Monday, March 22, 2010

A detour to Santa Cruz.

JJ drove home after work on his birthday and made it a little bit after 12:30 this morning. SS and I were awake waiting for him. P talked me into allowing SS to stay up to wait, because she really missed her brother and hoping that she would sleep during our drive south. Why do I let the man talk me into things? Will I ever learn? SS was thrilled to see her JJ and treated him to a hyper version of Happy Birthday, including manic dance moves. That is what happens when a three year old is awake after midnight. SS begrudgingly succumbed to sleep at 2:00 a.m., I followed at 2;30 a.m. and JJ crashed at 4:00 a.m. P took a nap after his 10 hour work day yesterday, and did not wake up until almost 6:00 a.m. The plan was for us to leave for Monterey at 6:00 a.m., and what a lame plan that was. We did not have the heart to wake up JJ until 6:30 a.m., and I was as sluggish as ever. We did not leave until almost 8:00 a.m. P's status as the only person semi rested made him the designated driver.

With so little sleep, SS would usually fall asleep once on the road, and we kept her in her PJs (after freshening her up). But today was no regular, boring, alone in her carseat day. Today, Mighty J was sitting next to her, and although SS was shooting daggers at us, and whining, she perked up at the prospect of having a backseat companion. Halfway there, P realized that we would be too tired to enjoy the aquarium. Even with sleep, he was tired himself. P suggested a detour to Santa Cruz, a very quick visit to the pier, then on to the hotel for afternoon naps, an early night, then Monterey tomorrow. Again, why do I let him talk me into things, I really should now better by now. Our quick visit ended up being much longer, and we walked much more than planned. We brought JJ to the boardwalk for his 17 birthday and had not been there since. We had a great weekend, played mini golf and laser tag at Neptune's Kingdom. It was cool to reminisce and see the changes, must return this summer to introduce SS to the rides and the boardwalk at night. To our delight A Haunted Castle is under construction and due to open this summer.

At the pier, I drove P and JJ batty with my neurotic behavior about SS somehow falling into the water. I just did not want her anywhere near the side, and SS was attracted to that like a moth to light. By the time we reached the end of the pier, P and JJ were ready to throw me into the water. SS is so small and so freaking fast, that she really makes me nervous. And the her father is a trained lifeguard and her brother an equally strong swimmer argument does not hold water with me. Then SS saw and heard the sea lions, sending me into a do-not-let-her-get-too-close-she-is-going-to-fall-in-and-I'm-going-to-kill-you panic. Sweet me, I really know how to kill the joy out of an outing. Mental note, will be heavily sedated when we return.

SS was able to blow off a lot of steam and we managed to have a good time, despite my panic fit (sorry guys, no idea where that came from). During our last trip, P bought me a pair of Reef boots at the pier, weird because the brand is known for its beachwear. They are one of the most comfortable shoes I own and still have them. SS scored a pair of glow in the dark Reef flip flops from the Abus at the same store. Our little spit fire fell asleep at 4:00 p.m. and JJ could not keep her awake. She woke up when we got to the hotel and she was not happy. It's going to be an interesting evening.

P and I had to go to the store across the street and decided to leave SS with JJ. Our daugther did not approve of our plan and began to wail. I usually do not give in to emotional blackmail, but SS was tired and not herself. P was outside as I reassured SS that we would be back shortly, then left the room. SS's wail followed me down the hall and I stopped. P gave me a look and told me no way was I walking back in that room. SS was fine, in capable hands and about time she saw us leave, even if for a while. It was so difficult to keep walking, really difficult. As we suspected, the crying stopped in no time, but man, hearing that wail got to me. I remember when I used to have a backbone and miss those days.

SS was really cranky after we rudely interrupted her beauty sleep. But as soon as I pointed my camera at her, her warning scowl instantly changed into this cute mug. The girl really knows how to yank our chain.

Colorful and ready to stretch her little legs.

You have to admire her guts, dragging JJ all over the place.

Interesting pricing strategy.

Look at me, I can easily drag two adults.

SS was trying to wrap her head around P and JJ playing this virtual reality game.

SS waving and enthusiastically walking over to a pelican perched on the fence. Apparently she forgot all about the pelican who came so dangerously close to bite her at the La Guancha Boardwalk last summer. That was a very scary moment, and it did make an impression on us, so we kept SS at a safe distance.

SS was really excited about the sea lions.

SS's first arcade game at Neptune's Castle. JJ won enough tickets for a bracelet, a top, a dinosaur and two frogs. SS was in plastic trinket heaven.

Another example of responsible parenting. I grabbed the camera, snapped a picture, then told SS that it was not safe to stand on the stroller like that.

Impromptu picnic.

A lot of this (funny how she appears so coordinated).

Led to this.

SS is a music junkie and today was not satisfied with her own music and using her headphones. The littlest backseat driver decided to take over our music decision making. Look what happens when the volume is decreased.

SS enjoyed watching and listening to the Sea Lions. JJ has a death grip on her, because of my fear that SS would simply jump in to join her new friends.

No comments: