We rented a car, which turned out to be a very good thing (more on this topic coming soon). A Toyota Sienna, and I have to tell you, I'm in love with the minivan concept. If Joe and I had the means we would definitely be upgrading to some sort of minivan. It was spacious and handled well, the sliding door opened by itself with the push of a button ... I really liked it.
But our first mistake with this trip was leaving Tuesday morning at 8am instead of 4am. The entire drive to California felt like we were running late, since our last trip in January was so fast and smooth because we left at 4am. We realized that if we had gotten an earlier start we might have been able to go to Disneyland Tuesday afternoon and meet up with Cathy & Ed and the boys since they spent all of Tuesday at the park.
We got to Newport around 5pm and unloaded our stuff into the most beautiful beach house ever. It looked like something out of a magazine. Our room was on the third (yeah, THIRD) floor and we had our own bathroom attached as well as a private patio that overlooked the other houses and a little bit of the marina. It was amazing.
Since it was dinner time, we decided to walk over to a restaurant on the pier and we had a pretty good time. Then we walked on the beach for a bit before heading back to the house. Joe and I got B ready for bed and Joe put him down while I went to the store to get a few groceries for the next couple of days. When I got back, Joe and I went onto the main patio that overlooked the beach and just sat there quietly. It was really peaceful and relaxing.
The next day we tried to go bike-riding with Cathy, Ed & the boys but Brandt wanted nothing to do with the trailer that Joe rented to hitch to the back of his bike. He freaked out and when I did finally get him strapped in, he fought it so hard that he broke one of the straps. So bike riding went out the window. The rest of the morning was pretty rough for us, since B was over tired and wound up. When we finally got him down for a nap he slept for 2 hours. After that we spent the rest of the day on the beach and had a really good time. By 4pm, though, the breeze started to get a bit chilly. Looking back, I realize how NICE that weather is compared to the miserable heat we're enduring in Arizona.
Brandt had so much fun playing with his cousins. Cole and Jaden are 7 and 5 and the three of them got super silly and were giggling and laughing and having a great time. It was fun to watch B interact with them.
The next morning we left around 8am again and made the long, boring drive back to Tucson. We finally got home just before 5pm and I started doing all the laundry because I didn't want to deal with it the next day. I shouldn't be surprised, but the 5 or 6 shirts I packed for B were ALL worn. For a 3 day trip. I thought I over packed but I guess you can't really over pack for a toddler since you never know how many clothes will get destroyed.
All in all it was a nice time, although we should have left earlier on Tuesday because we would have had more time to do things in California instead of spending 2 whole days driving. The beach house was gorgeous and something Joe and I would never have been able to rent on our own, so it really was a great experience. Thanks, again, to Ed & Cathy for inviting us to stay with them. And thanks to Mr. Click for renting the house!