I have taken quite the hiatus from blogging. I am glad that Megan has been so diligent. Anyway, the trip up to Washington was a blast! It was great seeing family, playing some great games of wiffle ball, and surfing. I am pretty lucky to have a wife watch the kids so I could surf all day :)
Well, it was tough to say bye to everyone as usual. We miss them all and wish we could live closer. We packed up early Sunday morning and left on the next 12 hour leg of our road-trip, Westport to Elk Grove. Our kids were champs on the car ride. Koby started the trip with a solid four hour nap. I guess all the beach fun had worn the kid out. Before long, Lincoln and Megan were out too. For about three hours, I drove with no one to talk to. To keep myself entertained, I listened to TEDtalks the entire time. Learned some great stuff about body language and how 30 isn't the new 20... all great things to know while on a road-trip.
We got to my parent house late Sunday night and went right to bed. The next morning we woke up excited to get ready from our trip. We ran some errands and bought a few snacks for the next part of our trip. Later that afternoon, my mom got an email from the "manager" of the beach house we were supposed to rent. He said the house we were supposed to stay in had just been sold and we could no longer stay there. Seriously, the day before our trip? It sounded like a letter from the Prince of Ethiopia. He sent pictures of a pretty dumpy looking house and said we could stay there instead... I was pretty sure we got scammed. Pretty exciting stuff when you have been planning a trip for months, had to take off work, and drive over a thousand miles to get to your destination.
Well, long story short, my brother-in-law, Dave, exchanged a few somewhat heated emails with the "manager" and got us into a supposedly nicer place. Needless to say I was skeptical. Megan and I were pretty hesitant to drive down to Mexico without knowing if the place we were going to stay in really existed. But after some thought, we figured worst case scenario, if we got to Mexico and the house didn't exists, we could turn back and go to Disneyland.
So the next morning, with a little bit of dying hope, we hopped in the car and left for Mexico.
The drive down wasn't anything too exciting. However, approaching and then crossing into Mexico was a pretty surreal experience. When you are a couple miles away from the boarder, you can start to see into Tijuana. There is a giant Mexican flag and about eleventy billion houses stacked on each other. It's blew my mind. As we crossed into Mexico, I felt like we had entered a war zone. It started getting dark after we got out of Tijuana and Megan was pretty nervous because we couldn't use our phones and we were trying to caravan with three cars. I was definitely riding my parent's bumper. It was crazy to see the amount of abandoned buildings and 40 story hotels. I was pretty much convinced that no one lived in Mexico until we got to Ensenada.
The "manager" had given us some pretty terrible directions. "Turn left at the naval base right after you pass the Pemex..." There was a Pemex on every other corner, and being in the dark in a town with lots of boats and cruise ships, everything looks like a naval base! We kept following the directions. It led us to about four miles of dirt roads. We drove past a bunch of mobile homes next to a marsh. I was again sure that was our "beach front" house. We continued in circles for awhile. My dad finally got out and asked a bunch of Tamale stand workers, who were later responsible for some serious stomach issues of mine, for directions. We drove into an abandon resort area. It looked like a bomb had been dropped there or something. We kept driving. All of the sudden the houses started looking nicer. I seriously couldn't believe it. About an hour earlier I was ready to call it quits and go spend the rest of our vacation in the Magic Kingdom, but here we were. We got there and the house did exist! I was shocked.
The house we stayed in was great. Our backyard was the beach! It took awhile for the adrenaline to wear off, but when it did, it was a pretty good setting to spend a few days off.
There was a pool in the backyard. Koby and Lincoln had fun swimming. We played at the beach and I made a sandcastle/thing for Lincoln to smash and make me frustrated. It was a good experience. We went into town a couple nights and got some pretty amazing tacos. One morning we took a walk on the beach with my mom and saw a dead dolphin... pretty sad. We saw a ton of living ones too :) I got to do a little surfing too. When I was out in the water one time, a little stingray swam past me. Freaked me out, but was kind of cool.
One of my favorite things was teaching Koby to surf. He did great! He got up his first try. It was pretty fun to watch. I liked walking out into the waves with Lincoln too. He had a blast trying to jump over the incoming waves.
On the last night we were there, we played a family game of volleyball. That was my favorite thing we did. Unfortunately Cameron couldn't participate due to the incredibly bad sunburn he got on the first day we were down there... poor guy. Sean got it pretty bad too.
All in all it was a fun trip. I hope we can do it again. Here are a few more pictures.
It's sure is nice sleeping with these two in or bed for a week...
So, Saturday morning we left on the last leg of our incredibly long road-trip. We made great time until we passed Barstow. We hit a 20 mile backup. Apparently about six hours before a truck had crossed the median of the freeway and ran into a tour bus full of Chinese tourist. The truck exploded and the driver died. Luckily no one in the bus was hurt too bad. Anyway, because of the accident, we moved nine miles in six hours. The kids watched four entire movies. I felt terrible. By the time we got through, we had already been in the car for about 12 hours. We decided to power through, and 20 hours later, we were home. I love being on vacation, but it's always nice to come home.
It was great getting to spend time with Megan and the boys for two solid weeks without having to worry about work or anything. We had fun seeing all of our family and we wish we lived closer. Hopefully someday.