Family RV Roadtrip

Let me start off by saying this was a trip of a lifetime. It was so much fun!

Our family shared so many firsts together, saw parts of the country we have never seen and may never see again.

We had 5 nights and 6 days to drive the California Coast to Oregon and back with several stops along the way. Some thought we were crazy and needed more time but we knew the route and had our destinations set so we were determined.

One of the most difficult parts of the trip was getting everything packed into my SUV so we could drive to the RV rental place 30 miles away, there was no turning back or added hours onto our first day would be inevitable. Thankfully we packed as much as we could and already started a Walmart list because certain things would not fit like water and ice and a few other staples.

This is not the best picture but we were packed in tight, my feet are resting on a pile of stuff and the space below Daphne is packed full. I am glad it wasn’t too far away.

We thought picking up the RV would be relatively fast….WRONG! We had to wait, apparently it was a busy pick-up day, there was this nearly once in a lifetime event about to happen, oh yeah the total eclipse and then we had to go through like a 2hr walk through, I was dying towards the end and started to reply, I just want to load this thing and go and then I started with I know that, I went RVing with my grandparents (maybe I was little but I remember falling off the top bunk while my grandfather was driving, kids don’t do that), so certainly I could figure out how to run the generator and flush the toilet with sanitizing stuff after we emptied the tank 😬.

Finally, we were on our way and Rich was getting a feel for the old girl.

We were San Francisco bound!

After a stop at Walmart and gas, several orchards (amazingly beautiful) and a nasty meat farm ( so sad and smelly) I just wanted to rescue all of those cows, nothing but piles of poop and brown mounds of yuck, not a single blade of grass 😞.

Know where your beef comes from!

Just before dark we arrived at the Candkestick RV park, apparently across from the old Candlestick Stadium, so it was just a parking lot but they had showers and just one day of driving had me craving a shower.

We, well mostly my little brother Harrison cooked a bunch of meals before we left so we did not have to eat out all the time, so that’s what we did for our first night.

Rich took a walk, I think he was already feeling cramped in the small space and found a family of raccoons in the park.

Daphne loved facing forward and seeing all the cars, we called her a little co-pilot.

We explored as much of San Francisco in one day as we could.  We started in Chinatown, then walked up the very steep hills, trying to get a cable car to the wharf district but they were far too full so after 45 minutes of waiting we decided to walk it.

After the wharf we decided to walk to the Golden Gate Bridge and pit stop at the house where Full House was filmed.  Harrison took Adelaide and I believe it was a big disappointment but Daphne was snoozing so we were enjoying the 3 mile walk to the bridge when Daphne woke from the cool breeze so we ubered to the bridge, Daphne’s 1st Uber ride :).

The bridge was spectacular!

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Next stop was Glass Beach which was a big disappointment and the switch back mountains were not handled well in an RV and the pit stop was 2 1/2 hours out of our way but we can say we did it.

After Glass Beach we drove until we reached the Redwoods and if I had it all to do over again I would spend at least a week in the redwoods.  Oh my gosh it was so nice and peaceful and BEAUTIFUL.  Everyone should have the redwoods on their bucket list.

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This is Rich making fun of Adelaide and I for stopping and admiring everything and taking pictures!

A story we laughed about and still do is the story from the campground security guard about the hobos/travelers/transients that travel to that area to grow weed or trim the plants for farmers, they also try to break into the campground at night and steal or use the amenities.  He even went as far as describing what a hobo looks like, it it a person looking rough with a backpack and a flannel shirt.  So funny.

After the Redwoods was another 2 1/2 hour trek to Crater Lake.  Unfortunately there were several wildfires around so part of the roads in and out were closed and the visibility was horrible.  We will just have to go back when it is clear, I bet it is gorgeous.

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Finally to wrap-up our trip we went to Oregon for the total Eclipse, the night before the big day we stayed in Eugene and then drove to Salem and met Rich’s cousin Chris and his girlfriend Alexis at a sweet little home of a vineyard owner.  We sipped on his brunch sangria and watched quietly as the entire event happened.  It did get darker, not pitch black, the wind picked up the birds started singing and it got cooler.  to the naked eye the sun looked the same,  but with the glasses it was amazing.  We caught a few pictures.

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I hope you have enjoyed our pictures and maybe even inspired you to take a trip like this someday.

xoxo

Desiree

Summer has started

I can hardly believe that Adelaide just finished 3rd grade but this sweet, sassy, independent and amazing little lady is officially a 4th grader.


The last day of school resulted in me picking her up early from after school care per her request and then getting begged by her friend to bring her home as well which gave me an excuse to get them Snow 2 Go (my guilty summer pleasure of the most delicious shaved ice I have ever had).

