After we got home from Hawaii, we did our laundry and packed up again for California. The only difference is that we drove instead of catching a flight out of PDX. We have driven before, but not with the Evster and I was super apprehensive about it. Nick, as the family road warrior, had no worries - in fact, he was looking forward to the 15 hour drive. We mostly drove through the night and Ev did pretty well. She watched a lot of Tinkerbell, Tangled, and Nemo. She did wake up every time we stopped, but once the intro to whatever movie she was watching started, she was usually back asleep. Of the 15 hours, I drove 2 of them. Like I said, Nick is the family road warrior (and thank goodness for that).
When we arrived in Cali, everyone was so excited to see us and to celebrate Christmas with us. And by us, I mean Evie.
The Grandmas and Aunties pulled out all the stops for this Christmas. Ev was SO spoiled (and so were we) She received toys, books, and clothes galore. It was so fun to watch her get excited as she opened her gifts. A little overwhelmed, but very excited.
We mostly spent time together as a fam playing games, but we also went to the Orange County Zoo, which was really fun. Its a pretty small zoo and it only includes rescued animals, but Ev loved it all the same.
She LOVED the ponies.
After staring at them through the gate for awhile, we thought we should see if she wanted to ride one.
I honestly wasn't sure she would do it, but she totally did. She sat very still the whole time and never let go of the harness, but she seemed to really enjoy it.
Thank you Grandma J for leading the pony so I didn't have to go near it!
We also had breakfast with Gram (Original Evie) and Bernie on one of our last days in CA. Ev ate about 3 pancakes and was a total gem the whole time. It was a nice surprise after her terrible performance at dinner a few nights before. It took her a little while to warm up to Gram and Bernie, but towards the end she was throwing out kisses and hugs. I tried to explain to her that Gigi is also an Evie, but she hasn't quite grasped that concept yet. However, I am looking forward to when she actually understands that she is named after someone spectacular.
So cute together!
We ended up going back to the Zoo a second day so that Ev could look at the animals close-up. The Orange County Zoo is really child-friendly so you can get super close to every animal. I hate how sometimes you go to the zoo and the zebra is like 500 feet away behind a bush and all you can see is its tail. Ev got to pet the goats and put her nose right up to the bunny cage.
It was really cute to watch Ev get excited about the animals. She would alternate between everybody, letting them hold her for a few minutes and then move on to someone else. (Chels definitely had a hard time sharing her though)
We even took a train ride around the park. Ev loved that part.
We had a great time in CA and it was hard to say goodbye, as usual. Thank you Melinda for hosting us, feeding us, and spoiling us!