Friday, June 28, 2013

Santa Cruz, CA [part one]

We had so much fun in Santa Cruz.
The week went by way too fast and we weren't ready to leave.
But, we can't wait to go back again.

We left Arizona Saturday, June 15th and drove halfway to Huntington Beach (about 6 hours), where John's sister Shari and her family live.  It was a perfect stopping place and even better to spend time with family.  We went to dinner at Ruby's (I think is what it's called) on the pier that overlooked the ocean.  It was a fun environment and the food was great too.  The following morning was Father's Day and Shari woke up really early to make us all a yummy breakfast.  Poor John didn't get much for Father's Day...I did remember to give him his card the next day :)  We went to sacrament meeting with Shari, Brad, and the boys and then drove the rest of the way to Santa Cruz (another 6 hours).  The kids did great in the car (other than a blowout by Jake and having to pull off on the side of the freeway for Brooklyn to use the bathroom) and I LOVED traveling in our new van.  It was so much easier to hand things back to the kids or crawl back there with them when I needed to.  And the built in DVD is a lifesaver!  I'm so glad we bought our van when we did.

on the pier...cold and windy

We pulled in to Santa Cruz just before dinnertime.  It was so fun to see everyone and how much kids have grown up...and to meet cousin Max for the first time.  We explored the beach house, which was so nice, and then went to dinner at the wharf.  Some got clam chowder in bread bowls and others grilled cheese and fries (myself and Annie).  We walked around the wharf for a bit, stopping at the candy shop and then looking at the seals below on the pier.  Once we got back to the beach house and put kids to bed we stayed up talking and playing Gestures.

Annie and Brooklyn - Annie was so nice to the kids all week long and played and played with them.  They all love her.

feeding the birds

Richard O. would do this to Jake and make him laugh and laugh.

Becky C. giving Jake some chocolate

Kate, Lindsey, Jeannette, John, Brooklyn, Jon, Annie, Aunt Becky, Misty, and Sophia

We went to the Redwood Forest in the morning.  I have been once before, but was amazed again at how big and beautiful the trees are.  It was an easy walk and the kids loved running around and exploring.  The Cowden's picked up pizza for lunch and we ate at the beach house and put kids down for naps.  I worked, some relaxed, and some went to the beach.  Once our kids woke up, we headed down to the beach too.  Brooklyn was scared of the water at first, but warmed up to it and ended up loving it by the end of the trip.  Jake had no fear (mostly just clueless) and headed straight for the water.  When we were done at the beach we headed back to the house and Jeannette made poppy seed chicken for good.

group shot at the Redwood Forest

family photo

Sorenson fam - Rich, baby Max, Misty, and Sophia

Brooklyn loves doing hair right now and would "fix" the girls hair any chance she could get. 

 Jessie was so nice and followed Jake around for awhile for me.  The beach wasn't as relaxing as it usually is with a busy 1-year old.

After dinner we went to the Boardwalk, an amusement park right on the beach.  Brooklyn rode the merry-go-round and little kid rides with Hailey and Sophia and loved it.  She did NOT want to leave when it was time to go, even though she was exhausted.  I'm excited to take her to another amusement park soon...maybe Lagoon while we're in Utah.  John and I were able to go on the big roller coaster, thanks to Becky C. for watching the kids, with Rich and Misty, and Annie and Jessie.  We loved it and I couldn't stop laughing on the ride.