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We just got back from a GREAT trip to Southern California.  Leighton stayed with Nanna and Poppi…and the rest of us flew out on Sunday afternoon.  We arrived in Santa Monica where we stayed with our good friend, Tyson, who lives within walking distance from the beach and the Santa Monica Pier.  The kids were dying to hit the beach first thing…so we headed out as soon as we dropped our suitcases off.

Monday morning we woke up and decided to go parasailing.  The thrill-seeker in me was super excited.  I’ve done it several times, but couldn’t wait to experience it with Carter and Caroline.  We got on the boat and a few other people went up ahead of us.  Carter was trying to back out…but I was not going to let him:).

Me trying to convince Carter he is not going to die…

As we took off the kids were silent…you could hear a pin drop.  As we got higher and higher (700 ft)  I looked over to make sure everyone was OK.  They both started smiling.  We all let go of our hands…Caroline kicked her feet out in front of her and put her hands behind her neck…relaxing!  It was SO much fun!

We spent the afternoon at the Santa Monica beach.

The water was a little bit chilly for Caroline…

Late in the afternoon we headed up to Malibu to visit Pepperdine.  Carter said he can’t wait to go to college there…and Caroline said she is going to college in Texas near her mommy:).

Ever since we arrived in Santa Monica the kids had been wanting to go to the Santa Monica Pier…with all of the carnival games and rides.  We had fun playing all evening and ate dinner at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Restaurant.

From the top of the ferris wheel…

Whose balloon is going to pop first to win the prize??

Happy kids with all of their winnings…

Tuesday morning we woke up and drove down to the Laguna Beach area…it was much warmer…and GORGEOUS!!  We spent all day at the beach and exploring the little town.  We had a great little hotel in the middle of everything.

Walking to find the perfect place to sit for the day…

On the beach there were some great boulders that the kids could walk and explore on.  As the tide receded,  they found a ton of HUGE shells…crabs…sea anemones…etc. You cannot be near the ocean and not marvel at God’s creation…simply amazing!

Walking into town for breakfast the following morning.  I LOVE it that Carter still reaches out to hold our hand…so precious!  We are soaking up these moments with him…he is growing up way too fast!

That was the first part of our vacation!  Second part…San Diego!

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