Journal

Our Great San Diego Vacation with 7 Grandchildren

by | Apr 15, 2015 | Editorial

In 2013, we headed south with our grandchildren. E, then 3 1/2 , came with us for the first time. So now we were nine in all. Too many for one car and, alas, too many for any hotel I contacted in the San Diego area.
So A decided it was time we rented a house. A found us one with a few clicks online. She’s truly a wonder.

It was a beautiful house in the heart of Mission Bay. It was walking distance to the beach. Sort of. It had no street parking but room for our two cars in the garage. Sort of. It had enough beds. Sort of. It had no maid service but everyone pitched in. Sort of. It was a great adventure. Sort of.

Let’s see. It started out well enough. We stopped on the way to see my brother and sister-in-law in Huntington Beach. They live in a townhouse in a gated community that is the definition of charming. It has an idyllic, small town feel, almost like a movie set. There are winding streets with houses of all sizes and styles. It’s kind of like Andy Griffith’s Mayberry meets Beverly Hills 90210. There’s a children’s playground, a duck pond, a waterfall and a stream the kids could ford by jumping on boulders. They had a grand time with their great aunt and uncle and we took lots of pictures with them in and around the water.

We resumed our journey and eventually settled into our temporary new home. The kids fought over the bunkbeds and unpacked. Sort of. Did you know the floor makes for excellent drawer space when emptying a duffle bag? We fed everyone and headed for Seaport Village. This is a very cute, very touristy seaside collection of shops and eateries. It’s beautifully lit up at night and there, are often street performers and a very festive atmosphere. It was a perfect place for a first night’s souvenir hunting.

The trouble started later that night. There was some rough-housing (shocker, I know.) We thought J had broken his toe. It turned out to be dislocated, not broken, but he couldn’t walk. At all. ‘Til the very last day of the trip. Getting to the beach was definitely a challenge. And we spent two days pushing him in a wheelchair at Sea World. (Or, as she reminds me, S, his 10-year-old sister, spent two days pushing him.) J was very good-natured about it, though. Still, all that attention… How could the younger ones be outdone?

Of course they couldn’t. So let’s see. Our adorable six-year-old AS, usually so heads up and together, had an allergic reaction to a bug bite. This derailed her for a day. Wow, can she shriek when need be! N stepped on a thorn and claimed he also couldn’t walk. Z couldn’t sleep – something about the bed or the lights or it was too hot or too cold – and all he wanted to do was call his mother.

And little E developed pink eye and screamed the entire first night. So no one slept. She informed everyone that she would be okay the next night if she could sleep with Nana. So told Zaidy (Grandpa) Michael he could sleep on the couch. The couch was small. Michael is not. Need I say more?

I spent a good part of the trip scraping mac and cheese off the carpet. A spent a good part of the trip keeping sand out of the house. The rental company seemed to have an awful lot of rules. Especially about sand. In a beach house.

Darling S is a very astute observer. She is also a great peacekeeper and ever-cheerful presence. She spent a good part of the trip plaintively inquiring whether this would be our last TRIP.

“No,” I assured her. “Look how much fun we’re having!”

We did manage lots of beach time, including seaside bike rentals. We took in LaJolla and more souvenir shopping. And we found a kosher restaurant where we had dinner with my niece and nephew-in-law, visiting from New York.

I wouldn’t call this trip our best. It certainly wasn’t the easiest. Michael and I basically collapsed for days afterward. But the kids talked about that trip and its various mishaps with relish for weeks after. And as always, as soon as their family winter break trips were over, they began asking where we were going next summer on THE TRIP.

A consensus quickly arose. For Summer 2014 we would stay close to home. By popular demand we would go back to… Disneyland. To the Grand Californian Hotel. They promised us bunkbeds; they would try their best on the connecting rooms.

Little E, by now four, actually debated whether she would come with us. She went through a long list of every wicked witch, sorcerer and stepmother she could think of. Only when I assured her that they absolutely, positively DO NOT live in Disneyland did she agree to come.

