Whenever the kids come to visit we always pick a place to take them, you know how it is, the kids show up and you immediately go into entertainment mode, we can't have them think that we are boring....Right?
You know how it is, we sit around the house, do the yard work, nap in the recliner while watching the TV, play on the computer, read a few books, heck I've gone an entire week without leaving the property, but this is not boring for me. Then the grandson comes for a visit and suddenly we are all over the place.
He was here a couple of years ago for five days and we took him down to Disneyland which should have been enough, but no we left Disney and went straight over to Knott’s Berry Farm and rented a hotel room for the night, swam in the pool until they closed it, then walked to the theme park the next morning and had a full day there.
We got home very late that night, I was hoping for a day of rest, but instead I was suddenly awake in what seemed like just a couple of minutes by little Benjamin's smiling face "what we gonna do today Papa?"
We stayed close to the house that day, we drove up to Oak Glen, which is just up the mountain from us and toured all the shops, went through the zoo, the museum, the walking trail, sampled the apple cider and got me a jar of apple butter, tried all the samples in the candy store and bought a few bags to go, then went for ice cream and drove back down the hill to home, where Benjamin and I dug a crater in our backyard because "there is gold in California, and I want to dig for gold Papa"
The next morning we drove down to our Daughter Melissa's place in LA, so "she could see Benjamin" never mind her Brother Tim (Benjamin's Dad), or us, she had a plan for us to go to Santa Monica Beach and pier, so she took the wheel of our SUV and said "just close your eyes Mom and no screaming, we will be there before you know it".
We were there before I knew it and there was screaming, but we all survived, she parked the car and we made a mad dash across the sand towards the ocean, truthfully they made a mad dash leaving Cindy and I running in slow motion behind.
We had a ball playing in the sand and the surf with Benjamin, we built sand castles, walked and talked and made fun of Auntie Melissa and her friend Shannon swimming in the ocean, they were actually swimming a lot further out than I was comfortable with, just then we spotted three Dolphins jumping and swimming near the girls.
I pointed them out to Benjamin and he really got a kick out of seeing the dolphins playing, we were waving to the girls when Cindy pointed at the dolphins, Melissa glanced over and immediately began swimming our direction, Shannon looked at Melissa then at the Dolphins and began her own mad dash for shore.
We thought the girls were racing one another, and I joked to Cindy that Melissa looked like she thought they were swimming with sharks, Melissa won the race by a long shot, she walked by us out of breath with Shannon just coming out of the water.
I laughed and said "hey Melissa were you trying to out swim the sharks?" She admitted that she saw the fins and wasn't going to take any chances, "I really didn't have to out swim the sharks, I just had to out swim Shannon."
After this we walked down to the pier, which was extremely crowded, Benjamin and Tim headed for the arcade and played what looked like every machine in the place, I tried my hand at skee ball and thought I had done pretty good winning a strip of tickets, I went to give them to Benjamin and with the double handful of tickets he had won he walked out of there with a rubber shark and a small airplane, the prizes weren’t much but he had fun.
We all went through the aquarium where Benjamin got to go hands on with some ocean critters, and see a puppet show that was supposed to teach about ocean life but was a lot of fun for the kids, Benjamin and Auntie Melissa rode the Historic Carousel at the pier and we all went from one end of that pier to the other, it was great.
After our tour of the pier Benjamin was getting hungry, so Auntie Melissa walked us to a place she recommended, I can’t remember the name of the place but I know it wasn’t close to the pier and we were still on foot, the food was good and the beer was better, I was about ready for one by then, I knew that we needed to call it a day when I looked over and saw Benjamin asleep with his face actually laying in his Mac and Cheese.
Driving home that night we realized that we had to take Benjamin and Tim to the airport the next morning, the boys were sound asleep in the back seat, the traffic was pretty good, and Mimi was missing her grandbaby already.
We did a lot in four days, two theme parks and a fancy hotel, a trendy little mountain town with all sorts of attractions from real deer to stuffed mountain lions, a talking parrot, a cowboy with a gun and a train ride that we somehow missed, a fast ride with Melissa, swimming with sharks and walking for miles for a face full of Mac and Cheese.
I think it took about a week or better to get rested up from all of this, and it was really hard especially for Mimi to take the grandbaby to the airport (and his daddy too), they have plans to come back to see us later in the summer, and after we did all of this stuff last time…..
What do you like to do for fun when you have visitors from out of town, especially little ones?