Category Archives: places

Newport Beach

We spent a few days at Newport Beach. Uncle Brian showed us the good spots and was a big sport playing with the boys at the beach. He even let Avery & Kieron stay over one night, which they loved!

At the beach

Digging to China

On a sand mountain

Layla was crawling into the waves to get to Avery. I kept having to reign her in!

Water baby

We went out to dinner with Uncle Brian at the boys favorite restaurant, The Old Spaghetti Factory

At breakfast. Silas wanted his picture taken with the VW

Another day at the beach

At Uncle Brian’s

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Disney Land

After we had a little time to enjoy the water we felt ready to brave Disney Land with four kids. We opted to do a 3-day pass (2 at Disney, 1 at California Adventure). For simplicity’s sake I’m including all Disney pics in this post.

Our first day at Disney was a total bust. In fact, we almost didn’t go back. It was PACKED! We learned a couple hours in that while we chose this week because it was NOT a busy one, Disney offered a Groupon for locals this week specifically for that reason! I spoke to one local mom who said she goes all the time and had never seen it so crazy! Wait, what?! We only got on a few rides the whole day and were totally worn out (and a little grumpy).

I’m so glad we did go back though. Our second day was pure Disney magic. By then we had all the fast passes and rider swaps figured out, and we went on tons of rides and met lots of characters. I’m so glad we had that second day, because it completely changed our impression of Disney Land. We all had a fantastic time!


Splash Mountain

Avery & Kieron did Jedi training in the morning

This pirate sang a special sea shanty just for Layla using her name in it

Saying “hi” to some friends. Silas was STARSTRUCK!

Thunder Mountain

Space Mountain was a little scary for Silas. Looks like Daddy loved it though!

I’m tall enough!

We went through Tarzan’s treehouse a bunch of times. The boys loved it.

At Toon Town. Surprisingly, the boys loved it. They ran around for a long time checking everything out.

Finding Nemo Submarine. Not that exciting.


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Although theme parks were on the agenda for our trip, we were in no hurry to get to them. First on the to-do list was some time on the water! The boys had never been sailing before, and we were excited to show them what it was all about. Uncle Brad directs the sailing program at Orange Coast Community College, so he was all over getting us on a boat. Here are some pics from a couple of our outings.

Oops! Poor Kieron took a boom to the head before we even set sail the first day! Poor guy!

The boys were naturals at the helm

Layla was quite comfortable on the water

Uncle Brad, Avery, & Uncle Brian

We had lunch at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club a couple of afternoons.

They are in the middle of building a new club, so the current location is a temporary one. Here the boys are checking out the site of the new yacht club.

The temporary yacht club consists of a small beach portion and the rest of it is on the yacht pictured here, the Barney Lehman.

Avery found a coupe of sea slugs while he was digging on the beach. He brought them up to our table to show us. Wish I’d been quick enough to get a picture of Uncle Brad holding it up at the table! Eeeew!

Playing on the beach with Uncle Brian

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At the end of May we flew to Newport Beach to visit my uncles and take the kids to Disney Land. It’s a trip we’d been meaning to take for ten years, but we just kept putting it off. Either Avery was too young, or we were expecting, or we had a newborn. Now, four kids later, it was finally time. We had an absolute blast, and I’m just sorry we didn’t make the trip sooner!

My Uncle Brad (and new Aunt Julie!) graciously offered to host us. I snapped this photo of my entourage after we arrived in California and collected our bags.

Layla snoozing on the plane. I wish I could do this!

Happy baby after a nap!

Off the plane, almost there!

These Dutch doors are one of my main memories of visiting Uncle Brad’s when I was a little kid. I always thought they were SO cool, still do!

The kiddos on the porch

Shopping at Target before our first beach outing (notice the photo bomber in the background).

Getting ready for dinner with Uncle Brian

The big boys reading during some quiet time

Sleeping baby pic

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Museum of Flight

We went on a family outing the Museum of Flight one day over mid-winter break. The boys loved checking out all the aircraft. We could have spent a lot more time exploring everything if not for our tired baby girl. There is so much to see and do there, especially on a rainy winter day!

Around the World in 80 Days!

Avery & Kieron loved the flight simulator! It was Kieron’s first time in and we were excited to see what he would think. Avery piloted and Kieron was the gunner. The second they got in they started doing barrel rolls, and continued to do so for pretty much the duration. Despite this they still had three kills and both came out smiling!


“Yes, I’d like to order a pizza…”

In front of a B-17 Flying Fortress, the same aircraft their great-grandfather commanded during WWII

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