Tuesday, April 12, 2011

another fabulous trip - part 1

Olivia and I recently returned from another wonderful trip to Aptos, California to visit my Aunt Sue. This was Olivia's 5th trip to visit her Aunt Sue Sue and probably one of her best. Now that she is older she is easier to travel with and is more interested in doing the many activities we always have planned. We wanted to make one last trip out to California together before the baby was born and it suddenly becomes much more difficult to travel. Although we hope to return eventually with the new baby we realize that will be not be as easy as it is right now.

We had a fun filled week, packing in as many things as possible. We were blessed with absolutely gorgeous weather the entire week. One of the first things on our agenda was getting pedicures before enjoying a day at the beach. For some reason Olivia did not want to go to the beach until her toes looked pretty, so we rushed off to get our $10 pedicures. Olivia did this last year and enjoyed it tremendously. She seems to enjoy being pampered and I can't say I blame her.

Once we all had pretty toes we headed to the beach. Olivia could not wait to get her feet in that sand and dip her toes in the ocean. Although the sun was warm, the water was not. Did not seem to both Olivia though. She was not afraid of getting wet and loved waiting for the waves to crash up on the shore. I think she spent 3 solid hours playing in the sand that day and I am sure she would have stayed longer if we were not all completely exhausted. I got a tad too much sun that day, but it sure was nice relaxing on the beach watching my sweetie play in the sand and sun.

The next day we all took a short train ride to visit my cousin Justin at Berkeley. Olivia hasn't been on a train/subway since she was just months old, so it was a bit of an adventure for her.

My cousin just finished his Spring Break and was not be able to come home during our visit. We settled for lunch and a short walk around campus with him. Olivia has always loved Justin and even though she has not seen him since Thanksgiving they were back to being best buds in just minutes. It was a beautiful sunny day and we enjoyed spending time with Justin.

After two straight days of sun and warm temps, it cooled off a bit on Saturday. That did not stop us from continuing the fun activities. That morning we took Olivia to a lookout that is known for it's big waves and surfing. Because it was overcast the waves were pretty big and the surfers were out in full force. Olivia brought her own camera and was obsessed with taking photos of the waves and surfers.

That afternoon we took her to the Santa Cruz boardwalk. We have wanted to do this for awhile and this year she was finally old enough to go and enjoy the rides and attractions. She immediately spotted the kid's rides and wanted to go on every one. When it comes to amusement park rides Olivia has NO fear. Put a mascot in front of her and she loses her mind, but ask her if she wants to ride a roller coaster and she can hardly contain herself. I wish I could have gone on the rides with her that day, but being pregnant sort of rules out that possibility. Luckily my other cousin, Ryan was home for the weekend and came with us to the boardwalk. He agreed to go on the coaster with Olivia and I think she would have rather him go anyway.

When it was their turn they were first in line and Olivia could not pass up the chance to sit in the front car. My little thrill seeker squealed the entire time the coaster flew around the track. She came off bouncing with joy and I think she would have gone 10 more times if she could.

As soon as she was off that roller coaster it was on to the next ride. She was not tall enough for many of them, which disappointed her, but luckily there were quite a few just for kids. She enjoyed all of the rides that day and as we were leaving she told me it was her, "best day ever!".

We capped off our fun-filled day with an amazing lobster dinner. My aunt and uncle spoiled us with fresh Maine lobsters. It is something that I often crave but rarely treat myself to because they are so expensive, so this was a special treat. I thought Olivia would enjoy the lobster since she does like most seafood, but this was not for her. Part of the reason may have been because of the big deal we made about the lobsters before they were cooked. I can understand how eating something that was previously crawling on the kitchen floor may be a little unnerving for a 4-year old. Olivia enjoyed a pasta dinner while the rest of us devoured our lobsters. It was heaven!

On Sunday we took Olivia back to the beach. It was the one thing that she wanted to do over and over during our trip. First we took a nice, long walk by the shore. It was picture perfect that day, which made for perfect picture taking. I could get used to living so close to the ocean. The view is quite spectacular!

After our walk we went back down to the water. It was cooler that day, but that did not stop of her from getting down and dirty in the sand. I think our girl could also get used to living by the ocean. It seems to be second nature to her.

That afternoon we took another walk. This time we ventured into the redwood forest behind my Aunt's home. I wasn't sure Olivia would be up for a long walk but she handled it like a champ. It helped that she imagined that she was on a big pirate adventure. She talked us through her make-believe adventure the whole way. She collected flowers and other treasures along the way and had a great time! I have to hand it to her, it was quite a walk. Even I was exhausted by the end of it. Then again, I am carrying a bit of extra weight so hiking does not exactly come easy right now.

After a day full of outdoor activities we enjoyed a nice relaxing night in. My Aunt promised Olivia they would bake cupcakes together and there was no way Olivia was going to let her forget it. They did this during our last visit and I think it has become a tradition. She enjoyed it very much but quickly grew tired of icing the cupcakes. I ended up finishing the majority of them, while Olivia snuck tastes of icing at every chance.

It is hard to believe that with all of the fun things we had done so far on our trip we were only half way through the week. I am going to share the rest of our adventures for my next post. The fun continues...


Anonymous said...

We did all have so much fun, Olivia makes life so much more fun and exciting. I go to the beach all of the time but going there with Olivia is a whole different adventure. I look forward to the 2nd post and more pictures. Love Aunt Sue Sue

Anonymous said...

Great pictures, Jess. You really captured Olivia's excitement. So happy we were able to take this trip together before #2 arrives.
Mom & Nana

Wormie said...

I love seeing all the photos! It looks like it was an amazing trip! Can't wait to see part 2!

Uncle Larry said...

Outstanding Photos Menor and Sculley Family. You all are enjoying life to the fullest..and soon enough, GOD willing, another Menor will share your blessings. By the way, Jess, You look absolutely "Glowing" and from where I sit, pregnancy and motherhood suits you well. Be well, best of health and I'll stay plugged in to BLOG land. Love Larry