Saturday was the day we went to Medieval Times. It was a blast! Jed and Levi are still re-enacting the battle scenes. Upon arrival we were handed red and gold crowns to wear. We were to cheer for the red and gold knight! We sat around an arena and were fed a meal of bread, corn, tomato soup (aka Dragon Soup), and chicken (aka Baby Dragon). Jed was appalled; he couldn't possibly eat a baby dragon! And I don't think anyone could convince him otherwise. Levi, on the other hand, who normally turns his nose up at tomato soup, eagerly slurped it down. Haha. The catch was that there were no utensils. We had to eat with our hands! This was medieval times after all; there were no utensils historically.
During our meal, we were entertained by an entire theatrical show complete with live horses, a King and a Princess, and Knights who battled to the death! We all cheered and booed loudly. It was fun to get all wrapped up in the competition. Jed and Levi, however, thought it was real, I think!
^^The whole family with the princess!!! Mia was star struck.^^
^^Commander bought Jed and Levi light-up swords!^^
^^Yup, my dad teaching the kids funny tricks.^^
^^Thanks, Liz! I love this picture.^^
^^Our knight in shining armor... who won many tournaments but finally lost in the end due to a deep sword wound in the gut. Boo.^^
^^Our knight tossed Mia a flower!^^
^^My son, shirtless, and totally enthralled in the jousting fight.^^
So what did we do between all our exciting excursions? We hung out, ate, and relaxed. We spent one evening at the elementary school park playing PIG (I lost, of course). My dad showed Bron his awesome drone helicopter and the little boys chased a little remote control car around the asphalt. It was hilarious to watch! Another evening we simply sat around a fire in the courtyard and chatted. But what I think Jed and Levi will remember most is playing with Brandon's many cool Legos and snuggling up on Commander's bed with him and Liz to watch silly cartoon shows before bed. They absolutely loved that hour with my dad!
^^Jed zonked out on Commander's belly after our day at the beach.^^
^^Upstairs making messes and building--endlessly building and playing--with Brandon and his Legos.^^
^^Levi and my dad ready for breakfast!^^
Memorial Day was race day! I think it's officially become tradition. Liz is a half marathon running addict and she has somehow suckered us into signing up for races every time we visit--except this time we got the kids on board! Liz ran the half marathon, Bron ran the 10k, Jed ran the 1/2 mile kids' race, and Levi did the Diaper Dash. When Commander mentioned to Levi that he'd be competing in the "diaper dash" Levi was suddenly near tears. "But I don't want to wear a diaper!" he moaned. Hahaha. So to keep the tears at bay we wound up simply calling it a kids' race instead.
The Laguna Hills Half Marathon honors a different branch of the military each year. This year they honored the Navy. Commander wore his Navy hat and got quite a few "thank you's" and salutes. The boys got to climb into a real hummer, meet real soldiers, and hold real guns. I feel so much pride in my military heritage--four generations! Their jobs certainly weren't all guns and glory but it means a lot to me. I am thankful for the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for this wonderful country and the freedoms that I enjoy now.
^^A perplexed Levi running the Diaper Dash with Commander. Levi didn't know what to think amid all the chaos! He was confused as to why all these folks were cheering.^^
^^Proud of his very first medal!^^
Now I need to take a minute to talk about how Jed totally crushed his very first race. I am so impressed with him and his tough little legs! A half mile is no small feat for a barely five year old. Bron ran with Jed and proudly reported that Jed never complained or gave up, even though he was tired and it felt hard. Instead, Jed pushed through with some grit and crossed the finished line all smiles. Here's a short video for proof!
^^Jed excited about his very first medal!^^
^^Standing in front of the American Flag with two Navy veterans.^^
Sadly, we had to leave for home shortly after the races finished. It's always so good to see my dad. And Liz has become a dear friend. Seeing each other a few days each year just isn't enough! I love my dad and miss him so much already!
This is how we rolled: DVD player and a big box of snacks between the boys so they couldn't fight. Their brains turned to mush in the back seat while Bron and I got to talk mostly un-interrupted! Jed and Levi proved to be excellent little travelers. In fact, this was the easiest family trip I've been on yet since becoming a mom. Everyone slept through the night, everyone is potty trained, everyone eats real people food, and the boys could entertain themselves for a long while. It was wonderful!
Til next time, California!