So we would be nine people again. Stay tuned for a report from the Magic Kingdom.

So A decided it was time we rented a house. A found us one with a few clicks online. She’s truly a wonder.

It was a beautiful house in the heart of Mission Bay. It was walking distance to the beach. Sort of. It had no street parking but room for our two cars in the garage. Sort of. It had enough beds. Sort of. It had no maid service but everyone pitched in. Sort of. It was a great adventure. Sort of.

Let’s see. It started out well enough. We stopped on the way to see my brother and sister-in-law in Huntington Beach. They live in a townhouse in a gated community that is the definition of charming. It has an idyllic, small town feel, almost like a movie set. There are winding streets with houses of all sizes and styles. It’s kind of like Andy Griffith’s Mayberry meets Beverly Hills 90210. There’s a children’s playground, a duck pond, a waterfall and a stream the kids could ford by jumping on boulders. They had a grand time with their great aunt and uncle and we took lots of pictures with them in and around the water.

We resumed our journey and eventually settled into our temporary new home. The kids fought over the bunkbeds and unpacked. Sort of. Did you know the floor makes for excellent drawer space when emptying a duffle bag? We fed everyone and headed for Seaport Village. This is a very cute, very touristy seaside collection of shops and eateries. It’s beautifully lit up at night and there, are often street performers and a very festive atmosphere. It was a perfect place for a first night’s souvenir hunting.

The trouble started later that night. There was some rough-housing (shocker, I know.) We thought J had broken his toe. It turned out to be dislocated, not broken, but he couldn’t walk. At all. ‘Til the very last day of the trip. Getting to the beach was definitely a challenge. And we spent two days pushing him in a wheelchair at Sea World. (Or, as she reminds me, S, his 10-year-old sister, spent two days pushing him.) J was very good-natured about it, though. Still, all that attention… How could the younger ones be outdone?

Of course they couldn’t. So let’s see. Our adorable six-year-old AS, usually so heads up and together, had an allergic reaction to a bug bite. This derailed her for a day. Wow, can she shriek when need be! N stepped on a thorn and claimed he also couldn’t walk. Z couldn’t sleep – something about the bed or the lights or it was too hot or too cold – and all he wanted to do was call his mother.

And little E developed pink eye and screamed the entire first night. So no one slept. She informed everyone that she would be okay the next night if she could sleep with Nana. So told Zaidy (Grandpa) Michael he could sleep on the couch. The couch was small. Michael is not. Need I say more?

I spent a good part of the trip scraping mac and cheese off the carpet. A spent a good part of the trip keeping sand out of the house. The rental company seemed to have an awful lot of rules. Especially about sand. In a beach house.

Darling S is a very astute observer. She is also a great peacekeeper and ever-cheerful presence. She spent a good part of the trip plaintively inquiring whether this would be our last TRIP.

“No,” I assured her. “Look how much fun we’re having!”

We did manage lots of beach time, including seaside bike rentals. We took in LaJolla and more souvenir shopping. And we found a kosher restaurant where we had dinner with my niece and nephew-in-law, visiting from New York.

I wouldn’t call this trip our best. It certainly wasn’t the easiest. Michael and I basically collapsed for days afterward. But the kids talked about that trip and its various mishaps with relish for weeks after. And as always, as soon as their family winter break trips were over, they began asking where we were going next summer on THE TRIP.

A consensus quickly arose. For Summer 2014 we would stay close to home. By popular demand we would go back to… Disneyland. To the Grand Californian Hotel. They promised us bunkbeds; they would try their best on the connecting rooms.

Little E, by now four, actually debated whether she would come with us. She went through a long list of every wicked witch, sorcerer and stepmother she could think of. Only when I assured her that they absolutely, positively DO NOT live in Disneyland did she agree to come.

So we would be nine people again. Stay tuned for a report from the Magic Kingdom.

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