Destination: Redwood National Park, Northern California
Engineer: Papa Edgar Conductor & Navigator: Daddy Ca"poose" & Air Temperature Regulator: Grandma Entertainment: Mommy
Aaahhh...road trips. You gotta love 'em. Sitting on your butt for what feels like an eternity, snacking on high-calorie junk food, staring endlessly out the window, and holding your bladder to the point of near rupture--all the while praying that someone else bravely utters the most beautiful words ever heard..."potty break". Seriously. Does it get any better?
Our road trip last week took us south--to the land of some of the tallest trees in the world. Eric's parents flew in from Oklahoma, just in time to catch the "Edgar train" (you gotta make it fun for the kids) bound for the Redwood National Park. We made a pit stop in Crescent City, CA where we explored the beautiful coastline (including Castle Rock) and spent the night in a motel constructed from a single redwood tree. Very neat.
Once in the park, we hiked several trails to get an up-close and personal look at the GINORMOUS redwoods, drove some scenic roads while the kids napped, and spent some time on the beach--the very chilly and insanely windy beach. The girls got a room while the boys camped, and we somehow managed every day to live off of honey buns for breakfast and cheeseburgers for dinner. I honestly think I'd be okay if I never laid eyes on these two food items again for at least two years. Blech!
As usual, Eric planned an amazing trip. But I'd have to say without a doubt that my favorite part was the hike through Fern Canyon. It wasn't a long hike, or challenging for that matter. But what I loved most about it was how unique it was-- as I had never in my life walked through a canyon in which the walls were draped in nothing but ferns. It's quite stunning actually. Wyatt loved this trail for all of its bridges--well, they were more like short boardwalks to help you cross the small creek, but nevertheless, he had a grand time running across them.
Here we are on one of the "bridges" with Avery in my makeshift sling.
Note to self: Don't ever assume that the person packing the car (Ahem! Eric) will remember to pack the ever-so-important baby carrier, even if a discussion regarding the matter took place less than an hour prior to departure. Ugh! Needless to say, my arms feel like they're about to fall off right about now.
Apparently, some redwood trees are large enough that you can drive a car through them. So, we thought we'd give it a try. I think it might be safe to assume that these holes in the trees were carved with small, old, Model-A type cars in mind. Ford Expeditions--not so much. We actually were successful in getting the Expedition through without a scratch, but I'm still really not sure how it happened. I guess Papa has some mad driving skills. It was a little bit of a nail-biting experience...especially for Grandma.
Another highlight of the trip for me had nothing to do with the trees, but more with the beautiful meadows we drove upon in the mountains while trying to keep the kiddos asleep. The minute they were awake, we all piled out of the car to take in the amazing views of the landscape. I also couldn't help but take advantage of the beautiful, natural backdrops for photographing my two favorite love bugs.
Finally, the most unexpected treat came on the drive home. We drove the scenic Hwy 101 back into Southern Oregon so we could enjoy some breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. We fortuitously took a rest break in the small town of Bandon, Oregon (thank goodness for Dairy Queen), completely unaware that we'd end up walking onto a beach that would eventually have us picking up our jaws buried deep beneath the sand. We've been to many coastal towns in Oregon, and nothing--I mean NOTHING--compares to the beauty and sense of peace and serenity offered by the small town of Bandon, Oregon. Absolutely gorgeous.
Believe it or not, we actually made it home just in time to watch Tiger tee off at the US Open. How convenient. Eric and his dad haven't been off the couch since.
If you're interested in seeing more photos from our trip, I put together a slide show of some of my favorites.
Wine Selection: Volcano Vineyards Lava Red Personal Rating: ***Good*** Comments: This is the wine I purchased on my wine-tasting outing in Bend. It's a pretty good wine. Certainly not a favorite, but worth checking out if you're ever in the area.
My Wine Personality:
For the most part I’m a chardonnay, as I consider myself to exhibit a somewhat sunny and mellow disposition
(most of the time), but because I find a tremendous amount of joy out of showering my two kids with hugs and
kisses, I also possess the subtle sweetness often found in a riesling. But don’t be fooled. I love a great
outdoor adventure and am willing to try anything once. This occasional display of boldness is thought to match
that of a cabernet, whereas my appreciation for nature suggests that I have an earthy component to my personality—very
characteristic of a merlot.
“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771