It is so hard to believe, but we touched down on American soil exactly 2 months ago.
We were exhausted and extremely travel-weary. What a trip! Our original flight out of Chennai was delayed for more than an hour. But all that meant for us was a 9 hour layover (instead of 10) in Dubai. Dubai was a pretty cool airport and the kids spent most of the time here:
...watching Despicable Me at least 3 times!
We rested, did some window shopping among all the stores, and even got McDonald's ice cream for a treat. When we finally boarded the plane, my kids immediately zonked out and slept for a while since it was about 1 am to their bodies.
What was supposed to be a 16 hour flight to Atlanta, GA took 17 1/2 hours and we missed our connecting flight to LAX. We ended up being VERY lucky (because SO many people had missed connections) to get all 6 of us on a flight to San Diego where we then caught a connecting flight up to LAX...just about 6 hours later than we were supposed to arrive.
My sister picked us up and drove straight to a Wendy's...where I nearly cried eating my Apple Pecan Chicken Salad and the kids downed some long-awaited frosties. Ahhh....good times, good times!
We then drove to her house and gratefully collapsed on her comfy beds...52 and 1/2 hours after leaving our home in India.
Thus started our life as California Nomads. We spent one week at my sister's house sleeping off the jet lag and our older girls got to go out dirt biking twice...
then Lon and I got away for a wonderful trip to San Francisco while the kids spent a few days with Grandma and Grandpa (who had been home from Brazil for 5 days!).
We had such a great time in San Francisco! We walked across the Golden Gate Bridge...
...ate a DELICIOUS meal in Chinatown right near our timeshare...
This was tofu as you have NEVER tasted it before!!!
...spent an afternoon in the beautiful Japanese Tea Gardens at Golden Gate Park...
...and visited the most beautiful cathedral I have ever seen.
We then headed to the Central Coast area of CA to spend a week at my brother's house.
Oh, the joy of cousins!! The kids had a sleepover on the trampoline. What a treat!
...and what a way to wake up in the morning!!
We went out to the beach and visited The Shell Shop...a tradition and special memory from my childhood that I am so glad will be the same for my children!
I love watching these kids together. They are so imaginative and made up
some type of Knee Football.
After visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Templeton, we went to Madera for 10 days and then left on our own vacation. DISNEYLAND and OCEANSIDE. So. Much. Fun.
Cohen got chosen for the Jedi Training show and was so happy!
We had absolutely perfect weather for Disneyland and had a wonderful day in the park. Lots of rides and yummy soup in a bread bowl. My kids LOVED Big Thunder Railroad this time and we rode it
Our last night in the LA area, we took the family to an amazing star show at the Griffith Observatory.
This is our first ever "full family selfie"....minus Brooklyn. ; )
...On to Oceanside for 5 days...
We love spending time in Oceanside. Our timeshare is right near the harbor and though it was a little chilly for ocean swimming, we had a blast spending time in the hotel pools and hot tub and just walking on the beautiful beach.
My favorite time is sunset. So peaceful and serene!
One day we took Cohen and Avery to a nature activity at the local Audubon Nature Society. They loved going on a bug hunt and holding the 70 year old turtle!!
We loved our time in California--getting to spend time with cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandma and grandpa. We had a great vacation and did lots of fun things...
but it felt SO wonderful to pull back up to our little home here in UT.
HOME. SWEET. HOME.
Many people ask us how it feels to be back home...if it feels weird to be in America again.
Most definitely NOT. It is comfortable and easy to come back to all our usual comforts.
As Lon has told many people, India was a bit like a dream that we have woken up from and found ourselves back in our regular life.
And what a beautiful dream it was!