We have had my brother come visit us after Christmas for the last several years. We love having them and we have a routine of all the things we know we can fit it into the week between Christmas and New Years. For one reason or another, they weren’t able to join us this year. So we decided to make a last minute, quick trip to California – during what was quite possibly the coldest and rainiest week of the year! Several times the week before, we were tempted to cancel all together because the forecast was so gloomy. But in the end we went and we made the best out of a very rainy situation.

The best decision we made was inviting some friends to join – they have an RV and were happy to join in our rainy fun. We were very strategic about our activities. We tracked the weather so closely and as soon as there was a rain-free window – we were outside, bundled up! We spent a morning riding bikes along the pier. We could have done this for hours, but our window was short and we didn’t want to end up drenched. We started out with Briggs on his little bike and before we even left the parking lot, we switched him to a tandem which was such a smart move on our part – his little legs would’ve had a hard time keeping up.

One evening *before dinner* we went to Balboa Island to grab a frozen banana/treat. As you can imagine, nobody was overly hungry for dinner. And maybe it’s just me, but I don’t get how people rave over the frozen banana! They’re hard to eat and they hurt my teeth – but the kids didn’t seem to mind. Dip anything in sprinkles and they’re a fan.

We had access to a small enclosed dinghy boat which kept us entertained and warm for hours. Even when it was rainy outside, we could take it out and put around the bay. One evening we took the boat out and enjoyed all the Christmas lights on the houses bordering the bay – it was fun to spot the houses that had received awards for their display. A few of the displays were pretty fancy. We learned that they have a boat parade before Christmas where everyone decorates their boats and several were still decorated and cruising around the bay.

The kids wanted to play in the ocean and no matter how many times we told them just how cold the water was, they were convinced they were going to go skim board and play in the waves. It was a brief excursion to the beach (when Briggs managed to get fully wet) but we did manage to roast some hot dogs and make smores and we would’ve stayed longer but we ran out of wood and we were too cold without a fire.

The kids rode the small but fast ferris wheel at Balboa fun zone. We must have caught the only two hours it was open for the day due to rain – because we didn’t see it running much the whole time we were there.

And when the rain totally shut us down – there were always puzzles. And Jack’s Surf Shop. And games. And movies. And tacos.

We packed in a surprising amount of fun for just how miserable the weather was. Literally two days after we left it was beautiful and sunny once again. I guess we’ll have to head back another time and hopefully not pack everyone’s comfy!