6.18.2015

A Family Vacation and a Hoodie for Jude

Last week, we were away on a family vacation and had the best time in San Diego-Coronado.

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Don't get me wrong, it was totally exhausting.  But it was also so much fun!

coronado beach

We fell in love with Coronado.  The weather was fantastic (60s and 70s) and the people are some of the nicest I've ever meant.  In one week's time, we had two locals offer to babysit for us and we were also invited to a homeschooling group!


Living in Texas, we would normally not consider 60s and 70s to be swimming weather.  We wanted to pack lightly and the kids and I decided not to pack swimming suits, thinking it would be too cold to swim.  Bad call.  The sun felt so much hotter there somehow.  I even got a sunburn at 8 in the morning!  We spent an entire afternoon trying to find swimming suits!

coronado beach

The Coronado beach has been voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the US.  It really is gorgeous with white sand and gold flecks that make it literally sparkle.  That said the ocean was c o l d.  Here are Tia and Iris clinging on to one another in an attempt to stay warm! :)

the cold pacific

Since we live in a big city with a lot to do, we really prefer to do things in nature rather than going to crowded places.  We did go to the San Diego Zoo one day, but after only a few hours Iris and Tia were complaining about being tired from walking.

cozied up 

The most incredible thing for all of us was swimming with sea lions at La Jolla Cove.

la jolla cove 

They swam so close to us!   It was amazing!

la jolla cove

The kids also loved to wait for the tide to come in, bracing themselves for the giant waves!

la jolla cove

Sometimes the waves were powerful enough to knock Tia or Iris over, so they took a break on the beach while Jude and Indigo mostly stayed in the ocean.  And Hazel had to be held the entire time, otherwise she would eat sand like it was her job, by the handful!

la jolla cove

We headed back to La Jolla a different day, this time to try snorkeling with wet suits.  The kids were really hoping to spot some leopard sharks, but after only 15 minutes they were all shivering, even Dan!

La Jolla Shores

One way that we make vacation less expensive is to rent a home or condo.  Surprisingly, even renting a home is often less expensive than a hotel, especially now that we would otherwise need to rent two hotel rooms.

game night

We can also do laundry there, so we can pack lighter.   And perhaps the biggest benefit is having the ability to cook meals and eat at home.  We ate in about two thirds of the time.  We've had great experiences using HomeAway, but I've also heard good things about VRBO.

game night

We like to live like locals as much as we can and we prefer to walk places whenever possible.  The condo where we stayed was above a market place, so we could easily walk to get groceries.  Nearby there was a French bistro, a sushi place and a burger joint, to name a few of the options.

sisters

Then there was the most incredible park about a half a mile away.

park

 It was the other highlight of the trip for the kids. We went there almost every day.

glam tia 
(This is Tia's idea of glamour.  I rarely talk on the phone so I don't know where she gets it but it's funny, right?)

 Some of the locals stayed at the park all day, packing snacks, lunches and water for their kids.  There were always children to play with.

park day 

Dan and I laughed about how some people say that homeschool kids are not socialized.  I think by this point research has dispelled that myth once and for all, thank goodness!  But my kids made so many new 'friends' at that park and played there for hours.

park 

Before we left for vacation, I had this overwhelming desire to make a hoodie for Jude.  Unfortunately, the sewing community is in serious need of a hoodie pattern for older children.  I looked everywhere to find one, without much luck.

Ultimately, two days before we left, I put together a hoodie pattern myself using a couple of different Ottobre patterns and then self- drafting some of it.

Jude's new hoodie 

Rachael from Imagine Gnats had sent me some of the most amazing french terry sweatshirt knit.  It was new to her shop a couple of months ago and she just asked if I could wash and dry it and then tell her what I thought.  She is so dedicated to her customers - how cool is that?!

jude's new hoodie 

 It was so squishy and cozy and perfect, I knew I had to use it.  I stayed up until 2 am sewing it all, except the zipper.  The next morning Dan shortened the zipper for me and I sewed it on.  Afterward when I zipped it up, the zipper pull came all the way off!

jude's new hoodie 

I thought it was unrepairable, that I'd have to rip the zipper out and install a new one.  I didn't have time for that.  Jude and I were both holding back tears.  He loved the fabric so much and was so excited to have his own mama made hoodie.

jude's new hoodie 

But then Dan swooped in and saved the day.  He grew up in Liberia without much money.  He said he was used to having to fix zippers like this! Then he configured a metal stopper so that the zipper wouldn't pull off again.

