Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving in Newport Beach, CA

Flying With An 8 Month Old
We figured out long before we left to California that traveling with an infant was going to be quite different from what we were used to (not that we travel much :). First, our baggage more than doubled, and second my carry-on quickly turned into Marissa's diaper bag.

We headed out Monday morning thinking we had it all planned out. We were going to have Marissa nap on the ride to the airport and then again on the plane. Little did we know, she did not want to sleep, but instead wanted to experience her very first plane ride. Even though she did not sleep, Marissa was not too bad. There were times (when we tried to put her to sleep) that she cried a little, but she was mostly into pulling herself up on her fold down tray. We bought some new toys for her hoping they would be exciting and fresh so she would be entertained on the plane. Well we should have just bought boxes of ear plugs because those were the most exciting items on the plane.

Dan finally got to drive his "charger". He drove like a state trooper the entire trip.

After arriving at the home we stayed at (very generous YL committee members in the Newport Beach area), we decided to go out to dinner with Matt and Amie. After dinner, we all had to have some frozen yogurt and drove around the area trying to find Pinkberry.

Marissa relaxing at the Sweeney's.

On Tuesday, we decided to do one touristy thing while down in Southern California. Dan wanted to go to Disneyland, but we realized that with a baby it wasn't really worth the money because we wouldn't be able to go on the rides together. SeaWorld seemed to be the second best thing. Marissa loves animals and there weren't any rides that would require us to split up.

We finally arrived at the amusement park and got Marissa fed before wandering around looking at the penguins, polar bears, walruses, and dolphins. We didn't make it to every show, but did get to see the dolphin show. Matt insisted we sit in the "soak zone" but we didn't end up getting wet at all. By the end of the afternoon we were all ready to find a frozen yogurt shop and head back to the Newport Beach area. After driving around listening to Matt's directions, we found the best yogurt shop around. By the time we got home it was bed time for all of us.

Who should be in this picture? Amie, Marissa and Dan? Matt, Marissa and Dan? How about all four of them?

Marissa had some serious buisness to take care of while we were watching the whales.

Dan and Matt found a section reserved just for them at the Dolphin Show.

Just chillin in a polar bear cave.

Marissa taking care of the "authorized boxes".

Shopping (Just Grocery Shopping)
So the day didn't turn out exactly as we had planned. We thought that maybe we would have some time to go shopping. It didn't really turn out that way. Dan and I decided to get coffee and then go grocery shopping so that we would have the rest of the day free. Well by the time we found a starbucks, Marissa was asleep. We thought that maybe it would be best to drive around and let her have a good nap. Dan and I ended up driving around for almost 2 hours. It was kind of fun just to see different houses in the area and the beach. It was timed almost perfect because once Marissa woke up Amie got off work. We were then able to see Amie's apartment and get groceries as a group :)

Marissa learned how to open cabinets...time to fully baby-proofing our house (when we get home).

Matthew then proceded to inform us that he needed to clean out his appartment this week. Dan and Matt decided to go into LA and load up the rest of his stuff. This took them FOREVER because it was the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving and traffic was terrible. When they finally got back, we all made pizza's. Dan and I were able to hot tub for a little while before getting pretty tired. So, overall I guess you could say the day was successful...we got the groceries we needed to prepare our Thanksgiving meal.

We "Really Are Going To Cook A Meal"
From the moment Dan and I mentioned that we were coming down to LA to visit Matt and Amie over Thanksgiving my mother suggested we should go out to dinner for Thanksgiving. But if anybody knows Dan that is not even an option. He has a blast doing anything...and loves turkey. He started marinating the turkey the night before and then woke up in the morning to make sure that he had enough time to put it in the oven. Amie and I spent our time in the morning preparing appetizers and cleaning up. The Thanksgiving table looked amazing and as Amie said "presentation is everything".

Dan carving the turkey and Matt helping.

According to's all about presentation. What a great looking Thanksgiving table.

What a great Thanksgiving dinner and some great company.

Marissa called the pumpkin pie.

After cleaning up from a delicious dinner, all of us decided to go swimming. Marissa was able to swim for the first time. She enjoyed the 85 degree pool, but eventually got cold. After drying her off, bundling her up, and putting her in the play pen on the porch (that is the nice thing about California weather...she can be outside and not freeze) the four of us were able to have fun in the pool. We played goofy games, the boys hurt each other, and hot tubed. Once we all dried off and got comfortable, we had pumpkin cheesecake (from Cheesecake Factory).

Marissa getting into the pool.

Marissa loved the pool and she loves splashing around.

Amie is known as the "game girl". Therefore it would not be possible to go a week without fitting in some sort of a game. After putting Marissa to bed Matt, Amie, Dan, and played a mean game of "Apples to Apples". I am surprised we are all still together with all the arguing and deceiving that went on during the game. We had such a fun Thanksgiving day with Matthew and Amie.

Our Final Moments Together
Well, after sleeping in (it's not really sleeping in with an 8 month old that wakes up around 8:30am), Dan and I decided we would be as lazy as possible. So, we fed Marissa, cleaned the house we were staying at a little, then went back to sleep when Marissa took her morning nap. Once we all woke up and got showered and dressed, Amie called and said she was off work. We all decided to take Matthew dinner (he was working at his Christmas tree lot) and then go shopping. We ended up shopping at Fashion Island and eating "fro-yo" at Pinkberry. We decided to pass on buying anything at Juicy Couture because it seemed a little less than "high fashion" from Amie's perspective (inside joke).

Visiting Matt at the tree lot he is working at for the month of Dec.

After we made it home and got Marissa fed and in bed, Matt decided to join us for a little while. We all decided to go hot tubbing and had a fabulous time playing "Catalog, Couture, or Runway" (the four of us come up with the craziest things). The night was ended with some pumpkin cheesecake around the table...laughing at Dan writing a note for the Sweeney's and putting in some VERY classified information that Amie would have to explain to her good family friends later.

All in all, this was one of the most relaxing times Dan, Marissa, and I have had in quite some time. Matt and Amie are fun to be around and we had a blast making an amazing meal and spending quality time together.

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