My husband's current position in his company takes him around the country a little more often than we were accustomed to a few years ago. Most places that he travels to are boring or he has a work project to support and will be working 16 hour days, so it doesn't normally make sense for the girls and I to tag along. But on the rare occasion, he snags a work trip that has a light work load and is actually in a destination where we could turn it into a little family vacation. And that's what happened with Long Beach, CA back in October.
I'm a pretty independent gal and I love to travel. To turn my blog into a family travel blog would be a dream come true. But for now, I am blessed to be able to piggyback on a few of my husband's business trips. The girls and I have a blast. They travel very well and I like to justify these little trips as our warm up for our trip to Germany in the winter, to visit my parents.
During these work trips we expect that my husband will be occupied during working hours (and sometimes longer), so I make sure to find ways to fill our time and make our travels worth it. While he was networking about natural gas solutions for the semi trucking industry, the girls and I cavorted around the Long Beach area for 4 days. Our hotel was in San Pedro, not too far from Long Beach. For one of our days we puttered around the water front there.
After his work commitment that evening, we took the drive out to Disneyland and walked along Downtown Disney. My husband comes from a Disneyland lovin' family - he's been dozens of times throughout his childhood and together we have gone twice. Our girls aren't at the age yet where we could justify the expense of the park tickets, let alone the sheer stimulation overload! So we went the free route and walking along the street of Downtown Disney was enough free fun for all of us. My father in law keeps asking me when we think that we'll take the girls into the actual park, and our best guess is that when Penny is 8 years old and Ruby is 6 they will have a total blast. Hopefully we will have someday-Baby #3 (and maybe even someday-Baby #4) along with us, but at the moment we can only plan for at what age these two girls will have fun. :) We had dinner at Tortilla Joe's, where Penny got her first balloon animal and I learned a few secrets on how to make the perfect guacamole.
The locals had a good laugh at us too. It was October and the temperatures were in the high 60's, low 70's. That is called tank top, flip flop and shorts weather in Washington. My kids are out in the backyard in the swimming suits and playing in our sprinkler while I lounge on a blanket in that weather. Californians don't seem to think that's appropriate in October, so we got laughed at when we hauled our family down to the hotel's pool. It had already been shut down for the winter! But luckily the hot tub was turn down to low and we went in that instead. Whatevs, works for us!
Oh, and that ring sling that I'm sure you've noticed? The one that lets me wear Ruby and still play in the water? None other than the fabulous Beach Front Baby ring sling, of course! Click on over to that link to read more about it! No babywearing parent should be caught without one this summer.
My absolute favorite part of this trip was our visit to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. As it turns out, I have started to make a habit of visiting the local zoo or aquarium whenever we travel somewhere. It's a fun outing for everyone because they tend to be very toddler friendly. There's countless lessons to learn about the animals, our environment and thinking about the big picture. Not to mention, it's a great way to expend some of that toddler energy that builds up when cooped up in a hotel room! Penny was able to run around and I didn't have to constantly reign her in. But that, my friends, is a story for another blog post! Head over to read about our adventures at The Aquarium of the Pacific.