Traveling with three small children is no small feat. There are SO many needs represented in this little group of 5 and when you add a stomach bug to the mix it just multiplies. As much as the non-stop parenting exhausts us, we’d never trade these memories made with our kids. They are growing up so fast so squeezing in these epic adventures is a must. These are the memories we’ll treasure for a lifetime: squeals of excitement on airplanes, shrieks of terror on a first roller coaster ride, and skips of glee at the sensation of sand between their toes (or not). 🙂 This vacation had high highs and low lows. The scenery and entertainment did not disappoint. I could move there tomorrow and be happy as a clam hiking the gorgeous coast and splashing in the waves with my little mermaid. Okay, may be I’d miss a few Okies a little too much. The low was definitely being slowed down by sickness as a yucky bug worked it’s way through our whole family with Emmy capping off our trip by barfing the minute we landed in Tulsa.

We stayed at an airbnb for the first time ever and it was such a success. I loved this beautifully decorated coastal charmer we chose. It was the perfect location: a short drive from La Jolla and all the attractions in the heart of San Diego. It had a pool/hot tub and beautiful park right down the road. Even the neighbors were super friendly! 🙂 Our second night in we were too pooped from traveling and time changes to go out on the town so we hung by the pool doing what the kids love best anyway. This sweet family offered us their leftover racks of beef kabobs and the girls kept taking snap chat pictures with our kids, oogling over how cute they were and offering them tons of snacks and candy. haha! If this place was for sale, I’d have convinced Matt we needed to move the family across country. 🙂 Also, you can not beat being able to spread out in separate bedrooms and cook in a kitchen. Especially with all the sickeness- I’m so thankful we didn’t try to stay in one hotel room.

Some of my favorite things we did…

We got so many recommendations for The Cottage in La Jolla! It was adorable and their scones were perfection. The kids approved of the wiki stick entertainment and pancakes! img_8621 img_8620 img_8622 img_8623Afterwards we walked down to the cove to see the seals and sea lions. This stretch of heaven was just gorgeous! The kids wanted to get as close as possible but we tried not to approach or get in their space, as this is their home. img_8619 img_8624 img_8626 img_8627img_2874img_8244 img_8629 img_8628After a beautiful day and lots of walking, we headed home for some much needed naps and pool time. With California being two hours earlier, we spent the whole trip hitting the sack around 8am and waking up around 5am. Oy!img_8634-1 img_8632 img_8631 img_8633I was up all throughout the night with what I thought was food poisoning. When Tuck woke up at 5 am throwing up as well, I knew our big Sea World plans were foiled. Matt spent the day taking care of all of us. He is such a great Daddy! He walked Em and Crosby to the park at least 5 times and was the best nurse ever. Thank goodness for Teledoc who called in some Zofran for me and finally put an end to the misery.

