If you didn't already know (or if you couldn't tell by the name of this blog) I live for adventure.
In January my paternal grandparents were having a lot of health issues, my grandpa was moved to a rehabilitation facility for diabetic complications and my grandma had been taken to the hospital via ambulance for pretty scary aortic/cardiac issues... It was a pretty unsure time, they live in San Diego (along with my dad and his wife as well as my aunt and uncle) so it's not like we can just pop in and see them whenever. Actually, I hadn't seen my grandparents since Jay was 4 months old and they had never met Paxton... So when I looked at Jay's school calendar and saw that he had a week off of school in February for "mid-winter break" two words came to mind:
We had already planned out Josh's time off and vacations for the year so we knew he wouldn't be able go to California. I am so thankful that my sister, Claire, was able to get some time off so that we could go on this once in a lifetime trip together.
Mt. Shasta, California
Jay was a big fan of In-N-Out Burger
Gorgeous trees in bloom in northern California
Paxton was SUCH a great sport in the car, I was so
The first thing Jay wanted to do was to jump in the pool.
Even though the reason for our trip was to spend quality time with our grandparents, we made sure to enjoy our surroundings and have fun... we didn't want the trip to be too heavy for the boys.
The sweetest man you will ever meet, my grandpa Al.
My grandparents lived in Africa when I was born but moved 10 minutes away when I was in junior high, I so enjoyed living close to them and seeing them often while growing up. I have tons of wonderful memories with them and have missed living close to them so much.
You can't tell now, but Paxton's eyes remind me so much of what my grandpa's eyes looked like when he was younger. I love being reminded of my grandpa when I look at Pax!
One of the hardest parts of the trip was seeing how much my grandparents had aged in the 5 years since we had seen them last. I so enjoyed getting to spend quality time with my grandparents and having them get to know my boys. Pushing my grandpa around the rehab facility in his wheelchair with my sister and sons, all of us watching college basketball piled up on his hospital bed with him, hearing my grandma tell stories and sharing recipes that we made together growing up... So many special memories were made this trip that I will cherish forever.
Poor Josh got way too many texts with pictures like this, the weather was perfection!
One of the boy's favorite parts of the trip was visiting the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
We had no idea what to expect when we decided last minute to go to the Safari Park but we were so impressed! Our favorite part of the park was definitely the African Tram, getting to see such exotic animals up close was a really cool experience. Jay was out-of-his-mind excited to see all of the rare animals we have read about in real life, he was the perfect age to really appreciate the park!
One of my other favorite outings on our trip was going wine tasting with my family. My dad and his wife are members at a gorgeous winery we visited, along with another award wining winery where my parents stayed while taking my sister to college back in 2008. It was so fun to be able to check going a winery off of my bucket list, I learned a lot and we definitely brought some wine home.
Spending time with my family and making memories was the perfect getaway and it was so hard to say goodbye. Claire and I made sure to pack the last day full of fun as we drove home to distract ourselves from the sadness of leaving. The summer before I went into 6th grade our family lived in Laguna Beach for a majority of the summer while my dad opened up Washington Mutual banks. When we were planning out the road trip we knew that we definitely had to hit up Laguna while in California. It was so fun to go to our favorite surf shop (Toes on the Nose) along with a few other
secret favorite spots!
We, of course, had to hit up In-N-Out one last time on our last day
Being from Seattle and being the (current and former) baristas we are, Claire and I definitely
are coffee snobs appreciate good coffee. We each had heard a lot about Verve Coffee Roasters in Santa Cruz so we took a little detour and had a little tasting and a caffeination pitstop...
Verve coffee was definitely on par with most of our favorite Seattle roasters and was a welcome sight after a week of Starbucks.
After Verve we hightailed it up to San Francisco and of course we had to take a picture at the Golden Gate Bridge... (even if I did have to wake up both boys to get this shot!)
The trip was such an adventure and was filled with so much fun and memories that I will cherish forever, but I think the person who had the most fun was Jay!
See you later California, we'll be back in June!