Apologies for missing Five Minute Friday last week, but for the first time this year, we went on a real staying-in-a-hotel, eating-out-every-meal, napping-schedule-out-the-window family vacation. We’ve done the drive down to So Cal where Larry’s parents live tons of times, but this time we decided to forgo our usual route down the I-5 and stop at some places along the way that we’ve never been to. Despite both kids getting sick and coming back exhausted after logging over 1000 miles on the road, I would say that our vacation was a success and I think we all will have some good memories to refer back to of our summer.
Here are some of the highlights from our trip.
First stop was Morro Bay, where we got to see sea otters up close and Christopher got to play on the beach next to Morro Rock. Really beautiful and there was a short paved stroller friendly trail around the beach.
We stayed two nights in Solvang, a small quaint Danish town close to Santa Barbara. Our hotel was right in downtown so we could walk to all the restaurants and shops. Make sure you go to Paula’s Pancake House and Ostrichland if you ever find yourself in Solvang.
We took a day trip into Santa Barbara and upon the recommendation of a friend who’s a local, we took the kids to Alameda Park. We bought some sandwiches and ate lunch at Kids’ World, an awesome playground built by the community. Then we crossed the street and the boys had a great time looking at koi fish, turtles, and ducks in the big pond. Before heading back to Solvang, we went to Arroyo Burro beach and CC had fun jumping in the waves with Daddy while I stayed on the beach and tried to keep Turner from picking up and eating all the cheerios he dumped in the sand.
On our way down to Larry’s parents’ house, we stopped at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. Larry and I have made it a goal to go to as many presidential libraries as we can; so far this is our fourth one. This one was really well done, I probably would have enjoyed it more if I could have actually stopped to read about the exhibits instead of rushing through them with a squirmy baby. CC’s favorite part was being able to go inside a real Airforce One plane.
The last big thing we went to was the California Science Center where the Endeavor space shuttle is housed now as a permanent exhibit. My favorite thing about this place was that it was FREE. It’s an awesome science museum and all we had to pay was $10 for parking and $2 for tickets to see the Endeavor (which is a must-see). The boys had a great time watching the divers feed the fish. There were a lot of exhibits we didn’t get to see, but since it was free, we didn’t feel like we had to rush to see everything in order to get our money’s worth. We’ll definitely be back here on our next trip to So Cal.
I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by how well the boys did on the trip, despite all the time they had to spend strapped down in their car seats. We actually didn’t even have to whip out the ipad too much for CC. I think one secret to having a fun road trip is to have a good playlist. For us, the Biblestory Song CDs and the Les Mis soundtrack really saved the day.
We will be spending this week decompressing from our vacation, driving as little as possible, and packing up our stuff to move (more on that later). No promises, but hopefully I’ll be able to get to my Five Minute Friday post tomorrow.
Hope you all are having a great summer! Anyone else have good vacation stories to share?