Friday, August 21, 2015

{California coastin'} Flashback: Day 1

We just got back a couple of days ago from our family vacation up our beautiful CA coast! This has been on my bucket list for awhile and this year was the perfect year to do it with the kids. We have lived here for a total of 6 years now and haven't seen a lot of the major sights right here in our own country, in our own gorgeous state. It was an All-American family road trip!

We left first thing Saturday morning. The car already packed, muffins, fruit, and smoothies ready for breakfast on the go. We avoided all LA traffic and made it to Santa Barbara with no bumps. Everyone was pumped and ready to start this adventure.
We are lucky to live just a few minutes away from a beautiful mission in San Juan Capistrano which was one of the first things we visited when moving back from the UK. {Check it out here.} One of the most popular CA missions is the amazingly beautiful Santa Barbara Mission and it did not disappoint for our first stop. I mean, that pink!

The grounds were perfect to get all our wiggles out from being in the car for a few hours and there were cute little activities inside the mission, like a giant puzzle of the tribes of California and a coloring table, that interested my kids.

Touring the mission reminded me of the good ol' days traveling with my two little girls all over Europe sightseeing and museum hopping. Now I have added Darren and Cara with me and it was just as fun. Who says you can't take young kids to museums?? We love it.

Now a trip up the California coast wouldn't be right if we didn't stop at In-n-Out for lunch. I mean, In-n-Out IS all things CA, duh!  We planned for the drive, mission, and lunch to happen all before nap time so that way the two littles could snooze away until our next and final stop for Day 1.

Next stop before checking into our hotel was to see the Elephant Seals just south of the Piedras Blancas lighthouse.

Located on a picturesque beach these HUGE seals all lounge and huddle together basking in the sun. Occasionally one or two would move and oh. my. gosh. These sea creatures look massive to begin with but it isn't until they move, especially the male seals, when you can really see just how incredibly massive they are. They would try to move quickly yet only move slowly due to their large stature and after a few seconds of trying to move their body, they would plop themselves right back on the sand until what seems like they can muster their strength again to move. We all caught great giggles watching them move! 
Winter time is apparently the time to visit as a big amount of seals come for breeding and having babies but there were plently of them for us to see. Plus, I'm glad I didn't have to deal with a louder odor of their stench.

After sitting on the fence and observing our surroundings for awhile we headed to our hotel in time to check-in and go out for some pizza. I'd say it was a great first day!

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