Our first stop was at Aunt Anna and Uncle Mark's house. We are so grateful to them for hosting us once again. I am sure we are a lot to handle but they are always so welcoming and didn't mind the frequent requests for Barbie DVDs on their TV. My mom was there too and even treated us to a night out, including a delicious dinner and babysitting gratis. My brother Matt and his girlfriend Erica came by one night too. So good to see Matt!
At 4 (nearly 5) Lucy is the perfect age for vacationing. She was raring to go every single day and was thrilled to start off the vacation at Aunt Anna's house. Lucy is so social, loves family and was pleased to chat (and walk hand-in-hand) with Aunt Anna any chance she could get. The birds feeding and nesting out back were of particular interest.
Annabel got into the swing of things too, loving Anna's hot tub, playing with the large carved bear that she met last year and even seeking out the kitties who were very shy just like one of ours.
The whole group. Clearly, you can see how difficult it is to get the kids to look at the camera at once, let alone smile.
Mom, here's your Christmas card photo! (If you click on the image it pulls it up full size, which you can just copy and paste to your desktop for later.)
Our family of five.
Annabel having a great time with Grandma. She has no fear of the water whatsoever!
Lucy running around exploring. If you know Lucy, you'll know this is not unusual. Isn't Anna and Mark's garden beautiful?
Feeding the animals -- emus here. This was the first of a few baskets of fruit and veggies; Anna loves animals and, really, who could resist them? They were so hungry! And so cute! Especially the baby goats.
Anna also treated the girls to a pony ride. Only Lucy decided to ride and loved it.
After the petting zoo we went to Aliso Beach in Laguna Beach, a great suggestion by Uncle Mark. What a perfect beach! So pretty and so easy to get to, park the car and just enjoy. We had a blast. Annabel dug right in.
Beach baby under the umbrella.
Lucy and Paul braving the waves.
Starting in on the sand castle.