Well we've been home for an entire week now and I'm finally getting a chance to post our pictures and blog some about our summer vacation. I guess we've been busy?!? Here were some of the highlights:
Grandma and Grandpa
It was so much fun to have my parents (Eli's "gamma" and "gampa") join us for the first four days of our trip. Eli was so excited to realize that they were coming, and loved the fact that their hotel room was right next door to ours. In his mind, he decided we had all moved next door to one another and he loved the new set-up to be able to just run over to "Gamma's house." My parents even watched Eli back at the hotel for us one evening, so Micah and I could have a date night!
It was so much fun to take Eli on this vacation. I was a little worried since age 2 is a little unpredictable, but he was a great little traveler! He loved sleeping in his hotel bed (sofa mattress on the floor) and would run and flop on it everytime we walked in our room. He slept great the entire time, so I guess we wore him out. It was fun to experience Disneyland with him and see it again through the eyes of a child. Eli called it "Mi Mouse House" (Mickey Mouse's House). He also had the chance to experience the ocean for the first time at the Santa Monica Beach. He didn't really like having the sand all over him, but enjoyed sitting on the towel and watching the waves.
Our friends (Chris and Robyn) recommended this book to us: The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2008. I read it before we left, and let me tell you, I will never go to Disneyland again without this book - it was AMAZING. The book gives you all kinds of insider tips, down to the nitty gritty details of pretty much everything. It even contains different "touring plans" that tell you what order to go on the rides in order to avoid long lines - including what ticketing gate to line up at when you get there in order to get in the fastest! We followed the advice, and it worked.
3-Days at Disney
This was the first time Micah and I had purchased multi-day park-hopper tickets. Although they were slightly more expensive, it was WELL worth it when taking a toddler. We stayed in a hotel close to Disney (rode a tram every day) and were able to leave for a few hours in the middle of each day to go back to the hotel for naps. I attribute this to being part of the reason why Eli did so well - nap times are sacred. We also didn't feel like we had to cram in a million things each time we were at the park, we were able to take our time, see the sights, and ride everything we wanted to within the three days.
As I already mentioned we took Eli to the beach for the first time. The highlight was eating at a yummy Mexican restaurant on the Santa Monica Pier. We sat outside, over the ocean. It was a beautiful view and the weather was perfect. We were hoping to ride the infamous ferris wheel on the pier, but unfortunately it was rented out by a private group so we'll have to do that one the next time.
San Diego Zoo
If you've never been to this Zoo, it's one of the best. We love going to the Phoenix Zoo (when it's not so hot outside) but the SD Zoo is so much bigger and has amazing exhibits like the Panda and Polar Bears. Eli especially liked seeing all of the snakes in the reptile house.
Yep, I hate to say it but having a mini-van was actually one of the highlights for me. I never thought I would own a mini-van, but ever since we got it it has made traveling with Eli so easy. There is room for everything (plus more) and it's just nice to have the extra space when you are on a road trip and covering so many miles. Hooray for mini-vans!!
See below for a picture slideshow of our trip. Thanks for reading this LONG post!