Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Oceanside 2012

Happy New Year!

So the last post was like nine years ago and even I am sick of the dog show.  I don't know what the deal with blogs is lately.  Maybe Instagram is so much easier than uploading pictures and coming up withe a recap but I've enjoyed blogging in the past and it is the only type of memory/scrapbook I have and I really want to try and continue.  

We'll see how that goes but one of my resolutions was to at least blog about our amazing trip to Oceanside California in SEPTEMBER!  I had uploaded the pictures months ago but with the busy-ness of October, November and December actually "blogging" seemed like a daunting task.  But things have calmed down and we're back in a schedule so I will try this blogging thing again.  Hey, and everyone else should try and get back on board with it too, okay?!

So we toyed with the idea of visiting another state (other than California) for our vacation but something about Southern California and sitting on the beach for a week kept us doing what we know best.  An easy flight into Long Beach, pick up the rental car and we were on our way.  Oceanside/North Coast Village is just north of San Diego and we had stayed there almost ten years earlier with my family shortly after Blake and I were married (worst sunburn of my LIFE!).

We found a unit that worked for us.  Balcony with a view of the ocean, steps from their pool / hot tub area and a 30 second walk to the sand.  It was perfect!  It will be really hard to venture anywhere else because this was the most relaxing, fun trip we've taken in a long time.  

We decided to go after Labor Day when the rates dropped ridiculously low.  The beaches were practically empty, we had beautiful warm weather (and water) and I'm pretty sure Lucy won't have to repeat kindergarten for missing a week of school!

I had major anxiety about taking her out of school for vacation but I figured kindergarten might be the only time we could get away with it.  And I'm so glad we did.  The memories, talks and time together as a family was so important and we just saved and crammed in all of her homework the night before she went back to school.  And so far so good - she hasn't been sent back to preschool yet!

This is the view sitting on our balcony.  The grounds of this place are so clean and tropical looking.  Each unit is individually owned and we lucked out with who we rented from.  The unit was immaculate and well stocked with everything for the beach: boogie boards, umbrellas, a play tent, beach toys, chairs.  Everything you could think of was stored in the unit.  We did a quick stop for groceries when we first got there and it was just like home.  Except better.

We ventured out of Oceanside a few times.  One day to visit an old Mission and to visit the San Diego Botanical gardens. Lucy loved exploring the gardens.  There is a children's garden that she spent a lot of time exploring.  It was really warm that day and after spending a couple of hours there we got some sandwiches for lunch and had a picnic overlooking the beach.

Humidity and makeup-free may not be my best look.

We spent all day at the beach and then would come home and get ready to go to dinner.  This night we went to Carlsbad for dinner.  For some reason that I can't remember Blake went into Walgreens for like 45 minutes and we had a major car photo session.   

On our second day away from the beach we went to San Diego and had a full agenda...of food.  Our day literally revolved around places we wanted to eat.  

The Cottage at La Jolla.  Delicious outdoor dining.

After spending some time exploring around La Jolla we went into the city and stopped at Seaport Village.  Lucy is obsessed with mermaids and one of the shops had tons of pirate and mermaid stuff.  She ended up getting a mermaid 'mood' necklace she lost like the day we got home and still obsessively talks about it.  

On the ferry to Coronado having some "me" time.

Next up was lunch!  The crab cake sandwich at Point Loma fish market is delish!  Lucy loves to eat seafood but is terrified of living crustaceans.  So duh, of course Blake and I had to carry her screaming and crying to force her to see the crab and lobster case.  We were hysterical and she was hysterical...crying.  I have a 3 minute video in the car after of her sobbing saying she's flying home to gammy and poppa and Blake and I cackling like jerks. I would post it but it's really kind of mean.

We headed to Balboa Park next.  Most of the museums close early so we just walked around some of the grounds.  Lucy had this area of hedges to herself so she indulged her inner Alice and ran to her hearts content.  

A quick outfit change in the car for Luce and me and we ended our night in Old Town.  We had yummy mexican food and wandered the shops in the area.  

Our last full day before going home Lucy and I walked the grounds of our condo and she got creeped out by these fish.  Then we went back for our last full beach day.  Even though it was nice to go into San Diego (yum!) our favorite part was all our days spent on the beach.  We played, found shells, built castles, read, slept, talked and laughed.  And no one even got a sunburn!

Running to her ocean!

We can't wait to go back...these toes miss sand!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

the dog show

Any excuse for a party...

In May when we were making our "everything fun we should do this summer" list Lucy said, "we must have a dog show!"  I wrote it on the list but figured along with camping (not in our backyard) it  would be one of the "fun" things we'd probably skip.
But once that girl gets something in her head...
week after week she'd obsessively bring up the dog show and instruct me of the details...
a party with the family and our dogs
we eat hot dogs
dogs eat puppy treats
games, competitions and costumes for the dogs

So last Friday we hosted our first annual dog show and aside from costumes it pretty much fit the bill!

Of course it was raining an hour before the party and I started worrying about mud, wet dogs and the weight different between Penny my brother's dog and Missy, my grandma's 2 pound poodle.  

Lucky enough the weather gods smiled down on us and it was a beautiful night
...oh, and those 7 dogs were on their best behavior!

Coleman, Calah & Penny - the star of the show who swept the competition.  We had to be fair and not cause any hurt puppy feelings so every dog won an award.  Penny won best trick...because she had a dozen of them!

Brinton, Caitlin and their sons Winston and Niko
true gentlemen

dad, mom & Marley - who probably should have won happiest because he lives to socialize

Nani & Missy - Missy won best dance but didn't dance

Lucy as master of ceremonies

The Fergusons all came but sadly left Wrigley at home...even worse they missed out on a family picture with the guaranteed winner of "best smile". perfection according to Blake.  
Their love affair is borderline creepster.

It was a fun end of summer party.  The people seemed to enjoy themselves as much as the dogs who were the true honored guests.  But getting a picture of the crew together was five minutes of sweating, screaming, laughing and growling.  The best way to end an evening!