Friday, November 23, 2012

holiday with the harrison:days 6-7

day 6: monterey bay baby!

our sleep in monterey [more specifically, marina] was nearby my mom's birth place. landon didn't sleep well and was up before 6am [happy vacation to me! am i right moms??]. after a quick breakfast complete with a meltdown [a norm this trip- he's into collapsing on the ground and kicking and screaming now], we headed to the monterey bay aquarium. we were over an hour early so we walked the cannery, took in the breathtaking view and had a delicious [but not pioneer woman delicious] cinammon roll. as we were walking into the aquarium a woman approached us and said she had a two-day ticket she wasn't going to use. i told her we didn't have cash but she said she didn't want money- just to pass on the good will! let me tell you, that was $40 goodwill right there! and this trip has really added up so that was a huge blessing! since we were there right when it opened we beat the rush and got to see the penguin feedings and explore all the different tanks. seriously, so amazing. the only other aquarium i've ever visited was the shark reef at mandalay bay. ok that's not true, i did go to the one in san diego by the university for sea camp but i hardly remember that one. it was so beautiful and was truyl amazing. i would have a membership if i lived there. we saw so many different types of animals and better yet, landon loved it! granted, he loves animals- love love LOVES! [esp their sounds] but this was right at naptime and he stayed up all the way til 11am before he had a complete and utter meltdown [it was pretty terrible people- many people pointed and stared. i half expected someone to ask us to leave]. eventually i found a small nook i could calm him down and put him to sleep. once he was out we high-tailed it to a mexican joint a friend suggested at the end of the pier. pretty good food, amazing view of the bay. we even saw some adorable sea lions just lounging about on their rocks! landon woke up before we finished and threw a tantrum there... because that's just what landon does. we went back to the aquarium and toured the second floor - saw some huge tuna, seahorses, all types of jellyfish, pellicans, penguins, birds [landon LOVES birds- esp chasing pidgeons], and especially the sharks. the crown jewel of the aquarium was the kid's zone. they had toddler/baby specific play areas that were padded with kid safe toys, a water table and such. landon had so much fun! then a mini jungle gym, nooks and crannies to hide in; it was perfect! he had so much fun letting some steam off there and making new friends. and lets face it, by this time we had our fill of landon-sitting there so we were done. after grabbing some yummy treats on the boardwalk we headed to santa barbara. i don't know what it is- maybe my patience was wanning but each drive seems longer and longer. this drive was only 4 hours but it seemed so much longer. landon is getting harder to handle [is that even possible?!] with each night away so i was really looking forward to getting home. luckily we found a great playground is san luis obispo that only had one bum, so really an improvement. that night we stayed at a holiday inn- so far we'd stayed at one marriott and two best westerns. we're no nate and autumn, so the marriott was a fluke [a very very NICE fluke] but we didn't think it could worse then the best westerns. and then it did. the holiday inn was worst not from the room [even though they did mess up our room arraignments so we had to go upstairs, without an elevator]. we were so tired and hungry at 7pm that we ordered room service from the resturant downstairs. big mistake. not only did we pay the MOST out of all the places we've eaten so far but it was also the WORST. i didn't even eat a couple of it- and it was simple things you didn't think people could mess up. but they did. soo so bad. so bad i'm going to write a review on yelp. that's how bad it was. didn't help that landon was loosing it either. overall a wonderful day at the aquarium, i just wish landon could have been better behaved but it was so much fun and well worth the high admittance fee. justin liked this place the best because it was costal but smaller and cleaner then san francisco. i've enjoyed it all- seriously we are so lucky to have such great experiences.

day seven: santa barbara zoo

since we had such a horrible, no good experience in the last hotel i was more then ready to come home.  esp after a night of landon not sleeping [again- i've had to rock him to sleep every night, rock him back to sleep 2-3x during the night and eventually put him in bed with me to have him wake up at 5:50am- like clockwork] and then landon finding a small bottle of jose quervo under the bed [no, we were not partying hard. i'm more of a mike's hard lemonade type of a]. since the zoo didn't open til 10 and we were out of our room by 8, we had a lot of time to fill. we wandered around the zoo area and found a cute breakfast/pastry shop- delicious french toast that couldn't be enjoyed because someone [i'm not naming names] threw a massive fit, throwing things on the ground, screaming and crying in a small resturant. thankfully that same person fell asleep on the car ride to get gas/lunch before the zoo so the actual experience at the zoo was enjoyable. from reviews on yelp, i knew it was small but i had no idea just how lackluster it would be. it didn't help that it was under construction so many walkways led to dead-ends and some animals were impossible to spot. as to be expected, landon loved ]the birds the best and wanted to chase them. the larger animals he could care less about. he was at the end of his rope anyways with the trip so i held him for most of the zoo [so my arms are like kelly ripas after this trip]. at the end there was another little playgroup for him to play on with fellow kids- a cool rope spiderweb, giant dinosaur egg shells, a huge hill to slid down, a fake tortoise and such. he loved that part and especially the ajoining pond that had ducks in it. he tried his hardest to reach his chubby short arms into the pond to pet the ducks but they weren't having it so he got a hand full of pond water. when it was time to go he threw another on the ground screaming fit so we high tailed it down the hill then realized how bad of parents we were- this whole time we hadn't gone into one shop to get him a souvenior. granted, he's one. but still. so i got him three overpriced finger puppets of animals. and he loved them immensely for two whole minute.
by the time we got in the car, landon fell asleep for a good hour [a godsend miracle on this trip!] so i catched some zzzz's as well. we woke up outside of los angeles as justin cruised along. the trip home was not enjoyable either. lots of fits, lots of screaming and lots of tears- and that was just from me. we got through california as quickly as one could but once we hit stateline we got backed up in construction traffic that put us back an hour- not fun. thankfully i had two suckers. unfortunatly they were only dumdums and lasted 30 minutes. so for the last 50 miles landon screamed at the top of his lungs and we just had to endure it. once we were home, it was like we had a brand new child! he ran around quietly playing with all his toys by himself, no crying, no whining. it was heaven- and lasted a whole 30 minutes before he was ready for an early bedtime.
in all, i had lots and lots of fun- but i'm also so exhausted. a family vacation with landon really isn't a vacation. i think next time we'll spend our money on a mommy-daddy getaway and leave the kid with mema. i think we'd all enjoy that much better.

traveling is DONE for now- but check out landon's thoughts about the aquarium and zoo here.
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1 comment:

Caitlin said...

So fun! Glad you were able to go. Next Harrison vacation: SL,UT

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