Thursday, June 16, 2016

California... the longest post ever.

We just got back from a wonderful trip to southern California.  We started with a stop in St. George to break up the trip.  So of course I had to go for a run around St. George early in the morning.  I adore St. George.
Then Jason needed to do some rock climbing so we spent some time at Chuckawalla. (The best, easiest access outdoor wall in the world - in my humble opinion.)

Then we hit the road.  Sadly, before this trip Brad had never ever cried in the car.  Like as soon as we got in the car he was always as happy as can be.  Luckily he still was pretty good but I think the 10 hour road trip kind of changed his mind about cars a little bit.  But I figured this 10 day trip was a perfect trial run for Europe.  I kept track of how much Brad ate, how many diapers he used, how many outfits he went through so I can have a better idea of what to take to Europe.  I have to say that Brad was such a champion the entire trip that I am even more excited for Europe!

Anyway, on to the main event!  There were two reason why we came to California.  Number 1 was Jason's little brother's wedding.  He and Ali got married in the San Diego temple and then had an evening reception in parents backyard.
Perfect San Diego Day.
It was so so so fun to get to be on the opposite side of such a familiar event.  Opposite meaning.... Jason and I didn't have to be in the spot light, we didn't have to stress about anything, we just got to come and enjoy an event so similar to our own wedding.  It was so fun for me to reminisce about our wedding.  (Not for Jason.  He HATES the spotlight, especially back then.  He would probably say our wedding day was one of the worse days of his life... only half kidding.)  But it just shows how much he loved me and was willing to do whatever it took to get me!

Jason got the great idea to get Brad in the pool....

My favorite part of the whole event was getting to spend more time with Jason's two sisters that live in Arizona.  (Shhh don't tell the bride and groom :)  But seriously, we don't get to spend nearly enough time with them.  It was so fun getting to hang out with them.  Wendy was so sweet to watch Brad during the ceremony.

Renee took some family pictures for us.  So so so nice of her.

Before edit....
After Renee's amazing editing skills!
After the wedding day Jason had to fly back to Utah to go back to school.  Sad.  So baby and I took Jason and I to LAX and then went to my second home, Glendora.  Of course in Raine style she had a party waiting for us with all my favorite people and a delicious dinner.

The next few days were spent relaxing, taking the newly completed train to Old Town Pasadena, and just enjoying California.

The next event, and the reason why I stayed down in Calfornia, was the Parson Family California Adventure.  My parents rented a 10 bedroom house in Anaheim.  It was the perfect size for our family!  It had a pool, game room, and the kids favorite a ballpit.  The house was awesome.  The only downside of the house was we didn't spend very much time there because DISNEYLAND!

Grumpa babysitting... (Grandpa rarely holds baby so we had to take a picture!)
I was a little nervous how I would handle Brad alone in Disneyland.  I had no idea if he would cry the whole time because of the noise or if he would just lose it and I'd have to leave.  I had no idea.  But it was crazy.... I honestly don't think he cried once the entire 12 hours we spent there.  Not kidding.  It was awesome!
You know I love Disneyland.  You know there is no place on earth I would rather be.  But I have come to a realization time and time and time again.  The people you are with are just as important, ok... more important than where you are.  So Disneyland with my people was UNREAL.  We had a group of 13 adults (Nick was in Costa Rica and Jason was taking a test) plus Raine to help with the kids and 14 kids.  Here's the crazy part.  We stayed together almost the entire day.  I don't know why I didn't have faith it could work.  I thought for sure we'd break up into smaller groups.  But no, for the most part we all stayed together and it was awesome.

The key to being able to do that with such a larger group is for everyone to have the same game plan.  And luckily for us, we did.  We started with two trips down Splash Mt (even the 3 year old twins got to go!) Indiana Jones, Pirates, Jungle Cruise, and the Haunted Mansion.  And this was all within the first 2 hours!  We then did Space Mountain (which is AWESOME with the Star Wars music), Star Tours, Buzz Lightyear, and Big Thunder Mountain.  For lunch I took the crew over to my new favorite spot The Village Haus in Fantasyland.  We had a whole corner of the restaurant to ourselves.  It was a perfect spot to relax and enjoy some quiet time.  Sara's family spend this time doing Jedi training which of course they loved.

After lunch the group went on Matterhorn while Raine and I babysat the sleeping kids.  We did some Fantasyland rides like the Tea Cups (My second favorite) Small World, and Pinocio.  If you haven't caught on yet... I'll tell you, it was crazy!  We got to do every single thing we wanted to do and more!
Some of us grabbed soup bowls in Orleans Square and met everyone else in Hungry Bear Cafe for another time where we had a whole corner to ourselves.  We did Splash Mountain again, the Tiki Room, and everyone did Indiana Jones again while I visited with my friend Jo.

Half of us bailed at 8:30 (a solid 12 hour day) but we couldn't complain was we watched the fireworks going off as we were leaving.  As we were leaving Jeanine (who comes to Disneyland almost as much as I do) said, "This was one of if not the best trip to Disneyland ever."  It was amazing!

The next day was spent at Corona Del Mar beach.  It started in your typical June gloom style but ended up being such a wonderful warm sunny day!


After we got home Brad went for his first swim ever.  I don't think he knew what to think about it but he certainly didn't cry!

That night we had a birthday dinner for Grumpa with our traditional tri tip dinner and a superman cake.

 Of course the night ended with our favorite tradition.... singing our family anthem "Big Rock Candy mountain."
Honestly, I don't know how we can ever top this reunion.  It was all of our favorite things.  It was possibly one of the best trips to California ever!