Wow I'm slipping on the blogging...It's 1/2 way through the month and I'm just talking about Halloween! Whats that all about????
I could give excuses...but I won't.
Well before Thanksgiving is here (getting ready for that too) I better get this post in.
This year Jeff's New York Life council party was in ......
That's one thing about working for a company thats based in New York, they like a lot of the "reward" trips to be on the west coast...soooo we get to go to places like San Diego, Anaheim, Palm Springs and such. Well the beach in early November didn't sound worthy of pulling the kids out of school so we had Jenise and Sean watch the kids while I went down with Jeff for a couple of days to hang out with him at his convention.
I have to say that wherever we go with New York Life they always do great with the hotels. The Hyatt was great and right across the street from the beach! (even though it was too cold to put on a suit)
It took up the whole block and we got lots of walking in going back and forth between our room and the convention stuff.
With no kids I got to go with Jeff to some of the early morning meetings....which meant breakfast at 6:30...I was there for moral support but when it was time to break out for workshops I bowed out and did my own thing.
After I left Jeff I went for a run on the beachfront sidewalk...it was foggy most of the day and I kept hearing fog horns the whole time. (you can't see the water)
Almost every night we came back to find something in the room..the first night we got this cool California basket with snacks and stuff.
It was fun to find out what we would get next...
we ended up getting a book written by the key-note speaker, nice.
And, a "how-to" book on visiting Disneyland
(good for chuckling at none-the-less being the Disney pros we are and all)
This and the convention center rooms were about all of the hotel that Jeff got to enjoy...pretty typical but it was nice to be with him alone for a couple of days.
Our view from our room....
If you turn sideways on the balcony....
and zoom the camera in as far as it would go.
Couldn't hear the waves over the traffic on the street but we could see them!
Halloween was spent making flyers for Jeff for his AAC campaign and then going to an awards dinner. Yummy food but glad the kids weren't with us, they had much more fun trick or treating with friends and Jenise and their other cousins.
You might be wondering what is AAC?
Well its an election that is held every year for 4 agent representatives to go back for a week in the spring to the home office and meet with the heads of the company to discuss issues, concerns and suggestions from the various agents in the field. Jeff served on this committee about 8 years ago and he was asked by one of the vice Presidents of the company to run again...so he did. There is 8 people on the ballot and he campaigned for one of the 4 spots.
Happy couple getting ready to eat the yummy food.
Tuesday after Jeff's meetings we were free for the rest of the day to do whatever we wanted.
While he was in meetings I went to walk along the sand...
It wasn't as foggy as the day before but still pretty cool.
I loved it! I felt like I had the beach to myself. Nobody was out there and all I could hear was the waves. Even though there were more people up at the street level I only passed by one guy on my walk.
I saw lots of birds that I don't normally see at the beach (maybe because there wasn't all the people there) and I found this guy. I thought he was dead but I just had to poke him...he was alive :)
I would love to have walks like that every day!
Since we had lots of time to kill we decided to do a session at the Newport temple.
Then walk along the pier....
Our hotel waaay in the background.
Walking back to the downtown area we visited the street fair/farmers market/craft fair.
There was music, vendors (we bought a great photograph of the beach from a guy there for Ashley's "beach" room) and food.
But we passed all the food and saved our appetite for this Italian restaurant that the hotel recommended.
Wow it was worth the walk! It was so good...I noticed a lot of New York Life people there...they must have all been told to come there too from the hotel.
Thats one thing about these conventions...I spend a week of eating really good food....too much really good food!
Wednesday morning I woke up early and went to the agent's breakfast and heard Jeff and the other candidates give their speeches. We found out later that day that Jeff won one of the spots!!
So now we're going to New York in April!
Mike Schlappy was the key-note speaker of the week. A motivational paraplegic, Olympic gold medal winner with a great story, great attitude and an inspiring way to motivate us.
Right after his speech I hightailed it home to surprise the kids.
We knew the finale of the week was an evening at Disneyland. We were hoping we could just bring our kids to that part of the convention (they've all been going to the conventions since they were babies) but we were told no by the travel staff. Sooo no problem, we tried, we told the kids no Disneyland.
Then the first night we were invited to sit at the table with the Vice President of the company. Really nice guy and in the course of the conversation when he heard that we weren't going to be able to bring our kids to Disneyland he insisted he would make it happen. We were shocked and weren't trying to pull any favors in fact I changed the subject. But sure enough right after dinner he did whatever it took to make it happen.
I didn't have Jenise tell the kids I just went around and pulled them out of school about lunch time one by one. It was hilarious to see the shock on their faces as they saw me. "Mom why are you here???" (Taylor actually thought he was in trouble which made me wonder why he thought that ;) Then when I told them we're going to Disneyland they were very excited!
This also happened to be the warmest day so I brought their suits so we could check out the pools.
You can barely see it but there are two waterslides in the background and I was excited for the boys to be able to try them. They said they were not that great and the water was a little cold. So for the rest of the time we stayed in the heated parts of the pool.
Then we got dressed, boarded the bus and got ready to go to Disneyland.
You can see how excited the boys are...actually they just get sick of me taking pictures all the time.
We were there about 6:30 and the park closes at 8:00 then we would get Adventure land and Frontier land for just New York life until 10:00. Well we found out that the park is DEAD on a Wednesday 2 hours before its closing.
I've probably never been there when it's so empty.
The highlight of the evening was the fact that Ashley just makes the 40 inch height requirement!!!! That is when she is standing up her tallest, and puts the sign on the very back of her head...but still
We discovered this when we were in the line trying out the new Star Tours ride (they added new movies to it that change every time you ride). Right after this we ran over to Space Mountain.
It was all so fast she didn't even have time to think about if she would be scared or not.
She wasn't she LOVED IT and said it was her favorite ride of the night!
No more splitting up the family waiting while some get to go on the rides and others don't !!!!
We ran to the Haunted House to do the Nighmare before Christmas version, and then we went on Splash Mountain, Big Thunder mountain and Ashley loved all of them :)
When it was time to eat Disneyland had the buffet for us.
I have to say I was very impressed and it was way better than I expected. It was gourmet food served country style. Very delicious.
Taylor's favorite was the Salmon.
Afterwards we went on some more rides and then helped ourselves to the dessert bar again the food was exquisite.
I drove the kids home that night and we got in about 11:30. It was a great day but it make for a long morning we had to roll out of bed in time for Seminary the next day.
Oh one last highlight of the week.
Ashley and I went up to Palmdale for a family baby shower for one of Jeff's cousin's wife. It ended up being a full family affair (helped that it was Jeff's mom's birthday that day)
We had plenty of snacks....
and I did the games including my Candy matching game.
Roxana is from Panama and Lori (her mother in law) had to explain what some of the baby terms meant because she wasn't familiar with the English terms.
We are excited to have her and her daughter Maybel as part of the family.
And it made me excited to see the family next week for Thanksgiving!