An Old-Fashioned Vacation Pic Slideshow

As I mentioned in my last post, we’ve just returned from a little trek down the freeway to sunny California. Good golly, five persons in a Jeep for two thousand stinkin’ miles is no laughing matter.

the many faces of the great American road trip

acres of almond trees were in bloom, the air smelled of heavy of flowers for miles

Despite the sass, stench, and squabbles on the road, we were grateful for an uproariously good time, connecting with friends and family all along the way.

husband’s younger brother in northern California

We stayed with our friend in Big Bear, the same hospitable pal who graciously hosted us in a Los Angeles lemon grove the last time we visited.

we crashed overnight at his new cozy mountain cabin “winterfell”

We returned to Universal Studios not merely for our book-worming proclivities, but also to attend their Lunar New Year festivities to ring in the Year of the Dog and celebrate Little Man’s birth culture.

… though we still geeked out right proper like over beloved Harry Potter & Co.

Hogwarts stamps straight from the owl post, to my utter delight

Additionally, their immersive Jurassic Park ride was a welcome finale after reading those books this past fall.

i’m simply inept at selfies, for the love. at least i captured the rest of them.

“IT’S SO FLUFFY!”

We also shamelessly hijacked my brother-in-law’s birthday vacation, joining our rowdy next-door-neighbors (plus nana & their surprise best bud) at Disneyland for a day. The highlight FOR SURE was Indiana Jones-obsessed Little Man rocking his Short-Round hat & shirt and courageously riding the Temple of Doom.

Bonus throwback from the very same Toontown jail… how things can change in a decade!

rocked coordinating mickey tees & intended to snap a daytime pic in front of the castle, but had so much fun we forgot & wound up with this last minute beraggled shot, plus memories

We detoured on the return journey to sight-see a bit in San Francisco– it was just the loveliest time, the weather near perfection.

threat of imprisonment at Alcatraz (in background) ensured winning attitudes all around 😉

Center Sister in her element

the delight of Audrey Hepburn-obsessed Firstborn

some of Little Man’s favorites

Husband’s, too

A windy drive down Lombard Street thrilled us all

makes one yen for rice-a-roni

Full House house

Gorgeous Chinatown

our son has such a rich, vibrant heritage

my great, great uncle’s wife was born in this factory, which he always claimed was the reason for her extra sweet disposition

Golden Gate Bridge

through the filthy windshield as we drove over

classic keepsake to add to my collection

Jelly Belly factory tour

That’s it… I refrained from snapping photos for the duration of the trip home, to the relief of my travel-worn family. One of our kiddos claimed to have jetlag, though Husband drove every mile of the adventure. I made myself carsick reading aloud and spent much of the journey in the middle back seat to separate the quarreling kids. We entertained ourselves with rounds of 40 questions (more like 100) and Husband invented a game where Little Man counted up to a certain number of vehicles of a certain color, to distract him from his vocational sister-pestering. Road-trips are no joke, I’m fairly certain Husband earned a new jewel in his crown this week enduring this one. We are grateful for how he makes our lives fun and magical, full of wonder and learning.

Weekly Wrap-Up
Homeschool Coffee Break

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