Over fall break we decided it was time to take a vacation and see what my parents are up to on their mission in Carlsbad. We left on Saturday morning and drove all day. Thanks to the youngest Golden in the bunch, we visited more gas station bathrooms on the way than I had hoped to see in my entire lifetime. For the first half of the trip the longest stretch of driving we did was 45 minutes before Madison needed a pit stop. We thought we would never make it.
Our steady though slow progress finally got us to California. I’ve realized that I reeeeeeally hate making stops on road trips because I just want to get to my destination. I am my father’s daughter. Dallas is not my father’s son (which, considering our marital status, is a very good thing), and he likes to stop whenever he sees the smallest hint of something new and different to experience. The “Welcome to California” sign qualified as something worthy of a stop and a “family” photo:
Me (as Dallas is pulling the car over): “Do we have to do this?”
Dallas: “Why not? Let’s get a picture!”
Me: *grumble, grumble* “What are you doing with your finger?” *grumble, grumble*
Dallas: *snaps picture, shows me*
Me (loving the picture against my will): “Dang. That’s probably going to end up being my favorite picture of the trip.”
We were SO CLOSE to my parents’ house when we heard for the grillionth time, “I need to go potty!” These were the bathrooms our chosen gas station had to offer us:
Finally we made it! My parents were away at a stake conference adult session, so we gave ourselves a tour of the house, set the kids up in the bedroom, and unpacked a little. Spencer and Madison shared a room. This is how I found Spencer after he had fallen asleep:
Madison still sleeps in a crib at home, and this was her first time in a real bed. I suspected she might have issues staying in her bed, so I had moved the mattress to the floor to make her inevitable falls off less dangerous. Good thing:
My parents came home and we had a nice little chat with them before bed. The next day was Sunday. We accompanied my parents to the stake conference they were attending. As we were driving I realized we had brought nothing with us to keep the kids busy during church…and we were doubly doomed because since it was stake conference we’d have to keep the kids reverent for two hours instead of just one. It got a little hairy at times, but we were able to survive both hours. Elder Klebingat was the visiting authority and he called on my Mom to speak. I enjoyed hearing her message and testimony so it made the children wrangling worth it.
After church we had dinner and the kids snuggled up to Grandpa to watch a movie:
The next day was P-day, so my parents were able to cast aside their missionary name tags, don civilian clothes, and accompany us to the San Diego zoo. Did I just give you the impression that my parents were able to relax with us and not think about their job as mission president and wife? If so, think again. This was my Dad for much of the day:
You can take the tag off the mission president, but tag or no tag, he’s still it. There was really no resting or relaxing for him. There was always a phone call to answer, a text to read, a message to listen to, or a missionary needing medical advice. Their life is crazy.
Another family picture, this time with my parents:
We had a fun time seeing all the animals, playing on the structures, and climbing on the statues.
Madison: “Picture me, Mom!”
And one more…
The hippo was very active and fun to watch:
Me: “I’m loving all these finger shots, but we would probably be sad if we went the whole trip without your face actually being in any pictures.”
Thank you random stranger for giving us photographic evidence of the rest of Dallas: