On our vacation to California, Ella discovered a new "true love". Since we were flying, I thought it would be an exciting way for me to introduce her to gum to keep her ears from popping during take-off and landing. I told her she could have gum only on airplanes or if her ears were popping in a car ride. Here we are 10 days later, back at home in New York and she walked into the living room and announced to Don and I, "Mom, my ears are wiggling. I NEED gum." She was serious as can be, and pointing to her ears, as if we could see them wiggling and duh, she NEEDED gum ASAP!
Rewind the clock 10 days and you would see us boarding a plane for San Francisco. Our cozy crew consisted of, Lily; my one year old who just learned to walk and was eager to show off this skill at every opportunity, Ella; my 3 1/2 year old who asks "why" every 30 seconds, and Don and I; two parents desperate for a relaxing, romantic, adventurous, soul-fulfilling family vacation. We knew we had our work cut out for us. It was a whirlwind trip with visits to San Francisco, Oakland, Big Sur, Carmel, Monterey, Napa...all while reconnecting and catching up with old friends. We were determined. The three hour time difference threw the whole thing off to begin with, so we had a "handicap" right out of the gate. Surprisingly though, Ella and Lily adjusted. I really want to recap the whole amazing trip with all the adorable moments, beautiful scenery and sweet family time, but there is too much to share and I fear I might bore you. We somehow managed it all though. We were able to visit with our greatest friends, drink amazing wine in Napa, drive the incredible Pacific Highway 1, stay in a "tree house" in Big Sur, roll around on the beach in Carmel, have a beer at Monterey Pier, enjoy a date night, hike Redwood forest, and on our last night, see Eddie Vedder in concert. We felt like rock stars for actually pulling it off; we connected as a family and were still able to have an adult-friendly vacation. The best part, our girls loved every minute of it.
When we got back home Don and I reflected on the trip. At home we stick to a great routine that works for our family, but on vacation we threw it out the window. Not realizing it at first, we both have the same philosophy. On vacation, not too much is off limits. The kids can stay up late, enjoy extra desserts, get dirty, laugh until it hurts and be as silly as possible. That is what makes vacations so exciting. As kids, Don and I both had that feeing when we would go away with our own families and it felt nice to bring that feeling to our girls.
Ella cried when we left California, but when we got home she hugged her toys so tight and tucked herself into bed. Vacation is so dreamy, but so is the cozy house to come home to.
Mommy Mantra - "Make your kids an incredible Part of your ife, not your WHOLE life."
Tonight Don cooked. He made breaded tilapia, rice pilaf with spinach and sauteed eggpant, mushrooms and zucchini. I am loving this stage with Lily, she is willing to eat anything we give her. Eating is so exciting to her because she is experimenting with a fork. Pile it on the fork and she happily picks it up and shoves it in. No matter what it is, she will pop it in and hand me back the empty fork to reload.