After reading this I can honestly say I would never go on vacation with the OP. I understand and sympathize with his wife. My simple rule of thumb, if the camera takes up more space than a extra pair of shoes it's too much. The reasoning here is no one should go on a vacation that requires more than one extra pair of shoes, otherwise it's not really a vacation. All that is needed for a family vacation is one camera and one lens. It definitely does not require multiple posts/threads on an internet forum. It shouldn't be this hard. My $0.02: there is so much to do and see in Southern California you shouldn't waste it setting f stops and shutter speeds.
That's why I posted on this thread. I have never been to CA and have never traveled with ff yet. Otherwise I would have went with my old 60d and 15-85 and have been good but I have this gear and want to have the great shots it takes of memories that are worth it rather than kids hanging around the couch or the cats. That's also why we bought a little Sony nex to be lightweight some days. So I should comeback with crappy shots with a power shot ? Am I supposed to put those on my walls?