On Christmas morning, 2015, our kids opened a small gift from their Grandpa and Grandma Ellett offering a trip to Disneyland with them sometime during the next year. That became a reality last week, and became much more than a simple trip to Disneyland. It ended up being a week at the beach in Newport Beach, CA, with their Ellett cousins and all the Ellett kids except Ryan, who currently lives and works in Hawaii.
We arrived in Newport Beach on Saturday evening a week ago to what felt like a giant frat party. It was a bit awkward pulling into the community with scantily-clad college-aged kids at every other house holding red Solo cups that held fermented hops, which frequently leads to filthy language, loud volume, and a very family unfriendly environment. The beach was equally crowded. I couldn’t find parking anywhere, and was actually a bit bummed at the spectacle. Luckily, they were all gone by Sunday afternoon and the beaches became vacated the rest of the week.
We essentially had two activities all week: Disneyland on Tuesday and a Giants – Padres game in San Diego on Thursday evening. Everything else was filled with sand, waves, and sunburns. Disneyland was a great experience and, although it lasted 14 long, hot hours, was a ton of fun taking the kids to this magical place. The day was capped off by an amazing electric light parade that was honestly very cool and a fireworks show to wow us.
The baseball game in San Diego was fun, although it ended poorly (in terms of a victory). There were lots of Giants fans in the stadium, so we didn’t stand out too much in our enemy gear. We watched Madison Bumgarner pitch 7 innings of 3-hit ball only to watch the bullpen give the game away. The Giants lost 5-4 on a walk-off single.
The beach we stayed at was spectacular. The water was unseasonably warm (upper 70’s) and the sand was clean and free of rocks / pebbles. There were enough waves to make it interesting, but not so crazy that our kids were afraid to get in. In fact, I worked with all our girls to dive under crashing waves rather than take them standing up. It was fun watching them all dive in like fish as a wave crashed over them.
Now it’s back to reality — work, school, Scouts, yard work, etc. Big thanks to Jen’s folks for the great week and to my kids who were awesome.