We made our annual Thanksgiving trip this last week, starting in San Luis Obispo and moving our way down to Thousand Oaks to spend the holiday with The Domestics.
We have come a long way since we started this trip years ago when the triplets were just babies. The first Thanksgiving we drove to Thousand Oaks with all four kids the babies were only nine months old. We drove in the middle of the night so the kids would sleep. It was miserable because Chris and I would spend seven hours trying not to fall asleep and occasionally a kid would wake up screaming.
Then we graduated to the daytime drive which was just as miserable in a different way. I would attempt to sit in the front seat, but would end up risking my life cruising the entire minivan meeting the needs of each child. They dropped their binkies, blankets and stuffed animals. They needed a snack. They were pissed that they were tied down in a car for hour upon hour.
Now we have finally gotten to a good place where the kids know that they will have to sit in the car for a very long time in order to get to the promised land. I have a very cool app for my iPhone that I pay a little bit too much money for each month, called Tales2Go, that plays children’s audio books. We listen to a lot of audiobooks, play movies, and do a lot of snacking along the way. I sit my bootie down in the front seat and I read magazines and write my blog.
We landed in Montana de Oro, possibly the most beautiful place in the entire State, on Monday afternoon. We love stopping here before we even get to our hotel room. The kids run away from the waves for an hour before they get their clothes all wet, and then we strip them down to their skivvies and they freeze. Kids don’t seem to care about freezing when they are having fun at the ocean.
That night we took a beautiful back road from San Luis Obispo to Arroyo Grande, through the Edna Valley where the grapevines have turned yellow for the fall. Chris’s brother Greg and his family just moved to Arroyo Grande. Chris and Megan are jealous. We have spend 12 years trying to get back to the central coast, but it does not seem to be in the cards yet. We had a very nice dinner and the kids all had a great time playing with each other.
We had a really nice time in San Luis Obispo. There were a couple of noteworthy events took place whilst there.
- I bought a super fabulous pair of jeans that cost too much money but are worth every penny.
- While I was buying my super fabulous jeans Chris took the kids down bubblegum alley. Elsa later randomly informed us that she went ahead and took an “already chewed” piece of gum from the wall and put it in her mouth and chewed it a little bit. Grosser than gross.
- Preston ate 5 waffles at breakfast, complained of a stomach ache all morning afterwards, and then barfed at the restaurant where we were eating lunch. Luckily we were sitting outside and it wasn’t very busy. I don’t think anyone saw the barfing incident so I quietly stopped eating my lunch and grabbed every napkin I could and cleaned it up off the ground. Grosser than gross.
Whenever we go to The Domestics house we try to take advantage of the museums and activities in the LA area. This trip we took the kids to the California Science Center (http://www.californiasciencecenter.org/) and while we were there we saw the Born To Be Wild IMAX. The kids loved it. This is the first year that we knew we could successfully take all of them to a museum without strollers or extra helping hands. Chris and I were absolutely exhausted by the end of the day.
What I love best about Thanksgiving is not the turkey and stuffing, since I really don’t like turkey and stuffing that much. I love the family aspect of Thanksgiving. The tradition of it. I like getting my kids together with their first cousins and second cousins and watching them play for hours. There were 40 of us at Chris’s Aunt Barbie and Uncle Bob’s house this year. We didn’t see the kids much because they were all outside playing with each other. This was the first Thanksgiving without Chris’s grandfather Hermie and he was very missed, but he would’ve been so pleased to see all of his family together.
Now let the Christmas festivities begin. Ava has already closed the deal to decorate the house tomorrow. We have already listened to 40 Christmas songs and Christmas stories. We are in full Christmas mode.
I decided I am going to update my TripTips section on the side of my blog. It is very outdated. This is going to be #1 on my list: if you have small children, ALWAYS bring a portable toilet with you. We have a very small simple Bjorn toilet that stays in my car at all times. This little toilet has saved me so many times when I couldn’t find a restroom, or when the restroom was a gross public toilet or porta potty. It is especially helpful on road trips. Small white potty even saved The Domestics one time when they had a potty emergency and were stuck and didn’t know what to do. One of the triplets turned to grandma and said, “why don’t you use the potty in our car grandma?” Grandma didn’t know that such thing existed under the backseat of the car.
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.