Monday, August 25, 2008


We had the opportunity last week to go on an amazing vacation with my entire family to California. My brother Mark was graduating from the San Diego Golf Academy – with lots of honors I might add, way to go Mark!! So my parents generously decided to take our family and my sister and her husband out to CA with them to spend the week as a family again and to celebrate Mark’s accomplishments!

From a young age I remember my parents taking us on different vacations. We went all over, camping, hiking and fishing. We always had fun and I have lots of memories from those various trips. It was important to them that we spend time as a family, as much as that irritated me as a teenager – I see the value in that now!

We had such a wonderful week in CA. They rented a house in a town called Cardiff by the Sea. It was just blocks from the ocean and we just had to walk through a city park to get to the beach. We each had our own bedroom/bathroom but then we had a wonderful open common area for cooking, eating and relaxing as a group. We had an ocean view from the rooftop and were surrounded by beautiful plants and palm trees everywhere we looked! During the week we went to Disneyland and California Adventure Park. Gabriel got to see some of his favorite Disney characters in a Pixar parade and ride the Monsters Inc ride 2 times in a row and Isaac got to spend some time with the “big kids” riding all the scary rides. Gabriel rode on Space Mountain - our very first ride – got a little scared about rides after that, but when we were done with the ride exclaimed with joy “We made it Daddy!!” We went to Sea World and got lots of cool pictures of Shamu and the dolphin show, got very sunburned at the beach, used bottles of aloe lotion soothing the burn and trying to prevent the peeling (which didn’t work by the way), tried surfing with little success – this is why we HAVE to go back again, were attacked by monstrous aloe plants in the neighbors yard – this seriously happened…a guy driving by even stopped to say he thought it looked like it hurt, the girls did some shopping together and the boys saw the USS Midway, we made dinners together, had lots of egg bake and lots of fruit, got to meet new friends and see old friends again, we watched the Olympics together and we did lots of laughing.

It was such a good 9 days together. After we got back Dominic and I were talking and we commented how we couldn’t believe that it had gone by so fast and we were already home. It really was a great time together. It was the first time in a very long time that my brother and sister and I and our families had the opportunity to spend some real time together. I am so grateful for the opportunity. I hope that we have the chance to do this again, and sooner rather later! My perspective on our time together is different than it was when I was younger. I definitely see the value in it, and I am not annoyed by my siblings like I once was! :) Thanks everyone for an amazing week! I love you all!

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