Begrudgingly, it was time to pack up and begin our journey home. Cue sad music. We absolutely loved our vacation. The places were fun. The sights were breathtaking. Weather was perfect! We certainly were not ready to go back to triple digit heat and humidity. I loved that the kids wanted to spend just a few more moments taking in the serene waters.
We stopped in El Paso at our favorite restaurant, Leo's. We had to enjoy the food one more time because we didn't know when we would have it again. Plus, Preston had been talking about it the whole trip. My family was also in town for a conference and we saw them at the restaurant!
By the way, they looked like this on purpose. They were laughing and having a good time, but as soon as I said "smile", they did this. And I was laughing so that made the picture blurry. Oh, my family!
It took us a day to drive across three states. It took us another day to drive 3/4 of the way through Texas! As much as I talk about moving to Arizona or California, I am a Texan, born and raised. We got home in time for dinner but didn't stay up long. It was so nice to sleep in my big, comfy bed again.
As I reflected upon my absolutely favorite time of the trip, I will say it wasn't the parks or the characters we met, even though it may have been for the rest of my family. But it was this moment.
We had stopped at Torrey Pines State Reserve on Day 5 as we were headed to San Diego. This was my kids very first experience with the ocean. We all had fun rolling up our pants and shorts and walking into the water. Preston loved running through the waves. Craig did too.
But in this moment, as I stood back watching my daughter, and I was listening to the sounds of the water that always calms me, I saw how at peace she seemed to be. She was taking her time finding rocks, "washing them off", and stacking them in a nice, neat pile on the beach. She had a constant smile on her face and everything seemed to be perfect. I wanted time to stand still. And for just a short period of time, it did. And I wanted to cry.
My family is so incredibly blessed and I thank my Heavenly Father everyday for it. We are four hearts that beat as one and love the many journeys that God has given us.