(head's up-this is a picture heavy post, and I didn't bother to crop or edit any of them)
Fun little tidbit about our trip....the kids didn't really know about it.
They knew we were going to St George for a few days, so they figured we were just packing ahead of time. After that whole preparedness challenge, we told them we were just being prepared. It worked.
We had let Malia in on the fact that we were going to be gone for the whole week so she didn't panic about missing that much school, and on Saturday we let Taylor and Alaina in on the fact that we were leaving town a few days earlier and making a stop in Vegas and not just St George. They had no idea about the rest of it.
As we left Vegas on Monday morning Aaron said "hey, why don't we just go to the beach?!". The kids scoffed with "yeah right" and "suuuure, let's go to the beach".
We drove down the strip to show the kids the awesome buildings, and the Statue of Liberty ("the small one from Las Vegas") which they loved. It involved a lot of "Kids look at that! but don't look too closely...."
Despite the crazy crap (yes, crap is appropriate terminology here), there really are some amazing things down in Vegas. Too bad that such amazing architecture and creativity is surrounded by smut.
The Eifel Tower
("also the small one from Vegas")
And honest to a fault panhandlers.
Gotta love it.
The kids really didn't know we were headed to the beach, as usually when we are in Vegas we take off from the city area to go do something a little off the beaten path. When we kept driving they started questioning whether or not we might actually be going to the beach after all....
Word to the wise-always fill up with gas in a real city. Aside from the possibility of running out, you will go bankrupt if you have to fill up at a gas station in the middle of nowhere.
Unless you're from California and then it's just life as normal I suppose.
Coming through the canyon you catch a glimpse at the end of the road.....
I could already smell it in the air....windows go down the last couple of miles of the canyon.
And then there it is. One of my most favorite spots in the whole world.
Which doesn't make a ton of sense for someone who hates traffic
and doesn't love tons of people.
This is where I sing the praises of my husband. As the marathon approached, my mileage dropped to practically nothing. The dreaded taper. My legs were a tad bit restless. Add many hours of driving over two days and not only were my legs restless, my mind was too. As we pulled up to Cleo Street he knew I was chomping at the bit. I needed to squeeze in a couple of miles on Monday and so to satisfy my love affair with running at the beach, he had me change into my running clothes and take off before anyone had even changed into swimsuits. I was cruising down the PCH and then winding through the sidewalks and stairs of the Laguna Beach coast while he was back at the van managing the changing and wrangling of eight children. Now that is true love!
I flew on that run. I held a pace a full minute per mile faster than my normal quick pace for a short run, which is crazy if you know the amount of hills and stairs that wind along just past the main boardwalk at Laguna. Then figure in the warmth of 2 in the afternoon and the humidity (not *that* much, but I do live in a desert). Like I said, I was a tad restless.
After running the crazies out I met up with the family.
ON THE BEACH!!!
Oh how I love the beach.
The kids loved it too.
SO much fun watching them play in the water, explore through the rocks and dig in the sand.
Charlotte looked like this the ENTIRE time.
All squeals and giggles for hours.
Some getting rolled
Some "DON'T take a picture of me right now!" after getting rolled. heehee
A whole lot of fun.
Sam's inaugural trip to Laguna, which he loved. Some kids fear the ocean or hate the feel of the sand....nope, not our babies!
Aaron's dad joined us for the first few days of our trip as well.
He wasn't exactly dressed for the beach, but I think he still had fun watching the kids play.
Cleo and Sleepy Hollow.....really never thought I'd have Sam here.
I love Laguna Beach.
I love it even more with my best friend.