Drew was quite excited as we boarded the plane in Long Beach to return home, "Are we going back to our world now?"
Our children behaved almost perfectly on the airplane to California, and the return flight wasn't too bad. I'm not sure what happened in between though. I'm thinking that IF Mike and I ever recover enough to take our children on another "trip" (read trip not vacation), we may just fly them to Australia and back. The cost of our activities, parking fees, food, hotel rooms, etc. all added up from our CA trip could be put instead towards flights to Australia. They could fly there and back and think the flight alone was a vacation. I mean, come on. Free drinks and snacks and a personal television screen was pretty exciting to my children. (If we have a pair of ear-phones for each child next time and not just for three of them.) Of course I wouldn't be with them. (You couldn't pay me to ever fly to Australia.) I'll have to think about that, it may be a good idea.
People seemed somewhat surprised that we weren't planning Disneyland into our Southern California trip. It isn't that I'm against Disneyland, but with 5 children, it wouldn't be a cheap trip. The price we paid to fly all seven of us to California was cheaper than one day of Disneyland tickets would have been for us.
As much as I know my younger boys would really enjoy Disneyland (the other children have been a couple of times in the past), there's something liberating about being able to do a Southern California trip and not feel as though we are being sucked into commercialism by visiting theme parks. There's a lot of good old fashioned, free fun to have out there too.
Like the beach.
Who doesn't love the beach? The hours we spent at the beach were actually the most peaceful, least contentious part of the trip. There was absolutely no complaining, arguing, teasing or fighting. It was quite heavenly.
(not sure why this picture is blurry)
(Cousin Lucy, doing who knows what.)
Our cousins Seth and Ricky joined us at the beach too, except I didn't get a photo of just them. Oops.
The children weren't very excited about Chinatown. Neither was Mike. In fact afterwards he said, "I'm done going to Chinatown."
Whaaaatttt? I still have a few more Chinatowns to visit, so I'm not sure what he thinks he's talking about.
More to come later.