Friday, September 7, 2012

California Part Deux - Or how we almost ended our 10 day vacation on day three

Sunday morning we awoke with plans to break camp, shower and drive to the nearest LDS ward building so we could attend our church meetings.  We had looked on the interwebs (Oh how I love the interwebs) and found the one that would work the best for us.

Church at 11:00!!!

We were very excited because usually we have to be to church by 9:00 a.m.  We still had to wake up early so that we could get everything taken down, packed up and still have time to shower and get dressed in our church clothes.

Lake Jennings had a wonderful shower facility that was free so the girls and I went to shower a bit before the boys because we all know that it takes girls longer than boys to get ready.  I told Ty that there was a parking spot right next to the restrooms so that he could just pull the Durango and the trailer right next to it and we could load all the shower stuff into the car and be off.

I let Jilli and McKenna shower first so I sent them out to wait outside while I finished up.  I was dressed and was on the tail end of blow drying my hair when I heard crying outside. I thought it sounded familiar and I said a small prayer that it wasn't someone in our family, unfortunately it was.

As I came out of the bathroom and put my stuff in the back of vehicle it was very apparent that something big had occurred that had caused an emotional upheaval. My heart dropped. I got in the vehicle, we started to drive and I tried to get to the bottom of what had happened.

I won't go into details of exactly what happened here on the blog because this part of the story is not what I want to focus on. I want to tell the true story of our vacation as I remember it. And I don't want to sugar coat things and say that everything was "unicorns and rainbows" the whole time when it wasn't.

I will say that as we were driving to the church there were many tears and much frustration.  There was also talk of wanting to turn the car around right then and head for home.  We decided that we should go to sacrament meeting at least so we found the chapel where we had planned to attend and went in.  After sacrament meeting was over we changed into more comfortable traveling clothes and headed to our next destination, Doheny Beach.

To be honest with you I don't remember much of that three hour drive.  I think that there was more discussion about how everyone was feeling and what everyone's thoughts were.  I have a tendency to block out parts of my life that I find uncomfortable.  (Thus another reason to write this down so I don't do that in this instance.)

We arrived at Doheny State Beach, found our campsite and got things set up.  Things were still very tense so I took the kids down to the ocean so they would have a chance to relax and play for a little while.  We were maybe 50 yards from the actual beach and it is a beautiful area.  The kids got the boogie board and decided to give it a go.

I love the look on his face in this picture.  This was the
only time that they actually got to really play in the water
and boogie board.  I felt kind of bad about that.
Jillian has THE best smile and laugh when you can
get them out of her.  It usually takes something like this
to really see her come out of her shell.
Kenna taking a ride on the boogie board.
This picture makes me think of the movie 10 for some reason.
But again I love the natural look of happiness on her face.
Jona did not want to take a turn on the boogie board.
So he would just stand at the waters edge getting his
feet wet and watching the other kids.
After a few turns trying to ride the waves we found out what my cousin Tammy meant when she said that Doheny was a rocky beach.  Looks sandy right? But not down in the waves.  There were bunches of rocks that were making scrapes and cuts on the kids' legs as they were boogie boarding.  

After a while Ty came down to watch them with me and when he saw the cuts he said that they needed to get out of the water because he had gotten a "High Bacteria Count" warning on his phone.  Who knew that the ocean could get a high bacteria count? Not me.

We headed back to camp to fix dinner, Ty went for a walk and Jona went to find a bathroom.  As the other kids and I were fixing the burgers to put on the grill the stress of the day came crashing down and I kind of lost it.  Okay.  I lost it completely.  I just broke down with tears streaming down my face which I have rarely done in front of my children.  

(FYI fixing black bean burgers and then cooking everything up in not easy to do when one is in the middle of a melt down.)

I felt like I had pushed this vacation too much and that maybe we weren't really supposed to be there.  Was I wrong to want to spend time with my family?  Should I have agreed to a vacation closer to home that wouldn't have cost as much money?  I was questioning myself and my motives.  

McKenna, George and Jillian were absolutely wonderfully supportive and did everything that they could help with making dinner.  They asked what was wrong and I talked to them about it as much as I could. Then I asked them, "What if we aren't supposed to be here?  What if the decision is made that, as a family, we need to go home?  What if going home early is what will be best for our family?"

And do you know what those kids did?  They didn't start crying or whining or worrying about not being able to stay.  They said "Mom, if that's what is best for our family then that is what we will do."  And they gave me hugs.  Still makes me tear up just thinking about how easily and willingly that answer came to their lips.

Not long after that conversation Ty came back to camp and I was still pretty much in the middle of a break down.  He wrapped me up in his arms and let me cry.  By this time Jona had come back into camp and he was wondering what was going on.  When I told him that we were trying to decide whether to stay or to go home he put his hand on my shoulder looked me straight in the eye and said "You've got to let the good times roll."  

Man, I love that kid.

We ate dinner and then while the kids cleaned up Ty and I took a walk and had a talk.  Discussing the events that had occurred earlier in the day and the feelings, questions and concerns that had come to the surface because of them.  We talked about the possibility of going home and what the consequences of that decision might be. In the end we took the wise advice that was doled out from our oldest son.
We let the good times roll.

Tall ship on the waters
All smiles in the knowledge that our vacation
was still a go and the tall ship in the background.
The family watching as it sails off into the harbor
Jona contemplating as he watches the Ocean

Enjoying a little bit of time around the campfire before
we hit the hay in order to be ready for the next part of our adventure.


wendy said...

It is GOOD and IMPORTANT that you are recording these things. I am sooo glad your trip was able to be completed.

wendy said...

What a great attitude from you boy. I guess we allll need to more often just "let the good times role".

Jillybean said...

We were in California the same time you were. We got everyone ready for 9:00 church and when we got there, the parking lot was empty. Apparently it was Stake Conference.
Love the "Let the good times roll" comment :)

mCat said...

"Let the good times roll" - so true. As painful as this trip may be (Or been), there will be memories for your children that will shape them forever in the most positive way!