My husband is working on a Master's degree in Aerospace Engineering and has certainly earned himself some fun. The morning of Arizona's Sweet 16 game I decided I wanted to surprise him with a trip to Los Angeles to see the Cats. He is OBSESSED with UA sports, especially basketball, so I knew he'd love the surprise.
At 8 A.M. I called my mom and asked her what she thought of my plan, and if she could watch our pets, check. By 8:30 I booked plane tickets for the four of us, check. By 9, I reserved our seats for both the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games, check. By 9:30, I began packing (for ALL of us). The house looked like a tornado hit, but by 11 we were on the road to go surprise Tim.
Before I began planning the trip, we'd already decided to meet for lunch that day so I used that as our excuse, adding that Addie threw up all over the car and I needed him to leave class and come to the parking lot a little early to help me clean up. When Tim came down the stairs, I threw him a UA shirt and said that we had a plane to catch. He didn't understand.
After a couple minutes of bewilderment, he was able to process the surprise and started to figure out the logistics. I knew there was a possibility we'd have to cancel the trip due to his school schedule, but I just hoped for the best. He ran back into class to grab his stuff and then he asked what we were doing with the kids. "They're coming!" I said. He was grinning and giggling while we drove to the airport, and kept saying that I have "way more balls than he does." His sheer happiness was totally worth the few hours of crazy stress earlier that morning during the last-minute planning.
By 3 P.M. we were in California and by 5:30, we were parked and headed to the game--whew!
Although we were all tired, we had a blast at the game. Addie loved the lights, music, mascots, cheerleaders, stairs, popcorn, candy, and the actual game. Thankfully, the Cats won since I'd already purchased tickets for the next game, and we retired to a hotel nearby in Koreatown. Poor Addie was sans nap that day and she didn't fall asleep until midnight so we endured some pretty rough moments, but for a two year old she did phenomenal.
The next day we visited The California Science Center where we got to view Space Shuttle Endeavor and the Dead Sea Scrolls--both AWEsome!
Later that night, we went to Universal Studios City Walk to enjoy music, dancing, dinner, balloons, fountains, and candy.
On Saturday, we wanted to have an easy morning since we'd have the Elite Eight game in the afternoon. We drove to the nearby Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. We walked around campus area and had a quick lunch before heading back to nap and get ready for the game.
Unfortunately, the Cats lost that night, but amazingly, my husband wasn't upset because he was still so happy to be on our trip and Wisconsin played REALLY well. That was a first! Usually he's not much fun to be around after they lose. (Love ya, Honey.)
The next day it was FINALLY time to head for the beach. We met Aunt Nancy on the way at a lovely organic restaurant and then drove to Santa Monica Beach. We arrived too early for check-in so we spent the rest of the morning at the beach and then took a nap before going to dinner and spending the evening on the pier, eating churros and playing games. (Tim even made two good baskets to win Addie two basketballs--his proudest moment as a father, he says.)
As for the beach, Addie was IN LOVE...almost to the point of hypothermia. She was super cute in her sun hat and bathing suit, both of which she picked out herself, and fit right in at the resort. Her first time in the water brought her to her bum as the wave hit, but it didn't scare her off and she simply couldn't get enough of the ocean. She had some MAJOR tantrums on the beach as we tried to get her out of the water and warmed up once she started turning purple. Addie attempted to "run away" and one point and landed in front of a mother and her teenage daughter. The woman looked on at me with sincere sympathy and said, "Been there done that!" Haha.
Tim and I have had the opportunity to travel to some pretty wonderful places, but for me, this vacation tops the list. It was SO fun to surprise him and experience his joy. It was also our first family vacation and I loved the time we all had to bond together. Don't get me wrong there were lots of tears and tantrums from our tired babies since we were off schedule, but it was all worth it. Watching Addie explore the beach for the first time was extra-special and having Tim be a part of it all meant everything. We know what it's like to be without him, so I relished in this time to relish in my family, together. Here's a little montage of our trip:
Now it's your turn to surprise me, Honey ;).