Monday, April 22, 2013

Family visitors

The spring of 2012 was chock full of visitors.  Every other week we had family coming to stay with us.  This spring, however, we haven't had any company until last week when Megan, Paul and Lincoln came to visit.

It was their first time visiting us in San Diego, and Lincoln's first time on an airplane.  He had expressed some anxiety about flying, but he seemed to come through the experience just fine.  When they arrived it was 55 and cloudy for a few days, hardly what they were expecting coming to San Diego, but at least it wasn't as cold and yucky as it was back in MN.  We found some activities to keep us busy the first couple of days they were here, but once Monday rolled around we started sight-seeing in earnest.  Monday we spent at the San Diego Zoo.  Tuesday we spent at SeaWorld.  Wednesday was at the Safari Park.  Thursday was a drive up to Long Beach to tour the USS Iowa.  Friday was a boat ride around the harbor and swimming in the ocean at a Coronado beach.  It certainly wasn't the most restful vacation they had ever been on, but they were able to see and do a number of things that were on their wish list.

Lincoln seemed to have a grand time with all of the activities.  He's five and a half and was pretty well behaved considering that 1.) he had no other children to play with, 2.) we did a lot of physical activity and he was often exhausted, 3.) his Central Daylight Time waking schedule conflicted with our Pacific Daylight Time waking schedule for the first few days, and, 4.) he must have been experiencing sensory overload with all of the new things to do and see.  There were a couple of meltdowns, but mostly he was curious, excited, happy and fun to be around.

Since we don't have kids, and Jasper stayed back in MN with the grandparents, Lincoln didn't have any other kids to play with.  This meant that much of the trip was playing with him and keeping him entertained.  I never knew that our Uno deck would come in so handy.  Luckily my parents taught Lincoln how to play Crazy Eights quite a while ago.  This made introducing him to Uno really easy.  He loved the drama of the "Draw 2", "Reverse" and "Skip" cards.  I was pleased to have something in the house that entertained him, seeing as our home is basically devoid of anything fun for kids.

Zac spent most of the visit convincing Lincoln that he, Zac, was a pirate.  Of course Megan, Paul and I played along.  Lincoln kept insisting that Zac wasn't a pirate, but often times he looked like he wasn't entirely convinced.  Zac would talk about his pirate life, he'd speak like a pirate, and he showed Lincoln all of his challenge coins, which we all referred to as his pirate booty.

These are some challenge coins.  They're about the size of a fifty cent piece.  They are given out by commands, or at events or by individuals.  But to a five year old they look like they belong in a pirate's treasure chest. 

When it was time for Lincoln to leave, Zac gave Lincoln his own piece of booty - a challenge coin that Zac had purchased that had a skull and crossbones on it.  Lincoln thought it was awesome but came away even more confused as to whether Zac was really a pirate or not.  Maybe we're bad people for messing with Lincoln, but I think we did it with enough of a wink and a nod that he knew we weren't entirely serious.

Overall, it was a great visit.  I do wish there had been more time to simply hang out and not do anything and just "visit", but we did it to ourselves by over-scheduling the trip.  Maybe next time we'll make sure to keep a couple of days void of plans.  But any time you get to see family is time well spent.