Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Summer's Big Adventure

What do you get when 2 moms and 6 kids all pile in a car together? An unforgettable road trip!
Mari and I hatched a plan to take everyone to California for a couple of weeks convincing ourselves we were really brave enough to do this... and besides it would be cheaper than flying (that was before gas hit the $4 mark). Warning: this is a long post with lots of pictures...
Here we are car loaded, ready to go.
Mostly all smiles as we head west.
Arizona Indian Territory.
A tame dinosaur we found along the way.
A little detour to the Grand Canyon. (l to r Isabel, Ashley, Gracie, Elie, Jessie and Matthew) I had a hard time enjoying myself here as the kids were restless and the edge a little too convenient to fall over. My palms still get sweaty thinking about it, but it's hands down a must see - even if for only a few hours.
This one couldn't sit close enough to the edge. There is literally nothing keeping her from falling.
This is our first day after arriving in Glendora, Ca. We are at Finkbiner Park with cousins Chantz and Cade.
Some Raging Water activity in San Dimas.
The famous Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles with my brother and his boys. We're having lunch at El Paseo Inn (one of the oldest Dinner Houses in L.A. - according to the sign anyway).
Typical Olvera Street shopping scene. Next door, they were building a movie set, but to the kid's disappointment nothing was being filmed yet and no movie stars were hanging about.
These guys were entertaining though.

This is a fairly new aquarium in Long Beach. It was ok, but doesn't begin to compare with the Monterrey Bay aquarium.

For those of you who've never seen a Sea Dragon before... here it is.
One of my favorite beaches to play at is Huntington Beach. We were on the City side (vs. the State side).
A little walk on the pier.
Isabel is bonding with Uncle David on a motorized scooter at my parent's house. She now wants her dad to have "real" tattoos too.
Working out at Little Dalton Park in Azusa. I would love to see this in parks everywhere. They had all kinds of equipment to "play" on. The kids couldn't get enough of it.
A shared 8/16 birthday with Jess. My mom had over 30 of my cousins and their families over. So much fun!
Love these girls!! Cousins Sheryl and Laurie are amazing women of God!
Me and my bro.
Saying goodbye and taking pictures in the dark are just not fun, but I had to have a pic of the Gilhousen connection.
A day at the San Dimas Nature Center. Lots of wildlife rehab going on here.
Tide pools at Laguna Beach. A great place for exploring.

We met my friend Cal and her kids Aubrey and Andre here.

On the way home we stopped at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. They rescue and rehab Sea Lions and other critters before releasing them back to the sea. A life guard from Newport Beach started this back in the 70's in his apartment bath tub.

Here's a pic of the family outside La Brea Tar Pits in L.A.
Hanging out with the Mammoths.
The last day we spent having a great time at cousin Laurie's house.

The girls had fun with their older cousins Allie and Jess goofing off in the pool and putting on a fashion show before we headed home.

The next day we picked up Mari and kids and busted a move back home. All in all we put in an exhausting 3,600 miles on Big Blue, but it was well worth it and best of all we're still friends. We may even do it again next year. Want to caravan with us?

1 comment:

Marianne said...

Hey, so I had a total flashback of going to that San Dimas waterpark with you before I left for Germany!!! It was my first waterpark experience and I totally loved it! Do you remember that? Hey and your bro looks really good!! All the pics are fantastic!! So where are the pumpkin shirts? Oh yeah, the party is not until tonight! HEHEHE