Vacation recaps make the best type of blog posts, don't you agree? They are rivaled only by baby milestone/age posts. Which I never do. Ever.
Aaand she's starting this post with a very similar palm tree/sky combo pic. This doesn't bode well for us... - a reader
Where were we? Ah - our vaca recap continued. The best. I'll go ahead and make this easy on me and easy for you to skim/skip.
A advice seeking Facebook post about mitigating the hazards of sharing 318 sq feet of hotel space with 5 humans brought (update: we've learned that we are now officially a two hotel room family) to my attention that one of my favorite friends lived a couple short hours outside of San Diego.
Happy awkward celebratory mom dance time!
Kayleen is a true gem of a friend. She and her husband Jordan drove two hours with their kiddos and brought us the fanciest picnic (they grilled seasoned asparagus...Miller picnics have never been so delicious) and the best part....after four years of not seeing each other, it was like a hot minute hadn't even passed. She always makes me laugh the deepest belly laughs and tells me to stop apologizing. Everyone needs a Kayleen.
It is truly one of my life's great tragedies that we live so far apart from each other. Hopefully there'll be some weird quake shift of the States soon and Arizona and California will be sudden and friendly neighbors.
The second best part of seeing old friends is introducing them to your new children.
The little charmers.
Rhett and their daughter were true 1 year old BFFs when they were little.
And like their mothers they picked up right where they left of.
Playing nicely. For 3.4 seconds. And then a Miller child caused a fight scene over a sword. The guilt is all in the eyes of the guilty party. Thankfully the friend's children were raised by super proficient parents and were very adept and sharing and forgiving and forgetting.
(Note: No, I have not seen Black Fish.)
Sea World was 5 literal minutes from our hotel so we headed across the street (No long drive? Thank you kid-friendly gods!)
To be perfectly honest I think the kids would've been happy with the rescue seals and a fancy fish tank in a lobby somewhere but I have wanted to go to Sea World since I was a little girl so we pressed on and went through the (mostly empty! we went got lucky to be there on a slow day) entire park.
And it did not disappoint any age group in our party. I almost cried of happiness and awe when we saw the dolphins. I know there are many opinions on places like this and many of the critics are probably very right. But I am very grateful for the chance for the up close interaction we got to have there.
Rhett claimed that this shark "felt like it was made of broccoli." Pretty 100% positive that he's never touched broccoli in his life.
If you've read this blog or even skimmed it, you know that Rhett is an animal enthusiast to his core. Meeting a real dolphin almost sent him into overly excited cardiac arrest.
The intelligent dolphins probably never have a squabble and duck lips over a sucker.
If you think it's hard to get young children to look at the camera, try adding a dolphin.
And if the dolphins weren't enough the orcas where the boy's lifetime highlight.
Right after Rad stopped picking his nose.
We sat in the "splash zone" which was AMAZING. Really. I was very verbal and repetitive with my "OH MY GOSH!" "Did you see THAT!" " Look! Look! LOOOK boys!" Where they embarrassed...maybe. But they embarrass me on occasion so it's all fair.
After watching the trainers, Rhett and Rad went to try out their hand signals. Rhett sometimes thinks he knows sign language (nope) but he swears his sign language was understood by at least this particular orca.
After animal/fish gawking we took a pause for some of the rides and recreation.
So onto more sea life!
The most eagerly anticipated viewing of the day was the deepest fear inducing sharks.
Or as Rad happily exclaimed as we entered the tunnel-o-sharks, "da WHALES!!!"
No whales, only their fun-loving cousin...the shark.
When corrected by his loving mother, Rad's memory was sparked that all sharks ate bananas.
The Miller logic knows NO bounds.
Because there was a weeeee bit of parental miscommunication (between me, myself and I) over who was in charge of lathering the boys faces with SPF 50, the only real incident of the day was everyone getting a wee bit sun burned. But now my very pale posterity has a hint of a tan so...overall a SUCCESS of a day.
A few last minute vacation notables:
A sold out Zootopia showing meant I had to get creative and remembered a partially used Build a Bear gift card in my wallet which was a huge hit.
The boys are always eager to add to their ever growing hoard of stuffed animals.
Like the jelly fish...Rhett named his Sky Lightning. Rad named his Na-na-na-boo boo. Both proud names to grow into.
We also hit up the Lego Store which I thought would be a big hit, but since Jake the fun parent Miller was still in Arizona, the boys weren't impressed with the not so complicated little cars built by there mother.
They still sent the mediocre cars sailing down the ramps they had set up so not all fun was lost.
PS: A super grateful shout out to Jake (Tyrell's husband) for being the swimming champ with the kids. After day two, being in cold water was not something I had slightly negative feelings about. Rad finally learned that a lounge chair in the sun is a total vacation win.
And now, obligated food pics. My hands are tied.
And now we're done.
How's that for an abrupt end?
Just kidding. Add to throw these last few pictures in.
Now we're done...ending with a selfie seems appropriate.
Adios vacation! You did good. Rilll good.