Here's a hard itinerary for anyone, let alone a three-year-old and a one-year-old: wake up at 4 in the morning, out the door by 4:40, through security by 5:40, in the air by 6:40, and touching down in San Francisco 6 hours later, but gaining three hours, so that by the time we wait 20 minutes for our bags and drive 40 minutes to my parent's house, it's not even 11 in the morning. Got that?
Jada did pretty good on the plane because we loaded her up with everything that makes her happy: snacks, Play D'Oh, and DVDs. Aaron, on the other hand, struggled. I was the typical dad, rocking my screeching child up and down the aisles countless times, only to have Amy do it once and have Aaron fall asleep right away. But Amy had her hands full with Aaron later in the flight, too, as he only napped fifteen minutes or so, and then resumed his flopping, shrieking, and flailing.
So of course we top that long day of travel by hitting the road the next morning before 8 to meet some friends of ours in a resort town up Shoreline Highway north of San Francisco. Breathtaking, car-commercial-worthy views as we zig-zagged along the Pacific Ocean, but at two hours one way, it made for a long day for the kids (and for the adults, too, quite frankly). But we got back home in time to eat dinner and celebrate Aaron's birthday with my parents.
Needless to say, the next couple of days of our Cali trip were much more mellow. The kids are getting closer to their regular eating and sleeping schedules, long naps have been taken by everyone, and the sunny afternoons have made for fun (though low-key) outings. And I think everyone's less crabby towards me, who organized those first two whirlwind days, much to everyone's chagrin.