After Chris flew to a conference in San Diego on Sunday, November 2, the girls and I joined him on Wednesday, the 5th. The preparation for a trip like this is the most arduous part of the journey for me. I realized a day before the trip that I didn't have any summer clothes for Eloise at her current size and made a quick dash through the clearance section at Target for a dress and short-sleeved tops. Once I got my huge suitcase and backpack together along with Fiona's carry on backpack stuffed with snacks, stickers, crayons and most importantly, a fully charged Kindle with Dora and Super Why downloaded, I breathed a sigh of relief. Getting the car seats, luggage and double stroller into the airport was an ordeal, but the 3.5 hour flight went relatively smoothly. Chris met us in baggage claim, and it felt like we were on vacation after that. San Diego was hot with highs in the 80s, perfect for Chris, but a little toasty for me.
While I was still in MN, Chris texted me this picture of his coastal run, which he did after a refreshing, undisturbed night of sleep.
On Wednesday, we grabbed a couple tacos and then walked to Seaport Village. The girls crashed early according to Pacific Time.
Winding down with Dora and her blanket
After an early morning wake-up for everyone, we packed lots of walking into Thursday. Thursday morning, we walked a couple miles from our hotel to Balboa Park. We didn't visit the Zoo since the girls are too young to appreciate it given entrance prices, but I'm sure we will visit again someday. After a perfectly time nap for Fiona, we (Chris) had the idea to ride the train as far South as possible and exit someplace picturesque. Well, the scenic stop never arrived, just strip malls and cement mostly. We ended hopping off, grabbing lunch and then heading back to our hotel.
Waiting for the train
Thursday evening, we took the train to Old Town (no pictures), but the girls were fussy, and we headed back after a rushed dinner.
Each day in San Diego, Chris and Fiona spent a significant amount of time in the pool and hot tub. They alternated between jumping in the pool and rushing back into the hot tub. Fiona often declared that she like the hot water better. Chris has been taking Fiona into the pool at the YMCA almost every week, and she has transformed into a little fish. She's learned to kick until she can get her head out of the water for a quick breath (Chris is always with her) but strangely does not panic if she's submerged. I feel a little worried that she's so comfortable in deep water because I think she might jump in even if nobody else is around.
Eloise took her first dip in the pool with Fiona encouraging her along the way. If you ask Fiona who Eloise is, Fiona will say, "Sister. Best friend." That's everything I can wish for these girls.
Friday morning, we slept in a little longer, then walked along the water. Late afternoon, we encountered the proverbial white unicorn: both girls feel asleep for an hour at the same time. Chris and I grabbed a table in Little Italy and enjoyed a glass of wine together.
A fortunate hour
I loved our Saturday. We rented a car, drove to La Jolla and walked to the beach. Fiona hung back from the water due to the substantial waves but enjoyed raking sand and scouting seals with Chris.
First time in the Pacific Ocean for Eloise. (Fiona dipped her toes the first time on a prior trip
After La Jolla, the girls both feel asleep in the car so Chris and I grabbed some coffee and drove leisurely up the coast, past Torrey Pines, Del Mar and sunny beaches before finally turning around in Encinitas. We then drove back through San Diego to Coronado and grabbed a sushi lunch before heading to Coronado Beach. The day had cooled slightly, and the moment felt perfect as Fiona ran and ran in the cool, low tide sand, and Eloise swiveled her head back and forth to watch the dogs running ecstatically in and out of the waves. After the water crashed over her shorts, Fiona just pulled them off and kept going.
Excited to heading back to the water.
I had a couple memorable nursing sessions with Eloise on Saturday. While in La Jolla, we stopped at a shaded overlook so I could feed Eloise, and an older lady started chatting with Chris and me. She told us about moving to the U.S. from Germany at the end of WWII and described some of the political considerations for her (German born) and her Chinese husband. Interesting session number two occurred while I fed Eloise in a sunken gazebo on Coronado Island. I thought I had found a private space, but all of a sudden a couple wedding parties and several quinceaneras groups wandered past, with one bride and groom coming into the gazebo with me to take pictures. Even though I am always covered, it was very awkward.
Our early morning flight Sunday went relatively smoothly, and we are happy to be home, although not so happy to exchange sandals for winter boots.