Since Ian works remotely now, we have so much more flexibility with travel. Last spring, he brought up the idea of staying in California for the month of August because my grand parents have a free place for us to stay and because there is really no place like California in the summer! As the planning progressed, we decided we were going to sell our home (this was not a spontaneous decision, we were just waiting until the right time with all of our traveling and knowing that it would probably sell quickly in this market). Our house was listed on the evening of July 4th, and by the 5th, we had an offer that was significantly over-asking price. Then we got another offer. We took the second offer. Because of the mid-August closing date, we decided it would be best for us to move out of our house before our trip to California. So with the help of friends and family, our entire material life was squished into one POD and one storage unit, until our return. Why didn’t we postpone our trip to allow more time to move, you ask? We wouldn’t have had a place to live in Oregon because the apartment we signed a lease on wasn’t available until mid-September. So we actually ended up extending our time in California from four weeks to nearly seven. This is why so many of you were convinced we had moved to California! Because we did… temporarily!
I’m a pretty adaptable person these days (motherhood’ll do that to you!), but let me tell you, I slumped into a depression during our second week in San Diego. The first week felt like vacation, but by the second week I was making diaper runs to Target and our [one] car was in the shop. I honestly just felt so alone and far away from our community in Portland! But then things got easier and more fun because my parents and some friends came to visit and we also went to Disneyland and Sea World! Other than those two big events, our days were pretty mundane. Ian worked Monday through Friday, and the kids and I spent most of that time at the beach. We spent our evenings paddle boarding, grilling by the water, and chasing the neighbors dogs, and it was just magical in the simplest of ways.
I grew up going to Sea World, so it was really special for me to show the kids these majestic creatures up close! Greyer has always been obsessed with animals, but ever since Sea World, he only cares about sea animals. It is the cutest thing ever!
Disneyland was really special for us because we got to take Greyer for the first time. Walking into the park, his eyes were about as wide as Mickey’s ears! We made the mistake of taking him on Pirate’s of the Caribbean and he screamed and cried pretty much the whole time. His favorite ride was Peter Pan, and he also loved Toon Town! We basically had to drag him out of Toon Town when it was time to go home. We can’t wait to go back with both of the kids in a year or two! Ruby is really into Minnie Mouse right now, so it will be a special day for her when she actually gets to meet Minnie!
We ended up spending some unexpected time in Laguna Beach because we spontaneously bought a new car while we were down there haha! The sunset beach walks were a special treat between dealings with the car people. Laguna Beach has a special place in my heart because of MTV obviously, lol. I felt like I was in high school again hahaha.
^Pretending to be Stephen and Kristen ;)
The third biggest event (after Sea World and Disneyland) was that Ian bleached his hair haha! It didn’t last long, but it was a fun change and it inspired him to face his fear of heights and go skydiving! I had originally gotten him Broadway tickets to see The Lion King, but I had to sell them because we had extended our trip and wouldn’t be back in Portland in time for the show. So instead, we used that money for him to check another item off of his bucket list and go skydiving! He loved it so much, he has *almost* convinced me that I need to do it too : )
We unfortunately waited until the last week to visit Oceanside. It surprised us and ended up being our favorite beach town in the San Diego area! We danced to live music on the boardwalk, ate fish tacos at a taco stand, and chased birds on the shoreline. The sunset was the perfect backdrop to our first night there. Just look at this beach!
The question we ask ourselves after nearly every trip we take is "could we live here?" The answer at the end of this trip was "Yes! We could! We did! But we still like Portland better and have no current reason to leave." Perhaps one day, California! Perhaps one day...