Friday, March 7, 2008

La Brea Tar Pits

After lunch, since our flight didn't leave until after 7 that evening, we debated what we wanted to do. The beach was suggested, but with 4 little kids getting sand everywhere, and not being able to give them baths before our flight, I thought that probably wasn't the best idea, even though I LOVE the beach. So we decided to take the kids to the La Brea tar pits. We get my phone out again, and this time we are dealing with downtown LA weekend traffic! I am so glad traffic here isn't that bad. So after Jeremy takes the wrong exit- not because of me or my phones directions BTW - just too many lane changes and freeway splits and whatnot. We finally get to the tar pits. Well after battling traffic, we only have about 45 minutes to spend there. So we go in to the museum, look at all the bones and animals and displays. Didn't have time for the movie, didn't have time to go into the courtyard. We make a mad dash to the actual pits. Well to my kids, this looks just like a dirty lake with statues in it- no big deal. You can smell the tar though- smells like someone just refinished a road right there, and can see bubbles breaking just under the surface water.
Of course my kids, being the runners they are, are going off the path, and trying to run all over the grass, and don't understand why I am trying to make them stay on the path. Jeremy doesn't understand either, until I show him all the spots where tar is just seeping out of the ground, somewhat hidden by the grass, at which point he makes sure that the kids stay on the path so we don't get tar all over the vehicle we rented.
We go down to where the statues are and take pictures. This is where we took pictures when we were little and my parents took us there. Heather and I got some pictures of just her and I- trying to recreate those pictures - 15 years later- too bad Clay and Whitney weren't there. I couldn't believe how tall the statue was of the sloth we were sitting on top of. It seemed like a long way down! -Yes I am afraid of heights- After our pictures, it was a mad dash to get everyone back into the van and start heading back to the rental car place.
Here is where my phone failed us. Not because it gave us the wrong directions, but because we had the wrong address. Luckily we weren't too far off, and we just called the place (3 times- we kept forgetting) and they gave us the right directions. At this point I am majorly stressed out since it is 6 and I wanted to be at the airport at 5, so we didn't have a repeat of the hectic-ness of our departure. So we get a shuttle from there all to ourselves, and the driver was so nice. We get there, and again check our bags with the skycaps to save ourselves time, at which point he is telling me they wont let Kenadee fly back because she wasn't on a ticket. Well she flew there no problems, and since we bought our tickets online, it didn't even give us an option of specifying that we had a lap child. So I am stressing even more at this point, head to the ticketing desk, there is no wait, and it was easy for them to just print me out a new ticket with the information on it- not the big hassle that I thought it would be. We go through security- and at least this time there wasn't a wait, but because we had to unload the laptops, cameras, and video cameras, liquids, shoes, belts, sweaters, stroller, carseats, whatnot, it still was a hassle. The x-ray machine at LAX was also apparently just a little bit smaller than the one at SLC, and it took some tricky maneuvering of the carseats and strollers to fit through the machine. Jeremy had gone through first so that all the kids could go through and he could start re-assembling things. But eventually everyone went through but Eric and me, but we were still loading, which is when we started having problems with things not fitting, and they wouldn't let Adelle go through without her parent, even though we were right there, one on each side of the screening. So Heather comes back through and they let her take Adelle across, but then she has to do the whole screening process again, and then Jeremy comes back through to help us, and he also has to re-empty his pockets, take off his belt, shoes, sweatshirt, hat, etc. The poor college student behind us, is stuck there for the entire time, but he was so nice, and helpful. Even helped us afterwards to get the stroller put back together, and carseat in it and whatnot.

We made it through security and headed to our gate, and I figured that I should probably change the girls diapers, and feed Kenadee. So Heather and I take them to the airport nursery. Well us adults needed to take care of business to, so I go first while Heather changes Kenadees diaper, and then when I get back, I start changing Adelles diaper, and then Heather goes, well I'm not sure what I was thinking, but it is really hard to change a toddlers diaper, when they are afraid they are going to fall off the changing table, and while you are holding a screaming infant in one arm. I just didn't want to have to change a diaper on the plane- tried it on the flight there- and it was really hard. After everyone took care of business, we got the kids Happy Meals for dinner, and adults California Pizza Kitchen Express. We get back to our seats, and I attempt to eat before we board the plane, since I have a feeling I wont have free arms to do that once we take off since Kenadee is so tired. Well midway through my dinner, Kenadee decides that since she has a fresh diaper on it is a perfect time to have a blowout. So just as they are letting us board the plane, instead of lining up, Jeremy and I are trying to deal with her mess, when I realize that the bag that has all the changes of clothes in it was checked before I could grab a couple of outfits out for her. So we just have to wrap her up good and board the plane. Once we are all settled onto the plane, she decides to have yet another blowout, and I cant get back to the bathroom, so I just have to sit her on napkins on my lap, and try not to get too grossed out while I wait for my chance to get into the bathroom. After that is taken care of, she only wanted to be held the entire plane ride, and fed constantly.

We hit a bunch of turbulence as we were starting to descend and oh- it was the worst I have ever felt in my life. The kids enjoyed it as it seemed like another Disneyland ride to them, as I am clutching Jeremy's hand and trying to not let the kids see the terror on my face- flying makes me nervous anyways, let alone when turbulence is that bad. We finally get on the ground, get our bags and head out to catch the shuttle out to the parking area.

Once we get to the parking area, our bags are unloaded and the guys head out to get the cars. Shortly after they left it of course starts snowing, so Heather and I have to load all the kids and bags into the enclosed shuttle stop, and wait for the guys. Then once they get there we have to try to latch all 4 carseats into our vehicle fast, get the kids in and load the car up. Jeremy and I had the hardest time keeping each other awake on the ride home, and we finally get home and just dump everything in the front room and head to bed. The kids even slept in their clothes because everyone was so tired- It was like 1 in the morning.

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