The first movie in the park (outdoors on a big screen with snacks and kids running around everywhere)  luckily it was Daphne’s favorite movie and where she was a little unsure at first she ended the night in all smiles, and stomping her foot to the music.

Today we surprised Rich with Deep Sea Fishing with a very early wake up at 4am then brunch at one of our favorite spots afterwards. 

Daphne didn’t like two of the guests on the boat but luckily fell asleep and missed he entire fishing experience and woke up moments before we docked.  Thankful she was happy for the boat ride and brunch!

I would have loved to have slept on that boat, rocking waves, the sounds of the waves and the cool salty air, yes please!  That girl was in heaven!

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We did not catch any fish we could keep but Rich an Adelaide did both catch a couple Sculpin.  Did you know the fins are toxic if they hit you, as the skipper said not toxic like your going to die but it’s going to hurt really bad!

Everyone was tired except Daphne and took a nap when we got home. 

I hope all the dads out there had a great day!

Xoxo desiree

Family Photos

A few weeks ago and VERY last minute our local photographer offered a mini session and the timing was perfect with Daphne’s 2nd Birthday.   Daphne’s and my dress arrived the day before and I forgot shoes for my non-walking tiny footed girl so the grass hid her feet well.

The day of the pictures was very busy, the entire weekend was but especially the day of, we hosted Adelaide’s end of the year swim soccer party/Daphne’s 2nd Birthday at our house.  Daphne decided to party the night before, my way of describing her not sleeping, waking in the middle of the night and wanting to play/talk very loud for HOURS then sleep with us so we get just a sliver of an edge of our king size bed.  It was killer she was up from about 2-4am.

Despite her efforts the days events went on as scheduled and so did the family pictures which turned out pretty well knowing what we were dealing with.  Daphne did not want to cooperate and was over it by the time it came for her single shots, we may try again with just her.

Here are a couple of my favorites and I have to say, my girls are just dreamy!

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xoxo desiree

It’s a Family Affair

Adelaide had a school project to learn about a local City so the whole family went and helped.

Life is so busy that often we forget to explore all that we have around us.

It was so much fun taking the train to San Juan Capistrano, which only took 12 minutes versus driving which can be a crap shoot depending on traffic and accidents.  And little Daph was happier being held then in a car seat 🙃.

We spent a lot of time at the mission and learned that there are 21 missions in California, the Swallows that used to only nest in SJC now go to other places as well because they can and much more. 

This was Daphne’s 1st train ride!  Adelaide has taken the train to several sporting events and loves it, especially the cafe car!

xoxo desiree

Mammoth Weekend

Last week we went to Mammoth for a long weekend.

It was so AMAZING!!

I can’t remember the last time we had a family vacation.

It started off a little nuts, Adelaide got really sick Sunday and stayed home from school both Monday and Tuesday and Rich’s car had a PCB valve malfunction so we couldn’t take it and had to scramble to find a big SUV to rent just hours before we were leaving. 

And I mean just hours, we got the car at 8:30pm and left at 2:30am and the rental shops closed at 10pm.  We were a little panicked, thinking we would all have to squeeze in my car and oh yeah we had Rich’s cousin Nate with us and he is a BIG guy and we had our BIG dog and all our stuff and food. It would have required a major repack. 

But…

It all worked out and we rented a BIG expedition and loaded all the stuff in it while the dog had my huge trunk all to herself.  Lucky pooch!

I had this plan in my head to drive Daphne while asleep because she does not tolerate car rides around town well let alone a drive over 5 hours. So we typically give her a bottle at 1:30, we pushed that to 2:15 and left at 2:30.  

I drove the first half of the trip in my car making sure to set the tone for Daph, no stopping, talking or jerks to wake her.  I was not originally planning on taking the dog because she gets so hot and gets up with every turn but I had her.  I dropped a big dark beach towel over daph’s car seat to block out the street lights and turned her sound machine on.  I had to keep the car really cool for Mara so it was either AC full blast or windows depending on the outside temp, it was a little crazy but it worked and added extra white noise for Daphne and cool temps to keep me up.  I was freezing though and had my seat heater on. Daphne was toasty in a fleece Jammies so no worries about her and the air was blocked with the towel. 

I got a text from Nate that he could drive and I happily turned in my spot to him.  Nate drove the stuff with Adelaide to keep her sickness away from Daphne and Rich joined me.

A long boring drive brought finally got us to sunrise in the most gorgeous snow dusted mountain ranges.


We arrived in Mammoth and found a great little breakfast spot that had steel cut oats for Daphne and great omelets and bagels for the adults.

The timing was seriously PERFECT!

