Monday, October 29, 2012

California Cousins

Swimming and jumping at in the Palm Desert

Lydia's first view of the ocean

Building sand castles

So Cute!!!

Jumping the "Big Water"

The Petersons on the beach

Carsen, Lydia, and Gracie
We got on a plane on October 15th and headed for sunny California.  We have come a loooonnnnngggg way since our last plane ride.  Lydia was so excited to ride on the plane.  She was dancing down the jetway, singing "I'm riding on the airplane."  She got in her seat and played with her stuffed animals, books and listened to the "talking" on her earphones.  We ended up with an extra hour in Chicago, but she and another little girl made up dances, played and hide and seek and watched for the airplane. 
When we arrived in California, Lydia had her first taste of Del Taco.  By the end of our trip, she was not only pointing out all the McDonald's (she does this all the time when we drive), but also all the Del Tacos! 
A few years back on a trip to California to visit relatives, we discovered that we had "kindred spirits" in my cousin Dwight and his wife Shana.  We spent the week with them and their daughters, Carsen and Gracie.
On Tuesday, we headed out to Palm Springs to visit my aunt and uncle who were vacationing there.  It was nice and hot there.  We enjoyed time by the pool and feeding the fish in the pond.  Lydia warmed up to Carsen and Gracie quickly and got them to jump in the pool with her over and over and over again. 
On Wednesday, we went down to Oceanside and spent a few days at the beach.  My cousins' neighbors had a timeshare that was going to expire and offered it to them.  We were just a few blocks from the beach, right behind the harbor with a view of the ocean sunset.  We were so blessed to have this shared with us! 
Lydia loved the ocean and hated it.  On the first day, she walked along the ocean and picked up shells.  She buried her feet in the sand and tried to bury everyone else's feet too.  She put her feet in the water and thought it was so fun.  On Thursday, though, when she had her swimsuit on, she wanted nothing to do with the water.  She stayed far away from the water and had "Baba" help her build sandcastles.  On Friday, I dragged her into the water and she had so much fun.  She was jumping and called all the waves, "Big Water". 
We were able to see all my other relatives on our trip, Uncle Dwight and Aunt Kelly, Aunt Connie and Uncle John and my cousins Kelly, Paul and David and their families.  Lydia loved all the attention she got.
It only took Lydia a very short time to realize that Gracie would "bobo" (carry) her just about anywhere.  She had Gracie "bobo" her all week.  Carsen and Gracie also helped Lydia get over some of her fear of animals.  By the end of the week, Lydia was petting their cat. 
It was such a blessing to be able to spend the week with Dwight, Shana and the girls.  Lydia really grew to love them like we do. 
Since we got home, Lydia keeps asking to go to "Shana's house".  I tried to explain to her that it was too far, but she doesn't quite understand the distance.  Today she asked to go to Aunt Connie's.  I think we'll have to make sure our relatives get Skype. : )
We're so thankful for our relaxing time in the sun!  We didn't want to leave after our fun week.  Next time, we'll make it 2 weeks. : )  Thanks, Carsen, for giving up your room so we could stay with you.