Yes, this story is 2 weeks old. But I’m trying to cram as many blog posts as I can in before the girls’ birthdays, when I end the “year” and print the blog. I have 5 lovely books already (some years are thicker than others…)
No matter what I whine about next, I must start with this: Seeing our children play in the ocean, Ella literally toddling directly into the waves the moment her feet touched the sand, makes all the rest worth it.
It all started well enough. Bart found and booked a cute airbnb for us in Newport Beach (Corona del Mar) for our family vacation redux, what looked to be a few blocks from the beach. We arrived late afternoon, after attending orientation at Zoe’s new school.
When we arrived it was hot inside the house, but that’s to be expected during a heat wave – it was 105 outside, which literally never happens at the beach. We walked around the corner to a cute local restaurant, Summer House and had a drink in the middle of the afternoon. That’s a great start!
It was late in the afternoon when we loaded the girls into the wagon and headed to the beach. I should say, we headed in the DIRECTION of the beach. This is where maps can be deceiving. About 3 blocks later, we crossed over a highway on a cute footbridge, pleased that we’d found just the right street that HAD a footbridge.
About 2 blocks after that, we reached the road AT THE TOP OF THE CLIFF that led down to the beach. There were stairs everywhere. We had 2 little girls in a wagon. Unable to see another way down (and determined to reach the beach), I scooped up Ella and grabbed Zoe’s hand, and Bart pulled that wagon down the concrete staircase to the parking lot, which led to the beach. We made it ;)
Zoe loves the ocean, but it was Ella’s first time – and as you already read, the second her feet touched the sand, she went straight for the waves. She ate some sand, drank some salt water, and we all headed back to the house. Luckily, we found a footpath (vs. stairs) on the return, and I made the mistake of volunteering to pull the wagon (filled with 65 pounds of little girls) up that hill. I was sore for 2 days.
Speaking of the house. It just wasn’t meant for a heat wave. It had a window AC unit in the living room, a floor unit in the kitchen and a fan in one of the bedrooms. IT WAS HOT. The first night Zoe ended up with tummy problems, and none of us could sleep well in the heat. I was looking up emergency rooms in the middle of the night, which thankfully we did not need, though a trip to the closest Urgent Care the next morning was helpful.
Let’s just say we played musical beds for 2 nights and decided to head home early, Bart making me promise to “do something fun” near home on the last day of our family vacation. He knows me too well.
Oh, we DID go to the Sawdust Arts Festival in Laguna Beach, which was a lot of fun, and we got to have an early dinner with our OC friends before coming home. So there’s also that. OH, and we went to Balboa Island “Fun Zone” an old school arcade boardwalk, where Bart and Zoe rode the fastest ferris wheel I’ve ever seen:
And one of those bouncy trampoline/strap danger rides that Zoe loves:
My takeaway? (and my husband will like this one) We just need some practice at this family vacation thing, and I think we’ll be good at it. Practice makes perfect!