Henry and I decided to drive the 7 hours rather than fly and I was a bit nervous about it. We make the drive down to Phoenix often, but that is 3 hours at the most. Luckily our friend Courtney lent us her Otterbox car iPad holder- that thing was a lifesaver! Henry watched The Fox and the Hound and The Little Mermaid for the first three hours and then we stopped for lunch and to stretch our legs a bit. We got back in the car after about 30 minutes and I put on Finding Nemo, and before I knew it he was taking his afternoon nap and didn't wake up until we were almost there. I was really blown away with how well it went.
Our actual time in La Jolla with Henry was a little rough at times. He rarely sleeps in bed with us, and when he does it takes forever to wind him down. I brought our pack-n-play hoping he would nap and sleep in there, but he refused, literally kicking and screaming. So I had no other choice but to have him sleep in bed with me, which meant I had to go to bed when he went to sleep. The first night was horrible. Henry's bedtime is usually 7pm but with all of the excitement of a new place he didn't fall asleep until 1am. Luckily he slept until 9am the next morning (he normally wakes up around 7am) so we both weren't too tired, but it was a long night. And the next day he refused to nap at all. I'm sure you can imagine how that went - not sleeping well at night, no naps...yikes!
Since he wasn't napping I found the best thing to do during his nap times was to take him out in his stroller (he really loves just walking or jogging) and give him some "quiet time," walking along the beach. By the last day though we had it down pat and he napped for a couple of hours in the afternoon in bed, then went right to sleep at night. But of course as it usually goes we left the next morning, right as we were getting into the swing of things.
I share all of this not to complain (how can you complain when you're on the beach?!) but because I learned a lot on this solo trip that I always want to remember. Trying to get a wild toddler to bed when he doesn't want to sleep can be very trying and there were times I felt so frustrated. Henry is normally so easy going at home and although he was the sweetest thing for most of the trip, there were times when I know he was just so frustrated and couldn't communicate that to me. I think that's the rough part of being almost two. He knows what he wants to say, but isn't quite sure how to convey it. But all of that aside it was a really fun time. We ate delicious food (The Cottage, so good!), Henry and I enjoyed a couple early morning walks, and it was nice to spend time with Sarah. Most of all though I feel so lucky that we were invited along, and we got to enjoy a few days in the sun, falling asleep to the ocean waves. It might sound silly because I spend everyday with him, but I really felt like this was a huge bonding trip for Henry and me.
Here are some photos from our trip, both iPhone and regular camera: