Ben and I were both really worried about the 13 hour drive, and how Molly and Luke would handle it. We had a few rough times, but overall, they did way better than expected. Molly ended up being the easiest traveler! Amazing.
We pulled in to Sam and Shereans house around 10:30pm. Not too bad.
The kids were so excited to play with their cousins, but we had tickets to go to Alcratraz in San Francisco that day, so we woke up, ate and headed to the big city.
The traffic was absolutely terrible, and Molly and Luke struggled during the drive there, so by the time we got out of the car, we were all a bit frazzled. The kids calmed down and were pretty excited to ride the ferry boat out to Alcratraz Island.
Unfortunately, William, Luke and Molly were complete wrecks during the entire tour. It was an absolute disaster. We didn't even get to come close to finishing the tour. Ben and I were beyond our limit, and the three kids just kept screaming, crying and tantruming. We were getting dirty looks from everyone, and it was so, so, so stressful.
We had about a 2 minute window of peace, where I was able to snap one picture.
|cracks me up. Luke is trying to fix the sink in the jail cell. haha!|
I felt terrible for Mary and Sam, because they were being so good, and they were very interested in the prison. I wanted to be able to go through it all with them and explain everything.
Instead, Ben and I took turns holding screaming babies and standing outside with one of them in time out about 10 times.
We left Alcratraz extremely upset and discouraged. Maybe in 6 years or so, we will try it again, or at least leave the babies home next time.
Luckily, the rest of the day in San Francisco was great! We ate dinner at a yummy place called the Chowder Hut at Fisherman's Warm. They had some awesome calamari, and we had the traditional sour dough bread bowl with clam chowder.
After dinner we walked around and watched some cool street shows, bought a painting that we watched a guy do, and ate cotton candy and churros. Molly has a nice nap on Ben's shoulder, and the kids did really well the rest of the time there.
|watching the guy make our cool painting|
San Francisco is a pretty cool place to visit, and I like that my kids can experience a big city, and a new culture.
The next day the kids played and played and played with their cousins. They live in a kid wonderland! The kids spent hours out in the fig tree fort. It is the most amazing fort! I would have spent my entire childhood there, if I had a fig tree like that.
|The view of the fig tree from the house...it's HUGE|
|inside the fig tree|
The fig tree fort had a zip line, and log roll, tables, chairs, a fire pit, and lots and lots of figs. The kids had so much fun playing in there.
Uncle Sam took Luke on his dream ride, and pulled him behind a tractor! Soon, all of the other kids joined as well.
Sherean took the older kids to the creek where they swam and played. Sam found and caught a king snake, which bit him. According to Sherean, Sam was so excited that the snake was biting him that he didn't even act scared! He came home absolutely beaming and told me the story over and over and over again. He cracks me up!
|Sam proudly showing his king snake bites!|
Mary was obsessed with the horses and spent every second she could out with them, feeding, grooming and riding.
|the boy's turn|
The kids also love the chickens, and goat, the sheep and every other part of ranch life. It truly was a wonderland for them! I loved seeing them have so much fun with their cousins and making such great memories.
We did pull the kids away from the ranch long enough to take a visit to the Jelly Belly Factory.
It is a fun place to visit, and this year Luke was completely enthralled with all of it. He just sat with his face plastered to every window at each station, watching the machines do so many cool things!
To be continued......