We are a married couple who adopted our little Russky, Nikita {aka Nicky, Nicky noodle, little man, Nikoli, the Nickster, crazy dude, goofball, puppy love, etc...you get the picture!} from St Petersburg, Russia four years ago. Join us as we stumble through the joys and perils of parenthood, while our son teaches us a few things along the road...


So Cal Livin'

this past june the johnson's headed west to san diego.  i had never been to so cal, and had always wanted to, and it's not too terribly far from el paso, so granny & poppa met us there.  we stayed in a pretty nice condo in the pacific beach area, where coincidentally the real world cast had just descended upon the city and we saw them out & about several times.  kris loves him so "reality" tv, so he's checked out a few episodes.  me on the other hand...well...i think i'm getting too old for all that d.r.a.m.a.  they were pretty annoying and thought they were oh so cool.  
but...i digress...
look how oh so cool nick looks above showing off his big muscles! :o)
our condo wasn't available our first night in town, so instead, we stayed just out of the city at the harrah's rincon in a fancy suite & had a de-lish dinner {thank you granny & poppa!!!}.
the next morning, we awoke to this view...
soggy mountains.  yup.  soggy.  not foggy.  soggy.  pretty funny!  nick, having a slight obsession with storms, couldn't get past the fact that we were just viewing the notorious "june gloom", and that it was not going to rain on us.  most days were a bit gloomy in the mornings with the clouds clearing in the afternoon.  the further inland we were, the more sun we saw.  i always thought i would love to live in san diego.  now i know i'm a wuss & it's just too darn cold for my old bones!
anyhoo...we had a blast.  we spent time touring the city, which is FABULOUS for traveling with kids.  there was never a shortage of fun things to go and do and see.  of course, nick's favorite times were spent at the beach...i swear he has to be our birth kid as much as he loves the same things we do!
we headed down to seaport village one morning and tooled around prior to our taking a seal tour.  it drove us around the city a bit, then took the plunge into the big bay.  nick thought it was really cool that a big "bus" could drive and float!
it was pretty chilly on the ride, so i snuggled under a blanket with nicky {aka the russian heat-box} on my lap.
best part for the little russky was getting to see the sea lions...they were cute; loud; and stinky.  and not necessarily in that order!
after our ride, we ventured around seaport village a bit more, where nicky & i rode the historic carousel.
from there, we scooted across the bridge and headed out to coronado beach for the afternoon.  i may not have thought it was warm enough to strip down to my bikini, but man...i could definitely get used to living there.  the houses were amazing...not that we could ever afford them, but it was fun dreaming!
nick and poppa dug up quite the number of clams over the course of our trip...and some of them were quite large.  nick wanted to take them all home...um...yuk!
the next day we headed to the san diego zoo.  wow.  that place is HUGE!  we took the bus tour just after we got there so we could get the lay of the land.  good thing, because we were pretty wiped out by that point and there was no way we coulda done that much walking!
oh...almost forgot to mention...the nickster lost his first tooth while we were there!  technically i think he lost it while sharing my apple on our way there, but it's much more funner to say he lost it there!  
go figure...nicky's petting an animal.  funny thing...as soon as he saw this guy, he told us the story of how he was butted in the head by a little goat at the san antonio a few years ago.  sheesh...the things this kid can remember, yet the things he lets slip his mind!
all the animals in the zoo...and nick was soo excited to see: 1. pigeons; 2. ducks.  seriously?!
the zoo has plenty of fun, interactive areas here & there to keep the rugrats' attention...
aw...nicky & momma... :o)
aren't we a cute family?!
here's a pic of nick with his cash money the next AM from the tooth fairy.  i'll get into that story in another post, because that was some funny stuff!
after discovering what the heck it is the tooth fairy does, the three of us headed up north a bit and hit up the sea life aquarium...
it was fun...but i wouldn't say it was worth the drive unless you're gonna visit legoland as well.  but...kept the russky entertained...
i think he had more fun in the little cafe area that had a lego play area than he did looking at all the aquatic animals...
we slowly made our way back down the coast to san diego, stopping off at ruby's diner in oceanside.  the restaurant is located at the end of the longest wooden pier on the pacific coast.  pretty cool...but creepy walking on it!
we also detoured in la jolla for a bit to check out the seals at children's pool beach...it was amazing to see the little guys swimming up to the beach.  nicky wanted to bring a few home with us...i don't blame him!  he says "when he's 8 & we get a pool we will get some".  done.
the next day we walked down the boardwalk to crystal beach and hung out at belmont park for a bit.  nick was too short to ride most of the rides, but that didn't matter much...he loved this thing & poppa even rode with him & they bumped into each other while nick spilled over with laughter!
father's day started out with a big breakfast and some nice down time just hanging out.  
kris & i took a bike ride for a bit, and when we returned, nicky & poppa were busy digging a hole to china!
we finished off the trip with an awesome dinner on the beach where we sat outside and watched the sunset {as much as we could at least with the bit of clouds there were}.  nicky decided he wanted all our lemons...never mind the fact that they made his face pucker!
we were thankful to be able to spend the time with family, & kris & i were blessed to have the next week all to ourselves, as nick stayed with granny & poppa in el paso.  thanks a million, granny & poppa, for the fun trip!
xoxo...liese :o)

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