With the Boswell AZ Thanksgiving canceled this year we were left with a week off of school and no holiday plans. We decided to head up the coast to San Fransisco! We left on Monday and on the way there we took the beautiful coastal route. We hit up little cities along the way like Malibu. The coastline was gorgeous and the word of the day was beautiful. The ocean never gets old. Ava gets a little car sick but once she took her medicine she perked up! We made a pit stop in Ventura for lunch at a little pizza place with rave reviews. I had a few quirky stops planned along the way to help keep the kids interested and everyone seemed to have a good time even though it was a long drive!
We drove through downtown Santa Barbara which was such a pretty city. We will have to head back some time for a proper visit. Our next stop was in Pismo Beach. It is one of the only beaches in California that you can drive out onto the sand. There were sand dunes for ATVs and dune buggies but we could just drive our regular car out on packed sand. We hit the beach right at sunset which was perfect. It was really fun to drive out and get out and play and then hop right back into the car. I loved it! We found a ton of sand dollars. Afterward it was dark already and we were bummed that missed out on seeing Big Sur.
We headed to San Luis Obispo and saw what a cute little town it was and visited Bubble Gum Alley which was pretty disgusting but we all had to add our piece in.
We got to our last destination for the night, Monterrey. We stayed one night here and then on Tuesday we spent the day at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium and exploring Cannery Row.
After the aquarium and lunch on Cannery Row, we headed north again to Santa Cruz. We made it to the Mystery Spot just in time to make the last tour. It was such a quirky place and the girls enjoyed being a part of the experiments and learning more about the mystery of it all. It was up in the forest and the trees and setting were so pretty.
After the Mystery Spot we went down to Santa Cruz boardwalk and pier. We could drive out onto the pier which was cool. We walked along the shops and got ice cream before heading to our hotel in San Mateo.
The hotel worked out great. The kids loved having their own room and it started to feel like home after a couple of days.
On Wednesday we headed down to Redwood City to visit with Michelle and Mike. It was great to see her after a year and now a cute little pregnant belly. I can't wait to meet their little girl coming in March. Stanley and Jackson were excited to see the kids. We had a nice visit with them before heading up to San Fransisco.
We spent Wednesday evening in Chinatown in San Fransisco. We visited a lot of shops and a fortune cookie factory.
On Thursday we woke up and it was Thanksgiving! We also woke up to Leah getting sick in the bathroom. Poor girl. She ended up feeling sick all day but luckily it only lasted one day and we didn't have too much planned, mostly riding in the car and she got a ride in the stroller. We stopped by Lombard Street. Ava and Eric took the long walk down and back up. They thought it was pretty silly watching all the cars go down the crooked street. We headed up north and over the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Woods. We hiked around. The forest was beautiful. Afterward we stopped by the house that the Boswells lived in while Cindy and Karen attended high school. It was a pretty neighborhood.
Afterward we met up with Bill, Cindy and Meredith who drove up for the weekend! We had Thanksgiving dinner at Mel's Drive In in San Fransisco. It wasn't our first choice but it was a fun evening. We headed back to the hotel and Cindy brought a fun craft for the girls. They made pot holders!
The next morning we headed to Alcatraz. It was our first time going and it was quite fascinating. The audio tour was intense and taught us a lot about the history of the prison, the inmates, the guards and the attempted escapes.
After the tour we walked down to Ghiradelli Square. Ava was excited to buy some chocolate squares. We went to Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39 and to the Musee Mecanique. We saw the seals and explored all around the bay.
On Saturday we headed back home. We took the shorter (read boring) route back. We made one fun stop at Bravo Farms where the kids got out and played and had ice cream. The kids were very good travelers with such a long drive. We are lucky!
It felt good to be home. Andrew was cute and wandering around "talking". You could tell he was excited to be home. It was such a great Thanksgiving break!