My sister, Lacey, has photographs taken of her boys every month from birth to two years old. They change so much during this time and it’s wonderful to look back on these moments. We decided on the zoo for her sons March photos. As we rode the Safari Train, Lacey said, “Do you want to go to San Diego in two weeks?” My reaction went like this, “What.. ummm… yes.. ok… I’m in!” She had planned a trip to visit her in-laws, but timing didn’t work out for her husband or oldest son. She couldn’t imagine flying alone with a one year old and four year old, not to mention all of the bags and car seats. She definitely didn’t have enough hands for everything. Tegan to the rescue. I mean, what a great excuse for a vacation before the start of wedding season.
I reached out to a past wedding couple of mine, Nancy and Jeff, who live in San Diego and asked for recommendations. They were extremely helpful in recommending places to see, things to do and restaurants to try. I have now met them on the east coast for their New York City engagement, the midwest for their Lambeau Field wedding and the west coast for drinks. How fun! It was so great to see them again, play with their pup Baxter, catch up on their amazing honeymoon adventures in the outback, and enjoy delicious food and drinks at Salt & Cleaver. It was also so refreshing to sit inside a bar with the garage doors open to the outside, while Wisconsin was hit with a snowstorm.
USS Midway Museum // Seaport Village // San Diego Zoo Safari Park // Disneyland + California Adventure // Hotel del Coronado + Coronado Beach // La Jolla Shores + Cave // Historic Route 101 // Del Mar // Mission Beach // Pacific Beach
Most Memorable Moment: Home Alone Airport Run
We left at 4:30am and headed for Chicago-Midway with a fresh coat of snow on the ground, freezing temps and multiple cars in the ditch. Slippery road and a forgotten children’s book made us arrive slightly behind schedule. My sister definitely wins a Mom of the year award for turning around to get that book for her son! It was pouring in Chicago when we arrived in the parking lot, so it was an adventure in itself trying to get all of the bags unloaded, pack the car seats in bags, and keep the boys dry. Lacey quickly parked while I tried to load all of this into the shuttle bus so we didn’t have to wait another ten minutes. It was nuts: three carry-on suitcases, a laptop bag, a camera purse, three tote bags, two large car seats, a one year old and a four year old who had been awake since 4:00am. Finally, we were on the shuttle and starting to relax, but we both kept checking the time.
We arrived at the airport with boarding passes in hand only needing to check our bags. The line didn’t look too bad, but we were redirected to the line for people who didn’t have boarding passes because my nephew was going to be sitting on my sister’s lap. Come on! We were behind schedule (and I’m always early!), but they wouldn’t work with us. We waited in the longest line ever and slowly inched along with all of the bags and boys. It was finally our turn, but we were now very late and they couldn’t guarantee that our bags would arrive with us. We needed the car seats to make it, so our only option was to bring them with us to the plane. They also couldn’t phone ahead that we were on our way, so she told us to RUN!
We ran to security, but of course we were caught behind a gentleman arguing and holding up the line. Then, they had to search my laptop bag, hand scan the boys, and hand scan both car seats since they were too large for the belt. Once I was finished my sister told me to grab a car seat, her older son Rhys and run to the gate. If I was there then hopefully they would wait a few minutes for her. Rhys doesn’t need an excuse to run, so we booked it for our gate (the furthest one, of course). Imagine me with my laptop bag, camera purse, three tote bags and a large car seat running through the airport with a four year old in front of me. It was our Home Alone moment with moving walkways and awkward stares.
We finally arrive at our gate and they are just starting to board the first section. What! All of that running and our group hasn’t started boarding yet. I check in the car seats and wait for my sister and nephew Jude to arrive minutes later. She has the heavier car seat slung over her shoulder and her one year old in her other arm. Seriously, that has to be at least 75 lbs! As soon as I tell her that we haven’t started boarding this look of relief and frustration and exhaustion wipes over her and me. We finally board the plane and probably look like we just ran a marathon with sweaty foreheads and tired looks. We definitely needed a nap or a strong drink and hoped the boys would sleep, but it was 8:00am and play time.
Most Hilarious Moment: The Big Wave
Rhys wanted to go swimming and find shells for his collection, so we headed to Pacific Beach. He was so excited to get into the water and put up with loads of sunscreen and adorable hat. He ran into the water and immediately ran back because it was “sooooo cold!” Lacey and Rhys walked along the shore looking for shells, while I worked on my tan and listened to the crashing waves. Rhys came and grabbed me to join him, while his mom checked in on Jude with her in-laws. Rhys wanted to keep looking for shells, but I wanted to go into the water. He told me numerous times, “My mom said I can only go to my knees.” I decided to be a naughty aunt and convinced him we should go out a bit further. Then a little more and more, until the water was above his waist. I held his hands tight as we waited for the big waves, jumped, ran back and forth and enjoyed the moment. All of a sudden the oncoming wave grew larger and crashed upon us, soaking my jean shorts and half of my back. I had to quickly lift Rhys, who was very wet, laughing and still holding on to me. All I could do was laugh and watch as the wave ebbed and Rhys ran for his mom. He told her how naughty I was, that I took him out above his knees and that we were soaked. Thanks Rhys! Now that I was used to the chilly water and had wet shorts, I decided to go back in deeper and found a few large shells for Rhys’ collection.
Makeup Free Instagram Moments from San Diego