San Diego Vacation and Bella’s 4th birthday! Picture OVERLOAD!

My family and I just got back last night from an 11 day vacation to So Cal. We mostly went to get away from the nasty valley heat (and cow smell) and the daily grind, but also to celebrate Bella’s 4th birthday!
Overall, it was a great trip! We “front-loaded” our trip, so the last 4 days were more full of visits with friends and family. Unfortunately, we still didn’t even get to see everyone I wanted to see since a lot of my family and friends were also busy with summer fun stuff… or just busy in general… and (literally) my whole family lives in San Diego… so, it’s hard to get around to see EVERYONE.

We left for San Diego on July 13th at 1pm and arrived at my mom’s a little before 7pm. Fortunately, my kids are amazing road-trippers, so we only had to stop once for potty breaks.
Anyway, right when we got there, my mom and John* (whom we stayed with for our entire trip) already had stuff there to keep the kids busy!
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The next day, we met up with my dad, Marie*, my brother, his friend John and my Grandma Lily at Chili’s. This Chili’s had a cool ordering tablet thing that our Chili’s doesn’t have here
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This is the only other picture I have from Chili’s (my phone was dying, so I couldn’t use it)
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After lunch, we went (with everyone except Grandma Lily) to watch Despicable Me 2 (super cute movie, btw) and went to Yogurtland for some yummy frozen yogurt!

Monday, we headed out to Knott’s Berry Farm with my mom.. Here’s a picture of my mom and Connor.. we were gassing up to go!
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and the backseat riders
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I had to turn Bella forward facing for this trip because it wouldn’t fit rear-facing next to Emmy’s seat… but only being a day shy of being 4 years old, I was comfortable with letting her ride forward facing 🙂

So, Day 1 at Knott’s was super fun…Isaac rode his first “real” roller coaster
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Here are some more pictures from day 1
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We actually got so tired that we went to our hotel room (which was literally across from the park) to rest.
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and then we went back.. here are some night time Knott’s photos
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Day 2 at Knott’s was Bella’s birthday (July 16th)…. Crazy how time flies… years ago, she looked like this:
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And has quickly blossomed into this very beautiful, smart, artistic little diva
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This was her birthday outfit from Knott’s (except for the shirt and shoes :P) It was extremely over priced.. I’m pretty sure I could’ve made it all for a fraction of the cost, but it was her special day so we didn’t care. The yellow pin that she’s wearing was given to her by Knott’s.  It’s a cute “sheriff’s badge” that has her name and age on it. It really made her feel special because all the Knott’s employees (and I mean every.single.one.of.them that saw her) would stop to talk to her and wish her a happy birthday.
Image If you can’t tell by the pictures, Bella LOVES Hello Kitty.. She already had a “medium” Hello Kitty plushie at home, but since it’s been well-loved, while we were waiting for this show, hubby went into the gift store that had a BUNCH of Hello Kitty stuff and bought her a new Hello Kitty… but he wanted to do more for her… so, when we saw that a lot of the games had (bigger) Hello Kitty plushies that you could win… that’s what hubby did.
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And, no he’s not good at basketball… so, it took a lot of tries. In fact, he made the winning shot on the time I said, “if you don’t get it on this one, that’s it..” lol.. pressure was on!
Anyway, day 2 was great.. here are a few more pictures
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Did I mention my husband is a big chicken and HATES rollercoasters?! Well, as you can tell from the look on his face, he is. He seriously gets so anxious and tense… even for the “easy” coasters. Which kind of sucks because I.freaking.love.rollercoasters!!!!
This is him after the ride… I told him he’d like it and he didn’t believe me at first, but it ended up being one of his favorite coasters.
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His other favorite coaster was called Pony Express.. and here are some pictures from that ride.. lol
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As you can tell from the THREE pictures we bought from them, we all liked the ride 😛
And here’s a really funny one… it’s of my mom and I from the most “extreme” coaster at the park.. it’s called Xcelerator. Honestly, (to me) it’s not really that scary, but just look at this gem of my mom.
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So, yeah, day 2 was awesome. Bella had a great birthday and we all had fun celebrating it with her at Knott’s.
Here’s a picture of Connor on the way back to my mom’s from Knott’s. That Keroppi that he’s holding is a prize that Isaac won 🙂 (You can kind of see Isaac sleeping in the background too)
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I wish I would’ve taken more pictures, but I tried to keep my phone put away for most of the time there because the last visit to Knott’s, I lost my phone 😦

