In 2003 Walker was 3 and Eli was just 3 months old we took a family vacation with Robin, her kids and Mom & Dad. 🙂
We went to The San Diego Zoo, Legoland, Seaport Village, a Seal Boat Tour, San Diego Wild Animal Park, and the ocean.
It was the 1st time we’ve ever taken a big family vacation like this! Unfortunately, Boog and Amber weren’t able to come.
These photos went missing for years. Jared had backed them all up onto a company laptop which he forgot to make copies of before he returned it. Many years later Robin said she found some on an old computer!! I was thrilled!!!!!
I’ll let you browse through most of the pic on your own…. 🙂
There is a story about the hippos. Not really about the hippos really, but every time I think of them I think about the time we lost Walker!!
We had spent about half the day at the zoo and we had made it all the way to the bottom of the zoo where the hippos are. I went to go sit in a bench to nurse Eli and I casually asked everyone where Walker was. They turned to me and said…I thought he was with you!! Panic!!
I said no. I came and sat to nurse the baby…you guys were watching the hippos together. I was maybe 5 -10 feet from where they were. No one knew where our little 3 year old boy was.
A family was walking down the ramp and saw we were panicking and said, “Are you looking for a little boy with a blue blanket?” We said, “YES!!” Walker took that little blanket everywhere! We knew it was him! They said he went up the ramp.
Jared RUNS from the bottom level of the zoo up to the front gates. We wanted to make sure no one left with Walker. By the time he got up there a security station closer to where we were and radioed the other stations and said a little boy had been found. Jared RAN all the way back down to the station where we were and he found Walker cowering under a table with is blue blanket over his head sucking his thumb. He was TERRIFIED!!! 🙁
The Security Guard said they tried to ask him his name, our names, etc and he wouldn’t talk, He was so scared…the poor little guy!! 🙁 Jared said he’s never seen a child look so afraid. It broke his heart. He said as a father that was one of the most heartbreaking things he’s felt and seen!
Jared scooped him up and squeezed him tight and told him we were so sorry he got lost and told him how much we loved him. He brought him back to were we all were waiting and we asked him why he wandered off? He just said there was a lady who looked like me and he followed her up the hill. When he realized it wasn’t me he didn’t know what to do and another lady saw him crying and took him to the police officer. 😛 I mean…..ugh….right to the heart!!
As you can imagine he got a thousand hugs and kisses and then all of the kids got a refresher course in sticking together. We also bought kid leashes, which I know some people think are awful…but once you’ve lost your kid….you’ll change your mind!!! LOL!
By the way, Walker has a CRAZY good memory and remembers the time Mom and Dad lost him…he doesn’t let us forget it either!! LOL!!
Once we wiped our tears and gathered ourselves together we walked up and out the other side towards the restrooms. Dylan was tight rope walking the wall around these plants which by the way smelled like sewer water. He got to walking faster and faster and just as the words, “Dylan be careful you’re going to fall in!” came out of my mouth….SPLASH!!!!!!! Dylan fell in!
I have never smelled anything so foul in all my life! He was covered head to toe in muck! I tired the best I could to scrub him off in the bathroom but the poor kid just reeked all day!
This is another family story that gets told often! haha! It was definitely an eventful trip!
These giraffes were amazing. They were so close! We had decorated Eli’s nursery with giraffes so it felt like they knew and we were bonding! LOL!
With only a day or so two left in our trip we got a heartbreaking phone call from my Mom’s Step-Mom. She gave us the news that Grandpa McClendon passed away. At first we all felt like we needed to cut the trip short and head home but, then Grandma McClendon said the funeral wouldn’t be for almost a week so we had time to finish our vacation.
My mom was never close to her father for many reasons…none of them because of her lack of wanting to…but because the grown-ups didn’t know how to behave like grown-ups. It’s very sad. 🙁 But it was her father and she wanted to be there. It made the rest of our trip difficult for everyone but we knew there was nothing we could do and going home early wouldn’t really help matters anyway. We had all saved and planned and looked forward to this family time for a long time.
What’s intersting is when Walker was 3 months old Jared’s Uncle Sherl passed away too.
Ummm…someone please tell my son not to pick his nose..LOL!
This is the man I married….LOL!!!
I absolutely LOOOOOVE this picture of Walker and my mom! They were running away from the waves together and the smiles on their faces is just priceless to me! <3 <3 Melts my heart!
It was a crazy, eventful, memorable family trip! My family doesn’t get together often in this way and so I cherish these memories!!!