Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Looks Like We Made It (To the Other Side of the Country)

Last I left off, we were in Arizona - stopping in Phoenix to pick up my mother in law for the drive to San Diego. Since we've already spent time there, this was kind of like coming home.

We were in San Diego for over a week last summer, and our four-day stop felt like a break from the road trip. We stayed in a familiar place (my in-laws' condo), we went to familiar beaches (Chris' brother and his family live two blocks from the beach in Del Mar) and we saw good friends from VA who moved to CA last year (hello McQueens!) Eleanor had a sleepover with her friend, Aster our first night there, and was the first of us to set foot on a beach.

Why don't I ever go to beaches at sunset?

We even re-created previous experiences. Number one on our list was what my kids would consider the actual point of driving across the country: a day at Legoland.

Amusement parks are not my thing. I hate rides that involve dropping or downward trajectories of any kind. So the younger kid vibe of Legoland is much more my speed than the more serious theme parks. Not that I would go on all of the rides there... Last summer, my husband (who is very much on board with my goal to never experience anything that could be described as "plummeting") was shamed into accompanying my then eight year old son, George on the Technic Coaster. The shaming took place when he told Chris that, "real men aren't afraid of roller coasters." Incidentally, George did ask if I would ride the Tehnic Coaster with them and I said the only way I would get on that thing is if someone held a gun to his head (a gun to MY head would not be enough incentive).

Luckily, we spent most of our day at the water park, where I stood next to wave pools and water slides conducting continuous head counts. This is when it occurred to me that my "really fun days" now consist of watching other people doing things. I also got this super cute picture of the boys with their cousin:

Chris flew in to meet us the following day. Then our only activities involved the beach and seeing family.

Eleanor on a surfboard!

All of the cousins!
I didn't take a lot of pictures at the beach this year. But I really like this surfboard shot Chris sent me:

After a couple of days, we started our drive up the coast. We picked San Luis Obispo for a stop over night because WHY NOT? I thought we could spend some time at Pismo Beach (honk if you remember Bugs Bunny's favorite holiday spot!) But it was overcast as we drove in. And we were already afflicted with extreme San Diego sun burn. So we decided to check out downtown San Luis Obispo instead.

Oliver couldn't tear his eyes away from the very strange man wading in a fountain behind me.
I had no idea how much I'd enjoy SLO (as my friends in the know on social media call it). Such a pretty little town.

We spent five seconds in the Mission (any longer and Chris might have had a heart attack worrying that one of our children would touch something). The Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was founded in 1772 (exactly 200 years before I was born!) making it older than the United States (and me!) The actual founder, Father Junipero Serra was recently canonized "for his acts of piety and missionary efforts." Which as my very Catholic husband put it, involved, "bringing Jesus and slavery to the west coast Native Americans." Feel free to google him and learn more about all of the good work he did for the Spanish Inquisition.

This church is one of many where my heathen children have pointed out a crucifix and asked me, "what happened to that man?"

Moving on... We strolled past a lot of little cafes and restaurants that would be perfect for a bite to eat and a really good glass of wine (so close to the CA vineyards). We visited none of these since Chris has a allergy to our children touching nice things or mingling with people with eyes and opinions. We found a casual pizza place instead.

No San Luis Obispo nightlife for us! We were back at our hotel before 7:00 p.m. Where we turned in early and watched inappropriate Adult Swim shows on Cartoon Network. EARMUFFS! Luckily my kids are as oblivious to innuendo humor as they are to the details of the stations of the cross.

This marks the halfway point of our five-week road trip. It really is flying by... Next stop: San Francisco!

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