The second stop was the Newport Beach Temple. None of us had seen this temple before, and though there'd be no time for a session, we certainly wanted to stop and see it. The first thing we noticed was the tropical California day. It was 75 degrees, pleasantly humid (at least to us desert-dwellers) and very green!
|The Newport Beach temple...a new one for all of us!|
We continued down to Balboa Island because we really wanted to have lunch at Ruby's on the Pier. Both Mom and Dad had eaten there before, and we new the boys would love it. It is such a great place to see the ocean, and since this was their first time, we knew they'd love it.
We walked out to the end of the pier, past the fishermen-- we even saw a fish pulled in-- and looked out into the water. Several brown pelicans were swimming and they took off and flew right over our heads. The boys were amazed that the seagulls were landing right on Ruby's tables, and they decided we should eat inside. As we were waiting for the burgers and fries to come, Dad walked Dax out for a potty break (off the side of the pier into the ocean) and they saw two sea lions. Of course, everyone had to come see, and again, the boys were amazed and delighted. The food was great, and the shakes were perfect. It was time to try out the beach.
|Randy and I love Ruby's! We couldn't wait to share it with our boys.|
|One of the sea lions we spotted from the pier.|
|The brown pelicans were all over.|
We went just off the north side of the pier and the boys didn't even change out of their shorts and t-shirts. They chased the waves down as they receded and ran screeching from them as they crashed onto the sand. Seth was so funny; he only wanted to get his toes wet. Then he went to play in the sand with the bucket and shovels well out of reach of the water. Mark was his usual cautiously optimistic self. It was Dax who had to tempt fate. He chased the water out a little to far, and he didn't notice a huge wave swelling inward. He turned to slowly skip up the beach, not realizing the wave was coming in faster than he thought, and had it crash right over his head! Of course he was soaked, and of course he came up shrieking with laughter. We spent a few more minutes (not enough according to the boys) and then headed off to surprise Grandma.
|We love the beach, and we had it all to ourselves!|
|Mark loved running from the waves.|
|Seth was happy if the water didn't really touch him very much.|
|Here's Dax after he was drenched from the wave.|
He still loves to tell the story!
|Seth loved digging in the sand.|
|It was a beautiful day at the beach.|
|Even this little sandpiper was running from the waves.|
The plan was to meet at the San Diego Temple, and all the families arrived their early. We snapped a few pictures and then took our places with our backs to the parking lot on a quadrant of benches. When Grandma arrived, she seemed thoroughly surprised, so we congratulated ourselves on keeping the secret for so long and so well.
|Mom loves this temple. It is her temple! |
She was so excited for the boys to see it.
|All the grandkids waiting to surprise Grandma!|
|My mom was truly surprised. It was amazing.|
|Here is Nat's family! Just 5 sisters!|
|The Mormon Battalion historic site was a great stop.|
|The boys loved panning for gold, especially because they could keep two pieces each!|
|They also loved dressing as soldiers. And yes, those rifles are heavy!|
|You get to take a picture at the end of your tour.|
|This is the view from the top of the Mormon Battalion Monument.|
The last stop of the day before checking into the hotel was Claim Jumper for dinner. Grandpa rented a special room and there was Anniversary cake and plenty of food. The cousins were great at the restaurant, and the boys were a bit subdued from the long two days they'd spent mostly in the car. After relaxing for a few minutes in the hotel, we went through our usual scripture, prayer, story routine and they went straight to bed. Any worries that we'd had about them struggling on the trip were slipping away. They were doing great!