Monday, August 25, 2008

A Real Family Vacation

Giving that our family hadn't had a true family vacation in some time, our first week in California was something special. We did our most favorite things; the beach, and of course Sea World. Then after a too short time together, we headed off to Las Vegas for a couple of nights, where Vince would leave us to return to Texas. But the short time we had together just enjoying the sun and the fun was great.

One of the first things we did was hit the beach. My friend, Alayne, lent us beach chairs, an umbrella, and a bag of sand toys for the kids. What would we do without her? La Jolla here we come. Once there I realized that it was Francesca's first beach experience. Being our shy one, I think she warmed up to the sand and the surf quite quickly. Sophia and Harrison, are fearless when it comes to the water, which just makes me that much more nervous, and even Annamaria got used to the water quickly. I think she would have spent the whole time in the waves if allowed. But her lips turned blue, and she had to come up on the sand to warm up for a while. Francesca had fun in the water, and got a little too brave, until she got toppled by a wave. Those slippery little kids get away from you fast. After calming her down from her scare, she was back in the water liked nothing happened. Until the next time. But they all had fun jumping waves, playing in the sand, and burying their big sister. On the way home we stopped at Cold Stone for some ice cream.

What could make a day better?

Not getting sunburned, that's what. I covered those kids in sunscreen. And I reapplied throughout the day. And I made them put on shirts when not in the water. But still, everyone got way too much sun. I was embarrassed they got so burnt. Someone could have called Child Protective Services on me. But who got burnt the worse? Vince. Like glow in the dark burnt. Poor guy. It had been so long since we'd all been to the beach together as a family (of course we hardly ever went when we lived in San Diego), that he was having so much fun playing with the kids, and teaching Sophia how to body surf, that he didn't pay any attention to how much sun he was getting until it was too late.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Home Again, Home Again Jiggity Jog

Thank you to my anonymous commenter, even though I have no idea who you are, it's nice to know someone misses us.

We are back in Texas, safe and sound. We left sunny California on Friday, August 8th. I was able to hold back the tears, but it was very sad to be leaving. The kids and I headed off to Phoenix, to pick up Vince from the airport, to drive back all together. I hit such a downpour somewhere in the California desert that cars and trucks were pulled over to the side of the road, the visibility was so bad. After getting through the rain, we quickly hit a wind/sand storm, that again reduced the visibility to practically nothing. So my wet minivan was quickly coated in sand. Kind of looked like a big cinnamon-sugar dusted donut hole. With a Toule on top.

Vince's flight landed about an hour before we hit Phoenix, so he was ready and waiting for us. It was a very happy reunion, after being apart for five weeks. We quickly stopped for dinner, so he could hug on the kids and we could get a bite to eat before our long, long all-nighter trip. Well, that was a mistake. A couple of hours back on the road and Annamaria started throwing up. Repeatedly. She ended up arriving back home in nothing but a diaper, and covered with a beach towel I had in the car. She had thrown up on everything else. Now, Sophia had some sort of stomach bug for a couple of days the week before, and it hit Francesca the Wednesday night before we left, so I'm still not sure if it was a stomach bug or food poisoning. I'm thinking a combination of a little bit of both, because I was pretty miserable on the drive home too. Harrison got sick the night we got home. At least we weren't stuck in the car anymore. And I woke up Monday morning at 3am to the sound of Vince retching. Nice. He was so miserable he ended up calling in sick that day, something he never does. But now we are all back to healthy. Thankfully.

The bags have been unpacked, the laundry has been caught up on, the refrigerator has been cleaned out and restocked, and I'm slowly getting the house back to it's normal state. When we returned there was a very fine coating on saw dust on everything. Even though Vince cleaned, it was still settling out of the air, so we have a dusty, dusty house. He was able to finish the floors in the kitchen, breakfast area and hallway. The formal dining, office and entryway still need to be completed. It was a much bigger project than he thought. Always is. And he has since discovered that he's going to have to refinish the kitchen/breakfast/hallway anyway. He used the wrong oil or something in the hand rub finish, and it isn't setting or something the way it's supposed to. Poor guy. Looks nice though.

We did many, many fun things while back on the west coast, but too much to post in one entry, so I'll have to get back into my blogging grove since there are at least a couple of posts worth. And lots of pictures.