Tuesday, July 27, 2010

California Adventure with The Bernasconis!!

My friend Trish and I took the kids to California for a sort of spontaneous (as in planned for 3 weeks) 2 day trip to the Los Angeles area for some fun and sun on the beach. We decided to refer to this trip as the "Low Expectation Vacation". We thought if we kept our expectations low it might help us to not be disappointed if things don't go so well. But things went great. Except for some whining and some fighting like Sisters between Ella and Summer (over a stupid doll) it actually went better then expected. Here is a recap of our trip!

In the car (in jammies still) and ready to go were Summer and Ella in back row and Ryen and Leo in the middle row.

Yes- we drove four children under the age of four in one SUV to CA!! The kids were pretty good on the way to our first stop which was in Blythe CA (about half way). We stopped at a McDonald's and let the kids play for over an hour. While they enjoyed the break... we enjoyed some much needed COFFEE!

And of course there was a little mischief in the car...

Next it was back in the car and what seemed like 18 hours later we arrived at Huntington Beach! Where it was cloudy, drizzly, and cold! :( BOO!!!!!!! But this being our low expectation vacation we weren't surprised. So we put the kids in their suits and we frolicked on the beach anyway!

(Sorry in advance for the colors/lighting being off in many of these photos. It was a real cloudy day and I was messing with camera settings and trying to play around with aperture and the results were disastrous! I need to take that photography course!)

Summer and Ella were holding hands and running through the parking lot to get to the Beach!

Mommy and Ella had fun jumping in waves and trying to outrun them...

...and Mommy and Ryen had fun twirling on the beach and "jumping" over waves too!

Trish and Leo had a blast running in and out of the cold water (I love Leo's expressions in some of these... too cute!)

And Summer was fearless when we first got to the beach. She was running, diving, jumping in waves... picking up seaweed, throwing sand balls, etc!

Until she had a really big wave knock her face first in the sand. It sort of ruined the beach for her after that. And this was our result...

But she was a trooper and hung in there while the kids built sand castles and cuddled with Mommy to warm up! :)

I couldn't resist a photo of baby feet covered in sand (hee hee)...

...or my own feet finally making it to the BEACH...

and my girls couldn't resist digging for shells on the way back to the car.

Then it was a long car ride back to our hotel for a pajama party!!

And what a party it was...

...except for Ryen that is. As you can see by her eyes rolling in her head, she was SO tired she actually begged to go to sleep and fell asleep in her crib with all this riff raff going on!

The next day we hit the hotel breakfast with the kids, packed up our bags and our (insanely cranky, whiny, screaming) children and decided to head to The Santa Monica Pier for the day. I LOVE the Santa Monica pier and have always wanted to take my kids there! I wont even express what our ride from Anaheim Hills to Santa Monica was like. Trish and I would like to forget this ride forever. And with all the traffic we hit and the stops we had to make we didn't even get there till 2pm. But we were there for about 6 hours and we had a ridiculously good time! There was so much to do and see.

Ready to go explore

Unfortunately after the ride we had getting here, instead of exploring Ryen was ready for a nap...

and Trish and I were ready for ALCOHOL... Cheers!!!

After we drank our sorrows away and Ella hit a wall and had an epic tantrum on the patio of this restaurant, it was time to venture over to the carnival rides!

Then it was off to stroll the boardwalk... or rather walk 5 ft and take a seat:

Ella and Summer even came across this hilarious Asian Reggae performer who had such a thick accent and loved to stop singing long enough to yell at people that they need to tip him if they want to listen. He was also proud of his "As Seen on Jimmy Kimmel Live" sign. He LOVED Ella and Summer and they LOVED him. They danced in front of him for like 15 minutes, and even drew a crowd at times. Here are some photos below and then a hilarious video. Even Ryen got in the mix!

Leo: Hmmm think anyone will notice if I take off with the tip jar? Summer: Not if I get it first Leo!! Ha ha

And then it was down to the BEACH! Where Spiderman jumped off a wall and asked if the girls would like their photo taken with him. I thought, wow this is cool. Til he gently suggested to my BFF Greg,(aka Uncle Greg who had JUST met up with us) that TIPS were appreciated after the photos were taken. Loser! LOL- I should've known. Greg paid him off and down to the Ocean we went! :)

Snuggles from Uncle Greg!

Here are some scenic photos I took of the beach. It was sunset and the beach was gorgeous.

And here is more of the Pier in all it's glory... :)

After the beach we started the long trek back to the car. A balloon lady practically attacked Greg asking if "Daddy" wanted balloon animals for all the kids. She wasn't allowed to sell them but, of course, TIPS were appreciated once again. So Greg shelled out some more money and got all the kids one. Here is how they thanked him...

And two more interesting photo ops we found on the way to the car:

Finally after loading up the car we headed back to Greg's place in LA and got the car packed, changed our clothes, got the kids in jammies, and got set for the long ride home. Thanks Uncle Greg for letting the kids ransack your home! Ha ha! We ended up leaving LA at 10pm and got home at 4:30am. The best part though was the kids slept the entire way for the most part. It was so nice to be able to just drive and sing along to the radio and talk to Trish without being interrupted 10,000 times by whining, somebody asking for something, or somebody fighting. :) But I think Trish would agree we had a great trip, for traveling with 4 kids under 4 and for the amount of time we spent in the car for this trip. I look at these photos and see all the smiles on these kids faces and know every second of it was worth it. I would love to do it again sometime! :) Thanks Trish, Summer and Leo for a GREAT and HILARIOUS adventure!!


  1. Fav pic has got to be the one of Ryen and her sleepy eyes. So sweet! Looks like a fun trip :)

  2. Trish BernasconiJuly 29, 2010 at 9:06 AM

    I want to make this blog post into a book!! I love it!! What an awesome way to relive such a hilarious experience!! I had a blast w you guys, and would love to do it again!! But next time less kids, more drinks, k?

    LOVE YOU!!!!!

  3. Seriously so much fun. Just the girls and kids, no husbands. How cool is that? I really want to go to the beach now. I love the sand toesies.