California, Here We Come!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The last time we embarked on a family road trip was 3 years ago when we did the Oregon coast.  Four years prior to that we drove to Boulder, Colorado over the course of two weeks.  Being that we had such fond memories of those experiences, we determined a trip down the California coast was long overdue.  After readjusting our plan several times, we finally found the longest stretch of time on the entire summer calendar when everyone was available--8 days.  We knew we were probably being a little overzealous in trying to fit in many destinations and a lot of driving, but as I have watched the days fly by and knowing time our time with the boys was passing quickly, we decided to go for it. 

We sat down with the boys and asked everyone what they wanted to do and/or see.  Quinn: surfing.  Ian: mountain biking. Ben: a water park.  All of their requests seemed within reason but probably not able to be fulfilled all in one day.  Our final destination was Santa Cruz which appeared to have two of the three desired activities.  As for Mom and Dad, we were just happy to have all 5 of us together and if we could make it there and back without the car breaking down and everyone still talking, we would deem it a successful vacation.  

Quinn pulled in from football camp on a Thursday afternoon and within 24 hours we were on the road.  We stayed at my mom's (2 hrs. away) that night and by 7:30 the next morning, it was "California or Bust!" Eleven hours and 483 miles later we were in Crescent City.  I had made a reservation at "The Curly Redwood Lodge."  The reviews were positive and I was particularly fascinated with the fact that the entire motel was built from one single redwood tree that produced 57,000 square feet of lumber.  It just sounded cool to say you stayed in a place like this.  It wasn't as cool as it sounded and the town looked like it was on the verge of closing up shop.  We checked in, went out an grabbed a pizza and ate it on the beach in 59 degree weather.  We cruised around the town and explored but that took all of about 30 minutes.  The sunset was beautiful though and our room was cozy and clean.  

The next morning we headed out on our way to Siskyone State Park.  We meandered down the Avenue of the Giants in the Redwood National Forest with Quinn behind the wheel.  He loved the winding roads and I was wishing I had packed some Xanax.  The trees were so gigantic and beautiful although after a few miles, the kids weren't as impressed as we were and put on their headphones to tune out our oohs and aahs.  Of course we stopped to do the touristy "drive through the tree."  

Tomorrow's post: the adventure continues......

 Everything but the kitchen sink.

 We made it!

 I think we took this picture on my 200th potty break.  My poor family.

 Is she going to fit through?  It was sooo close.

 Almost through.

 Admiring the Pacific Ocean.

A sight to behold.

 This brave young woman happened to be from our hometown.  She was biking all the way to San Diego--by herself!
 The "Immortal Tree".  It was so massive.

Sunset in Crescent City