And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Final Celebrations

The shipments had arrived, the house was almost put together, and all good things must come to an end.  Lucky for us grandpa was coming down for the final celebrations before summer officially came to an end and grandma had to go home.  We were kicking off the weekend with picking up grandpa at the Long Beach airport and then heading up to Universal Studios.  While I think that Universal Studios is not an epic them park, it does have Harry Potter world...and that in and of itself makes the whole visit worth it!

D had been excited for this day pretty much since we left Osaka Universal Studios, so the day was met with great anticipation!  There was also the new and improved Jurrasic World so needless to say, everyone was pretty excited...well everyone except for Parker.  He was about two inches too short for almost every single ride!  Poor kiddo!!  Probably the only time in his life that he will be too short for something, but he was pretty bummed every time we told him he was "too little."  Him and I hung out for most the big rides though because my tummy wasn't feeling the josteling around that roller coasters naturally bring.  We enjoyed some frozen lemonade and other treats together though, so we weren't suffering too much.













The highlight of the day was hands down Harry Potter world.  We rode flight of the hippogriff, drank lots of butter beer, and ate dinner at the Three Broomsticks.  Definitely rounding off a great day!  Dominik got his Sirius Black wand and was able to do his "magic" around the Hogsmede village (so cool!!).  He strutted around like he was pretty hot stuff!  








We all had a blast and were completely exhausted!!  The ride home was long, but we were together and somehow that made everything just perfect!!  

Monday, August 29, 2016

Everything is Awesome

Lego Land had always been on the top of Dominiks list of "must-dos" when in San Diego.  We also only live about 30 minutes away so that was a huge plus.  We had an particularly rough week trying to bribe him to help so we leveraged Legoland as part of the deal.  He was mildly more helpful, but what can I expect from a 6 1/2 year old who is completely off scheduled?!?  So the Saturday after Sea World we decided to head over to Legoland and see what it was all about.  

I think the main draw to Legoland is not only their theme park, but also their water park.  We didn't know this going into it so we only purchased tickets to the theme park.  Definitely a mistake.  The park itself was pretty cute and any Lego fanatics dream.  There were a few fun roller coasters and a few little rides for Parker.  We were on one ride that broke down for about 15 minutes and was promised a front of the line pass.  When we got off the supervisor said that we were only on for less than 5 minutes and therefore got nothing.  Then we went to the next ride, waited in line for 45 minutes, got to the front and the ride was suffering from mechanical issues and we couldn't ride.  Again getting nothing.  I'm not a person always looking for free handouts, but if an hour of my day is wasted due to park issues than I would hope to be compensated in someways.  Overall definitely not impressed with customer service at Legoland!!  
















The day ended up being fun and the kids had a blast.  Tj, grandma, and I were all tired and ready for bed!!  At the end of the day I wasn't a fan of Legoland theme park...overpriced, bad customer service, and not too many attractions (for the price).  Maybe getting the package deal with the water park would have made the park that much better:  I would say that unless your kid is a huge fan of Legos, just save your money and go to Disneyland!!   

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Incentives and Bribery

When we finally arrived to San Diego we technically had a home of residence but unfortunately our stuff was still in the slow boat from Japan.  We booked a hotel at the hotel on Camp Miramar and were able to have a comfy bed in between our trips to the house to clean and get things in order prior to our shipments.  We had scheduled an express shipment, our household goods shipment, and our storage shipment (the stuff from Bethesda that had been stored for 3 years).  Each shipment had essential items for living and no shipment could put together a complete house. Lucky for me, my mom purchased an open ended ticket to ensure that she could stay through the entirety of our shipments and help us get things in order.  I seriously don't know what I would have done without her!!  Moving to a new place is one thing, but getting settled, taking care of kids, and being pregnant, was just more than I could bare.  She was such a blessing and I'm thankful for her everyday!!  

Well our shipments were scheduled but we needed to be out of the hotel before they were even delivered.  So floor living with communal blankets and paper goods for the kitchen were how we survived for a few days.  The boys were such good sports and did the best they could with what they were given.  Lucky for us, SoCal is the land of theme parks and boy did we use them to our advantage.  We told the boys that if they could do this, that, and the other that we would go to a theme park.  This tactic while maybe not the best way to motivate the boys, sure was effective.  They jumped in line and did their part and then on Saturdays we were able to take a day off and go play.
Our first theme park was Sea World.  Being active duty military entitled TJ to a free ticket and 3 free tickets for his dependents.  This gave the boys and I, and grandma all free enterance into the park.  I was so glad that we could pay her backs little bit for all the help she gave us!!  
Sea world is kind of a grey area entertainment for me.  I hate that the animals are held in captivity and not treated very well (or so I hear), but I do appreciate being able to witness the majestic animals that I would otherwise not be able to see.  In addition to the animal exhibits they have rides, food, and lots of entertainment.  My favorite attraction was the killer whale show.  Dominik exclaimed "mom it's Willy!  I can't believe we are watching someone so famous." Seriously the cutest!!  Parker enjoyed all the little rides, and Dominik loved petting and feeding the maya rays.  Grandma loved being out of he house and not having to scrub floors, and Tj enjoyed riding the roller coasters with Dominik.  Such a fun family day and a great way to break up the monotony of unpacking and cleaning!!