Allie had never ridden in a cab before and she was so excited that she camped out front a half hour before the driver was set to arrive. Note the blue pillowcase. Allie and I went to the fabric store a few days before and she spotted this great blue fabric with Thomas the Train and some of his friends on it. She fell in love so we bought a yard and turned it into a pillow case minutes before she took it outside so the impending cab driver could see it.
The cab ride was everything she had hoped for.
We had some extra time at the airport so we played an epic game of tag that spanned two terminals. It was fun running all over the place but we needed to stop occasionally for photos with giant chocolate things...
and to check in on our plane...
Finally, it was time to get on the plane. Allie tested out her new headphones and they worked great the whole flight.
When we finally made to our hotel, grandma met us and got big hugs.
The next morning Allie and I woke up on East Coast time and spent a few hours cuddling in bed watching Thomas. There weren't any good cartoons on tv at 4am so she declared the tv broken.
After breakfast we went over to Allie's great grandma's house for a tea party in the back yard. Allie made Great Grandma a big cup of dirt tea. Yum.
Allie, Grandma, and I then drove out to Santa Cruz so Allie could see the boardwalk. She preferred the beach.
We rented a house in Santa Cruz for the night. Allie called the house the "Bubble Shack" because we let her set up a bubble maker in the living room. She loved it.
The next day we went to a railroad line to do a train ride through the redwoods to celebrate Great Grandma's birthday. It was beautiful and Allie declared it the best part of our whole trip.
That evening Allie, Grandma, and I drove down to Monterey. My first day of work meetings was there the following day and luckily she had a lot to keep her entertained, including the beach...
The Monterey Bay Aquarium...
And of course Grandma...
Later that night, Allie and I parted ways with Grandma and the two of us drove up to Palo Alto for the day. She and I fell right asleep at our new hotel and were strangely awoken by an unscheduled front desk wake up call. It took me a moment to realize that the person on the phone was actually Great Grandma who had driven out with my Uncle Mike to spend the day with Allie. Mike had to go to work for a while but Allie and Great Grandma spent the day at a kid's museum and a playground.
Allie was exhausted by this point as we made our way to the East Bay for the evening. Luckily our hotel that evening had a surprise for Allie: a whole gift bag full of toys! It made her night. We had dinner with Grandma and went to sleep early.
Grandma came over bright and early the next morning and Allie slept in until 10am, which is unthinkably late for our 6am riser. I went off to my meetings and Allie had a fun day of hanging out with Grandma, going to Pump it Up, and relaxing.
That evening we drove to the airport and had a relaxing dinner while we waited to board our red eye flight home.
I was very nervous about this flight because 4 year olds and overnight flights don't seem like a great combination for me. However, Allie was asleep within minutes of takeoff and we both slept almost the entire flight.
We had another fun cab ride home and finally got to see Jonathan and Andrew. It was a great reunion.
What made it even sweeter was that the three of us then took a 3-hour long family nap time. It's good to be home.