I’d like to thank Rusty for this contribution to the blog. Even if he doesn’t use complete sentences. Or puncuation. 😉
Tara and I are on a plane home from Newport. Sans kids. We left our kids in the LAX airport which is quite an interesting feeling. We planned on our flights leaving about the same time so we could actually see them board and then run over to our flight, but of course their flight was delayed about 45 minutes. So we actually weren’t positive they were going to be able to take off. And it’s the last flight of the day! Now that I think about it, I remember them (Southwest) saying your not supposed to do this – leave them in a situation where they could get stranded. So hopefully it doesn’t happen. Luckily my parents flight is delayed as well so worse comes to worse they could grab them. N. But it looks like their flight is boarding so we should be okay. Now we just need to make sure it gets in the air!
It was a good trip. We landed on Wednesday and took an Uber from the airport. We had visions of staying very close to the beach and not leaving the resort / beach so we didn’t think we should rent a car. We thought we would try to Uber it. Uber had its advantages, especially on the weekends when we wanted to go to the beaches and there was no parking available, but probably overall it would have been better to rent a car.
We got to the condo while everyone else was at Trader Joes getting food. We wasted no time and checked our bags and got our swim suits out and jumped in the main pool. Then we met all the families at the park playground. It was great to see everybody again and everybody was happy to get out and play because our rooms weren’t ready yet. We played some speed and ate food and talked. They had bought a ton of food at trader joes. Our condos were ready, we decided to go to the beach nearest the hotel. The shuttles weren’t running and weren’t very convenient so we ended up driving. They dropped us off at Crystal Cove state park which is actually kind of a neat state park with some buildings preserved. The water was FREEZING, but that didn’t stop the kids from diving in. they had a blast. But Braden and Bode had the biggest blast. The waves were HUGE. The kids body surfed and surfed and surfed. I was stressed watching blake. Then it was getting late and then sun was getting ready to set. Very few people brought jackets so it was biting. We walked up the stairs to Ruby’s which overlooked the ocean and it was actually really good food. It was fun. The kids were a little crazy (blake & cohen specifically) and may have ruined a couples romantic evening or two. By this time everyone was freezing. We had cory and brett go get the cars to take us back to the condo but we didn’t even make it to the condo because we asked them to drop us off at the swimming pool near our condo which had a hot tub. I got to admit it felt really good and was really warm. I got out of the hot tub and dried off but then cory got in the swimming pool and had kids hanging off of him (leeches) so I had to give in to peer pressure and join them. I’m glad I did, it was really fun. But at one point I felt surrounded by like 500 kids which was crazy. Finally got to bed, of course nice and late colorado time 😃
Woke up Thursday morning and went for a run with Tara and Kami. We ran down the PCH and then along the coast by balboa island. Always fun, although running with Kami definitely makes us stretch (she did just win her Ironman 70.3).
We got home and then went to a hike called “top of the world” in Laguna beach. Because we didn’t have a car everyone piled in the trunk space of Brett’s car, luckily he had a big giant Lincoln Navigator, but it still wasn’t very safe. Safety aside, the kids thought it was the greatest thing in the world.
We got to “top of the world” where we took some pictures and then went for little hike / walk. Then Brett had to turn around and take Kami to the airport to fly to Idaho for her grandma’s funeral. She was going to come back the next day so basically she would be on a flight every day of the trip except for one!
We had Brett drop us off at Laguna Beach which was a blast. We ate sandwiches on the beach and then The kids played in the waves for like 5 hours. Sharon went shopping. I bought a Mets hat. Tara and Josh walked to a grocery store and brought back ice cream sandwiches. The waves were HUGE HUGE massive, but luckily they would break far enough out that they wouldn’t kill everyone. Again, Brayden and Bode probably played for 5 straight hours in the waves.
We came home and Tara and Lindsey ran to the store to get food for grilling. We grilled chicken and had a big salad and fruit and then it was time to go up to a movie on the grass. They were playing Zootopia. All the kids piled on blankets and we piled into brett’s car and watched the movie. Then we took the little ones back because they had zootopia at the condo and they said they would just watch it there. Then Brett came with us on the way back and watched with the kids, but my lawn chair got taken so I went with Tara who was by the fire reading. Afterwards we staggered home and went to sleep (after Blake left his brand new jacket. Which we never found).
Friday morning I woke up and grabbed my computer and went for a walk to the workout center. I had to do a little bit of work. Then Tara Cory Linds and I walked to yoga up on the grass. It was the same place as the movie was the night before but it was facing the ocean and was actually very nice. Most of the way through I looked over and there was Alan who had joined us. He got there just in time for Half Pigeon and he said out loud “no way that is happening” and the instructor had to come over and show him how to do it on his back.
We walked back and ate some yummy breakfast and then the kids went swimming while Tara and I planned an excursion to Balboa island. We grabbed some lunch and then headed over to Balboa where we could rent some paddle boards. We got a Canoe and 3 paddle boards and boarded on the harbor for 2 hours. The kids seemed to love it and were having a blast. Then there was a little sandy beach the kids could play in while they waited and Blake got buried up to his neck.
After paddle boarding we walked down main street to get Balboa bars. I got almond and toasted coconut which was really good. I was thinking about getting a chocolate covered banana like Tara did to try and be more dairy free but the ice cream bars were just too good. Everyone sat on the benches and ate their balboa bars.
