Cruising California

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I just realized that I am more of a blogger than you might think.  I have so many half finished blogs in my drafts.  I often start things and do not finish.  So while I might be a blogger, I am apparently not a task finisher.  It seems wrong to finish one of my blogs right now and not share with you our family vacation this summer, and so I will postpone those awhile longer and tell you about our trip!  I tried to share my album on facebook and wondered why everyone was commenting on the one cheesy picture of me and the girls on the beach and then I realized the album never posted.  Not sure why, but here are some highlights from our 2 1/2 week-mostly-camping-trip, which by the way, has earned me some major points with some jealous husbands who would dream of having a wife that would camp that long.  But I must say, I wasn’t complaint-free.

First stop was Twin Lakes with our good friends the Coopmans!  Twin Lakes is awesome because it really is a chance to relax and rejuvenate.  There is no cell phone reception and the closest town is 30 minutes away.  So…

we hiked to the waterfalls,

played in the hot springs,

chilled out,

and got up close and personal with wild life.

From there we headed up to Fall River Mills.  You have probably never heard of it because I had never either.  It is somewhere not too far from Redding if that helps any.  A family friend invited my cousin and I up for a few days along with her and her granddaughter.  The kids had such a blast together.

  We got to watch the sunset behind Mount Shasta from the boat,

went swimming (which is always more fun when you’re wearing a yellow polka dot bikini, don’t you agree?),

explored nearby Burney Falls,

and perhaps most memorable was the entertainment by these future rockstars.  Hilarious.   Piper loved the long curly locks.

The best part of that leg of the trip were the four nights I got to sleep in a real bed.  From there we were back on the road to the Russian River.  This is when I actually used the word “hate” to describe my experience.  I got very, very ill.  I am not exactly sure if I was extremely sick or if the circumstances made it seem much worse than it was.  When you feel like you are going to throw up, being on the top of your van in a space not big enough to sit up straight is not very fun.  The worst of it was gone by morning, but the aches continued the rest of the trip.  Luckily, we were able to do lots of exploring beforehand.

We drove up the coast to a pristine beach and had a picnic at Stump Beach,

explored the Redwood forests and carved their names into a fallen tree (shhh, don’t tell anyone ;))

and played on some old trains in Duncans Mills.

And finally, we ended our trip in the city!  Piper and I were so excited to go to San Francisco!  Even though we were quite homesick (and I was still feeling sick), we couldn’t go home without a taste of the big city.  Julie, the American Girl, is one of Piper’s favorites and all of her books take place in San Fran.  So, we brought a book on our trip and were looking forward to visiting Chinatown, seeing Angel Island, go across the Golden Gate Bridge, and riding a cable car, and we got to do all of those things!

I love this picture because it just shows their personalities so much.  Piper is 5 going on 15 and Tatum does everything to get a reaction.  I say, “say cheese!” and she grabs her inner thighs.  I don’t ask questions.

another favorite

And we even got to play at Piper Park!  After that, Tatum kept saying, “there’s my park”, “we going to my park?”.  And so, naturally, I googled Tatum Park and there is one…in New Jersey and a Jackie Tatum Park in South Central LA.  I am not sure which one we are more likely to go to!  What did we do before google?  Seriously!

And that, my friends, is how we spent our summer vacation, cruising California.  So many beautiful places and lovely company as well.  But somehow of the 79 pictures I uploaded onto my facebook, this is the one that appeared.  Me and my kidders striking a pose.  Doesn’t quite have the same effect as Burney Falls or the Golden Gate Bridge now does it?  So I have tried to give my abbreviated version of 17 days on the road with a husband, 2 kids in carseats, dog and our eurovan.  Thankfully, we were able to leave our beta fish, Tum Booty Boy at home!

(sorry for the weird off centered pictures, I am not sure what’s going on, they look right on my editing page)

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