Sunday, April 3, 2011

Monterey & San Diego

We made it back after a week in beautiful, mostly sunny San Diego. To this day, it is still one of my favorite places to be.

The time away to relax and just have fun was much needed. San Diego welcomed us with open arms and we settled quite comfortably. In fact, probably too much so...we didn't want to leave!

On the way down, we stopped at Monterey Bay and went to the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. We thought it would be fun to show Payton all of the sea animals and give her a new scene to enjoy and look curiously around at. She did so good. We wore her out to the point of pure exhaustion, she passed out right in dad's arms at the last stretch.

We saw the ocean. And tons of dolphins swimming in it!

There were some Oh-so-cute penguins.

And lots of intriguing looking jellies. 

Then there was this creepy guy who wanted to come out and play...

There was SO much to see and we enjoyed every little bit of it. It's not often you get a chance to see these things up close and personal. And I would've never been able to see them otherwise.

Three story Kelp Forest. Even had sharks in it.

The next day we drove down part of the coastline, but mostly along the coastal hills to reach SD and the views were TO DIE FOR. We probably tacked on an extra hour or two going this way but it was so worth it.

We are lucky enough to have family that live in San Diego so we stayed with my aunt and had a few days to visit with her and my brother-in-law Shaun. We rarely get to see them so it was a nice treat to spend all this time with them. I really enjoyed having them get to see Payton since she is getting so big so fast!

Payton with my aunt and her baby.
Shaun lives right on Mission Beach and he took us to some of the most fabulous restaurants right there. The thing I loved most was the amazing food in a comfortable, laid back atmosphere. Everyone is super nice and nothing is over the top. And what could beat having this as your backyard...

Sunset on Mission Beach.
In between our visits we planned our days around exploring San Diego, going to La Jolla, and then finishing off at the San Diego Zoo and staying a night in Los Angeles with friends. It was the perfect way to spend quality time with my husband and daughter without any kind of stress or distractions that everyday life provides. Sometimes we lose sight of beauty, wonder, moments, and just taking life in with every breath. Getting away is a chance to recapture and doesn't matter where you go.

And boy it did not disappoint in providing just that...

While walking down to the ocean in La Jolla we discovered this beautiful park. The blue skies, ocean breezes, crashing waves, green grass, and families playing only added to what could only be described as natural beauty at it's finest.  

Then we really discovered this hidden gem. 

A small beach along the cliffs where you could watch the sea otters play and swim. Unfortunately, Payton freaked when I put her feet in the sand. She better get used to it or she's going to have trouble being a California girl! So I sat there with her in my lap as we all just watched the super cute sea otters. They are really quite the entertaining bunch.

And then Layne went exploring into the cave. 

And found a new friend...

I think it's safe to say that we had no problems getting Payton to sleep during our trip.


My poor baby was such a trooper through dragging her along everywhere, dealing with horrible eye issues the whole week, and sleeping and being in a completely unfamiliar place. We are so lucky for such an easygoing, happy-go-lucky baby! 

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