Picture this: After traveling all day (four hours on a plane with toddlers), you arrive at your destination. It's now two hours past said toddlers bedtime, but they must stay alert to surprise the guest of honor any minute. Oh, and they must remain quiet so as if not to ruin the surprise. As the big moment arrives, one toddler starts to meltdown. You rush the toddler away from the scene and try to hush her as your brother-in-law beckons you back - the big moment has arrived...
And that was the way Travis' dad rang in the big 6-0! He knew he was going on a vacation to San Diego but he expected to see his friends - not his two sons, their wives, and three children - when he arrived at the beautiful beach house his wife rented in honor of the occasion. Awesome, right? Because why would you want to sip piña coladas on the beach with adults when you could spend the week with rambunctious toddlers climbing all over you?! Toddlers who help make you super cool "Happy Birthday Papa" banners...
No sirree, Papa wouldn't have it any other way and that's why he's the best! Just look at him - king of the castle - by the pool.
The house even came with a good lookin' pool boy!
Ha! That's Travis' brother. He specifically told me NOT to say that! Sorry, Corey!
It was a fantastic vacation with something for everyone. Some prefer to relax and stare out at the ocean...
...while others prefer to go for a jog with toddlers on the beach!
Go Papa, go!
(He has no idea I photographed this moment)
Merryn and her adorable cousin Abby were a couple of little fishes in that pool...
...while Josie preferred to cuddle her dad on dry land.
Actually, both girls had a blast in the pool. In an attempt to keep up with Abby, her super swimmer cousin, Merryn would persistently try to flail and get away from me and insist I put her "down!"...in the deep end! Yeah, that's Merryn - Miss Independent. Thank goodness we discovered Puddle Jumpers (this blog has no affiliation with the company - we just love the product). Puddle jumpers are an innovative floatation device that allowed Merryn to have the freedom she desperately desired in the pool.
Josie, on the other hand, preferred to lounge in a baby float and blow bubbles - lots and lots of bubbles! Girlfriend is a little obsessed. Hey, whatever floats her boat.
There were so many memorable moments and fun photos from the trip that it was nearly impossible to narrow it down. Look at this cuteness - eskimo kissin' cousins!
Relaxing strolls on the beach...
...Merryn's first taste of gelato, thanks to Papa...
My only regret is that I didn't get a family photo. This is as close as I came to everyone together!
Oh but that doesn't matter because I got the cutest ones together right here:
Overall, it was a wonderful week of family fun and we are so grateful to YaYa and Uncle Corey for planning it. It was a pleasure to be able to help Papa celebrate his 60th birthday (even though it's not technically until NEXT year - that was part of the "surprise"!).
** We fielded some questions both on the blog and Instagram about the photo of the pulse oximeter display, I will say that Josie did great on the whole trip. Because of her Chronic Lung Disease and her history of respiratory distress episodes, the doctor has us take a portable oxygen compressor and her pulse oximeter on the plane with us. Altitude and sleep both lower oxygen saturations but Josie took a little nap at 30,000 feet and kept her saturations above 90! Woo Hoo! You go girl!