I was so glad this sickness didn’t ruin the whole trip and I woke up feeling ready to go the next day. It was SEA WORLD day! We got the San Diego Go Card for this and the zoo and it worked perfectly and saved us some time and money. This was for sure one of my favorite days of the trip. Crosby was a perfect baby hanging out in his Tula. This carrier was our saving grace. We used it everyday and I’m officially loving baby wearing for the first time ever.img_8365 img_8647    img_8646 img_8648img_8653-1img_8637img_8654img_8641img_8639 img_8652Emmy was in her glory with these animals and rides. She tried her first roller coaster ever and hated it! haha! We kept telling her how brave she was after she got off and she would say, “NO! I WAS NOT BRAVE! I WAS SCARED!!! I never want to do that again.” Like mother, like daughter I guess. Sorry Matt! I think one of her favorite parts of the day was reading the map and telling us where we needed to go. My favorite part was riding a simulated helicopter through the arctic with her. Her face was pure magic as she kept gripping me tighter and shouting, “WOW!!!  Whoa! Look at that!” She wanted every single stuffed animal and I told her we’d pick one out when we left. Then she said, “can we just leave now and go get an animal?” haha! That backfired. She is in LOVE with her new whale who was lovingly named Splash and then eventually renamed Free Willy. 🙂img_8656 Tuck scored an “Alex the Lion” and was just content to relax in the stroller with snacks. 🙂 He loved seeing all the animals too and can’t wait to be big enough for more rides. We tried and tried all day to get him to fall asleep in the stroller. Poor guy was still recovering and hadn’t been sleeping well at night. He fought it all day until we pulled into the garage that night at 7 pm and he got carried to bed completely zonked out.img_8650We’d heard amazing things about Phil’s BBQ and thought we’d do that for dinner after Sea World. It was SLAMMED (per usual I guess) so we opted for take out and had a “dinner party” with Emmy back at the house. The food was delish!img_8651Since we were waking up at 5 every morning, we were able to get out of the house early and I’m not going to lie- I kind of enjoyed it. We spent our morning hiking Torrey Pines and taking in the beauty of the ocean. Emmy could hardly wait to build sand castles and feel the water. Both the kids were timid at first and didn’t want to get too close to the waves. Before you knew it Emmy was soaked head to toe and running around with new friends. img_8419img_8666     img_8659  img_8661 img_8660 img_8662We didn’t think about packing swimsuits, snacks, and towels (duh) so I hiked back up with Crosby to gather some necessities. When I returned Tucker had his shoes back on and was pretty upfront that he would not be taking them off again (NOT a fan of sand). haha! We did convince him to join us in building castles and he was so cute with his excitement every time we lifted the bucket to reveal another perfect sand pile. He would say, “YES! We did it!!!” 🙂 Crosby loved the ocean air and kicking around on a towel. He is pure sunshine and it’s a good thing too. Three kids at the beach is tiring!img_8617img_8615 We ran home for some quick naps before making it to our reservation at George’s Ocean Terrace. This place! Probably my favorite moment of the trip! The view of La Jolla Cove + fish tacos + chocolate cake simply couldn’t be beat. A must visit for sure!img_8584 img_8580 img_8586 img_8588img_8698  img_8587img_8658img_3516 We rushed to pay our bill and get down to the shore before sunset was over. It was gorgeous! Em wanted to visit the sea lions again and even spotted the cutest little baby napping under a rock. The kids climbed trees and played tag while we breathed in the ocean air and took in the perfect weather. La Jolla is the cutest area and my favorite spot we adventured around in. I’m ready to move when Matt is. 🙂img_8583img_3576img_8568That night Matt was up throughout the night with the stomach bug and I thought our big zoo plans were bust. He took some of my meds and came around a little bit. He muscled through to get the these kids to the zoo. What a trooper! We got there as soon as it opened and took the skyfari first and headed straight for the LIONS! Unfortunately their exhibit was under construction and they were put away for the day. NOooooo! We soldiered on for about twenty minutes until we walked through a tunnel with benches and a tv. We’re the worst! haha! We ended up settling in and eating nearly all our food until we had the energy to get going again. We saw so many cool animals up close like a koala, orangutan, and hippo. The zoo was incredible with its forest like feeling and winding jungle paths.img_8677  img_8507   img_8671 img_8510 img_8508 img_8670Once again Em was our designated “map reader” and took her job very seriously. She would pretend to be a zoo worker and make up facts for all the animals: “The koala likes to eat red chameleons and red candy canes. Sometimes the moms need to cuddle them but sometimes that doesn’t make them cozy enough..” We made our way around the entire zoo before taking the skyfari back to the exit.img_8697 img_8669  img_8696 img_3650 img_3698 img_8693-1 img_8672It was a big day of walking and exploring and we were all pooped by the end. Everyone took a big nap when we got back to the house around 4 and when the boys woke up they weren’t feeling too hot again. So, Em and I went on a little date to the hot tub and Baked Bear for some pretty epic ice cream sandwiches- YUM! Although it’s rare, I love spending one-on-one time with her. I told her all kinds of stories about my Grandma who passed before she got to meet her. She asked lots of insightful questions and melted my heart. I told her how I loved coloring with my Grandma so Em wanted to bring her colors into Baked Bear and color with me. 🙂

Before flying out we hit the beach one more time. Em agreed to be buried in the sand and wanted me to do it over and over again. 🙂 We had lunch right on the ocean at World Famous and their shrimp tacos were divine! And, what’s vacation without some ice cream by the beach!? What an adventure life is with these littles. We are so thankful for everyday with them!img_8681 img_8683   img_8680 img_8686img_8689 img_8685 img_8688 img_8691 img_8692  img_8690 img_8560 img_8687 img_8563



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