Day after Knott’s, we went and watched my brother practice his motocross… that was fun to watch. Here’s a picture of the boys and my brother and his dirt bike.
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Okay, the rest is kind of a blur.. lol.. so, I’m just going to post more pictures.
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This was taken at a park down the street from my dad’s house. It’s one of my favorite parks to take the kids to 🙂 Emmy LOVES the swings.
July 17th is hubby’s sister’s birthday, so we went to this AWESOME Thai Restaurant called Siam Nara. If you’re in San Diego, go there. It’s the best Thai food I’ve had in a long time!
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We went to Sea World’s Aquatica water park on Thursday (or Friday….. idk…. like I said, it’s all a blur..lol). It was fun… it’s a pretty small waterpark.. but it’s VERY kid-friendly (the boys were tall enough to do EVERYTHING except 2 slides). I didn’t take too many photos because..well..it’s a WATER park and I’m too afraid of messing up yet another phone… and, unfortunately, our water-proof camera broke (or something…lol.. it won’t charge) just weeks before we left for vacation. So, you’ll have to deal with crappy cell phone pictures…
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We love food… and once I heard that there was a burger place called “Stacked”, where you can custom make your burger on an iPAD, I had to try it.
So, we went with my BFF Reyna from high school and tried it out. It was AWESOME.
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This is me and one of Reyna’s twins.. I think it’s Maddie… They’re identical though… so I can never tell…. LOL
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and here’s my awesome burger creation
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and here’s hubby’s burger
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umm.. let’s see… here are some other things we did…
went to the lake and had a picnic/bbq, fed ducks and went fishing with my dad, Marie, Charisse (whom I’ve been friends with since Kindergarten), Reyna, her husband Stas and their girls and my brother.
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it started to sprinkle at the lake, so we went to Chuck E. Cheese’s
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We also had a beach day since we never get to go to the beach anymore (the closest beach to us is 3 hours away)! We went to the spot that we used to always go to when we surfed. It’s not a very good “play” beach because of all the rocks and seaweed, but the kids still enjoyed it!
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this a-hole stole food from us (got the boys playing in the water in the background though..)
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after the beach, we were craving some fish tacos, so we went to Rubios
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We hung out some more with my BFF, Reyna… went to a park…
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went to her house and played with her rabbit, Mambo…. which turns out, I am still allergic to rabbits…… I puffed up shortly after this… LOL
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played some pool
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We also spent some time with my Aunt Melodie on a few seperate occasions (which I didn’t get any pictures of her and the kids! grr!!)… but I did get to see my cousin’s little girl who is only 2 months older than Emmy. It was totally cute because as soon as Emmy saw her, pointed to her and she asked, “who dat?!” lol I took a picture of them together, but I haven’t gotten the chance to ask my cousin for permission to post the picture. 😛

hmm.. let’s see… what else…

Hubby has been wanting a truck so that he can haul his boat and trailer… so, yeah… this happened… LOL
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Here’s a picture of hubby with two huge burritos from his favorite taco shop in SD, JV’s Taco Shop
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and on Tuesday night (the night before we left), Reyna and I decided to have a mommy’s night out (we both needed it).
It was actually the first time EVER that she has driven me somewhere…. LOL
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we went to this new (amazing) mexican restaurant down the street from her house called Casa Sol Y Mar. Everything about it was GREAT!
here’s my cheese enchilada plate 😀
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On the trip back home, the girls rode with me (they both had to show me their ages… LOL)
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and the boys rode in hubby’s new (to us) truck!
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And that was our trip in a nutshell!!!

*John- My mom’s boyfriend/fiancé
*Marie- My dad’s girlfriend

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