Before I had Henry, we made plans to go to the beach. I thought I'd be plenty recovered and it would be no big deal to take a three week old baby to the beach. HA! Boy was I wrong! I hadn't counted on having a C-section, which I still have not completely recovered from. I hadn't counted on Henry being quite so demanding. I hadn't counted on the drive being soooo much longer due to all the stops the baby required. In the end, I'm glad we went and we had fun, but it was a TON more work than I ever thought. Packing was quite a challenge too. I am a pro at packing for me and James. I have a master list that I've used the past few trips and I know exactly what to bring. Now I had NO clue what to pack for Henry. I knew the basics so I made a list for him too. He ended up having more bags than James and I! I took things that I never used and didn't bring things that I needed. But now that I have done it once, I'll be better for the next trip. There are a million pictures that tell our story, sorry!
Here is the Rav trunk all loaded up with beach stuff, suitcases, pillows and of course, the stroller.
Here's more of Henry's stuff: cooler for bottles and diaper bag full of diapers, wipes and clothes.
Yet more of Henry's stuff: bottle bag with extra bottles, formula, bottle liners and nipples.
Lizzie got us a Baby on Board sign so perhaps the California drivers might be a BIT nicer to us ;)
I'm ready to go!
This was how Henry spent most of the trip, lucky for us!
Stop #1, Yuma to see my grandma...
and my uncle Mark...
and my aunt Karen! We missed my uncle Bill and aunt Kathy on this trip, hopefully we'll see them next time.
Now on our way to California, this was taken right as we crossed the state line.
We made it! This was taken from the balcony of our hotel room, nice huh? :)
Yes, we got "upgraded" to the penthouse. I think they took one look at Henry and thought, let's stick them way up on top so we don't hear that baby! ;)
We took full advantage of Henry's good mood and went for a walk down the coast.
James and Henry on the seawall, there were so many people who commented on just how cute he is!
Family pic on the seawall.
We saw lots of wildlife, here is a seal on Seal beach...
and lots of squirrels...
and a walrus! Hee-hee ;) Some men should not wear speedos! But seeing some people on the beach made me feel better about my three-week post-baby un-perfect body.
St. James ;) And he really was a Saint on this trip. He sat in the back of the car on the drive and kept Henry happy, lugged suitcases and beach stuff, got up with Henry in the middle of the night so I could sleep, went out to get food, navigated around confusing La Jolla and tried desperately to keep me sane when I was stressed about doing so much with the baby. I love you bub!!! :)
Henry is thinking: I can't wait till next year when I can chase seagulls, eat beach sand and seaweed and basically never let my mommy and daddy sit still! It's gonna be great!!
Henry's first time on the beach!
He was super-impressed!
Family pic on the beach.
After we went back to the hotel for Henry to eat, we bundled him up and headed back down to see the sunset.
Even more beautiful ;)
The next day, we thought we'd be adventurous and go down to see the famous Sunny Jim cave! It's about 200 steps down to the dark, cold, wet cave. I went when I was a kid but forgot just how dark and cramped it is! I freaked out a bit but...
James and Henry loved it!
Here is the opening to the cave.
Family pic in the cave.
Later that day we met my mom and sister who were coming from Disneyland. We were just a bit jealous we didn't get to go but we're already planning Henry's first trip there soon! Anyway, we really wanted Henry to experience the beach for real even though he is so little. So we unwrapped him from his warm blanket and stuck his little toes in the freezing cold water! He was pretty much asleep when he did this but woke right up when his toes hit the ice-water and he did NOT like it one bit and of course, cried :)
Mean mommy and daddy!
Back at the hotel, clean and dry. Can you read his onesie? It says, my aunt rocks! You can see he thinks so!!
This little friend joined us on our balcony. Mine?
James and I went out for our anniversary. We went to the Sea Lodge, where James proposed to me almost five years ago and had dinner. This is the sunset from our table.
Grandma babysat for us and Henry loved it!
Grandma and Henry hanging out at the beach on our last day.
James went boogie boarding and caught some waves and some boogie rash! Yes, it's a real thing! From laying on the boogie board too long ;)
Three beach bums ;) James, my baby sister/nanny Emily and her friend CJ.
Like my flower? I'm such a dork!
As we were sitting on the beach, I heard the people next to us shouting, it just jumped out of the water!! This of course, prompted me to check out the water and sure enough... DOLPHINS! There were at least three or four dolphins swimming by and popping up out of the water. Now I've been coming to the beach my whole life and I've NEVER seen dolphins except for at Sea World! You can't see it too well in this picture but by the time we found the camera they were pretty much gone.
So long beach! I'll sea (ha ha) you next year!
Whew! So there you have it. A whirlwind beach vacation with a three week old baby. Were we crazy for doing it? Maybe. But it was fun. It had challenges, for sure but I learned a lot in the process.