Top 21 Greatest Vacation Moments (and Top 6 Worst)

I started this post as a Top 10 list but it quickly got away from me. I topped out at our top 21 greatest vacation moments. Oops. I couldn’t help it! I also added a few of our worst moments at the end of the page in order to keep things interesting and not too fluffy.


21- Playing at the Pinball Hall of Fame and eating tremendously tasty tacos at Baja Bar & Grill next to UNLV.

20- The shows at SeaWorld. They’re basically the same as when I was there 15 years ago but I think it’s much more fun to watch your own kids gasp and laugh.

19- The rides at SeaWorld. There are only a few but they are great fun! We got soaked on some and then dried off on the others.

18- Rob and Nate enjoyed the USS Midway. The rest of us? Not so much.

17- Lazy Coronado. This view of Nate was typical. Every tree or other high thing within his view he quickly climbed.

16- The Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery forces you to be humble and grateful and sad.

15- Exploring Point Loma. I’ve been to San Diego many times but have never seen it from this vantage point.

14- Sharing a flight of flavors at Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream in San Diego. We scarfed down the 8 flavors without nary a picture so you must realize how good it tasted! Our favorites were coconut strawberry oreo, lime cream, lemon cream, and chocolate.

13- Moseying around Old Town San Diego.

12- Getting an adorable picture of the three girl cousins all dressed up in the skirts and headbands that Madeleine sewed and the bracelets their aunt bought for the occasion.

11- Witnessing humpback whales and dolphins frolicking in the deep blue sea. We took a half-day boat ride to the Channel Islands and superbly enjoyed seeing two whales surface and dive a few times each. We also loved the thousands of common dolphins (and their babies!) that swam alongside the boat most of the trip. Incredible!

10- Speaking of whales…making out with Rob while riding on top of one is definitely one of my favorite vacation moments!

9- Visiting the Old Mission Santa Barbara. The gardens were beautiful and perfectly peaceful.

8- Watching (over and over again!) the looks on these three faces when they tried the yucky wheat grass shots.
7- The Getty Villa in Malibu. The beautiful sculptures of Greek gods and goddesses, the stunning Roman architecture, the delicate tile mosaics, the ancient Egyptian mummy, and many other priceless artifacts, we loved it all. As a bonus, I was so happy that my kids didn’t only behave well but embraced and enjoyed it just as much as the grown ups.

6- Playing a competitive game of Dwindle with the whole family. Umm, let’s just say the low score trumps, shall we?

5- Yoga with my love with this view.

4- Best. Swinging. Ever. 

3- I’m not a big water person but Rob and I adored watching Madeleine and Nate jump right in and learn how to boogie board. Except for the cold, splashy water part it looked so fun! Also, watching these two girlies cartwheel at the water’s edge! ALSO, watching Rob try to surf. It was the best birthday present ever. I couldn’t stop laughing! Not only did he have a heck of a time even getting over the breaks but once he did he couldn’t even stay sitting on the board. How I wish I had a video of the hilarity!

2- Beaches, beaches, and more beaches. From Carlsbad up to Ventura we visited eight (some of them multiple times). We made it a goal to visit as many beaches as possible and I’d say we did pretty well.

1- Spending time with our wonderful siblings, cousins, and parents, of course! They made this dream trip possible. Many, many thanks to them!

Now for the worst moments.
6- The yucky food at Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town San Diego. We came here for the fun ambience but waited over an hour for a seat. After all that, we only half-ate our dinner.

5- Too much sugar! We indulged. It was good. But it was bad. 

4- The aquarium displays at SeaWorld. These were dark, old, sad, and in need of care. I was expecting a lot more for such a renowned place.

3- Trying to find acceptable peeing locations around Santa Monica and Los Angeles. Forget acceptable, even unacceptable would have been accepted!

2- The Cat Cafe. We did this to cheer up the kids who missed their pet. The place smelled. The cats weren’t very friendly. Did I mention it smelled?

1- T.E.R.R.I.B.L.E cell service (Sprint), even while in cities. This meant getting driving directions, looking up pertinent destination information, and even listening to music was very limited. This made for some frustrating moments where I was THIS CLOSE to throwing my phone out the window of our moving car and into the salty sea.

But really, I’d be an idiot to complain about anything on our trip. Seriously, you can’t ask for much more than time off from work, time exploring new places, and time playing with family. We’re very grateful for the opportunity we had to do all of those things together! 

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