Nothing says family vacation like an eight-hour road trip with the in-laws, the kids, and the husband in two cars. Yes, on first read this may sound more like a punishment than a fun trip, but overall it has been fantastic. And no, I’m not just saying this because my in-laws read most of my blogs. And really, when vacationing right on the beach, how much can you really complain?
The drive to Southern California was not too bad. Maybe since I’m now two days removed from it, it seems better than it actually was. I tried to forget the horrific LA traffic, and block out the incessant “Are we there yet” questions coming from the back seat.
We’re renting a condo in Encinitas, which Van says feels like we’re staying at a grandparent’s home. I can’t say I disagree. While the decor, furnishings, and cookware may be stuck in the 70’s or 80’s, the location couldn’t be better. We have beach access, and our first destination, Legoland was only a ten minute drive away.
Erin has been talking about Legoland for months. She not only loves legos, but after she saw a cool sword and shield a friend of hers got from the theme park, she’s been asking when we can go. Now, thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Meak, she too now has her own sword and shield. (They also got a matching set so she could face off against her sisters.)
When we first got to the park, Van wanted to take a photo out front, but I wanted to get going, so I ixnayed the idea, but now I wish I did.
So instead, here’s one of the first photos from inside of the park.
It’s one of my favorites, because it captures Carrie having a grand ‘ole time, and Grandpa Meak doing one of his favorite things: taking a picture of one of his grandchildren.
I didn’t necessarily love Legoland. It’s expensive and crowded, which makes for long lines and cranky and tired kids
This was while we waited for the first ride! Yes, at times the kids (mostly Carrie) had meltdowns, but it’s moments like these,
when the sheer joy shines through on the girls’ faces that make the schlep and financial sacrifice to Legoland worth it. You know the kids are happy when they willingly hold hands and mug for the camera.
Legoland is definitely skewed for the younger kids. We went this year knowing this is probably the last year Olivia will go without complaining. It also helped that my cousin who has a son Erin’s age, and a daughter Olivia’s age joined us. Had her cousin not been there, I’m sure we would have gotten plenty of eye rolling from Olivia. Instead, we got this.
The kid doesn’t even like Star Wars, but here she is with her cousin happily posing with the Lego Chewbacca.
Yep, it’s all made out of legos. Even though I’m the wrong demographic for Legoland, I must admit, I was pretty impressed with miniland USA.
Wandering through miniland USA, I kept wondering how long it must have taken to build. The builders not only erected the skyscrapers out of legos, they also paid attention to the little but important things, like the potty below the New York cityscape.
Thanks to Mike Inouye for pointing it out to us.
We spent a heckuva long time at Legoland. We arrived right before it opened at 9:30, and left a little after 6 p.m. Everyone was exhausted, but at least the little one got an afternoon siesta.
Carrie crashed before she could get her ice cream, but once she woke up about an hour and a half later, she announced she was still waiting for her ice cream, and wondered why it was taking so long to get it.
Day two was much more relaxing. Our toughest decision was beach or pool. We opted for both, but started out at the beach. The girls definitely prefer the warmish water at the Encinitas beach, compared to the bone chilling cold water they’re used to in Half Moon Bay.
Olivia and Erin even gave boogie boarding a go.
You have to look closely, but that’s Olivia in the middle riding what’s left of a wave.
Erin, well, she’s still working on mastering the art of boogie boarding, and I’m now coming to terms that I will never get a deep, dark, golden tan. Like it or not, I’m 100% white girl.
One thing the girls did master, was sand castle building. (With a little help from Aunty, Mom & Dad)
They were quite pleased with their sandy accomplishment.
Grandma and Grandpa Meak are not normally beach people, but they happily made the trek down to the beach to watch their grandkids frolic in the sand and surf.
Yep, Grandpa Meak is sporting khakis at the beach, but this is his casual wear.
Traveling with your extended family is not always easy, and yes it was not all smiles. I did some yelling, and there were some awkward moments, but at the end of the day, this makes it all worth it.
We’re far from a perfect family, but we know how to have fun, especially on vacation, and we do it in style, pajamas and all!