..continued.

Outside of Disney and Huntington Beach, we spent an afternoon in Coronado.

“Go to the island,” they said.

“It’ll be fun,” they said.

Well, feast your eyes on this.

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Now imagine my mellow, slow-pumping, I’m-on-vacation heart jump in speed 10-fold when I laid eyes on the very narrow, very terrifying, swerving traffic-laden bridge we had to cross to get there. I’m not exaggerating when I say we had the best ice cream of our lives, but it brought a new meaning to “death by chocolate.” If you haven’t experienced Moo Time, go get your bucket list right now and pencil it in.

 

I’ll wait.

 

Back? Ok. We also had some insanely good (and insanely huge) pizza at Village Pizza in Coronado. It was amazing; And not like when they say that on “The Bachelor.” It was amazing in it’s original form, like from 10 years ago. While I’m gushing about food, I should also mention the In-N-Out I tried for the first time. I’d probably book another trip to California for animal-style fries and a cheeseburger alone. Why doesn’t Seattle have one of these?!

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Being in Coronado makes a short trip to SeaWorld, so we did that too. I have another bucket list item for you: allowing these fish to eat dead skin off your hands. It’s the best, worst thing and we couldn’t swat our kids off the tide pools. But, we had the perfect trick up our sleeves to lure them off the creepy fish. Whales. What kid wouldn’t gasp in awe at a school-bus sized mammal leaping out of the water? Ours. The answer is our kids wouldn’t. Some of my fondest memories go back to touching and watching whales and dolphins and my offspring couldn’t have been less impressed. Is there a punishment for that?

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We also crashed the Anaheim Packing District with some friends. If you’ve never heard of this, neither had I, but I’m pretty sure it was a dream of mine at some point. It’s basically a mall and the entire thing is a food court. Thai, Mexican, Italian, sandwiches, burgers, ice cream.. you name it and then multiply it by three. As if they haven’t done enough showboating with all the caloric goodness, we were also able to catch a free trolley right off the curb out front. Nothing like cruising Anaheim in true San Francisco style. That’s the Anaheim Packing District.

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Lastly, we spent some time shopping chasing 5 kids around Irvine Spectrum before heading to the airport. I’m looking forward to 2027, so I can go back with a daughter who doesn’t pee the bed and browse the super cool collection of shops.

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I know two little kids that had a blast on this trip. Try some of these places out and let me know what you think!

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IMG_0351I was born and raised in Seattle, but my heart has always been a little California-shaped. Per my initial post, I mostly lack the ability to speak in completely sentences 😉, but my writing comes out presentable. So, let’s talk California!

A long year calls for a trip, so we rolled the kids out of bed at 6am and jetted off to what I call, “the best place on earth.” We made it through the flight with only one poop incident and we kept the kids mostly occupied with some cool activites. We have only been on a plane a few times as a family and we usually paint the perfect picture of parenthood at it’s worst. I’ll take any break to be caught. As soon as we landed we headed straight to Huntington Beach, or as I mentioned above, the best place on earth.  #CoffeeBeforeTalkie

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Without ever having been to HB, I knew it would be the chocolate cake to my fat kid. And not just box mix chocolate cake, I’m talking the stuff your mom made from scratch with fudge oozing from the center. But, you know, with sand in it. It was so good, we spent 3 of our 6 days there.  Being from Seattle, I know what a cool pier looks like, but there’s something about palm trees + surfers that trumps rain + tourists. We spent time jumping in the ocean, building sandcastles, chasing our kids as they chased birds, watching a volleyball tournament, walking the pier, taking in the shops + restaurants and doing all things made of pure happy.

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As it so happens, the best place on earth and the happiest place on earth sit in a juxtaposition of perfection. You already know where this is headed.. Disney. If you ever want to sweat off 7lbs in 3 days, you only have to pay $1,000 to go walk this park. We spent too much on small portions of non-nutritious food that didn’t taste good and on souvenirs that quickly broke + we waited in some very long lines with some very tired children. But, our kids walked away with big eyes and full hearts. You can’t put a price on that.

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These are my top tips:
Fastpasses! Grab some on your top pick as soon as you get to the park.
The Cars ride is worth the wait (picture joy riding but without cops or insurance to worry about).
We stayed for the nightly “Paint the Night” parade two days in a row because it was that good + the song is one you won’t mind getting stuck in your head (♫ “When can we do this again” ♫).
Baby swap passes are available upon request when you have a rider that’s too small and it = even more fun for the bigger kids.
Utilize the app to check wait times in line.

We spent time with Buzz, Pluto, Lightning McQueen, Spiderman, Captain America and my daughter’s favorites: Chewbacca & Darth.

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Really, what 5 year old’s life is complete without having swung a light saber to ward off evil forces? We got her name on a wait list to become a Jedi and she was the very last name called for the day. We barely squeaked in and she’ll never forget it.

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If you or anyone you know can tell me how they operate those cars that drive around Radiator Springs, it would solve one of the world’s mysteries for me.

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Disney is always a win, and I know we will do it again and again. Next up: Coronado Island.

 

to be continued..

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There are two things about myself that I know for sure: I’m a creative spirit and I’m an old soul. I often don’t know how I feel or what I think until I write it out. Putting words down on a page has always helped me capture and organize my racecar thoughts. If doing this publicly also poses some entertainment for you, so be it. At least on the internet I can’t hear the silence of nobody laughing at my jokes. 😉 Having two insanely active kids rules most of my time. My kids are my joy and my kids are my life, but I know these days of superheroes and petty tantrums will expire (I’ve been told by liars that these days flee quickly) and I will be left to my own thoughts and my own time again. My goal is to maintain a functional brain through this child tornado and still be available to conversate at an adult level once I can crawl back out of my underground safe house. I’d like to think there’s a sea of mom’s out there that share my same goals. Avoid loss of sanity. Maintain ability to speak.

It’s amazing how goals change, isn’t it? My goals in my early 20’s were simple; I dreamed them up and I executed them. I worked a corporate job at Microsoft and moved on to a more creative job doing hair extensions out of a lavish building in a ritzy area. I just used the word “ritzy.” Is my age showing? Anyway, something about being married to a dazzling source of encouragement pushed me to leap quickly and confidently. I also enjoyed my time as an aerospace engineer. That’s not true. But, doing part-time hair and having a blonde butterball toddler was a great balance. It didn’t live long, though. Enter baby #2.

I never understood how someone’s screaming child could be their greatest joy until I had some of my own. My babies are a joyful mess. The same dirty-with-chocolate-because-they-broke-into-mommy-and-daddy’s-chocolate-stash-AGAIN faces that I want to darn near ship across the Pacific are the faces that light me up. They drain me and they charge me. There are days I could snap them in half, and yet, I’d never let anyone harm a hair on their sweet bouncy heads. Am I making sense? And why do I feel like I’m yelling?

As my 30’s welcomed me in, they immediately taught me that dumb things (like dressing up to go to the grocery store, having copious amounts of Facebook friends, fitting in and wrinkles) don’t actually matter. There are things that aren’t worth the energy I just spent typing out this sentence. I’ve always felt like a bit of an old soul and the collision of that with my current decade has been a little blissful. My ever-changing mind (and by changing, I really mean shrinking) feels like it has commonsensically grown into those metaphorical shoes that were always a little too big on me.

Next time I find myself losing my train of thought mid-conversation because I’m watching my children throw dirt in the faces of strangers, I will reread this to remind myself there is joy lost in there somewhere. And maybe hum a little Frank Sinatra. 😉

 

Welcome to my virtual happy place.

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