On April 9th, the day after Easter, Dada surprised us with a fun, 3 day trip to Long Beach! Peter is so romantic, a fun dad, and a great friend. He's really the whole package! As we were getting ready for our day he said,"Okay, now everyone pack a bag for an overnight trip!" Hee hee hee! He knows I love surprises! So we hurriedly packed our bags and got in our big 'ole van and got on our way!
I love our new to us 12 passenger van! We've had it for about 10 months now and while we tried not to get the "homeschool van" it's really the only option out there for a family with 6 car seats. (We got the bus for that reason too and because it was so different, but it's just not economical for around town commuting.) I was afraid of it at first because it's so big, but once I got used to it I loved driving it around.
Once we got to Long Beach, which was a beautiful drive, we stopped for some sweet treats at a bakery. There were so many yummy things to choose from and the kids all got to pick their own item! They were very excited. We usually have them share.
Opal still shared her huge cupcake with Berg. There's no way she could finish it. The cute girl even let him lick her fingers.
The kids loved running around and checking out the hotel room/condo (whatever it was) especially Berg, now that he can run. It was beautiful and right on the ocean. We had a ground floor room with a living room that opened to the sand, grasses and ocean. Yay for friends with WorldMark!
In the kids room, Kivi let Jasper have the other twin bed and he was very grateful. Then Eben discovered a Murphy bed so everyone had a bed, well except Berg and Pella, but they were happy in their closets.
Of course our time included swimming in the outdoor pool. Even though it wasn't what I'd call "warm", it wasn't raining. In Washington that means you get to swim! I even went swimming with the Bigs and Middles while Dada took a nap with the Littles. It was nice and heated, but once you got out - it was freezing!
For lunch, we went to this cute little caboose that had dollar bills stapled all over the walls and a train running around the ceiling. Berg was in awe! We actually had the place all to ourselves. It makes for a very fun and peaceful lunch when you don't have to worry about being too loud for the other customers.
Opie and I with our hats in the caboose.
That evening, we drove out onto the beach, ran around on the sand and tried to not let the water get us. We tried to get some cool pictures of our whole family on the beach, but it was really hard. I love this one though of me and all my babies with the sunset on the water in back. Way better than the posed ones we tried to take.
They kept going into the van to get warm and back out to run around. Our hotel is in the background.
The next day we had backwards day which is something we first did in Leavenworth and it's carried over to spontaneous vacations. So first thing in the morning was ice cream for dessert! After a mac and cheese morning dinner Peter let me go antiquing and thrift store shopping all by myself (which normally I don't like, the by myself part, but it was pretty fun)!
After naptime, we took all the kids to the crazy, cool Marsh's Museum where they all got to pick random, old timey penny arcade/musical/execution show/slot machines.
When Berg picked his he just plopped himself right down on the floor to see what his machine would do and everyone else followed along. The famous "Jake the alligator man" is in the background, however the kids were more impressed with the key to the city that was given to him than the plaster reptile-man himself.
They also chose this passion test - I think because it was a vibrating throne with hearts on it? The throne of passion decided they were "wild". I think it's right.
After our omelets that evening, we walked to the beach, hot cocoas in hand and just as we were doubting our decision (there was a lot of whining about the cold going on) we found this whale skeleton and the whining ceased. Praise God for huge ancient mammal bones!
My best thrift store find ever! I found two handmade skirts with trees and quilts on them that I love! So I wore one on our walk I couldn't even wait until we got home and they were washed.
They kids played in the sand with the cocoa cups and sticks until their hands froze.
Berg loved the freedom to run, the water, the sticks and saying the word "beach" over and over in his cute little voice.
Thanks Dada for a fun surprise to beautiful Long Beach! You are a great man! Thank you for putting your family above so many other things in life even when you have a ton on your plate. We love you!
I love you.