Thursday, June 24, 2021

Vacation to Balboa Island

It was a little tricky this year figuring out what to give the kids for their Experience Gift for Christmas because it felt like Covid had shut down all the Experiences. And after such a long few months trapped inside our homes we felt like we needed an experience. So Brian and I decided to go big. Well, bigger than our previous experiences of escape rooms and shark aquariums. 

Big, like in small vacations. Two, actually. One full of shopping and exploring on Balboa Island for the big kids, and one to St. George for hiking and eating and playing games all night in a hotel room for the littler ones. And I was the lucky one that got to enjoy both. 

Balboa Island

First up, Carson, Kenz and I packed the car with suitcases and snacks and left Boulder City behind in search of the beach. I like to take the route to California through the intriguing Joshua Tree forest. I've always wanted to get out and explore, but since not everyone in my family shares my affinity for exploration I've kept my mouth shut and soaked in what I could of the forest as it sped by my window.

But this time I had a car full of adventurous spirits!

So, halfway through the forest I pulled off to the side of the road, opened all the doors, and jumped out with cameras and smiles.

But as much as we loved the Joshua Tree Forest, there are not very many things that feel quite as amazing as leaving the dry desert and landing in a place with humid sea air.

We arrived at our hotel at nightfall and the front desk explained that in order to get to our room we would need to "walk down the hall, turn right, pass the ballrooms, and find the elevators on the other side." I was surprised at how far away the elevators were from the front desk, but all Carson heard was... "ballrooms?! "Ballroomsssssss?! I really want to see inside one of those!" 

Of course, the doors to the ballrooms were all locked (we tried), but our exploration continued with Carson's interest highly piqued in the architecture of the building. 

We ordered pizza from GrubHub and had it delivered to our lobby (I'd never done that before!), and then cozied up in our hotel room and watched Better than Fiction.

The next day was our one full day, and we intended to make the most of it.

I was thankfully no longer on crutches, but the doctor had put me in a surgical boot to see if that would help (it wouldn't, but I didn't know that at the time). I can't even tell you how free I felt in that boot! All of the sudden I could walk and move in ways I hadn't been able to do for months! I did know, however, that my mileage might be a bit limited in the boot, so we rented three beach bikes for the day instead of padding around on foot. Pedaling a bike in a surgical boot really isn't as cumbersome as you might think. It allowed us to see alllllllllll the sights. 

Candy store included.

We explored every single store we wanted to without any little kids begging to be done. And then we made our way to the beach.

We spent far too much time under the pier taking photos.

At one point we told Carson to "put your hand behind your head and stare off into the distance like you're pondering something important." He tried, again and again, but just couldn't do it with a straight face. Posing feels so weird.

He eventually got it.

More pics:

Eventually we got our fill and found our way back to the hotel where we promptly put on our swimming suits and joined all the quiet adults in the pool and hot tub. I fear we were rather disruptive. 

But it's just too hard to be quiet and serious with these guys around. We had such a great time and woke up early the next morning to be home in time for church.

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