Last weekend our family had a much-needed getaway to our favorite place on earth-San Luis Obispo. For some reason, whenever we drive past Cal Poly and on toward downtown, it's like our worries fade and we become young again. It was perfect.
On the drive down Steve and I were able to have some great talk time. Every single child fell asleep. This hardly ever happens. All that could be heard was the steady hum of the engine. It was the perfect backdrop for both of us to unwind and catch up with one another. Currently we steal moments here and there. But this was two and a half hours of straight, uninterrupted talk time. And it was needed. That grounding will float us for awhile. Steve finishes his Masters next semester so there has been so much to be done from paperwork to big exams to tackle. It's all good work but the fatigue of the last three years is finally starting to settle in (we are also two children heavier than when we started) and so beginning our weekend with good talk time was really crucial and incredibly refreshing.
But not only have Steve and I needed some time to keep our feet on the ground, but so have the kids. We haven't taken any sort of family vacation in awhile. Weekend trips have pretty much been forgotten due to Steve studying through every weekend so even the short trips have eluded us. We also hadn't been to San Luis Obispo as a family for a year. It was definitely time. It's our happy place. To be honest, as we drove up and down the streets, I had a sense of longing for home. That town will always be home for us, wherever we go. We began there. It holds our history. It will always be home.
We arrived Friday night to the Weeks, who are like family to us. The kids all went straight into their beds and the adults settled in to talk the night away. I have no idea how I manage to do it on so little sleep but, I just must stay up and talk to Debbi. It's just the way it is. In fact, we all stayed up late but Steve fell asleep in the comfy chair while the rest of us girls chatted away. Seeing Debbi, Matt and their daughter Rebekah was definitely a major highlight of the whole weekend. We love them so much.
The next morning we left bright and early and headed out to the beach for AGO's 20th Annual Pismo Football Tournament. I have been to many Pismo tournaments now and many of them have had nice weather. In fact most of them have been pretty good since we usually get an Indian Summer all along the California coast. But this year, it was cold. Seriously cold. So by lunchtime, I was ready to head out with the little ones, especially Nathan. The kids all had to be dragged away from the sand and the fun they were having with other alumni kids, but that's okay. More fun was to come.
For the past few years we've headed over to a friend's house in the afternoon who lives just a few miles from the beach. Husband and wife are both AGO alumni as well and are so gracious to open their home up to all of us moms so that the dads can keep playing for the afternoon. It was a blast. All of the kids played, ate yummy kid food and us moms got to catch up on each other's lives. I think the afternoon is my favorite part. I look forward to it so much. This year one of my best pals and a fellow AGO alumnus came with one of her sons for the afternoon to meet Nathan since they couldn't make it out to the beach. Seeing her beautiful face just made my day. I miss my college friends so much.
After the dads beat their arch rivals-UCSB's Alumni team, we extended the fun day even more to include dinner. My two older boys had gone back to the beach with Steve after lunch to watch him play and dig in the sand some more themselves, so when they got to the Dorns at dinnertime, they had tons of fun playing with the other kids there too. Once we made it back to SLO for the night, everyone climbed in bed very tired but quite happy.
The next day we took the kids around to hit our favorite places after church...Mondeos for wraps (for us adults), pizza sticks for the kids and dessert from Bali's followed by a quick trip to the Cal Poly store. All of these things are tradition for us now. If we go to SLO and don't do these things they kids call us on it. Pizza sticks and Bali's must happen for them! And Mondeos and the Cal Poly store must happen for Steve and me! Ha! We then headed over to the alumni lunch to say goodbye to everyone and made it back to the Weeks for naps. We still had an afternoon ahead of us so we needed some rest! Once everyone was up, we met our dear friend Shelly at Avila Valley Barn for our annual family pictures and pumpkins. So much fun.
On our way out of town we hit up Splash Cafe for dinner. It was the perfect ending to a much needed little family vacay. The kids cooperated again and fell asleep on the way home giving Steve and me more time to talk.
It's been a long haul since January. We needed this trip. All of us did. It was an incredible time of relaxation, just being with our kids with Daddy not needing to study, and seeing amazing friends (though some of our pals were missing), all in our favorite place on earth.
Who knew a weekend trip with five little kids could be so refreshing?! Well, it was.
Thanking God so much for our time away.