Surprise Trip to Southern California | Summer Bucket List

The kiddos are on their 3rd week back to school and although it's been nice getting into a regular routine and being able to work without interruptions, sometimes the school grind has me missing the lazy days of summer.  The heat in Las Vegas has not let up, so carpooling and driving back and forth in 105+ degrees is the worse!! So, it make me so happy that we were able to squeeze in one more super quick trip before school started earlier this month.  

Ever since Diego started school we've taken a beach trip to Southern California in August as our end of summer/back to school trip. We had such a  busy summer this year that we just didn't think the trip would happen.  We told the kids and they were totally fine with it  But, It's been our tradition for years and I still wanted to make the trip happen! I decided to redeem some of our Hilton Honors Rewards points for the hotel and drive out to SoCal on Friday morning and head back Sunday!

Since the kids didn't think it was happening, we thought it would be fun to surprise them! For the past few years we've added a "mystery activity" to our yearly Summer Bucket List and they've been simple things like mini golf with friends and driving out to get ice cream.  Well, we totally surprised them Friday morning when we woke them up to our favorite California song! You can listen to it HERE ;)  Elysse got it pretty quickly and started jumping up and down and ran into Diego's room yelling, "We're going to California! It's our mystery surprise!" It was a pretty funny moment!  We had packed the car beforehand, so we had them get in the car in PJs and change when we got there. It was epic. 

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And just like that, 4 hours later, we were sitting on the beach under our umbrella in Crystal Cove State Park in Newport Beach, CA! The kids had a great time boogie boarding, building sandcastles, and just playing in the water.  Once everyone started getting tired, we packed up and headed to our hotel to shower and grab some dinner.  We were all beat after our long day on Saturday, so we slept in Sunday morning and took our time checking out.  We decided to hit the beach again, this time making our way towards L.A. and hanging out in Venice Beach for a bit. Jason and Diego skateboarded along the boardwalk and Elysse and I hung out at the beach.  The boys joined us after a bit and we stayed a little longer but we didn't stay too long since we were driving back to Vegas.  

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It was definitely a whirlwind trip but it was still a good time and we made some fun memories together, which is always the best.  The kids were so appreciative of their surprise trip and kept thanking us.  I'm so glad we made it work and didn't break one of our family traditions.  Now, I hope the kids don't expect us to top this "mystery activity" next year! LOL

What traditions do you have with your family? Have you ever had to break a tradition? How do you keep them going year after year?