"Self," I told myself one hot day in June, "we need to go to the ocean. It's too hot here in Utah, and it's cooler at the ocean, and my best friend lives in California so let's go visit her! I know, Self, let's take a road trip! With Sparrow! And leave Hawk at home! Nothing could possibly go wrong with just me and a 4 year old in the car for 11 hours, right?"
I never claimed to be sane.
And after this trip I am even less so.
Don't get me wrong, Sparrow was angelic the whole time. I'm actually so impressed with him. But I wasn't ready for a trip on this scale. If I had taken Hawk, it would have been okay. But me being alone and in charge of food, entertainment, transportation, gas, navigating, potty breaks, luggage, hotels... it was too hard and too stressful. I was having panic attacks the whole time. We had a good time but it was so scary for me.
We stayed overnight in Las Vegas at The Golden Nugget hotel. This hotel has a pool with an aquarium and shark tank in the middle of it. There is also a three story waterslide that runs through the aquarium. It was so cool! The hotel was very, very nice and we loved our stay there.
Contrast this with Buffalo Bill's, where we stayed on the way home. It was horrible. I wrote a review here but suffice to say, I will never stay there again and I will warn away anyone who is traveling through Primm, Nevada to also stay away.
Gross hotel rooms and trip drama aside, we had fun. It was so good to see my friend Dove again and I miss her every day. But I am glad she lives in California so I have a free place to stay when I visit! Sparrow LOVED the ocean. I was surprised at how much he loved it. We stayed at the beach for 4 hours and he didn't want to leave. He talks about the ocean every day. He just loved it, and for that alone, I am so glad we went.
We also really enjoyed visiting the Mormon Battalion site in San Diego. It is by far the neatest historical exhibit thing the Church has ever done. I cannot recommend it enough - if you are in San Diego, visiting or a resident, PLEASE go visit the Mormon Battalion! It's just plain NEAT, and so much fun for all ages. After the museum-y parts (which is actually watching a movie about the Mormon Battalion in a few different rooms, each made to look like a different place in the Mormon Battalion's journey) you can take old fashioned pictures, pan for gold, build adobe bricks, and more! It's free and awesome.
Sparrow loved driving us in the wagon!
We only stayed in California for 3 days. It was not enough time at all. We are going to Disneyland for Sparrow's 5th birthday in January, but we're flying next time. Driving was too hard and too hot.
The Las Vegas, Nevada temple.
I hope Sparrow remembers this trip, but I hope he only remembers the good parts. I hope he forgets how cranky and stressed I was. Next time we go on a trip, I want to be more organized. I want to pack more healthy food, plan better rest stops, and make a plan of things to do when we get to our destination. This time I just played it by ear, and it didn't work as well as I'd hoped. Maybe next time we'll just spend every day at the beach, since Sparrow loved it so much. I love that little boy. I am grateful I have the opportunity to give him experiences like we had last week.
Sparrow told me on the way home, "I miss my daddy one hundred million miles!" I missed Hawk so much too. Sparrow is DYING to take Hawk "to the Pacific Ocean in San Diego and to see the soldier cowboys in the Mormon Battalion!" So Hawk, we love you a hundred million miles and we can't wait to take you to see the ocean with us.
Even if the ocean does taste like licking a fish.