Thursday, November 29, 2012

The California Trip

At the beginning of November, the boys and I took a trip to California to visit Aunt Stephanie!  Anne had been visiting Boston so we were on the same flight to Los Angeles and she was able to help me with the boys on the flight.  Thank goodness!  It was a huge help to have her there and we were able to spend some time with Anne and her family when we were in LA as well.  I just uploaded the pictures here and this is going to be a seriously massive post, so feel free to skim. :)

On our first day in California, Anne took us to Downtown Disney.  The lego scenes were especially impressive.
Buzz and Woody! Seriously everything in the scenes (including the backgrounds, pillars etc) made entirely of legos

They had lots of legos to play with.  Alan was quite proud of his car.
Don't forget lego Aladdin!
The boys had so much fun rolling their cars down these ramps.
They seriously would have stayed here all day I think.
The other super exciting place in the park was the World of Disney store.  Alan is obsessed with Lion King currently.  He about died when he saw this poster hanging through the window.
And when he found these animals in the store.
He immediately got down and started playing Lion King.  (He does this allllll the time.  I think he was just super excited to have legitimate characters to play with.  In our house Scar is usually a frog.  He was so funny when he saw the animals.)
This was another favorite part of the store.
Alan's California souvenir.  It was 13.95.  Steep, but I figured it was a lot cheaper than a trip to Disneyland.
And here is James' souvenir. Someone gave him their balloon wiener dog because they couldn't take it on the rides.   
The boys had an absolute blast on our Disney adventure.  It was just the right amount of Disney for them at their ages.  Maybe when they're older we can experience the park.  :)
Steph came to pick us up in Covina and we went to a little night carnival there.
Here's our cute little guy on Steph's patio.
Alan was very intrigued by the palm trees.
We walked around downtown Burbank where they were having an art festival.
Candyland!  (Simba rarely left Alan's side)
At the Hollywood sign!
We headed out to the beach on the balmy 91 degree November day.
It was absolutely beautiful weather!
There was lots of digging and splashing
And of course, the boys loved every minute of it.

After we got back from the beach, we made caramel apples for Family Home Evening!
It took lots of concentration.
And sampling
But the apples looked great!
And tasted even better.

On Tuesday we went to the LaBrea tar pits.
It was totally awesome.  They had all of this actual excavation going on.

Here we are in front of the huge bubbling tar pit.
You could try to pull up on the sticky tar.  It was so hard!  No wonder so many animals got stuck!
They had TONS of mammoths, saber tooth cats, and over 400 wolf skulls.  It was amazing.
Enjoying a little picnic at the gardens there.
And climbing on some trees.
Both the Tar Pits and the LA Natural history museum were free that day.  So after the tar pits we headed over to the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History.  It was seriously impressive with a TON of dinosaurs.  (No dinos at the tar pits)

Turned out it was kind of a long day for the boys....
Until we got to the discovery center portion of the museum where you could play with and touch everything.
James loved petting all of the soft furs.  Finally he picked one up and gave it a love. 
More exploring
And more exploring
Scary polar bear!
Here are the boys touching the temple.
Family photo
They loved the Christus statue and the sisters let them climb on it and touch it as well.
We had a lot of fun playing with chalk and tennis balls on Aunt Steph's patio.
"Getting" each other.

It's their new favorite game.
We also went to the Griffith Observatory.
It was too cloudy to go on the roof and use the big telescopes, but it was a way cool place just to look around on the inside.
Posing with Einstein.
Final family photo
We survived the flight home by ourselves.  There were some intense times, but for the most part these two were pretty good.  Alan nicely napped.  James nicely waved to everyone he could see.  And in the end, we made it.
I think Scott missed us.  Sarah and Michael helped decorate our house with streamers, balloons, and signs, and Scott made these house shaped brownies for us.
In addition to all the pics, Steph and I stayed up entirely too late every night talking.  It was so much fun to spend some time together.  We missed Marc, but it was probably a good thing he was out of town.  He would have gotten sick of us. :)  Thanks for taking such good care of us, Steph and Anne, we had a blast.  And thanks to Scott for taking care of things at home and letting us go!