Day 8

Time to leave Vegas and head to our final destination…San Diego. After checking out of the hotel, we headed to get Camden. He was in the middle of his bath when we got there and he was EXTREMELY excited to see us…kept whimpering until he was released from the tub. Then it was time to get gas and hit the highway. Once the kids fell asleep (about 45 minutes into the drive) it was a pretty easy trip. Rip slept til about 1 hour north of San Diego and Riley slept until about 30 minutes north of San Diego. Traffic was pretty smooth sailing the whole time. We did hit a few slow spots but, much to our relief, they cleared up very quickly.

Once we got to San Diego, we headed straight to the Extended Stay, checked in, unloaded a few things and then went to Fashion Valley to eat at the food court. We hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast and it was dinner time so we were all VERY hungry.

After scarfing down some food, we walked around the mall for awhile and then Mimi and Kirk when grocery shopping while Bumpa and I took the kids back to the hotel for baths and more car unloading. Have I mentioned how horrendous condition the mini van was in? Uggh! going to need a serious detail job. The trip had started taking a toll on me as evidenced by my juvenille behavior when Rip started pushing my buttons. I can’t even remember what started it all, but it ended with Rip throwing my camera and me throwing Rip’s transformer and telling him I was throwing all of his toys away. Not one of my proudest moments at all. We did manage to make peace with each other by the next morning but it was pretty sketchy for awhile.

Day 9

Mimi and Bumpa took a much deserved break and went back to the mall for some shopping. The kids and I headed to the beach and Kirk (a little under the weather) went to the beach with us but took Camden for a nice long walk on the boardwalk. The kids fell in love with the beach immediately. As soon as Riley’s feet touched the sand, she sat down and commenced playing. This would have been fabulous had we not been right in the lifeguard’s truck path. It took a little convincing to get Riley to move to a more safe spot. Rip, immediately grabbed a toy and headed down towards the water. It took him a few minutes to get his feet wet and then only a few more minutes to be frolicking in the waves. Please note, Rip’s frolicking in the waves consists of only going in up to his knees. At one point he did run out of the water and exclaim “I love the beach!!!”

One quick side note, throughout our trip (and even before) Kirk had been telling people that we would be living on the beach in a tent because home prices are so high in San Diego. Well, turns out that Rip had been listening to these statements and was taking them for face value. When Kirk and I were talking about find a place to live, Rip piped up and said, “I thought we were living on the beach?” And much to our surprise, he was very sad to find out that we weren’t going to be living in a tent on the beach. After looking at a rental property, Kirk and I agreed out loud that we didn’t like the property. Rip then said, “oh good, now we can live on the beach.”

After the fun time at the beach, we headed over to our friend’s house for a nice home cooked meal. Rip and Riley played famously with Gracie (2 weeks younger than Rip) and Jared (8 yrs old). The rest of us enjoyed relaxing in a home (vs. hotel) and chowed down on a yummy steak and chicken dinner. Thanks for the awesome welcome Tara and Steve!!! After some food coma and several adult beverages, we dragged the kids away and headed back to our extended stay room for some sleep.

Day 10

It was clear pretty quickly that the extended stay room would not be big enough for us to stay in for a couple of weeks. Mimi and Bumpa took the kids off to Sea World so Kirk & I could start searching for another place to live. Tara had referred us to a vacation rental website where we ended up finding a 3 bedroom 2 bath house we could rent for essentially the same price as the extended stay. Pretty much one look and we were sold. It’s not the fanciest place but compared to the hotel room, we felt like we were in paradise.

After driving by several places, we met Mimi and Bumpa back at the hotel room. Sea World, the kids and the sun wore them out so they took a break while Kirk & I fielded the kids. Our next stop was to visit with the Sutliff family. Another wonderful welcome with more friends! We hung out at the Sutliff home and had pizza delivered while drinking some more adult beverages. The kids played non stop and all got a long wonderfully. So nice to be hanging out with the San Diego crew! I’m pretty sure I could have hung out for a very long time but it was Sunday and the Sutliff kids had school the next day so as soon Riley started showing signs of tiredness, we hit the road.

Day 11

Mimi and Bumpa headed back to Michigan. Their flight left at 6:30 a.m….man that is EARLY! Thankfully we were pretty close to the airport so it was a short drive at 5am. After dropping them off, I went back and slept for a couple more hours. Then we all got up, started re-loading the cars and headed over to the new temporary home. Not quite settled but a little more so than driving all day and staying in hotels. These next few weeks we’ll focusing on finding a more permanant residence and getting the kids signed up for some type of school/day care. Once those two things are in place, I think we’ll feel a little more situated.

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