Saturday, June 28, 2014

Day 4: Thompson Family Road Trip - Point Lobos, Big Sur

After waking up in Monterrey, we ate a delicious breakfast, packed the car and headed south. We first stopped off at Point Lobos State Reserve and went on an easy, beautiful hike along the coast. The boys found tons of stunning seashells and rocks. We also spotted seals, sea lions, birds, lizards, starfish, crabs and tons of anemones. I love walking on the beach! The breeze, the smell, the sounds and sights. All so peaceful, relaxing and tranquil. 

We stopped off at Hidden Beach for about an hour to play in the water and explore. There wasn't any sand, just tons of small, tiny rocks. It was super hard to walk on. It hurt, but felt good at the same time!

Next, we continued down Highway 1 to Bixby Bridge for a quick photo opportunity.

Last stop before reaching Santa Barbara was located at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park where we again hiked along an easy trail to see McWay Falls. A stunning beach and overlook. 

After all this wonderful sightseeing and family bonding, we headed straight to Santa Barbara. First stop in Santa Barbara was Rudy's for some shredded beef tacos! YUM! We took our dinner to Hendry's beach to eat. As Scott and I devoured our delicious tacos, the boys played in the ocean and built sand castles. How could life get any better than this?

**disclaimer: After waking up in Monterrey, we started packing the car. The kids ran back up to our room to inform us our licence plate had been stolen. Say what? We were parked in the front row, first stall of the parking lot. Right next to the front door entrance to the hotel. We called the police and had to wait a bit for him to come and take our statement. UGH!! What a huge pain in the butt!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Day 3: Thompson Family Road Trip - Sacramento, Jelly Belly, Monterey

We stayed the night at our timeshare in Angels Camp, CA. It was beautiful there. This was the view from our 3 bedroom spot. Absolutely Beautiful. The kids went swimming and watched movies from huge flat screens hung by the pool, lounged in the extra large Jacuzzi and even met up with some other boys to play basketball with them.

We took off super early the next morning and drove straight to the  Sacramento Temple. It was tucked away off a busy street, surrounded by huge grass fields.  It was a nice pit stop for my boys to walk around while all of us talked about the Gospel and how wonderfully blessed we are.

Cute Gavin wanted to have his picture taken "holding up" Moroni. We stopped off at the mission home to drop off a care package to one of our favorite sister missionaries, Sister Zenger. (Keep rockin' it Sister!!)

Next we were heading to the Jelly Belly Factory. My mom and Bill had left at 5am from Santa Barbara that morning to meet us during our family vacation. It was great to have Nana and the boys reunited.

We went on the tour, which was really interesting and then, of course, went shopping afterwards! YUMMY!!

Next, we headed to Monterrey to the famous Dennis the Menace Park. What a park it is! It's HUGE with tons of different play structures to play and explore on.

A couple of blocks away is the wharf where we met up with Nana and Pops and roamed around for a while. There were sea lions! The kids ran around and we enjoyed sampling Clam Chowder at various restaurants. 

We then headed to the Embassy Suites, the hotel that we all stayed at. The boys quickly changed into their swimming suits and went swimming. The adults headed out to a nice seafood dinner later that night. It was delicious!

After leaving the Dennis the Menace Park, we split up into two cars; big kids in my car and little kids in Nana's. We headed to the wharf.  We got there first and waited almost an entire hour before Nana (FINALLY) arrived. (The park is only a few blocks away, but somehow she managed to still get lost!!) Once she arrived, I immediately notice she did NOT have Nathan! Oh my gosh! We ran back to the car and drove as fast as we could back to the park. In the parking lot were two police cars, and I knew it was serious! After parking we ran to the entrance where we met up with Nathan, a super nice mom and the police. I start crying, he starts crying and even some of the boys were crying. But he was safe. This nice mom noticed he was alone and sad and called the police. She even bought him a Happy Meal. After getting a lecture from the cops, we hugged everyone and got their picture before heading back to the wharf. I bought Nathan candy. I still feel so bad we left him. I'm sure thankful everything was okay and a kind mom helped him.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Day 2: Thompson Family Road Trip - Yosemite

Day 2. We went to Yosemite National Park. Honestly, we could have stayed there for an entire week. There are so many activities and fun things to do there, and it's so beautiful!
Some of the sights included Ellery Lake Overlook (along the drive in from the upper road that overlooks the valley), Cook's Meadow Loop, and Vernal Falls Footbridge. We then drove over to Rainbow Pools where we went swimming and the kids cliff jumped. Will and Brigham jumped from a 25 foot cliff! The other boys jumped from 5 and 10 foot cliffs. There was a spectacular waterfall and tons of fish. Gavin caught two fish with his bare hands!! That was our favorite area...Rainbow Pools. So beautiful. So fun! 

 We saw tons of wildlife as well. A million squirrels, tons of deer, and we even saw a huge brown bear! The weather was perfect all day long. We will need to plan another trip just to go to Yosemite in the near future. There was a ton of places that we didn't get to see because we ran out of time.