Just 5 days after graduation, we took a rode trip down to the San Diego area for two job interviews: one in Vista, and one in San Diego itself. Along the way we stayed with the Waite family and the Gehmlich family, friends from our Davis Ward who have since moved on to jobs/other schooling in Southern California. Lukas was thrilled to see all of their kids, and Ammon and Aaron showed Lukas how to jump and do tricks on the trampoline, which he just loved. He would often say, "But first I'm going to see my friends" when it was time to come back in, or before bedtime. Aaron spoiled him by giving Lukas a little Silver Surfer man to play with while we left Bakersfield to get down to Vista, which caused all kinds of make-believe conversations grow from the back seat during the long drive. The interview in Vista went really well, and that afternoon as we hung out at a playground next to a huge green field I felt really peaceful, like this would be a place we could live, because this big open space was here where my child could just run around and just BE. Then we headed down to San Diego, where Lukas was thrilled to participate in Jakob's stomp rocket jumping (we so have to get one of those someday!) and super excited to play with Leah-- and I was amazed that they just played allll morning, so well together! While the kids all napped I looked at apartments in Vista while Jared interviewed at another school in San Diego, which ended up being more urban, and more expensive-to-live area which would cause a commute, which we are trying to avoid as much as possible. So even when Jared came back saying the interview went really well, he was pretty set on the school in Vista, which had called and extended him a job offer that morning- before the second interview- and we continued to look for housing there, and finding out more and more about the area that we had just visited the day before. We went out to Pat & Oscars that night to celebrate with Andrea & Ryan & the kiddos, and even ran into Brother Brooks of all people (he lives in AZ!!), before heading to a hotel near Sea World for the night.
I have to say, there is something so comforting about knowing that we had friends to stay with and talk through this crazy moment of our lives!! And I feel that in most high stress/life changing moments like these, there have always been people around to buoy us up, and be a sounding board for our excitement and concerns. Just like when we stayed at the Bell's three years ago when we adopted Lukas. How grateful I am that we didn't go through that night all alone somewhere in a hotel with a newborn after having just gone through a high stress/high emotion adoption process! Sally and David were like lighthouses in the harbor for us, as were these families.
And I have to admit, that there is something so cool about calling people you've known from awhile ago from church, and knowing that you can stop by their house and pick things right back up because the gospel of Jesus Christ connects us in ways that other things might not, and creates a continuance of relationships that is beyond neighborly, because we are struggling to stand for the same things, which gives us so much common ground to stand on, even after such a long time!!
Anyhoo, we took Lukas to Sea World the next day, and had an absolute BLAST!!! We saw the amazing Dolphin Show with an appearance by a parrot ballerina, who Lukas thought was Tico Tango (from a super cute book he loves) but it also terrified him. In his recounts of his trauma as of today, he mentioned that the fire and the parrot scared him a little (I guess the costume does appear a little 'fire-y'), so it made more sense, but the poor kid has mascot-phobia ever since that Davis HS Basketball game with the Devil Mascot. Oh boy. We saw the Shamu show and were amazed at how HUGE they are, and how powerful their tail fins are that they can splash SO many people in the stands with one huge whack! Lukas reallllly wanted to ride the Sky Tower after that, and we got a beautiful view of San Diego and the park. The reality of us moving down here was looking more and more appealing- I have to say! From up there we could see the Sesame Street play area that would be perfect for Lukas' age, and he could not WAIT to get to ride a flying fish, and the 10-15 minutes in line about killed him. "Es dauert zu lange!!!" is his favorite impatient phrase as of late ("It's taking too long!!!") But the look on his face as soon as his little zebra/elmo/fish thing took off was PRICEless: a HUGE gaping grin and wide eyes of joy; the cool part of being a parent.
He took his turn at a hanging bag/gauntlet area, and a HUGE rope climbing area (no waiting, you see-- just climbing everywhere = perfect). There were tunnels to explore and bridges to cross, and slides to fly down.
He didn't even want to stop and eat, it was that fun. If you know my child, you know that that is a really big deal! Ha ha! After watching sea lions get fed, holding some star fish and seeing some turtles, we ended our day there with a really funny sea lion show. Animals are absolutely amazing. Seeing them assures me there is a God, as they are such a wonder in and of themselves, and how they fit into such an intricate but vast food chain and their own ecosystems is just amazing.
So, we are moving to Vista, CA in four weeks. Oh. My. Goodness. I need to keep packing!!!