These same awesome friends just had baby #5 (another handsome little boy) and we figured that we ought to return the favor for the little guy's blessing day. After some scheming (with the help of other awesome friends who also have a new baby) we planned ahead so we could be spontaneous. This weekend was the time, so we pulled out all the stops and went for it. Since it was to be a brutally quick trip with the potential of being brutally boring to the under 5ft. crowd, the only car rule was that there were no rules. Aeryn could eat/play/sing/watch whatever she wanted in order to pass the time.
We landed at stop #1 at 4a.m. Saturday morning. After 3-4 hours of sleep and getting to love on a week old baby (I love me some baby snuggles!), we picked up Ellie and headed for a day of adventuring. Would you expect anything less of us? So we checked off National Park #25 with a boat ride to the Channel Islands.
This is where the trip went from "completely awesome already" to "what a terrible mom I am!" The excitement was high and we were all thrilled, and then we got on the boat. Somewhere in our haste of packing lunch, towels, water shoes, camera, water bottles, etc. I completely forgot to think about the fact that Aeryn gets motion sick. Very, very, motion sick. Let's just say the last 3/4 of the boat ride wasn't so fun for either of us and I'm truly grateful for the kind stranger who gave us Dramamine. Jim and Ellie spent a good chunk of the ride getting splashed on the deck and having a marvelous time. Ellie sure loved the boat ride!
The Island of Santa Cruz has some remaining buildings from earlier inhabitants. When we explained what the holes in this bench were for Ellie got very concerned about how they washed their hands afterward and asked about it for at least five solid minutes.
The water was beautiful. It was very windy and we could see the path of the wind in the way the wave pattern curved across the surface.
The girls were a little silly as always, which I confess is one of my favorite things. As much as I stressed over family pictures, I'd be perfectly content if every picture we had of them looked something like these.
The girls really hoped to see some animals and at the end of our hike we waltzed through the campground where these little island foxes were gallivanting around with reckless abandon. They are clearly not afraid of anything, despite the fact that they are about the size of a small house cat. The girls both say this was their favorite part of the island.
And naturally, they both became junior rangers. Sort of. The ranger kind of pushed us through which meant that they both got the badge once they'd finished the req's for Ellie's age group. Aeryn got off easy with this one.
The girls splashed in the water and watched the kayakers then it was time to get back on the boat to come back to reality.
We finished off Saturday by visiting friends (and holding a baby) and then visiting other friends until we collapsed that night from exhaustion. Sunday we were honored to be a part of the baby's blessing day and then we hopped right in the car to come home. Without taking any pictures of babies. Unfortunately.
I feel like I've come into the best friends-in-law you could imagine. Jim knows some really incredible people and I'm having so much fun getting to know them all better. Even with today's fatigue, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't take too much to convince us to do this again.