Monday, February 16, 2009

California Vacation

We are finally home from our week long California vacation, and oh it's so good to be home. The best part of being home... Anthony loves all his new (old) toys. He has been completely self occupied since we got home last night playing with them all. He also seemed to be happy to be back in his own bed, the CA time change didn't even seem to mess him up too much, he went to bed at 9pm last night and woke up at 8am this morning. So hopefully we are back on schedule with MI time (surely it can't be that easy). Although I must say, even while we were on vacation we didn't have too much trouble getting him to sleep at night. Poor thing had to sleep in the bathroom most nights because when we stay in a hotel room we have to put him to bed where he can't see us or he will not sleep. (Which was somewhat of a problem for me, cause being 8 months pregnant I can't exactly make it all night without a few trips to the bathroom.) After he fell fast asleep and Todd and I were ready for bed we'd pull his crib out into the room.

I finally figured out that the problem with uploading pictures was an internet connection problem because now that I am home, I was able to upload the pictures without any problems. Of course now I can't seem to rearrange the pictures to put them in chronological order of the trip. They are in reverse order, but rather than worry about it, I will just share about the trip in reverse order.

The day after the farm show was over we drove up to Sequoia National Park to see the giant redwood trees. Most of the routes and sites were closed due to the snow, but we still got to see the trees and it was a nice drive through the mountains. There was no snow when we started our drive, but we soon encountered lots and lots of snow the higher up the mountain we drove.

At the top we stopped for a few pictures. Yes it was cold, why we don't have coats on I don't know. I guess it just seemed like a lot of work to pull out the coats just to take a few pictures and get back in the car. Here is Todd's parents with Anthony.
On the drive back down the mountain we were following this car (who against the law decided they didn't need their tire chains) until it slid off the road and got stuck. Todd and Russ got out to see if they could help, but it was really really stuck and thankfully someone who works for the park drove by and offered to go get help to pull them out. I did feel bad for them cause they had 2 little kids in the car with them.
Another quick picture in front of a great big red wood tree.

I took this one from the car, I was worried that the snow was going to ruin my camera.

Okay, now go back to day one of the trip... Todd and I took Anthony to Riverview Park in Bakersfield, CA. He liked it a lot. He hasn't really been to a park before, last summer he was too young, and then it's just been too cold all winter to take him. I think this summer we will be spending lots of days at the park. Look how happy he is in all these pictures. I especially like the ones of him on the swing.

Of course we did go to CA for a farm show... so we were in the heart of farm country... and Todd is a farmer... so you know we did our fare share of driving around looking at farms. I didn't take too many pictures of them, since that isn't really my thing, but I did think the orange trees were pretty cool looking.

We stopped at a little family owned fruit stand/petting zoo on our way to the park in Bakersfield. They had all kinds of yummy canned stuff inside. We walked around the fruit stand for about 15 minutes, Todd looked at all the produce and Anthony and I sampled all the canned stuff, (pickled asparagus, mushrooms, okra, bread and butter pickles etc. etc.) . I felt like we needed to buy at least something before we left after indulging in all the free samples, so we bought a jar of bread and butter pickles... we were both shocked when we realized a pint jar cost $7. Admission to the petting zoo however, was only $2, so that made up for the really expensive pickles.

Halfway through the week the farm show started and Todd's parents flew in the day before the farm show to go with us. All in all the farm show was pretty boring (from a non-farmer prospective) but Todd and his dad seemed to really enjoy it. Anthony was a pretty good sport about it too. The highlight for everyone was letting him play in the tractors. (of course we didn't really need to go to CA for that, we have lots of tractors here at home.) For the second day of the farm show, we let Todd and his dad go alone, and Janice, Anthony and I went to the new outlet mall down the street. Turns out shopping all day is kind of boring too, there is only so much you can buy on vacation when you know everything you buy you have to fit into your suitcase to take home. We ended up going to a movie in the afternoon. Only 3 other people were in the theater thankfully. We sat on the row in front of the aisle so Anthony could play and move around on the floor. I was hoping he'd nap, but no such luck, he crawled all over that theater, and when we left his white socks were brown on the bottom. Gross!!
Here is a picture of him sleeping in the bathroom in the hotel room. I took the picture because I thought he looked so cute, Todd put him to bed with no pants on, and apparently Anthony pulled one of his socks off. I tried to move this picture to the top of the post, but I can't, so here it is, smack in the middle of the farm show pictures.
Grandpa had to buy Tony a John Deere hat of course. Apparently Todd had one just like it when he was a little boy.

