Monday, January 20, 2014

Northern California Travels!

Finally, here is the second half of our holiday travel wrap up. It will be the end of January before I finish, and by then I'll be behind on updating for January!

In any case, our time up North (California north, not minnesota "north") was fantastic. Here are Quinn and Penelope just as we first saw the ocean on the way up. Moin and I were screaming, "look at the ocean! look at the ocean!"

As soon as we got there on Christmas day evening, we went out for Indian food. Of course, the first place we found was delicious and cheap, which made us wish we could stay forever.

We were so lucky to stay at my cousin Susan's house when we got there, and she left the most adorable gift baskets for the kids. They were SO EXCITED to get them. Thank you, Susan, Eva and Gehrig, for making our family feel so at home.

The kids also loved her Christmas tree.

We were of course there to spend Christmas with the Syed family, which we did the very next morning. Grandma Amy made some impressive SF giants scarfs for all of us. Quinn has lived in his ever since we returned to Minnesota.

The girls loved their minnie mouse dolls that they received, and all the kids loved their handmade hats. Quinn's was made to look like "candy corn" by Grandma Amy, and he thinks that is just awesome.

Overall, the kids loved playing with Grandma Amy and dancing with Khalil. Khalil, they still do the "Khalil dance" all the time! Quinn also enjoyed working a new lego set with Amman.

We also had a great visit to San Jose's Christmas in the park, as well as several other parks in the neighborhood.

Our time with our family is always too short, but we were so happy to see all of you!

We also saw many friends while up North. The kids got a short but fun visit with Todd and Megan. I didn't get any pictures of Todd, because he was helping Moin remove a splinter from a very uncooperative quinn's finger for most of the time. Yikes. The girls, however, were obsessed with Megan.

We saw our best buddies, the Ellis family, and the kids were so happy to play together again. I wish they lived next door - these five kids really are a team.

We also saw my cousins Sarah, Brian, Andrew and Leah.

While we drove up and down along the water a bunch, we only managed a teeny-tiny trip to the beach (about 10 minutes). Still, it was about the happiest I've seen Moin in a while, perhaps due to the burritos we picked up while there. Beaches and burritos are a pretty amazing combination.

While up North, we spent an evening at Alexander, Amy and Luna's house in Alameda. They were away, and were kind enough to let us stay. We are a full traveling operation - we will stay wherever, and are always thrilled with our accommodations.

That said, Luna's house was extra special because of this amazing playroom.

and because of Boyd, Emma and August's visit while we were there!

As usual, we got to visit with the Juang family on our drive back down south, and Quinn went crazy with Tayo and Keanu. He was so happy to see kids his age, that I think he acted kind of insane.

Once again, we are thankful to all of our friends and family for welcoming our traveling circus. We miss you all so much already!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Holiday travels - SoCal

I'll be writing two blog posts about our wonderful holiday travels. First up, are our travels to Southern California. We started and ended our trip there.

Prior to leaving, the girls got some good practice sleeping on their portable cots that we used for the whole trip. They loved their cots, and slept in them everywhere we went for the whole trip.

We flew out out with the girls (Quinn and my parents went out a week earlier) and they were fantastic on the plane! We couldn't believe how easy flying with them was this year.

They really enjoyed our first night's stay in our favorite hotel - the deceptively titled "Royal Palace Westwood"

Part of the fun of staying in Westwood our first night is that we get to see Polly, Carl and cousin charles! Charles LOVED Zahra :)

We were lucky enough to see them again in Norcal, as well. The girls adore Charles. Quinn is still a bit dubious of any baby/toddler.

While in Hemet we spent a lot of time just soaking up the sun. These pictures pretty much sun up our time there.

We also helped Kara with a burningman-themed film shoot while in Hemet. The day we filmed was a picture-perfect day in the California dessert.

We also got to see some dear friends while in town.

Including cousin Luna!

Of course, Anna took some SoCal pictures that are WAY better than mine. See a sampling below.
At some point this blog may just become a re-posting of Anna's photos.

Finally, we got to spend a great day in Palm Springs
And it was warm enough in Hemet for Quinn to play is geography board game in his underwear!

Southern California was warm and wonderful. Did I mention warm? We had an equally amazing time in NorCal - that post is coming later this week.