Monday, June 19

Miss Me?

Hey there! We just got back from a week-long vacation to California. Oh, and I took a year-plus hiatus from my blog. Some people document their vacations on Facebook or other social media of their choice, but I am paranoid and am convinced that by advertising my out-of-town-ness, my house will be burgled. But I still want to tell you all about our adventures, so I (painstakingly) took notes at the end of each day of all the things we did. And now, over the next several days, I will post about each day as if it happened That Very Day! Remember when I did this back in 2008 when Andrew and I went to Europe?


Regardless, here we go.

June 12, 2017 - Day 1

Early flight, so we were up at 5am to be at the airport by 7:15ish. The kids were great on the loooong flight. Tablets and Nintendo Switch for the win! And having a direct into Oakland was a plus too. No layovers and extra boring airports to deal with.

The basic outline of our trip was this: two nights camping in Calaveras Big Trees State Park, two nights camping in Yosemite, three nights in San Francisco. We rented a Jucy van, which is basically a minivan that has been converted to a tiny RV. It had a bed that folded out, a small camp kitchen in the back, and a pop-up on top that also had a bed, accessible via exterior ladder. Picking up our Jucy was...not a great experience. We thought we'd be able to get to it from the airport, like with the other rental car places. But no. We had to Uber there, and it took about 15 minutes for our Uber to arrive. Plenty of time for the kids to start messing with each other! Then, the Jucy people weren't ready for us, and it took lots of back-and-forth to get everything we rented and go through all the checks. We spent maybe 45 minutes there, trying to take care of business and prevent the kids from drawing with dry erase marker all over the walls.
Pretty sure Andrew is saying "Uuuuuuber!!"

Finally on the road . . . for a half mile, to a Walmart so we could get all the groceries we needed for our four days of camping. Our plan was for Andrew to take the kids to the Walmart McDonald's while I shopped. But the McDonald's was too crowded, so all four of us maneuvered through the narrow CROWDED aisles for food. So stressful. The produce selection was meager.  I was already anxious about getting all the things we needed, and the crowded, pushy, intense shoppers magnified my anxiety. (What is UP, Oakland Walmart shoppers?!?) Even the parking lot was crazy intense and aggressive. (Is my Midwest showing?)

On the road for real, and of course we hit traffic. We're so spoiled in Kansas City! The trip took over two hours in total. We found a mall to stop at for lunch, and ended up eating delicious tacos and burritos. So yum, even Olive, our picky one, ate her quesadilla. Later we made a pit stop for milkshakes and coffee. I love vacations. Endless treats.
Eating fruit bars and waiting for our food to be ready.

Eventually we made it to Big Trees, just after 5pm. We were all cold the instant we got out of the car. It must have been about 45 degrees, and we were mostly in shorts and tees. We checked in, bought a couple firewood bundles, and got set up at our campsite. The first time we did it, it was tricky to set up our camper van beds and figure out where to put all the stuff. Got all our stuff in the bear box and started a fire. This night we cooked burgers on our van's kitchen stove. In hindsight, we should have pulled the portable one out to the picnic table. The van smelled like burgers all night. Later, s'mores over the fire.

Did I mention that the park was GORGEOUS? Seriously. 
I pretty much panicked every night that she was going to accidentally fall into the fire. 

We were all exhausted. Still on central time, so by 7:30 the kids were really crashing. We didn't do too much exploring, just short wanderings around the vicinity of our campsite. It was amaxingly beautiful. We didn't see any of the giant GIANT trees the day we arrived, though we did have some young Sequoia redwoods near our site. Temps just kept dropping. It was the coldest face and hand-washing I've done in a long time. My Raynaud's kicked in big time and I had four numb fingers, perhaps a new record for me. But our duvet was warm, and the bed was comfy enough. I shared the bed with Olive inside the van, while Andrew and Milo braved the cold up top. Still didn't sleep particularly well, but could've been much worse.


Super Dad Man (Andrew) said...

I did so miss you. Glad you made it back to a computer

Anonymous said...

Ditto Super Dad Man's comment. Grandpa.