They gave us badge holders to wear at the farm show, I gave mine to Anthony and hooked his pacifier on to it so it wouldn't fall in the dirt every time he decided to throw it. See it hanging around his neck?

On our second day in CA, Todd and I woke up to snow! We were quite unimpressed. We did after all come to CA with the hopes of warm weather after all the snow we'd had at home. Although we were staying in Tehachapi which is in the mountains. A co-worker of mine got me a good deal on a condo there for the week through her time share. It was a really nice condo, and for a really good price, but the location was not so good. When we woke up to snow, we decided to drive south to the coast for the day. We weren't sure where exactly we'd go, but we ended up at the Santa Barbara Zoo (a 3 hour drive). So the zoo wasn't exactly so cool that it was worth the 3 hour drive, but it was okay, and the drive along the coast was nice, and at least it was warmer than Tehachapi. For some reason this is the only picture I took at the zoo.
This picture was taken the morning in Tehachapi before we headed to Santa Barbara. Can you blame us? When we left this place to go to the farm show for 2 days we took all our stuff with us and turned in our keys. We weren't sure what the weather would be like the rest of the week, but if it was snowing, we weren't coming back. Turned out to be a smart move on our part, cause when we were driving back down to LA after the farm show to go to Disneyland we noticed the road to Tehachapi was closed due to snow. So if we hadn't taken all our stuff with us, we wouldn't have been able to get it.
This was the view from our deck of the mountains in Tehachapi before the snow started.
Then the fog set in, this is the same picture taken 2 hours later. The weather there is very unpredictable.

Aren't these orchids pretty??? When we first arrived in LA we drove to Rodeo Drive to sight see. In the parking garage there was a flower shop full of orchids that were so pretty I couldn't help but take a few pictures. I wish my one orchid looked this pretty. It did the day my mom and step dad got it for me when Anthony was born, then the flowers fell off and it's been bare ever since. I keep watering it hoping it will someday bloom again.

Here we are on Rodeo Drive. We were quite a bit underdressed for the location. I felt like a poor person in comparison to the trendy dressers all around us with their designer clothes, handbags and sunglasses.

We mostly just wanted to window shop, since I was pretty sure we couldn't afford much of anything sold in a store on Rodeo Drive. When we walked past this store I couldn't resist going inside to take a peak. How cute are these matching father-son swim trunks? They can't cost that much, right? Of course there were no price tags on the clothes, you had to ask the sales person the price. When she said the infant sizes started at $100 and adult sizes started at $200 and went up from there, we decided we better stick to just window shopping.
More pictures from Rodeo Drive

That pretty much sums up our trip, with the exception of our day at Disneyland. Disneyland was so much fun and I took so many pictures that I feel it deserves a blog post all by itself, so I will work on that and hopefully post it later today or tomorrow. For now, I am going to take advantage of Anthony's nap time and get a few things unpacked.

P.S. While we were gone in CA it warmed up so much at home that all the snow melted. Then it started to storm and then the power went out at our house. Luckily my sister Francie was staying at our house to take care of the dog and the house. When she called to tell me the power was out, I began to panic about our basement flooding. We seem to get a lot of water into our sump pump well when it rains a lot or snow melts, and if the power is out, the pump doesn't work. I had her check it and it was 6 inches from overflowing. Poor thing, I had her manually bailing water out in the dark to buy time while Todd's sister and brother-in-law went and got a generator to hook up. Apparently it was quite an ordeal. Francie blogged about it in detail HERE if you want to read her dramatic and entertaining story of it. Long story short though, our basment didn't flood and we are so grateful for everyone who helped prevent it.


Elle J said...

Enjoyed your pictures. The redwoods are so pretty ~ hope the beauty was not covered by the snow. I can't wait to see the Disneyland Photos and hear how your son enjoyed the park. And you are already 8 months along?! How exciting!! :)

Rachael said...

I was wondering if you were back yet! Sounds like a fun trip. I would have been pretty annoyed at snow too!

Tina in CT said...

Beautiful pictures among the redwoods while it was snowing.

A big change from there to Southern CA and Rodeo Drive.

Mandy Lou said...

Sooo glad that your basement is ok - we flooded again and I wondered about you guys!

And I'm glad that you guys got a chance to go to Disney - can't wait to see the pictures:-)

Natalie said...

looks like tons of fun! Tony looks like he can't hardly be any more excited without popping! He's so cute!

Natalie said...

oh...i was going to say aslo, Leah is talking up a storm! I told her yesterday to say goodbye to walter and she was like...bye bye wa wa! it was so cute. I cant wait to see Tony this weekend, its been so long, i might not even recognize him!