From there it was a journey to the public restrooms and then a walk over to the ferry. We Ferried over to balboa peninsula and rode the ferris wheel (surprisingly fun) and then the kids found a little arcade. The quarters kept flowing and we wanted to go to dinner so eventually I had to find the guilty party which was grandpa who kept cashing in dollars for quarters to stop the flow of money. We ate at Patty Macs which was a small highly rated restaurant but we kind of took over the entire place when we came. We got cheeseburger mac and cheese and an apple walnut salad. Blake got shrimp. He really wanted shrimp. They came back very fried and he wasn’t sure what to think about that. The kids got mac or chicken fingers and seemed very happy. From there it was a walk back to the ferry and back over to balboa island. Then a trudge back to the cars because everyone was very tired. Blake saw a group crossing the street (near the stop sign ahead) and jumped out between some cars and a car was coming and luckily she was watching and had to slam on her brakes and came two feet from him. Yikes. Blake has a guardian angel watching over him but we do really need to be more careful. Hard to know how to react in that circumstance. He was scared so you want to love him but you also want to make sure he knows how serious the situation was. When we got home the kids jumped in the pool again and swam into he evening. We had a sleep over this night so blake got to sleep with the smaller kids in Cory and Linds room and we got Bode and Braden. Brett & Kami got the older girls. Our room was great. Apparently the youngers were up like past midnight and got up early. Blake was a wreck the next day.
Saturday morning Kami texted us because she was back and wanted to see if we were running. Saturday is our long run day so we were definitely planning on it. Kami is fast! We ran down balboa. I was very tired by the time we turned around. It was hot. We got back near home and the girls dusted me which is totally fine. It was a beautiful run and we ran past some truly spectacular homes along the beach.
Everyone put on their Banks bunch shirt and we took the shuttle up to the same place yoga was to take some family pictures. We found a good spot where you could see the ocean and I think they turned out good. Then the kids headed back to the condo (by way of the arcade and a fun sand art craft) and the brothers and dad got to play some tennis. We played a set and Brett (who was in flip-flops) and I (in my keens) were able to hold off Alan and Cory. It was really fun and we had some good points. It was very hot.
We headed back and ate some lunch and then decided to go to Huntington beach. Which would have been a great idea but the bigger beaches are PACKED on weekends and there was nowhere to park. We had taken an Uber (which blake promptly fell asleep in which was good) so we had no problem but the other two cars could not find any parking and decided to head back. So we got a lemonade and saw the beach for just a little bit and then Ubered right back to where we started!
We went back to our Crystal Cove beach, the same one we explored the first night. Bridger was very disappointed we weren’t going to get to biggie board but luckily we were able to borrow 3 boogie boards from some nice people who were sitting by us. And also Grandpa was able to buy 2 more cheap ones so that everyone could boogie board. Josh was trying really hard with Tara’s help but it was tricky. Bridger Bode and Brayden had been body surfing the past few days for hours so they had no problem. Everyone got cold and took the shuttle back to the hot tub. It was just Cor & Linds and Alan and I. We went for a walk. I went to the bathroom and just when I was getting back the tide was coming in and a wave came in and soaked all our stuff. Including Lindsay’s purse which had both of their phones in them. Luckily they turned out okay. We walked back and hot tubbed and brett got pizza for the kids.
We left the kids to watch a movie and the older kids in charge and went to dinner just the adults. We went to a nice restaurant near Balboa island which turned out to be really good. I did not order very well with the ribeye and lobster mashed potatoes. Tara had the rack of lamb. Which was delicious. The 3 boys split everything 3 ways and gave this to Alan for fathers day. I think he was pretty happy about that. We talked and laughed. Sharon hoarded her butter for he warm rolls which is her favorite thing ever. Dessert was excellent, warm bread pudding and ice cream. And we headed home in Brett’s car, I got to sit next to my mom and share a seat. We got home and everyone was pretty tired.
Sunday we had to leave. But first it was Father’s day and the boys got to play tennis again, 2 sets this time. This time we were wearing real shoes and didn’t have our flip flop power so cory and alan were able to narrowly edge out Brett and I. It was a really fun way to spend fathers day with my dad and brothers. Been a long time since we’ve got to do something like that. Came back and the girls had made an amazing breakfast. There were cards and hugs from Halle. And presents and fun. A great fathers day morning.
Then we headed to downtown Newport for souvenir shopping and lunch. We ubered it and met them over there. We shopped in a few shops and then walked over to Crab Cooker for lunch. They couldn’t seat us all so we ordered to go and ate outside on the big bench. The shrimp was so delicious. And then was time to go.
From there everyone headed off – Brett & Kami and Alan and Sharon went to John Wayne airport. We were flying out of LAX. Cory and Linds started driving home. We got an Uber and went all the way to north LA which took about 70 minutes. But it was a nice minivan and the driver was Hrach from Armenia who told us all good lessons like “life is to short to be too mad too ugly too everything – just too short”. Everyone got a little nap in the car, but Hrach would slam on his breaks and wake everyone up. We went to the Getty Center which is a giant free art museum from the getty foundation on the hills of LA. You take a little tram up, it was very nice, very impressive. We had fun and then it was time to go to Lax.
And then the craziness of LAX. We watched the NBA finals, watched the Cavs come back from a 3-1 game deficit to win. and then the kids flight was delayed! We were doing a lot of texting on the plane to get Status updates. Everything worked out ok in the end and the kids made it safe and sound to the Cornell’s.