We had a fun 4th of July week visiting Monterey, Salinas and my Aunt, Uncle and cousins and brother in Danville/Dublin.
Our first night was spent in Monterey as well as the first half of the day following. It's too bad the Aquarium is so expensive because it would have been fun to go through again.
Afterwards we headed to Salinas to go to the John Steinbeck Museum.
I still have no idea what the relationship is between Marilyn Monroe and Castroville artichokes, but I couldn't stop staring and it still makes me laugh.
Moving on. There were a couple other exhibits, but the Steinbeck one was great for us in that it wasn't very big and there were things for the kids to do and play on every so often.
A big portion of the exhibit is dedicated to East of Eden and I am so glad it is. I love that book. I really need to reread it though; when I discuss it with people I realize how much I've forgotten. If you've seen the movie, it doesn't do the book justice. The central theme of the book is the hebrew word, "timshel" which means, "thou mayest" and is all about overcoming through choice. One of my favorite quotes from it is when they are discussing timshel one of the characters talks about how there is nothing godly in bees or other animals who on basic instinct must act a certain way but that man has the ability to chose and that that ability is "the ladder to the stars." I love that. SO, if you haven't read East of Eden, do it!
After we got through the museum we headed to Dublin where our hotel was. The kids spent a lot of travel time looking like this:
Once we got our stuff into the hotel we met up with my brother who lives in Dublin and my mom and other brother, who drove up that day, for dinner at Khyber Pass. It's a little Afghani restaurant that has the most delicious chicken kabobs and rice. I got a beef one when we were up there for Thanksgiving and that was good too but I love the chicken ones. The bolani is yummy too.
The next day was the 4th of July and we all headed to my aunt and uncle's house for swimming, eating and visiting. It's so much fun to see Henry and Thea just blend right on in and play with their second cousins. Thea also loved Gavin so much. Henry got a little jealous later and asked why she liked him so much. Uh? could it be he doesn't take her stuff and knock her over? hmm...
We ate and ate and swam and then made uncle Jacob swim some more with all the kids. ha! Uncle duty. Then we headed back to the hotel and passed out.
The next day Johann and my two brothers got up earlier and went to Muir woods. I'm a little jealous but I knew it wouldn't be worth getting the kids up early and dragging them on another drive. After they met up with us at the movies to see Despicable Me 2. The kids all sat together and had a great time.
We walked around the big outdoor mall and had the kids feed the ducks then had some lunch.
Henry and Gavin. I also love the pose James is striking in the background.
That afternoon we spent some more time swimming and visiting at my aunt and uncles with all the cousins.
We had a good time but I think we should try to limit vacations until we get kids past the napping age, kind of throws everything off or the kid gets off. I doubt I'll convince Johann but maybe, who knows.
Overall I'm glad we went. I love getting to see all the kids and see my cousins too. :)