Don’t use SuperShuttle. Ever. Our ride to the airport was an hour late picking us up. It’s a good thing they wanted to pick us up 3 hours before the flight left, because they would have had a big problem on their hands if we had missed our flight.
The flight itself was pretty uneventful. There was a layover at DFW, the brand new terminal D looks like a great big shopping mall with airline gates attached to it. We spent about an hour and a half in a lounge eating up free snacks and watching the planes arrive from the window. We had the whole place to ourselves – it was very peaceful.
Our plane landed in San Diego about 15 minutes early – at about 3. The prospect of missing evening traffic was enough to make me want to get to the rental car place as soon as possible. Luckily, our luggage came off the plane pretty quickly – heavy as it was. We had so much stuff going to Hawaii with us – clothes and coloring books for the kids, wedding favors, candies, cake pans. We were very much looking forward to not bringing much of it back with us. Anyway, we got to Alamo and I went straight for one of the little computerized kiosks and got the pass for our minivan.
I don’t particularly care for driving a minivan. But with 3 adults, 3 kids and LUGGAGE all traveling to the airport the next morning, I didn’t really have much of a choice. Another issue? The minivan was white. Government cars are white, and MP’s drive white vans. Ugh.
But we got out of the rental car place pretty quickly, and barely hit any traffic on the way home. Being able to breeze through the 5/805 merge in the afternoon was a little eerie, but I think we had such good luck because it was a Monday – traffic is usually lighter on Monday’s. And it wasn’t all smooth sailing, we did reach a little traffic through Del Mar, but we did make it up to Carlsbad by 4:15!
I know how to pick a hotel. West Inn & Suites in Carlsbad was fantastic. I’ve stayed in hotels that look and seem nice, but you can tell that they’re going to look really old and falling apart in 5 years. The West Inn is very new, and had made good investments in the right places. We had a room right by the freeway and I couldn’t hear the traffic at all. My only regret is that we completely forgot to get our milk and cookies (served nightly at 8!).
Okay, so maybe we didn’t forget about the cookies, we just missed them completely because after a nice dinner at Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza, we went over to Elaine’s to see her and the kids and make sure she had everything packed. As soon as we got there the kids converted Chad into their own personal jungle gym (it’s a natural reaction, most kids do it). He played with them while I helped Elaine finish packing (and trying to keep Aurora out of the suitcase). Then the pizza’s Elaine ordered for dinner arrived.
I think Razak and Aurora were too excited about the trip to eat. Ozzie, on the other hand, ate two pieces of pizza. Ozzie is three years old (granted, he weighs as much as his five year old sister, but still, he’s only three). We tried to get the kids to eat a little more, so Aurora obliged us by finishing her one piece of pizza. Razak had his one pizza, and nothing we could say would convince them to eat more. That is, until Chad told Razak: “You only had one slice? That’s how much your sister ate. You eat like a girl.”
That worked like a charm, Razak helped himself to TWO more slices of pizza and ate them both. Then we all had some yummy ice cream (except for Razak, who was full from his pizza, but who wouldn’t let his little brother out eat him). Chad and I said our good night’s, we would be picking them up at 5:30am the next morning.