We knew we wanted to be able to stay longer next time, so we scheduled an 8 day trip for the beginning of August. Little did I know, it was supposed to be the hottest week of the year here in Texas, and we escaped it! I traded 100+ temps, for a coastal breeze and jackets. It was heaven.
We spent the first portion of our trip back in our stomping grounds. It's crazy to drive past your first apartment as a married couple and see how far you have come. (Or how far you haven't....) I drove Zoe past and reminisced about bringing her home from the hospital and all the "firsts" she experienced in that place.
We got to see Ryan's immediate family and lots of extended family. We also caught up with old friends. This trip was good for my soul. Moving to a new place without anyone you really know is hard work. You spend a lot of effort making new friendships, creating new traditions and routines, just getting settled has taken us about a year. But when we went back to our first "home", it was like putting on an old comfy sweatshirt, it felt great.
Zoe clocked some serious cousin time. The cousins all run around together like a pack of wild dogs. There are alphas, leaders and followers. Lots of conflict combined with lots of love and friendship.
After spending a few days in Sacramento, we headed down to the Bay.
Our first stop was to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was just amazing as the last time we went - but better, because Zoe didn't have a meltdown. Pictures really don't do the exhibits justice. The jellyfish are by far my favorite, they are so beautiful, they almost look fake.
On our last full day, we started the morning out on the pier and enjoyed fresh homemade crepes for breakfast. We headed over to the Dennis the Menace park for a little while, but as soon as the sun came out, we headed over to Carmel Beach.
Zoe has been to the ocean before, but didn't remember it. So for her, it was like being in the ocean for the first time. You could her the shrieks and giggles all the way down the beach. It was pure joy. We left with salty hair and sandy feet (and let's be honest, there was sand everywhere!) We headed back to San Jose for one last night with cousins before heading home.
It was a successful vacation. We came back refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to go back to school next week. I feel so blessed that we were able to make this trip. Our flights home were rough, it was a long day of travelling, but so worth it!
Holly & Co.