We just returned from our trip to SoCal to visit Laura & Ryan for Thanksgiving. A fabulously successful and utterly delightful trip and visit! I'm tired and not feeling 100% (much of my voice is missing), so I'm not going to do photos right now.
The odds were stacked against us: a 6-hour (with stops) drive with three small children crammed together in a no-food, no-DVD car. We stayed in a 2BR 1BA apartment, with no bedroom doors -- all 3 kids stayed in the smaller 2nd bedroom, Katrina on the floor on a kid-Aerobed, and the boys sharing a twin bed head-to-toe. Thanksgiving dinner for 7 people prepared, served and cleaned up in a small kitchen with no dishwasher.
But everything worked great. On the way down, after a dinner stop, the kids slept. We braced ourselves for a rough drive home, but even though Katrina's nap amounted to a half hour early on, she was quiet and happily played for the whole drive.
The sleeping arrangements also worked out really well. Katrina needed some time to settle down the first night, and the second night we found Gabriel in Katrina's bed and Katrina on the floor, but other than that, they did great together. But if one woke up, so did the others, once at 6:30am. Urgh.
What we did: not that much, and that was exactly called for! It rained, for starters. We went to Griffith Observatory briefly; despite the rain the views were great (including the Hollywood sign!), and all the kids were thrilled with the few displays we saw. We went out to dinner once, breakfast once, and then stayed in a lot (rain, sloth, food prep and movies).
Katrina was really good the whole trip: she offered her usual protesting screeches, but no full-on tantrums. The boys overall were good too, though the night we went out to dinner, the boys were fighting in the back seat on the way. When we arrived, Julian was bawling and there was blood streaming down his nose and onto his jacket, smeared all over his face and on the car door. Uncle Ryan said he looked like Rocky.
The day before Thanksgiving, we watched the movie "Wall-E," then on Thanksgiving Day we watched Kung Fu Panda and then Wall-E again. That was really fun. Wall-E especially was really good.
Uncle Ryan took the boys out to play handball twice; they all had a great time running around and throwing racquetball balls against a wall. Julian has developed a full-body throw that makes the proud mama in me imagine he's going to get scouted for Little League.
A little last-minute shopping, lots of cooking, lots of drinking and hanging out...and of course: lots of fabulous eating! I should post our Thanksgiving menu; Laura and Ryan's ideas were all gourmet versions of traditional Thanksgiving dishes. We ate like KINGS! Even one little princess.
Life as we know it will resume tomorrow, but for tonight I'm going to enjoy the glow of a wonderful heartwarming family Thanksgiving!