|Aven loved playing on the huge King Sized Bed!|
|Last day with Grandma Geneva|
|View from our room, interesting!|
|Family photo @ Torrey Pines State Park|
|Torrey Pines State Park hike|
|The essentials, sun, kid and coffee!|
|Zia's Bistro Little Italy San Diego|
|Ava & Aven|
|Balboa Theater in Gaslap District, SD|
|SeaPort Village Carousel|
|Birch Aquarium at Scripps|
|Aven and the Jump Jump (Mommy, help me)|
|Extraordinary Desserts (SD)|
|Aven entertaining herself on the plane with stickers, sure, put them anywhere!|
A few days after I got back from my quick out of town trip, we went on our first "real vacation" with Aven. Last year we went to Winthrop but it was only for a few days. This was a full fledged vacation with plane rides and rental cars and motels and family and tourist activities and nights out on the town! It was busy and fun but exhausting with a toddler.
Short run down of the trip:
- Left Easter Sunday (had to wake up Aven @ 5:45 am) she did great on the plane although she was tired and a bit restless after having to stay in one place for so long. Schlepped bags and car seat through the Seattle airport and ate breakfast before schlepping to another terminal with hot coffee spilling all over ourselves!
- Arrived at LAX and rented a car- drove to Huntington Beach to visit Grandma Geneva (Abe's grandma). Aven had seen her when she was about 7 months old so it would be a lot different this time. Aven took a 20 min nap the whole day in the car ride from the airport to Geneva's so she was a bit tired that night! Went to a fun Japanese place with a literal gondola of food! The servers were so friendly and accommodating of Aven though. Put Aven to bed and Grandma came over to the guesthouse where we were staying to chat for awhile.
- Took a beautiful warm morning walk to Starbucks for some snacks and caffeine. Met a nice gentleman from Hungary. Drove to Laguna Beach for brunch at "The Beach House" a seaside cottage of Slim Summerville in the early 1900's (Hollywood actor) turned restaurant overlooking the water. Had a wonderful lunch with amazing Lemon basil martini and looked out over the water.
- Drove back to Huntington beach and relaxed for the afternoon with grandma. Had a dinner of leftovers and relaxed before turning in for the evening. Put Aven to bed and then swam and relaxed in the Jacuzzi under the night stars and crisp evening air.
- Had some breakfast with Grandma and headed out to San Diego~arrived mid afternoon and checked into our motel. Out of our room was an interesting logo "Jesus Christ is Lord not a Swear Word"- found out the owner has a trucking business with this name! Interesting. After getting settled in and after Aven's nap we headed out to downtown San Diego's Gaslamp district. Had dinner at The Beer Co. Cheap eats and good bear. More of a sports bar and nothing to brag about but we had a great time listening to the early-mid 90's music and sharing a meal together (no baby drama). We walked around Gaslamp a bit and found some awesome Gelato at Cremolosa restaurant with some very entertaining waiters!
- The next day after breakfast we headed out to Torrey Pines State Park. We loaded up Aven in the backpack and wandered around most of the trails along the ridge even going down to the beach. There were some super interesting formations from the sandstone where the water has worn away parts of the minerals. The whole time we were in beautiful weather and overlooking the beach. We must have been near a military base because we saw what looked to be bombers and helicopters and all sorts of air crafts. Aven loved it. We saw some wild bunnies, all kinds of birds and new flowers and some lizards too.
- That evening we headed down to Seaport Village a little outdoor group of shops right on the water. It was a bit touristy and some of the shops were cheesy but it was a beautiful evening and the ambiance was great. Aven even got to ride on her first ever Carousel. I love the music, makes me feel nostalgic of years past. After this we headed to San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood. It is filled with mostly Italian Restaurants and shops. It has a really neat feel. We chose Fillippi's a place boasting great atmosphere and a little Italian grocer up front. The pizza wasn't anything to write about but the place was fun.
- Our last day "on our own" before meeting up with my cousin Gina and her family, we started our day with a breakfast in Pacific Beach at a little cafe. We sat outside and ate delicious fresh fruit and relaxed in the morning sun. We ended up befriending another couple sitting beside us with their two kids. They were down doing some touristy things for Spring Break. We hopped across the street afterwards to the beach and walked around for a few minutes, taking in the sun. After this (and I won't go into laborious details about what to do with getting a kid a nap when you have no place to go) we drove about an hour east to Mt. Laguna. We saw a bobcat there and enjoyed the cool afternoon and then ate our lunch in the car while driving back to SD. Wandered around driving for (too long) trying to find Balboa Park (found it at last, horrible signs if you are coming from the back side, even with GPS). Wandered the gardens and buildings, very very beautiful and does truly remind me of Spain. Ate dinner again in Little Italy at Zia's bistro. There were linen napkins, live classical guitar and glass water glasses and then then Aven really started to go crazy. It was about the straw that broke the Daddy's back. While we had had several nice moments and times there were a lot of frustrations traveling with a toddler and they seemed to come to a head that evening! On we went though.
- We headed to my cousin Gina's (and husband Matt's) house to stay for a few days. They have a daughter, Ava, who is 1 month older than Aven. We had seen them when the girls were 7/8 months old but it was fun to watch them again and we had a bit more time to hang out this time.
- Gina and I took the girls to a little play place for the morning so they could do a kid-centered activity and we gave Abe a break. It was fun to watch the girls play and the place was packed! Had dinner all together that night and gave the girls a bath together. The next day we had breakfast all together (with Matt) and then headed out to the La Jolla Aquarium (Birch Aquarium at Scripps). It is right up on the cliff overlooking the water and there were plenty of new things to see there. Afterwards we had lunch together and headed home to put the girls to bed! After getting the girls some dinner and giving them some play time on the Jump Jump the Daddy's put the kiddos to bed and the Mommy's went out for a night on the town.
- Gina and I went to Extraordinary Desserts. It was a super fun atmosphere and had the most beautiful desserts I have ever seen. We sat at the bar and talked about motherhood, life, family, husbands, work and just about anything. It was a really nice evening of just relaxing out together. After turning in about midnight that night, we set our alarm for 4am (had to wake up Aven @ 4:45) to go to the airport. She did excellent on the airplane again (the longer trip was first this time) and didn't even get grumpy or cry but she did fall asleep on our final descent down into Bellingham- the girl was tired!
- We arrived home a bit tired and a bit "done" but we all survived and had plenty of good memories to jot down for the record. It was such a treat to see our family and the sun!