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Overwhelmingly underwhelmed

I wish I knew what has happened to my mind. It seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle of constant packing and unpacking. Yesterday I heated up soup for my lunch while I helped the girls make Peanut Butter roll-ups for their lunch. Then after the girls were all served and eating, I simply walked out of the kitchen completely forgetting that I needed to eat, too. The very next day I got out of the shower and realized I had only shaved one leg. It’s kind of like that all the time these days. I have started and worked on this post about 5 times in the past week, so when I say yesterday it really means like three days ago. I seem nearly incapable of finishing this per the constant distractions which pull me away from the computer.

Maybe that’s just how it goes when you get back from Vacation. And let me tell you, we have not had a vacation like this, well, Ever. Friends keep asking how it was. It’s kind of hard trying to sum it all up. Three kids, 10 days, Plane trips, 1 rental car, 1900 miles, 11 cities, tons of food, tons of camera gear, a wedding, family, friends. It was great, stressful, busy, relaxing, warm, wet, refreshing and depleting. In the first 5 days of the trip we visited with 32 people. Listing it out makes it seem really overwhelming. But on the contrary, it was great. Sadly there were a lot of people we missed, which begs the necessity of another trip in the future.

While I’d love to outline EVERYTHING, I feel there is simply far, far too much. This is Part 1 of the quick picture~summary version, mostly so I have record.

:: DAY  1 ::
We landed in LAX in the late afternoon. Spent about an hour shuffling between the baggage claim and shuttle to the rental car agency with three kids, two checked bags, three car seats and a stroller. By then we were famished, so the first logical stop was In-n-Out burger. Oh how I have missed the double-double animal styles we used to frequent. There is really nothing comparable in Washington. If you have to do fast food (and this time it was purely by choice), this is the way to go.

Then we proceeded to drive North, tired kids passed out in the back of our rental Jeep, to our college town of San Luis Obispo. We arrived at the tail end of a Rush event our Fraternity was putting on at the house we happened to be staying at. There we saw a few old friends, alumni long since graduated whom we unfortunately haven’t kept in that great of contact with. Mind you it has been 4 years since we have been back to this little town, and in the next few days I was amazed how we fell back into it so easily.

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:: DAY 2 ::
Started off with a long-distance, Facebook planned Bocce Ball game with people who currently reside in 3 different cities. Two were professors we had in College, three were friends we went to school with. 6 kids in addition have now been added to the mix. It was really crazy to just pick up with life right where we had left off, as if no time had passed at all. After Bocce we walked a few blocks over to High Street Deli, a place we ate lunch at nearly every day a few summers while Matt was working on a remodel at one of the professor’s houses (we stayed with them too). From there we drove over to a cabinet shop to check out all the awesome CNC work happening there. Followed by a quick trip out to Morro Bay, the town Matt and I lived in the first 6 months we were married and met another professor at a park nestled in the dunes. There the kids played, ate veggie snacks and we (adults) drank wine out of plastic cups while catching up on life.

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:: DAY 3 ::
In the morning we caught up with our friends and yet another professor at Linnea’s cafe, a place we spent many late nights studying while downing coffee. Since living in Seattle, we’ve been initiated into a very different coffee culture, but we have yet to find a place up here that serves such awesome waffles alongside their espresso. From there we took a trip over to our college campus to catch up on all the changes. We also got a chance to catch up with our old boss who runs the Photo Lab on campus, where Matt and I were employed for our entire college careers. While we visited the girls indulged on the Cal Poly Diary Farm’s Strawberry Soft Serve. With sprinkles. Next we stopped in to visit the Pastor who married us and his family (who’s kids, last time we saw them, were similar in age to ours). I think we could have stayed a whole week in SLO and still not hit every stop we would have liked. By afternoon, we cruised out of SLO and back down 101, making no less than 3 potty stops before Santa Barbara. Another stop was made in Ventura where we grabbed Tacos with friends and their kids. By nightfall we made it down to Huntington Beach, where we stayed the night with a friend and his wife, who greeted us with freshly baked cookies.

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:: DAY 4 ::
This was the day the Seattle rain came this far South and caught up with us. I had this idealist and picturesque notion of taking the girls to a REAL beach. The kind that are warm and sunny and reside only in SoCal. This was the day we went out to a very empty, windy and wet Huntington Beach, right under the pier, and we lasted all of 10 minutes. The skies opened up in torrential downpour and we scrambled back to the car. Once changed back into dry clothes (and coats!) we drove a bit north to meet a friend for lunch. The girls were giddy running along the boardwalk, a complete turn-around from the shrieking screams we had encountered at the beach. After lunch, we packed back into the Jeep and headed across the majority of the LA basin to the Pasedena area, where we stayed the night with friends and their daughter, who took us out to the coolest Thai Food restaurant on the planet. The remainder of the day was absolute pouring rain. Far from what I envisioned for our California trip. But the next day we ascended up into the desert, leaving nearly all clouds behind for the next 5 days.

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