them around the corners and they thought it was so fun.
Sara and Mayah showing the little kids how its done.
Mayah and Sara having a cute cousin moment.
When I asked Lauren what her favorite ride was she told me it was the balloon ride.
Here’s what the big girls were doing. This rollercoaster literally shoots you off going 80 mph in 2 seconds. Emily and Hannah were fearless. They rode this one four times. Poor Cailyn was just a little too short for this one, but I think she was relieved.
Our daredevils… Cailyn, Emily and Hannah
Bonfire at Corona Del Mar
Sandy is always talking about how she likes to have a bonfire on the beach, so this was her chance to show us what it was all about. We headed to Corona Del Mar where they have firepits right on the beach. We went straight down to the water to get our swimming in and play in the sand before the sun started to set.
Uncle Jason had fun burying the kids in the sand. Here are Connor, Lauren and Ella playing a little game of ‘pass the truck’ while they’re buried in the sand.
Our mermaids… Emily, Hannah, Lauren and Sara
Mason with his creation
Then it was back to the firepit where we roasted hot dogs and made smores.
Another fantastic vacation! It was so great to see everybody, and to watch the cousins interact. I know this is a trip that they’ll remember for a very long time. I hope we can all do this again sometime soon.