– california 2015 –

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After a much-too-long drive (silly California traffic) we arrived in California.  On the trip down we split the drive up – driving from home to St. George the first day, and then the rest of the way the next.  Our first stop:  Aunt Nancy’s to visit with her and Super Grandma!!  It was so wonderful to be out of the car!  We had a delicious lunch and a great visit, but we were all ready and excited to see the beach.  A short drive later we were there!!  My first stop was Costco with my mom and Ali, Dave’s to unload the car, so Grandpa was the one who got to enjoy the kids first reaction to the beach.  We were pleasantly surprised that Eli took an immediate LOVE to the water and sand — and that continued all week!!  All the kids were in love!
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Eli spent his days running in the water and trying to not get knocked over, shoveling sand and water, building in the sand, throwing things in the water and just enjoying every second.
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Audra was in her own little world.  She would literally plant herself somewhere in the sand and do who knows what – dig for shells, just play in the sand, splash the water.  We just knew we could always find Audra sitting somewhere just having a great time.  She also taught herself to boogie board which was stinking adorable!!
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Conner and Logan were our professional boogie boarders.  They spent hours and hours each day our in the water with their cousins.  It was so awesome to see them really enjoying being in the ocean. Sadly I rarely had my phone to take photos when they were boogie boarding.  And, of course, no trip to California would be complete without building at least one giant sandcastle.
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Despite having big plans of seeing other attractions in So. California, we just couldn’t tear ourselves away from the beach.  It was too relaxing and entertaining for the children.  We did force ourselves away one day to visit the San Diego Zoo.  It was almost worth the price of admission :).  It turned out to be a great day and the kids had fun so I definitely think it was worth it.  My favorite part:  the adorable koala bears.  Oh man I couldn’t get enough!!  And seeing a panda was pretty incredible as well.  Eli’s favorite part was riding the bus and going “up a guy (sky)” in the aerial tram.
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And then it was back to the beach and pool!!  We even got to the spend the 4th of July on the beach watching fireworks right over the beach.  Sadly we weren’t able to go right down to the beach as we were planning to pull out the next morning VERY early and needed the kids in bed early.  So we watched from our hotel and it was still a great day!
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The drive home was MUCH faster and despite absolutely no one sleeping, everyone did fine and survived.  We were happy to be home and out of the car after such a beautiful vacation!  We loved grandma’s store, game-playing, swimming, laughing, relaxing and being together as a family!!
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