January 15, 2015

Carlsbad, CA

A couple years ago my dad threw out an idea about doing a family vacation with everyone. We all thought it sounded fun to be together, but weren't sure what we could do that would be good for everyone. Just like he does, my dad figured it out. Carlsbad, California. Golf and biking for the boys, swim and shopping for the girls and LEGOLAND for the kids. Add an amazing house right on the beach and we were sold. Finding a time that worked for everyone was a near miracle, but we did it. And it worked out perfectly because Jamie and Taylor had a fire in their New York apartment and were definitely looking for a break from the chaos of clean-up and apartment hunting.

I have to admit that I was a little nervous with all of us in the close quarters for a week that we all might cramp each other's style. But the house was so great and we all had plenty of room--we could have stayed for another week! 

It had been 5 years since our last family photo. So we threw one together. When the tripod didn't work out my dad made friends with the construction worker in the house next door and asked him to shoot the shot. He did great, with a little help from Jamie's mad photoshop skills.

One of the best things we did was to buy a 5 day pass to Legoland. We found a deal so it was only $89--less than one day at Disneyland! The beach house was literally 5 minutes away, so it was easy to go for a few hours at a time. Ella went on the big roller coaster. It was a little scarier than I thought it would be, and as we were walking out I was happy when she told me she LOVED it. When I saw this picture I about died laughing. 

So the next time we went she was determined to get a smile. It took a few times (once she had a smile, but eyes were closed). Grandpa was happy to shell out the $15 for this keepsake.

We had a great time at the beach. The house was right on the beach, but a few days the tide was too high so we went down the street.

While the girls beached, the boys golfed. Taylor and Ryan vs Chris and Paul. While Taylor and Ryan have historically killed it, it was not their day and Paul and Chris took home the trophy (which, ironically, Taylor saw in the pro shop and suggested they buy--before he lost, of course.)

The girls and I walked around the San Diego Temple grounds. Ella told Anna, "It's like church, only happier." Then later in the afternoon she told Anna that it was like Elsa's ice castle...

View from the house. Pictures never do it justice.

About halfway through the trip Taylor went to Wal-Mart. He came home with a plan. We were going to have a boat making contest with popsicle sticks. There was a little scoffing at first, but by the end we were all in. While it's a little unclear who actually won, Jamie and Kimmy's was the winner for most sea-worthy, even if it did look like a sandwich from a vending machine. 

(I just had a baby...remember that when you look at those hips!)

We had one great day of low tide, and we made the most of it!

corn field in the making

making a farm with grandpa--back to his roots

As a Thank You to the owners of the beach house we made this movie (Ryan brought his helicopter).

Thank You from Ryan Packer on Vimeo.

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