This is My Crowd

This is My Crowd
Picture by: Photography by Vicky Campos

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Friday, August 26, 2011


What a good time away!  We had to shuffle some of our plans around to make room for other things, but it was all worth it! 

Jacob & Liam @ the Water Dump!
Vacation Day 1:  I had the privilege of taking my baby girl, Ms. H, to her well-baby visit.  She remains tall and thin, big surprise, I know.  Then I took the boys to a local splash pad park, where we managed to meet some friends and spend the afternoon!  I ended the day at a wonderful evening service at Celebration, it being Wednesday and all.  Best conversation of the day:  "Oh, my gosh!  Girl, what did you do??  You're burned!!"  exclaimed the woman behind me in the line to pick up the older boys from class at church.  All I could do was laugh.  Yep, I got a sun burn at the park. 

Ms. H Doin' Her Thang!
Domenic, Done for the Day!

 Vacation Day 2:  Got up for an early morning appointment.  Arrived home to find my baby girl covered in hives.  No fun!  Ran her back to the Doctors office.  Determined it was a possible berry allergy.  Took her home and began packing for Vacation Days 3-7.  My hubby expertly packed the van (thank the Lord for all of the cargo room we have in our Honda Odyssey) and we were off to the Sawyer/Warren Ranch in Clements.  First stop... Art HoP!  We spent some time in Tower admiring some local art, including that of Devon Jacoby, who is amazing by the way.  Found that my oldest son Jacob was inspired to continue on the path of the artist, grabbed some burgers and didn't stop until we reached my grandparents (Dama & Poppa) house!  I still remember getting out of the car and admiring God's handiwork in the night sky, unfiltered by wayward street lights.  Just gorgeous!

Devon @ ArtHop!
Vacation Day 3:  Woke up early at my Dama's house!  What a wonderful feeling, the air had a chill and was scented with that clean country smell... no tinge of cow manure suprisingly.  We had a breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast... yep, fresh pot of coffee ready and willing!  The boys swam at my Mom's house ALL day!  We ate barbequed chicken kabobs and potato salad for dinner, which was wonderful.  Finishing up the evening roasting marshmallows and eating s'mores at Dama & Poppa's house.  Perfect!  (sorry, no pics)

Vacation Day 4:  Again, the air in the country was indescribably full of life and refreshment for the soul!  Second day of swimming and fun!  My hubby, dad, brother and sister in law headed into town for a taco run, returning with 2 new tires (poorly engineered medians and curbs) and tasty ceviche!  Wrapped up the evening with more BBQ and, yep, you guessed it sum-more s'mores!  But this time we roasted them up at my Mom and Dad's house and complimented them with sccaaarryy stories.  Kelly's involved a shark cage... oh, yes, and sharks.  She's a brave girl and not just for marrying into our crazy family!!  (sorry, no pics!)

Vacation Day 5:  Up early, got ready for church at Westside and packed up for the trek to San Jose!  Church was excellent and we were able to visit with friends we do not see enough.  Packed up the kiddo's, gassed up the van and hit the freeway!  With a fun and unexpected detour through the San Jose International Airport, we finally made it to Rob's Mom's house!  We were greeted by cheese and crackers to munch on and strawberry lemonade and activities for the kids.  That evening we enjoyed Sunday Supper with Rob's Mom and Sister.  We enjoyed the evening air as we ate delicious food and chatted.  We wrapped up the evening with "build it yourself" sundae's!  Just try to convince my kids that a sundae has enough sprinkle's and different types of syrup. (sorry, no pics!)

The View from Our Most Adventurous Path!
Vacation Day 6:  To the BEACH!  What a glorious and adventurous day!  We made our way to Natural Bridges in Santa Cruz with the intent to explore tide pools.  We made our best effort to hike over to the tide pools, but determined that it was simply too dangerous for the little guys and me, to be honest, since I had a baby strapped to me.  Instead, we found ourselves on the most adventurous adventure ever!  We took a trail that we traversed in single file formation to avoide prickles and thorns.  We crossed ocean creeks and carefully walked on wood plank bridges, one of which seemed a little structurally questionable.  We took the path as far as we could and watched as my Hubby climbed a pretty vertical hill, only to find that we had to turn back.  No one minded because we had so much fun and were able to observe a white egret.  When we made it back to the cars we decided to load up and head over to the Seymour Center at Long Marine Lab, where Rob's Mom treated us to a tour and a wonderful hands on experience.  We had the opportunity to pet sharks and starfish and saw a rare Hawaiian Monk Seal, among so many other fun and educational things!  We headed back in to San Jose just to find ourselves treated to some of the best (and quickly delivered) pizza, ribs and wings in existence!  We stuffed ourselves and settled in for the evening watching a documentary on the very area that we had visited.  On an exciting note, Ms. H took her first 2 steps that night!  We all headed off to bed, satisfied with our day, but sad that our trip was coming to an end.

Gotta Take a Picture with the Blue Whale!!

Grandma and Her Boys!

Vacation Day 7:  We took our time packing and getting ready to leave.  Hubby and his Sister took the boys down to the nearby school to skate.  It warmed my heart to see them heading down the street with all of their helmets and boards!  Returning as conquerors, they told their tales of mastering new skills!  Sadly, we had to finally leave.  We said our goodbye's and loaded up the van with kids and gasoline for the last time.  Our only stops were BK for lunch and our traditional pit stop at Casa de Fruta for pistachio's.  As we arrived home with our hearts full, we were sad for our vacation to be over, but contented and happy for all that we had experienced. 

Packed and Ready to Go!

Burger Princess!

My Burger Princes!
Worth the cost?  Worth the time?  Worth the conflict that naturally comes from packing 6 people including 3 boys and a 9 month old baby girl into a van for hundreds of miles on end?  Absolutely!  The Summer of 2011 will always be fond in our hearts!

What Cute Wild Life!!