By Diane Ako
Being firmly ensconced on the Mommy track now means we are locked into taking vacations only during school breaks. At least that's what the school wants me to say, ha ha.
I miss the days when Husband and I could just take off in shoulder seasons when the price, the crowds, or the weather suited us. I also miss when traveling halfway around the world inspired feelings of anticipation and excitement rather than fear and weariness in me.
Set against this backdrop, we picked a spring break destination that was reasonably close and child-friendly, California. We then chose to split the trip between southern and northern areas.
The first three and a half days were in Irvine, the last four and a half were in Santa Cruz. In Irvine: Olivia's godmother and Disneyland. In Santa Cruz: relatives and a visit to some of my university memories.
Here's a glance at what we did:
Saturday: Fly in to LAX
Sunday & Monday: Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park
Tuesday: Fly to San Jose. Check into a hotel in Santa Cruz.
Wednesday: Drive West Cliff Drive to end up at Natural Bridges State Park. Hike the woods, explore tide pools. Stroll the Santa Cruz wharf. Lunch and stroll on Pacific Avenue, the main shopping area. Swim in the hotel pool.
Thursday: (A day of mystery!) Mystery Spot. Drive to San Jose. Winchester Mystery House. Dinner with calabash cousins in Campbell.
Friday: Monterey Bay Aquarium. Carmel-by-the-Sea. Dinner with cousins in Aptos.
Saturday: University of California at Santa Cruz Arboretum tour and drive around the campus. Buy gifts at Trader Joe's. If Trader Joe's ever comes to Hawaii, my omiyage strategy is in trouble. Fly home via SFO.
Time warps when one is on vacation. Eight days felt like three weeks (in a good way.) It was nice to visit California and then come home refreshed. In the following blogs I will detail some of the key activities to include travel tips, should anything in this agenda appeal to you!