We just got home from spending a glorious week at the beach and it went by way too fast! We rented a beach house on Capo Beach with my husband’s parents and his sister, her husband and their 8 month old baby girl. The house was perfect. Big enough for all of us to be comfortable and right on the beach (imagine being lulled to sleep every night by the sound of waves crashing from your open window where the salty sea breeze blows in each night).
We arrived on a Saturday and after getting settled, hitting up the grocery store and grilling up some burgers, we hit the hay.
On Sunday morning, I met up with a local fitness group called Team 3LF – Love Life. Live Fit. It just ended up being myself and the organizer, Brittany, but we did a great workout in a park right up the hill from the beach, which made for some great ocean views and lots of stair climbing. It was great!
After that, we loaded everyone up and headed down to Del Mar for the horse races!
Sunday was family day at the track, so they had lots of fun things for kids in the in-field like bounce houses, pony rides and face painting (all free with admission). The girls loved watching the horse races too and we all had fun picking who we thought would win. It was a great day!
On Monday, we had booked a whale watching boat tour through Newport Landing. I had found a Groupon a few months prior, so the tickets were really inexpensive. We weren’t sure what to expect because you never know with Groupon, but it ended up being well worth every penny! We all loaded up on a boat and they took us about 20 minutes off the coast and sure enough we starting seeing several schools of dolphins. We were able to get really close to them and they came and swam up right next to the boat. They are very social! We must have seen hundreds of them!
Then we started seeing several whales too. They were more off in the distance, but we saw probably about 20 whales. The captain of the boat gave us a lot of educational info about the dolphins and whales that we were seeing so we learned a lot on the trip. Towards the end, we also saw a group of lazy sea lions sun bathing on a buoy.
Overall, it was really fun and I loved the learning experience for the kids. That afternoon I went out for a nice 5 mile run along the beach. The view was amazing and the weather was perfect!
On Tuesday we had a beach day. I went out for a quick 3 mile run barefoot on the beach and that was the only time I left the beach house that day.
We spent the day building sand castles, hunting for sea shells, reading, cooking and relaxing. It was a perfect day.
On Wednesday, it was the much anticipated Disneyland day! The kids had been looking forward to this day ever since we went last year. Annalie was especially excited that she was tall enough (literally by a hair) to ride some of the rides this year. Our first stop was Star Tours. Disneyland has a great program called the Rider Switch Pass where if you have children in your party that are not tall enough for a particular ride, after waiting in line, they will give you a pass so that one adult can take the kids that are tall enough while the other waits with the smaller ones, and then you switch and the other adult can take the kids again, so each adult gets to ride the ride (and the kids get to ride twice) but you only have to wait in line one time. We used it at several of the rides and it was wonderful! Annalie loved Star Tours (she actually ended up riding it 4 times) and next up was Space Mountain. She was so excited to ride a roller coaster but I was so nervous that she was going to get totally freaked out. But, she was a champ. She got a little scared but was still all smiles at the end.
After that we hit up a bunch of other rides, the kids both took turns napping in the stroller and we watched the parade. We lasted until 8pm, so we definitely got our money’s worth!
On Thursday, upon the recommendation of some of our Vegas friends, we booked a tour and lunch at Stone Brewing Company. Even though it’s a brewery, Stone Brewery is actually very family friendly. They’ve got a nice bistro restaurant and gardens with fish, turtles, frogs and bunny rabbits.
The tour was really interesting and lunch was fantastic, not to mention the beers were delicious. The kids had fun searching for animals and Vince and I both got one of these great running shirts.
On Friday we had another day at the beach. I did another quick 5 mile run in the morning and explored this fishing pier for a bit.
After that we played on the beach, collected rocks and went swimming the rest of the day. I normally don’t like swimming in the ocean, but the water was amazing. It wasn’t cold at all so we took Annalie all the way in. I got this waterproof case for my iphone and was able to take some pictures while we were out swimming. It was really neat!
Our friend Heidi, who lives nearby, and her two daughters came over for dinner and we grilled up some yummy steaks and had a nice time catching up and roasting marshmallows for smores for dessert.
On Saturday, sadly, it was time to go. We got up, had breakfast, packed up the car and headed out. The drive home was good and when we pulled into the driveway Stella immediately burst into tears saying, “I don’t want to be home, I want to go back to the beach!” I could totally commiserate. Coming home from vacation is always depressing!
It was a great vacation all around and even though I got a bit of the post vacation blues, the best way to beat them is to start planning for next year!