We had an AMAZING spring break this year! Bailey and I took our annual trip to my mom's ranch in CA. It seems like each year gets better and better!
We do the drive in two days. We left on Friday evening after Bailey's track meet, and only made it to Nephi. That meant Saturday was a long drive! We stopped at the Temple in Las Vegas so Bailey could do baptisms. She said the inside of that Temple is gorgeous! It was a good way to break up the drive, and she added another Temple to her list.
|She found a giant 'Psych' pineapple at the Temple.|
|Las Vegas Temple|
We got to my mom's place pretty late, so we just visited for a minute and then went to bed. We spent Sunday at the ranch. Bailey was so excited to be reunited with all her sweet horse friends! She loves them, and they love her! We helped my mom with all the ranch chores (feeding the horses, and cleaning all the corrals). It's a lot of work to take care of 6 horses, and so much property. Bailey loves every part of it. She will gladly clean up horse poop if that means she gets to be around them. After all the chores were done we were ready to ride! We spent a couple hours riding around the ranch trails. Bailey started out on Max, because that's who she rode last year. He's easy going and pretty slow. It didn't take us long to realize she was ready to try Mr. Pal. He's a good boy, but has tons of energy, a little bit of an attitude, and loves to go. She did awesome on him, and that's who she rode the rest of the time. They were a perfect match! After we rode, we hiked up the hill to the property line so my mom could show us some of the new trails she had made.
|Gunner is their new dog. He looks mean and scary, but he's really sweet. We called him George, and we loved him!|
|So happy to be with all of these sweet friends again!|
|Bailey only got to drive us around in the golf cart a little bit this year, because it had something wrong with it. She was sad, because one of her favorite things to do is drive around the ranch like a crazy lady in that thing!|
|I love the view of the ranch from way up the hill. That's where you get the best view of how much work my mom has put into it.|
When we were done at the ranch for the day, we met my Uncle and Grandpa for our traditional dinner at Bongiavani's. My 95 year old grandpa is still as cute and funny as ever. He's had a rough few years. He's losing his memory, so my Uncle had to prep him for a few days and remind him who we all were and how we are related. You could see him thinking really hard about it, and then he would go over it all out loud to make sure he knew who we all were. Even with his memory going, he could still crack Bailey up! This could very likely be the last time we see him, but we thought that last year too, and then he keeps on surprising everybody.
|There are 4 generations at this table!|
|Bailey and Elder Varvel with Great Grandpa!|
|Bailey, Rick, Mom, Grandpa, me, and Buster|
Monday was a lot the same. We spent the morning doing chores at the ranch. But this time we trailered the horses for a longer trail ride. We parked at the Cuyamaca bridge and did a 6 mile ride. This was my favorite place to ride when I was a kid. We had a fun ride, and then me and Bailey drove back there and did a trail run later in the day. It was Bailey's first trail running experience, and she loved it. We've decided we're going to do more trail running this summer.
|Hahaha- earning her keep!|
|Bailey and Grandma.|
|When we got back from riding, me and Bailey gave the horses a bath. Apparently they didn't appreciate our hard work, because they rolled when we put them away.|
|We saw a ton of wild turkeys!|
Tuesday was awesome! We always spend a day at the beach, and this time we did some fun stuff! We went to LaJolla Cove in the morning to see the seals and sea lions. There were tons of cute babies that were nursing on the beach. They have no fear of people, so you can just walk right up to them. Then we ran along the coastline of the cove. It's one of the most beautiful places in California. We love it there. Me and Mark used to go on dates there when we were in high school. After our run, we met my brother at mission bay. He took Bailey ocean fishing from his kayak. She loved it, and caught 5 fish! Next year he's going to teach her how to surf fish. She's super excited! After fishing, we went back to LaJolla and did a kayak ocean tour. They were supposed to take us through the 7 sea caves at the cove, but the water was too rough that day, and the swells too big. We just paddled around the ocean for a while, and learned some cool stuff about the area. Me and Bailey started to get sea sick! We were bummed about the caves, but it was still really fun! We only had about a half hour to hang out on the beach after that, and then we met Craig and Hunter for dinner.
|There were lots of cute babies!|
|Running along the coastline at the cove!|
|Bailey had to learn to use a bait caster from the shore. She picked up on it pretty fast.|
|Uncle Craig, Elder Varvel, and Bailey|
|Kayaking in Mission Bay!|
|Catching a fish!|
|You can't really tell from this picture, but we had to kayak straight through the surf to get out in the ocean. A big wave went right over the top of us, and Bailey got drenched! I was cracking up!|
|This was a fun adventure!|
|We ended our day with dinner at Phil's BBQ with Craig and Hunter.|
Wednesday was AMAZING!!! We spent the day at Sea World. We've been to Sea World in Florida and several times in San Diego, but it never gets old. We love the animals, the rides, and especially the shows! This year it was extra special, because Bailey got to do a dolphin interaction program. It was the BEST! She was smiling the biggest smile the WHOLE time! She loved every second of it!
|Petting the sharks while we waited for the gates to open.|
|The first thing we did was head straight to Atlantis! We love this ride! We always go in the front seat and end up soaked! We got off, and got right back in line to do it again.|
|This big guy was so cute! He looked like a big stuffed animal!|
|We looked like drowned rats the whole day! We sat in the soak zone at every show!|
|She's getting ready to go in the water with the dolphins. She was so excited! That smile never left her face!|
Taking a dolphin ride!
|Cutest thing EVER!|
Here's the video of her dolphin hug!
|She had a fun group!|
|We saw some pretty big sharks!|
These guys were cracking us up!
|This guy was quite a poser!|
|The underwater viewing area.|
|We love the dolphins!|
|Holding a starfish! I have this same picture of her from when she was about 5 years old.|
|Sea World is the best!|
When Sea World closed, be drove a couple blocks to mission beach, and ran along the beach while the sun was setting. So gorgeous!
|Perfect end to a perfect day!|
Thursday we were back at the ranch. We trailered the horses to Pine Valley and did a 9 mile ride. That night me and Bailey kept the dogs with us, and spent the night in the cabin on the ranch. So fun! Bailey shot her bow for awhile while I cleaned out the car. Then we just hung out in the cabin and relaxed for the evening. She actually had homework she had to get done.
|I love Joey's cute ears in this picture!|
|She's pretty good!|
We had to leave on Friday, but we wanted to get one more ride in before we headed home. Bailey and I got up early and drove to the Cuyamaca bridge to do a long trail run. This was her first week of marathon training, so she had to do a 6 mile run, and I had to do a 9 miler. It was so much better on the trails! After our run we trailered the horses one last time, and took our last ride. Bailey and Mr. Pal had tons of fun on this one! She went off ahead and let him go a lot faster.
|Aren't they cute!?! Check out the crazy green pants!|
|Saying goodbye to her buddy! If you look closely at this picture, you can see that Mr. Pal is sticking his tongue out at me!|
|Saying goodbye to my sweet Joey!|
We were so sad to leave! I can't believe we have to wait a whole year to go do it all again. We've already got some fun things planned for next year though! It's also exciting to think that now that spring break is over, we only have 2 months until Sawyer is home! I can't wait!!! Thanks for a fun week mom! Take good care of our furry friends until we come back!