Back from vacation!

Well we made it through four days without killing each other! Yay! Actually it was really a nice family vacation for us and four days is just the right amount of time.

We started on Friday afternoon by driving to North San Diego County (Carlsbad). Remind me next time to have someone else drive through those windy mountains – it was nerve-wracking! Once we got over them it was all downhill from there (sorry for the pun) and we arrived at our resort La Costa safe and sound before 10pm. It’s a beautiful resort and normally quite expensive but I won a 2-night stay a few months ago from the salesperson I work with there. I guess it pays to know someone – they put us in a double room with a huge parlor area which had a large dining set, living area with flat screen TV and a wet bar. We felt like VIPs!

Saturday morning we woke and drove to Leucadia’s Beacon’s Beach where the kids took surfing lessons from Kahuna Bob. Bob and his assistant did a great job working with the kids. Both of them got up on the board a couple times and did well but Justin really took off. I already posted some picks on Flickr. After the lessons we had lunch at a Mexican place then relaxed at the resort including the pool and hot tub. Saturday night we enjoyed food and drinks, and watched the Red Sox game at Yogi’s.

Sunday morning started with Terry and Eric golfing on the resort’s beautiful course, while Justin and I slept in. We packed up and checked out, then drove up the Pacific Coast Highway to Huntington Beach where we checked in to the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort. This too was a wonderful hotel, though we felt a little less out of place there. I cashed in some frequent stay points for a two-night stay in an ocean view room.

After getting settled in the room, we walked across the street to the public beach where the boys enjoyed splashing in the waves. The cold temps weren’t enough to keep them out of the water, as usual. We returned to the room, changed, and took the hotel’s shuttle to downtown HB where we ate at Lugatti’s Italian Restaurant.

We had planned on spending all day Monday on the beach, but unfortunately the winds were so fierce we quickly realized we’d have to find an alternate activity. We opted for the Aquarium of the Pacific in nearby Long Beach and we weren’t disappointed! All of us agree our favorite part was the “petting tanks” where we were able to touch rays. The “bat rays” were almost like puppies – they came up and stuck their noses out of the water and flapped at us, splashing the water. They seemed to love getting attention. It was really cool! Eric and I also loved the lorikeet exhibit – we were able to get up close and personal with some parrot-like birds. They were beautiful. Seeing all those fish made us hungry so naturally we opted for lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp!

Luckily for us, the wind cleared up a bit by the time we got back to the hotel, so we went out to the beach where the kids enjoyed being bums for a little while. One can only take so much sand being blown into the eyes, so we enjoyed the hotel’s hot tob for a little while before venturing out for dinner downtown again. This time we went to The Longboard Restaurant & Pub, where apparently the locals like to hang out for Monday Night Football. The food was good and the prices were great!

The next morning we watched the sun rise over the mountains before heading out for the 7-hour drive home. We made it safely in time for Eric to get to work at Justin & Terry to make it to football practice. Overall, a very relaxing, fun and sucessful vacation for us!

To see all the photos, click here.


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