A busy week

Vacation always seems like a good idea, but vacation and Christmas?  When you combine post-Christmas letdown with post-vacation letdown, it doubles the feeling.  I’m quite thankful that all the craziness of life and activities for the kids doesn’t start until next Monday, otherwise I may need to be committed.  We went to Traveler’s aunt and uncle’s house for Christmas.  They live in southern California.  Our trip was prolonged by about 12 hours because of the threat of a storm hitting the mountain passes we needed pass through.  After running around crazy last Tuesday afternoon, we threw everything into the truck and headed out a little after 6 pm.  We arrived at 1:30 am with 3 girls exhausted and looking forward to stretching out.  The roads were uneventful and we made great time.  Christmas Eve was pretty mellow.  Christmas, on the other hand, was a bit crazy.  Traveler’s cousin and his family came over.  They have a 6yo boy, a 4yo girl, and a 2mo girl.  Having an additional 2 kids in the mix definitely heightened the excitement level of the house.  There were about 3 rounds of present opening for the kids – this was of course after the 3 rounds of opening presents with the grandparents on Sunday. 

christmas-stocking-dec08

A good Christmas was had by all.  Traveler’s cousins and aunt and uncle all pitched in and got us a Wii – which was a total surprise, especially since my kids had no idea what a Wii was until Christmas morning.  Smarty Pants also got a Nintendo DS from Santa as did I.  We haven’t yet challenged each other yet, but I’m sure that’s coming!  I think I have a new form of punishment for when the kids can’t get along – make them box each other!  It wears them out but lets them take out their aggressions on each other!  They loved being able to customize their Mii’s.  It was especially entertaining to see what choices they made. 

On Friday we headed out to Legoland.  I had heard of it before but never really looked into it.  It’s sorta like a Disneyland meant mostly for kids.  There weren’t a lot of rides geared towards adults.  Unfortunately Sweet Pea was just a smidge too small to ride on the rides the older kids wanted to, so Traveler’s aunt and I took her on some smaller rides.  She loved having the undivided attention of 2 adults.  That ratio is a rarity in our world.  I think the best part of Legoland (aside from seeing Sweet Pea enjoying doing “big kid” stuff) was seeing their Miniland.  There was an area dedicated to replication of real buildings and points of interest from across the country.  We “visited” Las Vegas, New York City, San Francisco, New Orleans, Los Angelas, a generic “northeast” lighthouse/crabbing community, and a farm.  It was really amazing to see what can be done with those little plastic blocks.

welcome-to-las-vegas-dec08

Empire

Empire State Building (if you look closely you can seen Mt. Rushmore in the background)

On Saturday we visited the aquarium in Long Beach.  We walked along the piers and saw the Queen Mary from across the bay.  I missed out on some of the aquarium because being surrounded by glass and water triggered some weird vertigo feelings, but the kids had a blast.  Smarty Pants and Sass had the chance to pet a manta ray and a small shark (not sure what kind it was – but it was only about 2 feet long as an adult). 

Queen Mary

Queen Mary

Sunday we headed north about 40 minutes to visit my aunt and uncle for the afternoon.  The girls were starting to burn out from so much activity going on daily, so they were content to just hang out at their house and enjoy the quiet. 

Yesterday we got up and headed home.  Overall it was a nice vacation, but I think we are all glad to be home…well except Traveler.  He’s at it again.  This time he is headed to Vegas for work for New Year’s Eve.  Sounds like a hoax, huh?  He works for the state issuing licensing to companies that have and use radiological devices.  So on New Year’s Eve he gets to take part in a “task force” of sorts with the LVPD, ATF, and FBI to make sure everyone partying on the strip stays safe for the New Year’s festivities.  And then he might be home for a couple of days and then off for a week’s worth of work in Boise for the guard. 

Mono Lake as seen from Hwy 395

Mono Lake as seen from Hwy 395

I hope everyone had a great holiday.  We sure did.

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