Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Vacation Meets The Partridge Family

Chevy Chase and Shirley Jones? No, it's us going to San Diego for Christmas. In an effort to cut down on all of the STUFF that these little people have (Really, what do they need?!), we have instituted "experiences" as gifts, as opposed to lots of stuff that accumulates and fills up the rooms and then I hear Aurea swearing in Spanish about all the STUFF she has to put away. Santa showed up a little early this year to accommodate Mom and Dad's schedule (that's me and Kevin, not Linda and Perry or Cathy and Paul to those of you who may be siblings and get confused easily). We left on the Tuesday before Christmas without telling the children where we were going. They had their suspicions that it might be San Diego, but we drove by a few signs that pointed to Mexico, and Olivia flat out refused to go there because that's where one of her classmates, Isa, went for Christmas, and she did not want to be anywhere near her. I told them we were going to Yuma. which is along the way, so when we stopped there for lunch, they were thoroughly underwhelmed. If you've ever wondered what the term "lone and dreary world" might look like, may I suggest a trip to California. Not the coast, because that's beautiful, but the trip from Phoenix to LA or San Diego is very brown and boring. We got to San Diego (there were a lot of "I knew it"s! coming from the back seats) and drove in to our friends condo, which they very graciously allowed us to stay in. He's has a sink company and is an interior designer. The sinks are beautiful that he sells, not just dull porcelain sinks, so the inside of the condo is decorated exquisitely. But not child friendly. I saw the floor length mirrors, white leather couch AND white leather dining bench and shouted "Don't touch anything! Put your hands up!" for the first ten minutes we were there. Then I relaxed a little and decided that they could put their hands down. But still not touch anything. We got settled in, but then had a hard time finding a grocery store. The condo is in downtown San Diego, so we saw a 7-11 on every corner, but no grocery stores. We finally found one, but realized, it may have been cheaper just to shop at the 7-11. We went to Legoland, which is very interesting and fun. They had their version of the teacups, which of course, all of my children, except Blake (too little) went on. Kevin happily stayed on the sidelines, which meant that I got to spin that little cup as fast as my children could handle, which is pretty fast. Dillan got a lego set that he doesn't have at home (is that possible?). The girls got their faces painted when Dillan and I were on a ride they didn't want to go on. Those girls can talk their dad into just about anything! There was a Sea Life Park attached to it, that of course Jr. Marine Biologist wanted to go to. He pointed out and identified all sorts of sea life. That's when we discovered Jr. Marine Biologist Jr. Blake seems to be falling in his brother's footsteps. We could have just gone there and he would have been happy.
The next day, we did just that. We went to Sea World, which I love. It was all Christmas-y with everyone saying "Happy Holidays" to each other. I have often wondered about theme parks being open on Christmas and Christmas Eve, because I thought it wouldn't be as crowded. And it wasn't with people like us. We were in the minority. More teacups at Sea World!
This one, Blake could go on, and I feel it important to introduce him to spinning action early. He loved it! My favorite part at Sea World was when we were at one of the aquariums which happened to have a ship in it, and a 7 year oldish boy comes running up and says "Look at all that shi-, I mean fish." We all got a giggle out of that little slip up.
A Christmas tradition that we have is pajamas left at the door by Santa the night before. Olivia squealed with delight when she discovered that Santa had gotten her pajamas with long sleeves. How did he know that's what she wanted! She sang to the tune of Santa Claus is Coming to Town "He knows what size you are." That's my girl.
Waking up on Christmas morning and not having the chaos that usually ensues is quite an odd feeling. It was much more peaceful and enjoyable. Kevin took the kids down to the beach while I cleaned up any trace that the Partridges may have left at the condo. Have I mentioned how much I love this boy?

Or that this girl has just a touch of sassy in her?

The drive back home was like a little Christmas gift to me: no arguments or whining/ complaining. That could be because I told them that it was up to them how quickly we got home to see if Santa had shown up. If there was discord, Kevin would slow down, but as long as there was peace, he would drive at a high (safe) rate of speed. I may try this tactic more often.
Santa did show up, thanks to Morgan and Geoffrey Waldrom. Blake's exciting toy was a train, Olivia's was a bike. They got a joint present of an outdoor playhouse for them. Chloe got another American Girl doll, Dillan got Legos.
Your eyes are not deceiving you. That is a halo on Kevin. I finally caught it on camera. My exciting present was a Snuggie! No joke. I squealed with delight. Kevin did not get the surfboard he wanted, but floor seats to the Suns vs. Lakers game the following Monday (the Suns won) which he took Dillan to. Plus, I now have TWO copies of Handel's Messiah, thanks to my mom.
Now it's over and the part that I dread the most about Christmas is here....putting it all away. Ugh. Someone should come up with a business where they will take the tree down and organize it. Man, that'd be awesome.


  1. Loved the family post (even with photos?!?) :)

    btw-the laker's suck.

  2. Good idea, actually, (for the business). Kevin should advertise that he will send in a crew, pack all the christmas (or holiday) stuff, store it away from the home and bring it back when requested. All for a nominal fee.
    Good luck on 1/17/2010. we will be cheering from afar.