Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Keep it Classy, San Diego

The Griswold Kolmer family Vacation: Part UN
What a week. Sean and I are coming off of a 10 day break from work, the dog, alarm clocks, and chores and have successfully completed our first family vacation. It was our first 'go where we want, do what we want to do' trip and it was with just the four of us. And it was nice.

I could probably write 15 pages of detail on our excursion and post the 405 pictures I took, but I won't. I'll try to keep it two 10 pages and 1 photo, okay 3. You can see the other pictures here.

Friends and family are always wondering why Sean and I haven't had a vacation just the two of us since our honeymoon. Well, besides the obvious in that our money tree is as dead as the rest of the foliage I've ever tried to grow I was actually really looking forward to this time away with the kids.

I left for work this morning feeling a little bit like I did the first days I ever took my babies to childcare and I headed back to work after a long and restful maternity leave. My heart ached a bit and I felt like one or two of my limbs had been torn loose. This week off gave me something I've been craving, and that's pure, unadulterated and precious time with my kids. A chance to be 'present' without deadlines, time constraints, or chores yanking me away.

There is still something inside me wanting a quiet and restful week on a remote beach with a big umbrella drink in my hand but this time, a crazy week in Disneyland & San Diego was just what the doctor ordered. And the sun, palm trees and 85 degree temps weren't bad either.

Disneyland is now a 3 day blur filled with hundreds of credit card swipes, an overdose of pizza & churros, & enough walking to leave Sean and I almost crippled in our hotel room each night. It's true what they say, 'Disneyland really is the happiest place on earth'. We walked around with grins from ear to ear and despite dealing with a few minor melt downs, probably had more fun than the kids.

Highlights include my trip down splash mountain with Alex, her joy and fear mixed scream followed by an immediate yell, 'I want to go again!'. Also at the top of the list for the little Miss was her dinner at Ariel's Grotto where she was able to meet ALL the princesses and snag photos with each. When the bill came to the table I tensed while Sean's jaw dropped, and then he said 'Money well, spent. It was totally worth it to see those smiles on her face'. PHEW.

I'd like to personally thank Mr. Walt Disney and his staff for the careful planning in putting a store at the exit of each ride. Thank you Walt for the placement of the elaborate and over-priced dresses at the exit of Pixie Hollow. I'd really love to have that $65 dollars + tax back in exchange for the pizza stained 'Silvermist' dress now crumpled in Alex's dress up box. As well as the creepy eyed Ariel stuffed doll that I could have filled my gas tank with. Gracias, Merci, & Ma halo, Sir. But really, how cute is this?

We bounced back and forth between Disney & California Adventure for three days covering almost all of both parks, hitting the majority of the rides which probably accounted for over 20 hours hanging out in lines. This left TONS of time for family bonding, people watching and physical struggles to keep Ian from hurting himself as he hung from ropes, tangled himself in bars, and annoyed all the other park goer's by hitting them with his Pirates of the Caribbean sword, or his elbow, or foot, or head for that matter.

When we'd had about all the spinning, gliding, and boat riding we could take we blew that pop stand and hit the road jack. We took a short road trip to Sunny San Diego while the kids got their first full nap in days. And that's when the trip took a SLIGHT turn south, in more ways that one.

Griswold Family Vacation: Part Deuce
It's not like our trip to San Diego was BAD. In fact it was quiet good. It was lower key, I loved driving around the city and we had a great time at Sea World and the San Diego Zoo. We drove out to Coronado Island, and had a nice and relaxing birthday dinner for moi, however...

Our hotel room was TERRIBLE. Aside from the fact the bedspreads were made of sleeping bag material and we couldn't keep them on the beds to save our lives the bed skirts my friends were made out of Jean. Yeah, Jean. I said it.

There was no fridge as promised, no ice maker, the pool was COLD and the door across from the elevator looked like this:

That's safe.

The room was small and the shower floor I don't even know how to explain. In three words, it was soft. It was impossible to keep your balance and after 30 failed attempts to keep the shampoo bottles on the ledge I gave up and along with trying not to tip over from lack of floor I was then tripping on bottles, sliding on soap bars and well, you know...it just ticked me off.

I did my research, I read reviews, and although only given 4 hotels to choose from where I could use my airline miles I thought I picked the best one. Royal Fail. We made the best of it, laughed a lot and added to the class by buying 24 oz cans of Corona light and storing them in our ice bucket. Keep it classy in San Diego-Ron Burgandy style.

But ASIDE from all that we had more fun, saw Shamu and friends, pet Bat Rays, saw penguins the size of small humans, watched Dolphins swim within inches from us and spent an afternoon at the beach. And oh, I fell in love with a camel and decided our next pet will be 'said camel'. Here he is with giant loogie all ready to go.

Aaaahhhh good times.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

$#&@, $%*@, and every other swear word.

This is the lovely, custom built doghouse we had built.

This is the lovely & unique gate we had built for the large area of our yard we've transformed into a dog run.

This is our SOAB dog amongst his newly laid 6 yards of cedar chips.

And this is the hole the SOAB punched in our back gate today.

To get to this lovely vacant, mud pit of a field behind us.

And $100 shelter fee seemed like a bargain. I will not be using any of this for his craiglist ad.