I loaded all the pictures on Saturday night and I'm writing the post on Sunday night. That's how epic it is. I had to break the work into two parts.
The morning of my 36th birthday started at 5:15 am when our neighbors in the hotel started talking very loudly. It probably wasn't so very loud, there were just very thin walls. At approximately 6:15 am their talking turned into other very loud activities. I lasted five minutes and then I got up and went into the kitchen/living room area (where Spencer was sleeping on the pull-out couch) and read the news and started my full time job responding to social media birthday wishes. Michael came out an hour later to report they were done.
Then I went back to bed for some birthday cuddles.
We got up, got ready and used the timer to take a family picture. We have realized, through trial and error, that we can set the timer to take three quick pictures in a row and the kids will behave and perform for two of them if we let them do silly faces for the third. So get ready to see a whole lot of silly faces.
Then we walked to breakfast. Seriously, how amazing is it that the breakfast place I picked with no knowledge of location was walking distance from the hotel? I had no idea until I put the directions into mapquest and it said it would take 28 seconds to drive there.
It was a pancake place.
But Spencer had to be a rebel and get a waffle.
I got a full stack of coconut pancakes with coconut syrup. They were good, but I was disappointed that the flaked coconut was only on the top layer.
Elliott ate all of his. Michael ate all of his. I did not eat all of mine, but Spencer helped and I think he finished them.
After breakfast we went back to the hotel and changed into beach gear. Then we stopped at Starbucks for my first of two pumpkin spice lattes of the year. I always get one on my birthday and then another one usually in November.
We were ready to hit the beach, but we got stopped by a train first.
We went to Coronado Island for the day. Coronado is the only place my parents ever took us to the beach in San Diego when I was growing up. This was the first time we took the kids though. We'll be back.
Now, a whole bunch of obligatory beach pictures.
The kids would run into the water and yell "attack" and then as soon as a wave hit them run back out whilst screaming.
I'm not sure if they were attacking the water or the water was attacking them.
Elliott and I "sunbathed" for 2 minutes.
This was in the sky, not the water.
Spencer was all about going "far" into the water. Michael and I took turns with him. This is me, if you can't tell.
After we were done we went to get some ice cream on the island. We almost couldn't find a parking spot but after about six times around the block we lucked out and got a spot that still had an hour left on the meter.
Michael took this and then realized he had cut off the ice cream.
Do-over! I got a scoop of coffee and a scoop of Danish cream. I asked for Irish cream, but they were out of it. Danish cream was good, but not the flavor profile I was going for with the coffee and Irish cream mixed together.
Back to the hotel where we all took showers and got ready for dinner.
More timer family pictures.
We went to Old Town San Diego for Mexican food. My choice.
I thought that I could use this picture as a new facebook profile picture, but the guy in the red shirt in the background was bothering me.
I messed around with the cloning tool to cover him with plants, but,
ultimately I went with this picture. There are still people in the background, but they're not so obvious.
I got steak and an enchilada,
Spencer got a breakfast burrito,
Michael got a smothered burrito,
and Elliott got a cheese quesadilla.
We walked around Old Town after dinner.
We bought some candy in the candy store and I insisted that we also buy some salt water taffy for a picture recreation. Spencer had his first ever bite of candy (salt water taffy) in Old Town when he was 1 year 10 months old in July 2009. For the recreation I made him sit on the same table as before. He rolled his eyes, but he did it. Mostly because I said he couldn't have any of his candy if he didn't.
Side by side!
After we left Old Town we went to Target to buy a jet powered fan so we wouldn't have to deal with the same noisy issues the next morning.
Then we stopped at the Cheesecake Factory, because cheesecake on my birthday has become a tradition. Our plan was to eat it there, but the wait was over an hour, so we got one piece to go and went back to the hotel.
Michael was so sweet and brave and asked somebody standing outside if he could borrow their lighter so we could light my candle. I realized after I blew it out that I hadn't taken a picture of just the cheesecake with the burning candle but by then he had returned the lighter and he flat out refused to go get it again. I told him he should just explain it was for blogging purposes, but, no.
After cheesecake, which Michael and Spencer ate in their underwear, everybody except for me, crashed into bed. I stayed up for an hour, responding to the 123 wall posts and various other birthday messages that I felt needed acknowledgment. Next year I might hire a one day, full time clerk to help me manage.