Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Real California Adventure

At the beginning of September, Mom, Damon and I went on quite the adventure. We had the opportunity the fly to California to attend Cousin Marissa’s (daddy’s cousin) and her fiancĂ©, Dan’s wedding. Unfortunately, daddy was not able to attend because the CMU volleyball team had a home tournament that same weekend and he couldn’t get away. He was devastated to miss this event and he was sorely missed by all.
After the trip was planned and mom decided to brave flying alone with two kids, she did as much prep work as she could so things would go as smooth as possible. We departed from Grand Junction on a flight to Las Vegas.
It was there that mom had to locate a shuttle to take us to our hotel where we would be staying for the night (Terrible’s Hotel and Casino). The whole shuttle business was the hardest part of the day. Mom had to lug me in a stroller, Damon in a carrier, a diaper bad, a back pack and a huge suitcase to the pick up area where we had to wait for about 45 minutes in the late night heat. Even though it was late, both Damon and I were quite well behaved. When we arrived at the hotel, it was in fact not “Terrible” at all (other than the huge, loud, busy casino as soon as you walk in). Mom and I each had our own bed and Damon slept well in a crib. When we both were asleep, mom felt like she could finally take her first deep breath of the day.

Our flight to Santa Maria the next day was in the afternoon so we had no rush in the morning. We ate a nice breakfast at the hotel’s cafĂ© and watched some cartoons while mommy packed up and got ready.

We got to the Las Vegas airport with lots of time to spare so we did some exploring and ate a nice lunch. Other than a really hot airplane, the next flight went quite smoothly.

When we got to Santa Maria, the cool sea breeze was like a breath of fresh air after being in hot, dry climates for so long. As soon as we got off the plane we were looking for Grandma and Granddad. They were anxiously awaiting our arrival as well and greeted us with lots of hugs and kisses. From Santa Maria, we had a little drive to Santa Barbara which is where we stayed. When we checked into our hotel, we went to find Great Grandma and Grandpa Cooper, Uncle Ike and Cousin Paige. Later Uncle Tim, Aunt Lora, and Cousins Kit Kat and Ry-guy arrived and we all went out for a nice Italian dinner. The Vacation had begun!!
The next day was the day of the wedding but since it wasn’t until the afternoon, we had time to go have some fun. First we went to a beach close to our hotel and I thought the ocean was spectacular!! I was a little funny though… when grandma Cari or mom took me down to the water my body would move with the waves so each time a wave would recede I would almost fall over into the ocean. Damon also loved the ocean… well loved it in the way that it put him to sleep.

When we got back to the hotel, after a quick swim in the pool, we all got ready for the wedding. Granddad and I watched a movie while mommy and grandma did their primping and Damon was sure a trooper and slept the whole time!

The ceremony was held at a beautiful ranch on a cliff that over looked the ocean. It was the perfect setting for Marissa and Dan, two love puppies who love to surf and spend time outdoors. Houston, like all the other cousins, had a very important part of the wedding. Each cousin had something special to walk down the isle and Houston and Ryan each carried down abalone shells. It was so special that Houston could participate and he did so good!

After the ceremony, we headed over to a huge tent for food, speeches and lots of dancing. By this point mom was stressed because I hadn’t really eaten or slept since we had gotten there. But I remained in good spirits and enjoyed being passed around and adored by everyone who saw me. Mom and Houston danced the night away until him and I had reached our limit. We then headed back to the hotel with Granddad and crashed after a full but awesome day.

The next day we met Uncle Adam, Auntie Andi and Cousins Marin and Troy for lunch before heading back to Alameda. The Aunties and cousins decided to stay the night in Alameda so that we could go to the zoo the next day. This was my first time at a real zoo, and though a little tired and grumpy I loved seeing all the animals!

The following day Grandma Cari had off work and we shared a very special day with her. First we went to the Temple and I got to see a huge statue of Jesus! Then we went to a restaurant that serves the yummiest ice cream. Mom discovered her all time favorite ice cream on this trip: mocha cookie crunch!

After that we went to a fun theme park called Fairy Land. There were tons of play structures based on traditional fairy tales and I was in heaven exploring it. I even got a magic key that I used to hear songs and stories around the park. At the end we caught an impressive puppet show based on the Sleeping Beauty Story.

We left the next day and had two flights back to Grand Junction. This time there was a shorter lay over in Vegas which made for a very long day. We were happy to be greeted by a lonely dadda and, though we had an amazing trip, were excited to get back.