Have We Lost Our Minds?
Pregnant with our fourth child, my husband has a moment of inspiration and suggests a cross-country family trip during maternity leave.
Without the Fitbit, I have no idea what time we all wake up. I do know that I slept on the bottom of a slight hill. Proven since little girls not held in place by George rolled into me. Restricted in movement is something I cannot stand. I moved to the bottom of the pads with Brogden. Girls always get a full night of sleep between the car and tent so they bounce around the tent before I get up with them.
Family passing by while I am looking for peanut butter asked if we are really from North Carolina. That sparked a conversation about the mother being from Raleigh and their three children are 5, 3, and 1.
Our children bonded quickly with theirs and ate in a rush to be able to play with their new friends. Bike riding and junior ranger games followed bagels with peanut butter and oatmeal. I wished we actually had a spot for another night to be able to visit longer. I have fond memories of playing with same aged campers growing up. I remember easily making games and fun since camping families seem to have similar values. That notion held true for me that morning in CA as well. I liked the parents and I wanted to hang out with them as much as my girls wanted to play with theirs.
In talking with the parents about how we ended up in that campground, the dad mentioned that some people reserve two nights to be able to arrive early in the morning the second day. That caused us to be mindful about packing quickly as to not meet the Barnes. George did not fully unpack the back and made coffee in his makeshift French press in the Jet Boil. The threads finally gave way which caused George's stomach and table to be on the receiving end of the coffee explosion. Coffee grounds spread everywhere and tummy skin red from scalding water delayed our packing schedule.
Girls wanted to play at the creek right beside the site. It was a beautiful site with massive trees, shade, and water sounds. I did due diligence and told them "do not get in the creek", knowing that would never work. Word was sent that both elders were soaking wet right about the time that a car full of confused Barnes showed up. They were gracious about the situation they found themselves in with our clan in their site. Tent packed up within 15 minutes and suburban moved for them to unpack for the weekend.
Now to fix the wet girls. I had out clothes for the day as soon as they asked about playing near the creek. Took them to the bathhouse along with a few quarters for hot water. I started the shower with cold water to reinforce that they were not to get wet. One quarter deposited to buy a short period of hot water. I found the hot water did not stop. Went for soap from the car. I showered as well. Told girls to stay in the water until it got cold. It never did. I pulled them out and dress them in clean clothes.
Once on the main road of the PCH, George spotted Hog Island BBQ'D Oysters and required a taste test. He went in to order and the rest of us hung out in the car. Brogden has grown so much already. It is a treat to be six inches from him in the car. I get to be with him more on this trip than if I was at home. I need to remember that more. Biscuit LOVED the oysters. She tried one as George poked his head into a thrift store of a coastal Californian town. I had my chance in the thrift store after George spied shoes for the girls but did not know sizes. I found TOMS and Keens for Bubble, cute nautical flats for Biscuit, extra outfits for girls, and sunglasses for me. I was stoked until I got back to the car and discovered all the oysters were gone. At least my children have good taste. Biscuit asked for the shells to remove any last morsels. George still prefers Carolina oysters to the Hog Island fancied priced oysters.
Working our way along the Pacific Coast Highway brought awesome views of coast and countryside.
Saw roadside cherries in Valley Ford, CA. Required a stop since I just peeled the last of the tangerines. I picked up the cherries and George sourced coffee and hamburger buns from the market to prevent the need for sandwich bread again.
Pacific Coast Highway is great for lulling a baby to sleep. Each time we stopped to lookout caused Brogden to stir, the next two minutes swaying back and forth with the road would put him back to sleep. One of the stops included a hike down to the beach. Seals and sea otters could be seen from the cliff and required closer inspection. We found a clubhouse built from driftwood and chilly water. Seals were fun to watch but we couldn't get too close. Hike back up and carrying on down the road.
Notice: Many pictures were taken on the side of the road, hike down, on the sand, and on climb back to the car. I cannot select a few so they are all here.
For the record I am over the PCH. No service. Car sickness falling upon me. Today has been beautiful but I cannot keep a happy outlook. I do not know what to do to get my attitude back right. I am pretty sure it is because we will probably be driving again tomorrow and I did not want to do that for Biscuit's birthday.
Movie pairings for this trip have matched the surroundings much like wines with food. Princess and the Frog for New Orleans, Cars for the Southwest, Lorax for Colorado, and Planes: Fire and Rescue for Yosemite. The girls discussed Moana or Brave for the PCH. Settled on Brave. The hills, rocky coast, fog, breeze, and forest. Brave was a good match.
Sonoma County vineyards at the golden hour to head back north for Portland, OR. Planned to do the Oregon Zoo and Portland Children Museum for Biscuit's birthday. A missed turn put us behind in travel time. We will see how much we can make back.
Walmart stop for potty and ice mainly. $85 later, cleared out a running list. Unloading children, preparing to enter, I stepped out into the mulch. A piece stabbed my foot through my shoe. I pulled the hunk out of the rubber sole and questioned how. After all the miles I walked, hiked, and ran (after Tiny) on this trip, a mulch shard broke my foot's armor. George had to use the restroom. So did I. He got to go alone. I took the cart with four children into one stall. This is my talent. I enlisted the help of the cart since Biscuit's skort fell down every two steps and Tiny is a crazed maniac.
Started checking of the list and touring another Walmart of our fine country. Bubble and I break from the group to select birthday decorations. Bubble is a party planner. She takes this seriously. We changed themes three times. We have party beads, a candle, cards, plates, napkins, sash, and Minnie ears for Biscuit to wear all day. I take the children to the car and George checks out. We forget ice. Go back for two bags. I go back to potty.
Rest stop before the Oregon-California state line for adults to use. I don't know about you but I take time to renew the library books in the rooftop box.
Driver change 20 miles into Oregon. That means I have officially driven for two hours and ten minutes of this entire trip. George struck up a conversation with the gas station attendant, required by law for someone to pump your gas here, he used to live in Montana and gave us tons of tips for the rest of our journey.
Steps taken: Forgot to check on Fitbit... I would have loved to have known with that ocean hike
Miles driven: 613.2