starting last wednesday, i was at newport beach with my family!! we try to take a family vacation every summer, even now when we all have husbands and babies. my sister who lives in arizona was unable to come, but the rest of us gathered in newport beach for a few days! there were 9 adults and 6 babies. my parents rented a house and everyone but taran and i stayed there (there wasn't enough room.) this post is kind of all over the place, so forgive me. i tried to do it in order, but the two videos are snapchat stories from the trip. i thought that was the best way to share what we had done. so watch this first.
Newport Beach!! from Lauren Packer on Vimeo.
our airbnb was just 5 blocks from my family's rental house, and we were so close to the beach! i was surprised at myself in how little interest i had for laying on the beach and chillin'. ive been having a hard time relaxing lately. but i loved playing with my sweet niecephews and watched each of their imaginations take flight as they built sandcastles and ran screaming into the ocean and throwing balls in the ocean and catching them as the waves washed them back up.
i did a instagram post on the picture above, which you should check out here. i spread a message!
mylittlest, capri, only wanted to smash sandcastles. taran would go fill a bucket with wet sand and then drop it upside down by her feet. she would then immediately lean forward and smash the thing with her adorable chubby arms. she was wearing this pink swimsuit with a little hat and oh my gosh i love her. she is so squishy. i am obsessed with her.
then the boys decided it was time to dig as much and as deep as they could! they loved it. we teased them that we were going to put one of them in there when they were done!
when it was time for the kids' lunch, taran and i went back to our room and showered. we were beached out! sand was everywhere! i wanted to go get a treat so we went to sprinkles, as you see in the video. the above concotion is what i got and it was heaven. it was a lemon meringue cupcake with strawberry sorbet. they cut the cupcake in half and put the ice cream in the middle.
i am not kidding you or exaggerating when i say it was the most delicious thing i had ever eaten. i nearly cried when it was gone. the rest of the day was spent running some errands for my sisters and mom and more beaching followed by tacos. we were so excited to tell the kids in the morning that we were taking them to disneyland! my sisters had decided to not tell the kids until the morning of, otherwise they wouldn't sleep or stop talking about it or really, function. because they are kids and hello its disneyland. watch the video first.
Disneyland!! from Lauren Packer on Vimeo.
as you can see in the video, my sisters decorated the living room disney style and thats how they told them in the morning. this was one of the main reasons why we decided to go on family vacation: i was not going to miss those faces as they experienced disneyland for the first time. one of my favorite parts of the video is near the beginning when we finally met up with my family and lincoln ran over to me and said "aunt lauren! we saw pluto!" and then skips away. these were priceless moments.
sorry if some of the below photos were in the video.
not gonna lie, i kind of always wanted a picture with me and my prince in front of this castle. so glad we finally got one!
oh my gosh, this was one of my favorite parts of the day. my sister had brought my niece london's princess dress with her and london put it on before she met aladdin and jasmine. unfortunately, aladdin and jasmine took their break right as the kids were next, but the genie stayed. he was so cute with london. you know they can't talk, but he mimed that her dress was pretty and he kissed her hand and she giggled and jumped up and down and twirled. it was sooo cute.
i just loved it when they let me hold their hands. they usually never let me, but i think since they understood this was a new place and we stressed so much that they needed to stick with us and not get separated from us (my sister had the genius idea to write our phone numbers on the kids's arms. we told them if they got lost, to find a nice lady with kids and show her the number and the lady would call us and we would come find them. brilliant, jessica. because like kids are going to remember our phone numbers in that excitement.) they let me hold their hands every once in a while. even eli, my big 6 year old who thinks he is too cool to hold anybody's hand! another priceless moment.
i am really, really not into star wars at all. but i gotta say, when we went on the star tours ride, i had fun! i think it was the first time i liked star wars ever!
when all the kids met mickey and went up to hug him. london ran to him and wrapped her arms around her legs. it was so adorable.
i loved this jungle cruise. it was so much fun! and i had never been on it before or even really knew it existed!
this is a really bad picture but was by far my favorite moment of the entire trip. this was when we were in the tiki room and my phone was about to die. once the music started playing, the kids let loose! all of them were jumping up and down, london was twirling, they were all in the center of the room dancing it up when a cast member had to tell them to go back to their seats. it was so funny. another priceless moment.
we watched the parade at sunset and the kids had wide eyes and waved to all the characters and yelled out to them and london did more twirling. this is a trip i will never forget.
yes, that was $12, and yes, it was worth every bite. the ears were marshmallows!
a few more things i have to comment on regarding the cuteness and adorableness of my niecephews. i was impressed at how brave they were! eli and lincoln, the two oldest, were the only ones tall enough to ride indiana jones. we didn't take lincoln and me, taran and my sister took eli. i really didn't know how he was going to react. but he did so well! when he got back to his cousins, he told them alll about it and it made lincoln want to go too! and what was even more shocking, was that lincoln loved it too! i really didn't think he would like it. they were all so brave!
towards the end of disneyland, the reality of going home in the morning set in and the post vacation blues set in. i didn't want to leave! it was such a great and memorable trip! we were so sad to go home! but! we decided to go to NYC over thanksgiving, so send your recommendations my way if you please!
i got realllly tired during our 3 hour layover in san fransisco and really wanted to sleep, so i got creative. ha! but seriously, once on the plane from san fran to salt lake, i slept the entire time. which i never do. i don't even remember taking off! i just put my head on taran's shoulder and was out.