Mike's brother blessed their son last weekend and we decided to take a long weekend in California with family. We arrived late Thursday and came home Monday morning. It was a relatively quick trip, but worth it to spend time with the Crofts.
A little over half way to Mike's parents' home, I realized I left my entire makeup bag at home as well as Mr. Two's sneakers. A trip to Target was necessary to start off our day on Friday. Good thing I brought my coupons! :) By the time we got to Mike's brother's home outside of Los Angeles to spend some time, it was mid afternoon. We decided to go on with plans to drive into L.A. and explore the California Science Center with Joe and Kate, even though we got there with only one hour to play until closing time.
The kids loved it. We will definitely have to return another time and do more exploring.
The ecosystem rooms were so fascinating and we just missed the huge aquarium. We also would love to see the special space shuttle exhibit. With free admission (just $10.00 parking) to the main museum, we will have to come back.
After the museum, we knew we would be sitting in the infamous California traffic, so we decided to head over to the L.A. Temple visitor's center and wander the temple grounds before getting a bite to eat.
The grounds were beautiful, and with some of the cool ocean breeze drifting in, it was heavenly.
We wanted to have a peaceful, serene moment, and we got little glimses of it.
But the reality was, the boys could hardly sit still to take a picture or two. Life with little kids. Gotta love it!
We had dinner at a little pizza/Italian restarant that Mike's brother liked. It was tiny and the kind of place that probably wasn't used to serving a troupe of little kids. The boys liked dragging their feet in the sawdust and watching the soccer game that was on the flat screen. I wish we could have snapped a picture of Mr. One and Two sitting at the little table by the window, with their dinner plates, looking simultaneously so mature and so very little, chatting, smiling and eating away. It will have to be an image that I store away in my memory. So very sweet.
We headed back in much lighter traffic with fuller stomachs.
Saturday morning was spent at Mike's late grandparents' home in El Monte, going through some of their things. It is so strange to sift through another person's belongings, thinking about their stories, their lives. We were able to keep a few things that held special meaning to Mike, as well as a few things that will add some charm and beauty to our home. Their home was sold and hopefully a new family can fill it with happy memories of their own.
We headed to the beach, Seal Beach to be exact, for lunch and some play with a few of Mike's siblings. The wind was cold and it was a bit overcast, but the water was actually quite warm.
The boys wanted to jump in the waves immediately. We convinced them to eat some food first, then they were off to the waves. Mr. Two was especially excited to get wet, diving into the waves and splashing about. Mr. One preferred to stay in the more shallow water himself. Mr. Three had fun getting wet, then quickly became cold and wanted to stay wrapped in his towel with the potato chips for the rest of the outing.
We let Mr. Four get his toes wet and try out the surf for the first time. I think he liked it. The waves were very rough, decidedly not boogie boarding conditions, so we hung close to the sand.
Mr. Four really loved the sand!
All the boys seemed to enjoy playing in the sand...
After a few hours, we headed back to Calimesa for dinner and showers, and lots of visiting.
Sunday, we almost missed the baby blessing with a few wrong turns, but thankfully made it. The church building that Joe and Jenny attend was just beautiful, lots of dark wood and interesting details. We had lunch at their home and enjoyed the nice, cool breeze with the doors open, the kids playing in the back yard, and family eating and visiting inside and out. I wish that we could do that in the summer here, but 110 degree days just don't allow you that freedom. And then there was playing with the new baby, oh I love the new babies! He is such a content, sweet little guy. I can't believe I didn't get a picture! We also spent a bit of time that evening playing games and visiting with Mike's sister and brother-in-law back in Calimesa.
It was a quick trip, with lots of driving, but we were very glad to be there and spend time with the whole family. We have been a little spoiled lately, seeing Mike's family several times already this year, with his sister getting married in April and Andrew's baptism in March. Mr. Four is finally recognizing them and was more willing to go to them, giving lots of smiles and waves. It was a happy time.