Tuesday, December 2, 2014

CA Thanksgiving Trip 2014

Every year we head to the kids' Grandma and Grandpa's in CA for Thanksgiving. This is our 4th year following this fun tradition! 

Friday the 21st, we decided we would pick the kiddos up at school at dismissal and be on our way, trying to beat some of the bad rainy weather we knew lay ahead of us. Luckily the rain didn't slow us down, the kids were mostly well behaved, and oh boy did we jam to some Frozen and Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer! After stopping off for a quick dinner, we made it to our half way point in Klamath Falls, OR and checked into our hotel. It's always fun staying over in a hotel...the kids just get a kick out of it. 

Saturday morning we enjoyed a waffle breakfast in the hotel's breakfast room and managed to be packed up and back on the road by 8am. Good hustle, kiddos! The only stipulation to day two in the car....no Frozen

We made it to my mom's a little after 1 and Sam and I promptly unloaded the car and bailed on the kids, haha. After being in the car with three children for hours....you tend to go a little crazy. We spent a little time shopping at Costco, Ross, and Target before heading home for dinner and some hang out time watching Christmas movies with the family. 

Sunday, after Grandpa got off work, we headed out to a KOA campground in the Big Sur area to go CAMPING! Oh gosh how awesome to camp in November in CA! The weather was wonderful, 65-70* during the day and 45*ish at night. We had a little cabin that had a bed in the main room and two double bunks in the back room. The kids enjoyed picking out their bunks....naturally Anth and Mols picked the top bunks, leaving Papa on the bottom and Mama sharing a bottom with Tim as well. A dinner of cheesy rice and beans with hamburger capped off a fun evening of fire poking and camp ground exploring. 

Monday morning, rise and shine! We had pancakes and sausage for breakfast before heading over to the awesome playground they have in the middle of the campground. It was fun watching the kids play, and Timothy was getting really brave! They had this one thing you sit in and your weight makes it spin round and round....ohh jeesh, that could have made me puke! Anthony said it did make his tummy hurt, haha. 

A drive to see the sights in the area was the plan for the day. First we stopped at Bixby Bridge, built in 1932. It's huge and pretty. (On our way home, we got stopped a ways before the bridge for a while because they had it closed due to shooting a car commercial!) Timothy had fallen asleep in the car, so he has not too happy about getting his photo taken, but the other kids were in good spirits and enjoyed watching the water crash into the rocks. 

After our stop at Bixby Bridge, we went to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park for a picnic lunch and a nice walk among the red wood trees. It was just beautiful out! The sun was shining and the air in the woods smelled amazing. Some of the trees we saw were just massive! We trotted through the woods, we called for Bigfoot, we hugged trees, we took photos, and we were merry. :) ....most of us, most of the time. lol 

When we got back to the KOA campground, we thought it was the perfect time to take a dip in the hot tub and pool! Well, I stayed in the hot tub....the others ventured into the pool. It was heated, but after being in the hot tub, the pool felt cold! So no way for this Mama!

Dinner that night was hot dogs and green beans. Yum! The kids each had two and were asking for more after that! Busy day of walking and swimming will make a kiddo hungry. 

Tuesday we packed up our belongings, said goodbye to our cabin (the kids were sad for sure), and went out to breakfast at Black Bear Diner! Pancakes, eggs, and bacon please! 

After breakfast we headed to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We went there last year when we were in CA, but the aquarium never gets old, so we were very excited to go there again. Anthony told us he likes to go because he learns something new each time. :) The kids' favorite part was the touch pools where they got to touch a whole bunch of shells, seaweed, etc. My favorite part was the jelly fish. My least favorite part was when Timothy threw a massive fit and I had to sit with him outside for 10 minutes while people stared like they'd never seen a child cry before, haha! Poor boy...we realized he's getting a molar!...so he was getting grumpy from the pain in his mouth. Ok then, fit forgiven.  After the aquarium, we skipped the beach and hit the road to try to beat some of the traffic home. Nothing worse then getting stuck in traffic in CA. Ugh.  

On Wednesday, Sam, my sister Sarah, and I got to spend the day together. We went and got pedicures....Sam and Sarah's first! Sarah and I got our toes painted, Sam did not. ;) Afterwards, we went to the movie theater to watch Interstellar. The movie was awesome, and it was made even better with the huge pretzel and cheese sauce I got to eat while watching it! 

Thursday, Happy Thanksgiving! As always, we had the Macy's Day parade on while we relaxed, played, and prepped our Thanksgiving meal.  Prepping started early....with much veggie chopping and potato whipping. Molly helped me make an apple pie using the canned apple pie filling we did a few months back. We even made a sugar and oatmeal crumb topping. Good job, Mols! Our Thanksgiving meal consisted of prime rib, ham, home made stuffing, twice baked and whipped potatoes with cheese and chives, green beans, acorn squash, pumpkin pie, and apple pie! Ohhhhhh it was delicious! The kids all cleared their plates.....well, Tim mostly ate pumpkin pie, lol. I cleared my plate too. Twice. ;) 

After eating, we opened presents! We always have a mini Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa on Thanksgiving. The kids got a lot of goodies from them, as well as their friend Betty Ann. Molly got some pretty sweet Frozen items, Timothy loved his toy cars, the highlight for Anthony was his very first gun given to him by Grandpa, and the kids all got mini photo books of their trip to CA this past summer. Awesome!!  Even Mama and Papa got some gifts....my favorite being old pull knobs I can use in my crafting. THANK YOU!

Friday we took a drive to see a friend of my mom, Alice. She lives in an assisted living facility and it was nice we were able to stop in for a visit. We went outside to their courtyard area and let the kids run wild while Alice got some fresh air. 

After out visit with Alice, we continued on to Betty Ann and her son Steve, friends of Grandma and Grandpa. We ate lunch at their place where Betty Ann continued to spoil the kids with a few more gifts! Such lucky and well loved kids. We ate ice cream and cookies too, and even took a little trip to the park nearby to play. 

The rest of the day was spent playing, napping, and packing. That evening Steve came by for leftover Thanksgiving dinner and a few card games. The kids couldn't miss out on all the fun....they learned a thing or two and had a great time playing while Grandma and Mama watching a movie. 

Saturday morning it was time to say goodbye and get on our way. We didn't rush out though, I think we left about 10:30. It's hard to say goodbye, but there was our home and school to get back to! We made a few stops for some lunch and shopping before making it to Klamath Falls, our half way point, and checking into our hotel again at 7pm. Hot baths, jumping on the hotel beds, and Christmas cartoons on tv filled our evening! 

Sunday morning we went out to breakfast and was on the road again by 8am. A few more stops for some lunch and shopping and we were home a little after 3pm! Home sweet home! 

What a wonderful trip we had! I'm so glad we are able to do it every year. There has to be something said for starting your own family traditions! 

With love,
Mama Hauck

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