It has been an eventful couple of weeks for us. It started with J trying to plan a surprise cruise for us to go on as a Christmas present-- a last hoorah before the new babe arrives. Sadly, cruise lines will not allow women who are past 24 weeks pregnant on board. Such a bummer. So together we decided to still take some time to get away and just do something closer. We settled on San Diego, and decided to leave our Little G home with my family. We figured we should take advantage of the short window of time where our little G is old enough to leave (call me crazy, but the thought of leaving him overnight like that any earlier in his life made me want to throw-up) and we don't yet have another baby. We hadn't ever left our boy like that before, so we geared up for it by spending lots and lots of time together. J had the Monday before we left off of work and school, so we made a family day out of it.
We started off in the car jamming out to Michael Jackson on our way out to breakfast. We have all been digging Michael's tunes of late, and were shocked to discover that G knows all the words of the chorus of "Man in the Mirror." Seriously hilarious to hear his little voice belting out, "take a look at yourself and make the chaaaaaange!"
G requested the "Pancake House" for breakfast.
After eating, we went to the local rec. center for some swimming. G was in heaven, and we had so much fun together.
(Side note: I've gained a little over 25 pounds so far this pregnancy (I'm at 35 weeks), and hadn't thought I was looking too chubby until I saw the pictures from swimming. Seriously, it was quite shocking for me to see myself looking so... swollen, I guess, to put it nicely. After a little sulking over the fact that it isn't exactly fun to watch yourself expand so rapidly, I determined that I was being vain and silly and decided not to stress too much about gaining weight. I am pregnant-- I am supposed to get chubby. As long as I am exercising and eating healthy, I am not going to spend any more time fretting about my figure. When it is time to lose the weight I will start taking more notice of my chubby cheeks. It is with that attitude that I post these less than flattering pictures.) I love this little blue-eyed monkey on my back. You better believe I kissed that little face a few dozen times the morning we took off for San Diego.
Our itinerary included a (supposed) brief layover in Phoenix. Unfortunately we didn't take into account that we would be flying through during the worst rain storms Phoenix has seen in 20 years. As soon as we landed, the airport was abuzz with rumors of closing entirely, and sure enough, when we checked, our flight to San Diego had been cancelled and we were handed a voucher for a "distressed traveller" rate at a hotel. When we got to the hotel (after about an hour and a half of phone calls to get the arrangements sorted out), it was totally full and we were told our confirmation number actually meant nothing. So we made more phone calls and sat in the hotel lobby with a bunch of other stranded souls. Long story short, we ended up with a room, and although it was a pain to have to pay for two hotel rooms that night (our room in San Diego that they wouldn't let us cancel plus the one in Phoenix), we were pretty relaxed about it all since we didn't really have a pressing agenda. And, two great things came out of our night in Phoenix: 1) we randomly ran into one of our best friends from high school who happened to be staying in our same hotel on business, and it was so fun to see and chat with him (love you, Eric), and 2) we were so frustrated with our original hotel's refusal to be flexible with us AT ALL regarding the situation that we cancelled our reservation there entirely and found a different hotel that ended up being so much more awesome. So we were happy and it was entertaining to see Phoenix in such a state of disarray due to a little drizzle :). This was the only picture we took in Phoenix, just to document the night we spent there. Right after this picture the power went off in the hotel for the rest of the night, and the hotel was leaking water all over the place. It was pretty funny.
When we finally did arrive in San Diego we had a little time to kill before we could check in to our hotel, so we decided to drive to the temple. I am to the point of pregnancy that sitting through a two-hour long session in which I cannot get up and/or go to the bathroom is not a realistic option, so we decided to do some initiatory work instead. It was lovely to spend some quiet, peaceful time at the temple to start off our trip.
One of the days we met up with J's uncle Steve (remember him from our last trip to California?) to visit the Birch Aquarium. It is super awesome that Steve keeps moving to all these places that we want to visit :).
Here I am in front of a large whale at the aquarium. I am a fan of this picture because next to that whale, my own whale-like features seem pretty small.
One of the best parts of the trip (and the main reason we went) was just spending time doing nothing together. We could sleep in, take walks, or go to the hot tub.
One night we took a walk on the pier out in front of our hotel. Our hotel was located on Shelter Island, and it was seriously divine. One one side of us was this:
across the San Diego Bay,
and all the dreamy sail boats.
And on the other side of the hotel was this marina, complete with a beach for sun bathing and playing. If I ever go back to San Diego I would totally want to stay here (it was called the Kona Kai Resort, by the way) again. Enough out of the city to be so relaxing and quaint, but close enough to drive into the city for dinner or fun.
My husband read and memorized animal encyclopedias when he was growing up, so of course we thought we should spend an afternoon at the San Diego Zoo. At first we weren't sure if it would be worth it since we didn't have our boy with us, but we had so much fun together just taking our time and seeing what we wanted to see.
I was a little nervous that my 8 month pregnant self would not love being on my feet ALL day, and I briefly considered taking my husband up on his kind offer to push me around in a wheelchair, but it ended up being fine. My feet were swollen by the end of the day and my back was sore (bellies are heavy!), but it actually felt really good to just spend hours out walking in the lovely weather. I was, however, happy to see that there were these awesome moving walkways up some of the steepest parts of the zoo.
Some of the animals:
bamboo chewing panda
and this mother/son gorilla duo. Maybe I teared up just a little watching this little boy gorilla follow his mama around and then wrap his arms around her neck as soon as she sat down. The way they interacted was so tender and reminded me so much of the love that exists between me and my own son. And I am pregnant, I am allowed to get emotional about stuff like that.
Of course we had to get to the beach, though the weather wasn't quite warm enough to actually play in the water. We had fun collecting seashells for our baby.
Not pictured was the night we went to the BYU vs. San Diego State men's basketball game with Steve. It was one of the highlights of the trip for sure. Best part besides BYU winning? Listening to the angry SDSU fans who were dressed up as Mormon missionaries (bicycle helmets and all) chant, "F*** the Mormons!" as they left the stadium. Highly entertaining that they were mad at the religion, as opposed to the basketball team.
The trip was so much fun and a perfect way to ready ourselves for this next chapter in our lives as parents of two. I adore and love the man I married with my whole heart, and I loved having him all to myself for so many days.
And then we came home!
I honestly had butterflies in my tummy as we walked out of the airport to see our baby boy. It was such a happy reunion, and I love that this moment was caught on camera.