He is such an amazing person.  He is my very best friend and I am so thankful that he is so supportive of my desire to create.

my man crush :) 

 Poor Dan - his manliness is never really adequately represented here because, well, this is a sewing blog after all.  Why would I talk about that?  He does this stuff not because it's his passion but because he loves me and wants to support me in mine.

my man crush :)

Speaking of manly-ish stuff (obviously a stereotype), Dan, Jude and Indigo had the chance to tour the 3rd Marine Air Wing in Miramar.  The company he works for serves the military community and they encourage their leaders to spend time with the military so off to Miramar they went for one afternoon.

It was a great vacation.  But it also feels good to be home. As the saying goes, there's no place like home!


25 comments:

  1. Oh wow I love this so much! Go Dan! Your sewing and crafting prowess only adds to your manliness in my book!!

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  2. Sounds like a great holiday, and gorgeous pics as usual. I also really like seeing pictures of Dan, especially with your kids. Y'all are such a sweet family.

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  3. Sounds like a fantastic time you've had! Love the glamourous Tia-look :-))
    And hurray for helpful husbands, you've got yourself a keeper...

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  4. Great pics of the city and family! Love the koala dress on Tia, so adorable! If you come again we should connect! Xo

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  5. What beautiful photos of a lovely holiday. We rent houses on our yearly jaunt to Victoria (interstate) and every one takes turns cooking meals.
    What a sweet husband, I can appreciate that as I have a loveable bear of my own.
    Your photographs are just so gorgeous

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    1. Thanks so much, Nicole! We are lucky to have our 'loveable bears' as you say! <3

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  6. Looks like a wonderful vacation! And the hoodie is perfect. Nice job with the pattern mashing and drafting! And Dan's zipper repair! I'd love to make my kids zip sweatshirts and I've been puzzled by the lack of good patterns in that realm.

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  7. Your photoooosssss...seriously I could look at them all day long. I love them so much. We loved the San Diego area too when we went a few years ago. My husband worked on a project there and me and the girls tagged along for 2 weeks. We lived in a tiny cottage in the middle of Encinitas (which we found on VRBO. The same which the house in the mountains we just stayed in last week). We usually eat lunch out and then easy dinner at 'home'. That works the best for us too. And whew about the saved zipper!!! That is a great hoodie!!

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  8. Aw your sweet husband and family! Love the pictures and hoodie! So glad you had a fabulous time! I'm a little more homesick than usual now....

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  9. I love it all so very very much! and Jude, oh so sweet!!

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  10. There is a great hoodie pattern from Jalie (Jalie3355), there are girls on the cover, but the cut is for boys and girls in my opinion. I plan to make one for my 9 year old son. I love Jalie patterns as much as I love Ottobre!

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  11. Wow this looks and sounds like such a great holiday! I also like staying in homes or apartments on holiday, especially now with a young child as its so much easier to be able to cook in rather than eat out all the time. Your son's hoody looks fantastic, that's so lucky your husband was able to help save the zipper!

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    1. Yes! That is so true. It can be really hard to enjoy a meal out with little ones sometimes, depending on the child. Staying in can be so much easier, not to mention, so much less expensive, too! Especially for a family of seven like mine.

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  12. Sounds and looks like a ton of fun! I'm glad your hubby got one boy. Nice for him. I'm so glad I got one girl ; )

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  13. So glad you could get away and then return home with new appreciation for where you visited and renewed appreciation for home life! Beautiful pictures and as always, beautiful family! Much Love!

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  14. GORGEOUS PHOTOS! OK, I have to ask, what camera and lens do you use? And any specific editing techniques you used to make these beach shots pop?

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  15. Well done Dan for saving the zipper! Rachel, the hoodie turned out great. I love Tia's koala dress ;) and the girls hugging each other to stay warm - how cute is that!!

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  16. Looks like you had a great vacation! We're really looking forward to getting away soon. I get itchy feet if it's been a while since the last plane trip ๐Ÿ˜„

    Jude's hoodie looks great, and how awesome is Dan for fixing the zipper?! Handy husbands are the best ☺️. There is quite a lack of good boy patterns for older boys!

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  17. While I wholeheartedly agree there is no place quite like home, how wonderful too that you were able to create such amazing family memories! Love the photos, love Jude's sweatshirt and love that last picture of he and Dan - your two favorite men:)

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