Growing up my parents had a license plate that said "7 Hovey's"
Since there were only girls in our family our family name has spread to include... 2 Hovey's, 5 Beaulieus, 5 Olesons, 5 McInroes, 3 Zooks and 2 Houses. That would be quite a license plate!
3 of us formerly Hovey girls had the chance to reunite this last week though it would've been much more fun if we could all have been together ;)
Joel and Virginia and family (the Oleson 5) were in Vegas for his family reunion. They were nice enough to make a quick trip down to California so we could see them too before they headed back home.
When their plans for the Grand Canyon started falling through we offered a plan B of the circus.
We kept seeing advertisements for the Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey circus. We've only taken the kids to 2 circuses in their lives. One was a 1 ring tent circus, cute but small, the other was a knock off generic circus that didn't even boast of one animal. (We thought we were going to Circus Vargas, it wasn't until 1/2 way through till we realized it was Circus Varcas trying to fool us into thinking it was Circus Vargas)
So here was the self proclaimed "best show on earth"
The pre show allowed us to get up close and see some of the performers.
Get a good look at him now because our seats were the nosebleed seats. Literally you couldn't get any higher...but they were a good price.
We even saw some of them do some acts right in front of us.
We fell prey to the pleas of the children for cotton candy....$12.00 ??!! That was more than their ticket price!
"But it comes with a hat" Ashley pointed out.
Well we decided to buy it for both families to share. When they pulled the cotton candy out from inside the hat it was all shriveled up...luckily they had no problem with me exchanging it for a fresh one.
I have to say the show was pretty spectacular.
It was a true 3 ring circus with lots of stuff going on at the same time.
And animals...they had tons of them. They even had zebras in one ring while the horses were in the other rings doing their tricks.
The acts moved along quickly and didn't last too long. The clowns did their acrobatics in between while they set up for the next act (which was in itself fascinating to watch)
The tiger act was impressive. This guy caged in with snarling tigers surrounding him seemed like a recipe for disaster.
We laughed when they started throwing sand in 1/2 way through and realized it was to dry up the tiger pee.
The elephants were impressive!
Much better than the elephant show at the Wild Animal Park where they are basically showing you the "tricks" they teach the elephants to help with grooming and doctor care.
The circus had them doing a lot more...in the back of my mind I wondered what animal rights activist would think ;)
Back at home the next morning Ashley was having fun playing with Dean (she is a good little babysitter) and Dean was loving Ashley and the dog.
We got ready, hung out and did some errands until about 12:00 and then Jeff came home for a 1/2 day so we could drive out to Zuma beach to meet up with Robert and Ian, and eventually Angela once she got off work.
Our car full of kids ready for the 2 1/2 hour drive full of movies snacks and candy to keep them quiet. (Dean ended up wearing more candy than he ate before he fell asleep ;)
Aunt Virginia meeting Ian for the first time. This was also the first time Robert and Angela had seen Dean.
The boys playing football at the beach.
We got there about 3:30 and it was a bit nippy and windy but that didn't effect their football playing and Oleson boys still tried the boogie board anyway.
Look that that awesome catch Joel is about to get.
Dean playing with Ashley again...he was her little buddy.
The guys reconnecting and talking "guy" talk.
After the news report of the kid at Newport that almost died after being buried in his own tunnel...you can only build your sand holes waist deep....
Yep...that's deep enough.
After Angela met us we threw on some clothes, sandy and all (blah for Virginia and I but the boys didn't care) and went to BJ's to celebrate Jacob's birthday. Jacob was 13 that day!!!
He chose BJ's and we didn't mind they had some yummy cheeseburger pizza there.
Dean and Ashley :)
Happy Birthday to You Jacob!
That night we said goodbye to the Zook 3 and stayed in a hotel out in Camarillo and went to Universal Studios in the morning. Angela and Robert had a reunion with his family that weekend in San Diego so Friday was the only day they were available to hang out with us.
While we were waiting for the Olesons to meet us we went into the House of Horrors as a family. Ashley was excited to go but I think that she got a little scared by the end because her and Jacob didn't want to go again later in the day.
She used to tell me that she wanted to go to Knotts Scary Farm and I would always tell her it was too scary. She never believed me...I think she believes me now ;)
Most of it wasn't too bad but a few guys that popped out at us were pretty persistent in scaring us and I think she got a good taste of it.
The tram ride was probably the favorite for the day.
The Olesons were curious to compare Universal Studios Hollywood with Universal Studios Florida.
This is the only semi-recognizable picture I got of the new King Kong 3-D part of the tram ride. I have to admit I was skeptical at first but it was impressive. Probably the best part of the tram ride.
The one thing I love about the back lot tour is the fact that they are still actually using the sets to film stuff even as we're looking at them. It's different every time too.
This house was being used for an episode of The Mentalist, we watch that show so the kids interest perked up.
Of course we also passed through "Wisteria Lane" where they are filming episodes of Desperate Housewives. There was productions stuff all over on those sets but since we don't watch it they weren't as interested.
Taking a break sipping an icee...our souvenir refillable cup got 5 refills that day.
The boys got to all go on the mummy ride, Jurassic park ride and the Simpsons ride that the younger two weren't tall enough to ride. It was nice that they had a child switch area for them to hang out in while we were waiting for them to get off the ride.
Jared wasn't sure about the big rides but he was brave all day and tried everything without complaining and went on all the big rides twice!! We were so proud of him.
When I went on Jurassic park with the kids I noticed the sign that said the water effects were on...Uh Oh what did that mean?
That mean every last one of the people in the car got soaked! My hair (on one side of my head) was completely plastered to my head when I got off!
We also got to see all the shows that day.
Getting ready to watch the Waterworld show.
This show is the most impressive in my opinion. The stunts, the effects and of course the water.
Jeff got a good shot of the airplane coming in over the wall.
which caused this...
By 6:00 we were done with the park and over to Wolfgang Pucks for dinner at the City Walk.
The next day the Oleson's came to church with us, had dinner, visited his cousin and their family for a few hours and then came back for some food before they started back on their trip heading towards Utah. We were glad to see them and look forward to the next time we can get together with some of the formerly Hovey clan...or the grandparents who are still Hoveys ;)