For anyone who hasn't visited the town of Monrovia, you might not know my sweet relatives who housed us for the last half of our trip. As I mentioned, we went to Disneyland on Ellie's birthday and when we were done, the girls all fell asleep in the car.
However, they all woke up after being moved from the car, and while that would normally lead to a bit of a melt down for at least one of the girls, my aunt had a surprise for us waiting just inside the door of 336. She had CUPCAKES ready and waiting for the birthday girl just before my girls hit the sack. The picture above was taken just after the cupcakes, with all of us just a little bit waterlogged, (Rachel about ready to pass out) but all of us VERY content.
The day after Ellie's birthday it rained cats & dogs, so our plan to visit the beach was curtailed and was instead replaced by a personal tour of Monrovia and its neighboring cities, hosted by Sweet Aunt Sue.
She started our morning with a homemade "breakfast pizza" that the kids adored, and freshly picked oranges that the kids picked from their dwarf orange trees (and may I just say that they were DELICIOUS). Then she gave each of the girls a personalized Valentine gift bag. She gave them candy, heart socks, a kaleidoscope, a bubble gum watch, a notebook, and more. My kids were in heaven. Then she pulled out a few things from her "grandma shelf" and let the kids go nuts (while we watched for a break in the weather).
When it looked like it was going to be an all-out rainy day, she loaded us up in her car and took us all around town. We went to a little natural-history museum (which was closed by the way, but thanks to her sweet talking she convinced them to open up) and the girls got to spray water on stick bugs, play with a bone collection, and look at some great stuffed wild animals.
Then, she took us past a cute toy shop (it was closed but we got to peek through the windows), took us to In & Out Burger, shopping at a fun little Mexican store, to a great frozen yogurt shop (you got to dish your own yogurt and toppings), then invited my cousins who live in their ward (and who I haven't seen in ten years) to join us for dinner and games.
While Greg and I visited with Todd and Angela, Sue put my kids in their jammies and got them all ready for bed.
It really was a VACATION for Greg and me. (I mean, she even turned down the beds for us)...who else would do that?
As we left Sunday morning, my girls were not at all disappointed to be leaving Disneyland (although they enjoyed it) but they were so sad to be leaving Aunt Sue's house.
Greg & I would have to agree. It was WONDERFUL staying with such kind, thoughtful, generous people.
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