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This summer I was the luckiest auntie in the world and was able to spend 5 days with my 9 year old nephew in Southern California!  Every year, my sister Jill’s kids each visit for a week. Havoc ensues as we try to jam an entire year of fun into those weeks.  It never ceases to amaze me how incredibly different each kid is despite coming from the same genetics and same household!  I let them choose the activities they’d like to do during their vacation.  The results are always truly entertaining.  This article is a summary of things we did during Weston’s 2017 California Vacation.

Angels Game

What 9 year old, baseball loving, kid doesn’t want to see a professional baseball team play?  Especially one whose baseball team just won a world series tournament!  Also, it just so happens that the Angels are his favorite team. Naturally, an Angel game was at the top of his wish list and truly was a lot of fun!  We also enrolled him in the Junior Angels Kids Club.  This included a hat, t-shirt, backpack, water bottle, two ticket vouchers and most importantly…the opportunity to run the bases at the end of the game! Check out my blog on  5 tips For Watching An Angels Game With Kids.

Weston was so excited, he insisted that we arrive an hour and a half  before they even opened the doors!  It was great. We met a bunch of super fans!  We were second in line behind a man who had an entire backpack full of folders with baseball cards. He had thousands of cards with him and tens of thousands at home.  He gave us some great tips on obtaining autographs, too.  When they let us in we went to the area behind the bullpen and watched the pitchers and catchers warm up! He was so excited.

Beach

The beach was another top choice on Weston’s California Vacation Wish List. We went to the Beach on two of the 5 days he was here. First, we went to Doheny State Beach where we played in the sand, rode boogie boards and relaxed in the sun. However, the beach near the water at Doheny was really rocky and he didn’t really like the rocks hitting his feet when the waves rolled in. On the second trip, we decided to take him to Huntington State Beach. The waves were big that day and provided fun and excitement.

K1 Speed

If you haven’t had an opportunity to try indoor go kart racing, this place is so much fun!  The karts are racing around an authentic raceway between 20 to 45 mph. You have a helmet on.  There’s a pit cafe, pool tables and games.  It’s a crazy adrenaline rush and at the end they give you a print out of all your races!  For a kid that’s an adrenaline junkie, this is the place to go!

Disneyland

It’s Disneyland.  The magic is unparalleled.

California Adventure

It’s Disneyland, but different.  Bigger rides and super heroes.  How could you go wrong (and they serve alcohol here, just sayin’)!

Baseball card store (Sports Treasures in Orange, CA)

This was my very first trip to a baseball card store and I was intrigued.  Apparently they sell baseball, hockey, basketball and football cards.  Who knew?  It was a fascinating experience.   We spent about and hour and a half (I put a time limit after arriving) in a store with thousands of cards that was about 20′ x 15′.  There were two wonderful older men who were tickled at my nephew’s search for the perfect baseball card.  They exchanged their extensive knowledge of statistics.  I truly had no idea this world and culture existed.  It was wonderful.

Sherpa Gear

Mountain Biking in Whiting Ranch

It’s truly wonderful when you can share an activity that you enjoy with your nephew.  He wanted to try mountain biking.  The problem was renting a bike that would fit him.  After an entire morning of phone calls we found Santiago Cycling in Tustin.  I truly can’t say enough wonderful things about this place and their help.  We went to Whiting and rode up and down hills until we were soaked with sweat and absolutely exhausted!  There is nothing in the world like watching your 9 year old nephew flying down a hill with a huge grin, cackling from pure joy.  One of the best experiences of my life.

And last, but not least…

A Hot Dog Eating Contest!!!

The rules were discussed.  Should we go the route of the traditional July 4th televised contest or the Malcom in Middle version.  Basically bun or no bun?  A unanimous vote decided it would be no bun.  Honestly the build up to the contest was the best part.  Driving around to find just the right sauce.  Which kind of hot dogs should we buy?  How many do you think you can eat?  We ended up buying and cooking 78 in total.  The results?  Weston ate 4.  Paul 10, Laura 11.  Victory is sweet and so is spending a week with my nephew! – Laura

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