California Here We Come

This is already the greatest family vacation we’ve ever done, and we haven’t even gotten to the best part.

We arrived in Anaheim yesterday but had no plans to hit the parks yet, so we had most of the day to (gasp) relax. We shopped a bit (Brayden insisted on buying a very cool R2D2-Mickey-ears hat) and spent a couple hours at the pirate-themed waterpark at the hotel (Brayden ran out of superlatives for this one: “extremely fun”, “super fun”, “super mega fun”…)

Chris wanted to go back to Downtown Disney for supper, so we wandered back there but found that our restaurant of choice was packed. We were all hot and tired, and things were starting to get ugly…but then Brayden pointed to a Louisiana-style building and asked if it was a restaurant, and if it was, could we go there? It turned out to be a great choice, one that we never would have considered otherwise. Good call, B.

By the time we made it back to the hotel, everybody was bagged. I gave the kids a quick bath and let them play some iPad for a while before tucking them in. Everyone — and I mean everyone — was asleep by 8:30 p.m. Nice.

California Getaway

Despite some challenges getting there (we sat on a plane on the tarmac in Seattle for an hour and a half cause we were missing a pilot), we had a wonderful weekend in sunny San Diego. That was the first time Chris and I had been away together without the kids since before Brayden was born, and it was also the first time in years that I’d gone somewhere I’ve never been before — I’d almost forgotten how exciting that can be. We only had three days, but we managed to fit in almost everything: SeaWorld (which we considered a colossal waste of money), the world-famous San Diego Zoo, a Star Trek exhibition that included re-creations of sets from the show…and the USS Midway aircraft carrier.

I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of military history, but even I thought the Midway was amazing — it was far and away the highlight of the whole trip. Besides all the different aircraft on display, we got to see the whole “city at sea”: the crew bunks (each man had six cubic feet of space, which was barely enough for tiny little me to feel comfortable), the brig, engineering, the mess hall, the laundry room, the hangar deck, sick bay…all the way up to the tactical room, flight control and the main bridge. There were even a few simulators where you could mess around with buttons and act like you were flying a real airplane. It was beyond awesome.

We also toured a B-39 Foxtrot Soviet sub that’s parked in San Diego Bay, but after the Midway it seemed like a letdown. (And if you thought six cubic feet of space was cramped, try squeezing into the accommodations on a submarine. Yikes.)

I’m told the kids were no problem at all while we were away, which gives me some hope that we can maybe go away again sometime next year. I’ve been fortunate enough to have travelled quite a lot, so I’m running out of places to go that I’ve never been before, but I’m sure I can come up with something. It’s totally worth it.