Friday, May 24, 2013

Cali 2013 - the beginning

Yep - you guessed it - we went to SUNNY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA!

It all started when we received this in the mail. 


We dreamed.
We thought wouldn't it be so fun if we could go!  After all we've known Drew all his life (literally - saw him when he was just a few days old!)  This family is so special to us.  His mom and I met when we were rushing Delta Delta Delta sorority our freshman year at CSUN and I cherish my friendship with her that has lasted with the test of time and distance.  We really could be twins (not that we look alike, but we think alike.  If we saw each other with any regularity, I am sure we would finish each other's sentences.)

We dreamed some more.  We could see my mom.  We could take the kids to Disneyland.  How fun would that be?!  We could go the beach and refill our souls with the salty sea air.
The warm California sun beckoned Eric and I.  Could we go?  

The last time we made a family trip to Cali., we only had four children (7, 5, 3 and 3 months) and we drove.  If we did go, we knew that we didn't want to use up what little time we would have on driving, so we started checking out Price Line and Cheap Tickets.  We found an excellent deal on non-stop, round-trip tickets into Burbank.  We could do this.
Book flights - check!
(Sarah couldn't join us as she couldn't get time off from one of the two jobs she works.  Sad!  It's just not the same when one is missing!)

Now, where to stay?  Hotels would require 2 rooms.  Logistics get interesting too.  You can't very well stay up after you put the littles to bed since you are all in the same room, but then there is the fun of a pool.   
If we were lucky we might find a continental breakfast option included, but then there was the dilemma of keeping lunch and dinner affordable. 
We decided that renting a condo for the week would be the best option.  We checked out VRBO.com  (vacation rental by owner) We found a place that would suit us perfectly in North Hollywood.  It was close to everything we wanted to do.   It had a bedroom for the little girls, a loft for the big boys, futons in the living room Hannah and Dan, the master bedroom, with a walk in closet big enough for a pack n play for Mary.  There wasn't a pool, but we knew we wouldn't be there much anyway!  Book condo - check!
Bonus - we were able to hit the local Costco and Trader Joe's so that we only ate out a couple of times. 

Hmmm, what about a car?  Can you believe that we could rent two small cars (one even being a convertible) cheaper than a large van, but that would mean finding street parking for two cars,  parking costs at Disneyland and the beach for two, and both Eric and I navigating crazy traffic without each other.  We liked the option of sticking together.  
Reserve 12 passenger van - check!
{BTW - Eric did a superb job at captaining the SS White Whale!  The driveway leading to the underground parking was slightly slanted so the van wouldn't fit.  Thankfully, we usually found a street spot not too far away.  AND as a "Welcome" from the state of California, they happily issued us a parking ticket for occupying a prime spot... on street cleaning day.}

The excitement began to build....WE ARE GOING TO CALIFORNIA!!!
Pinch me.  The last big trip we took like this was 14 years ago!!!  AAAAHHHHH - WE ARE GOING TO CALIFORNIA!! 
Since I was born and raised there and am a California Girl through and through I was more than excited!



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