Now the adults were exhausted and the kids were awake but oh well, it was an uneventful drive.

We also arranged an early check-in to our Chalet so we finished breakfast and arrived at check-in on time. 

It has been record snowfall in Mammoth this year so to get to the Chalet they took our stuff by SnowCat. 


This is what the sides of the road looked like and the entrance to the Chalet.



Rich, the kids and I took the first day to relax and adjust to the altitude, our Chalet was at 9,000 feet! We prepared for the next day by getting our rentals and tickets, and picked up some last minute items at the store.  Nate decided to go riding for half a day. 

That night everyone was pretty dead.  Mara was in HEAVEN with the cool temps, snow and outdoor space.  We just left her out most of the time, she did not even want to come in.  She is such a good dog, doesn’t bother people or other dogs walking by unless they invite her to say hi.

The following days Rich and I took turns staying home with Daphne, he liked the crispier snow in the AM and I liked the softer snow in the Afternoon.  We tried to have a half day of daycare one day with Daphne but that didn’t happen.  We also tried to go ski together while she was napping and got in 1 hour together and she woke up to Nate and was not happy.  Big sis Adelaide to the rescue but Rich still had to go in, it just takes time to make it in for the mountain, it’s a BIG mountain.  Nate said she didn’t cry as hard as long as she didn’t see him, LOL.  That’s Daphne.  The switching worked, I think I would have been dead if I skied all day everyday. I was tired enough from a few hours.  

There were ZERO lift lines as well, so it really was all skiing and the slopes are long and I haven’t skied for two winters so I was a little rusty but it felt so great to get back out.

Adelaide did AMAZING as well. She decided to snowboard this trip instead of ski and that was ok. She stayed on the easy slopes on the first day but by the second day was going down some really tough stuff, what would be a black back east but a tough blue out west.  I was so proud of her!

One the trip back we decided to drive home at night so we could sleep in our own beds and that was a good idea, the middle of the night road construction was not fun but the drive seemed easier, maybe because I didn’t help except the first hour leaving the resort to get to dinner but I did have to tend to Daphne once she stirred a couple times. 

I highly recommend Mammoth to anyone considering it.  Lots to do for all not just skiing/snowboarding.  I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we did making the memories.

xoxo Desiree




Pinterest

How many of you are obsessed with Pinterest?

I used to be but rarely have the time for it lately.

I can always count on it being there for the last minute school project, gift wrapping or if I need dinner fast recipe.

I honestly don’t remember what I did before Pinterest.  I remember when my friend introduced it to me and I thought she was nuts and it was so time consuming and she was so proud of me when I started to “pin” things.  Now it’s like my down time.

Pinterest has given me the ability to be that mom for my oldest daughter.  Seriously though.  School is tough and challenging and all the moms are on Pinterest. A simple party or cookie doesn’t cut it anymore.  You gotta have it ALL together.  Most of what I make probably looks like a Pinterest fail but it’s the fun I have with my daughter when making the ridiculous crafts or recipes that I cherish.

OH and I told my daughter I better have a perfectly planned Pinterest party when I turn 40!  She has a few years yet, but she better step up, I don’t want any straight edges on my hearts or circle cutouts 🤣

XOXO “That Mom”


A Day at Disneyland

Disneyland is not my happiest place on Earth!

My parents visited Disney for like 12 years in a row starting when my oldest brother was 2 weeks old. Bleh! Having kids of my own, I cannot imagine walking around in the heat of August 2 weeks post partum.  My poor mom.  My freshman year of college my parents decided to go to Disney for Christmas. I was so annoyed, I went to my grandparents.  Then in college I worked at Disney World in Orlando, Fl as a Lifeguard at Typhoon Lagoon.  It was rated to be the most prestigious Co-op for Marketing majors, Michael Isner the CEO went to Northeastern and built the luxury dorms on campus, so okay I went.  Well, my experience in Co-ops let me know exactly what I did not want to do ‘when I grew up’ and definitely how I did not want to treat people.

Every once in awhile I have to suck it up and go.  We only live 20 minutes from Disneyland and I consider myself lucky to have only visited 4 times now in 4 years.  Two of those visits I was very pregnant, not my smartest move.  Now my husband got to tag along for the first time since we have lived in California! I am not sure how he has gotten so lucky.  Just to pay him back, he had to go on all the rides and I hung with little Daphne.

Adelaide got a friend ticket so she could pick whomever she wanted. She picked a sweet little girl she has played soccer with twice on an All-Star team. This little girl is afraid of heights 😳. I did not even know how to handle that, but she had the best outlook and said this is Adelaide’s day and I want her to enjoy it and I will do whatever ride she wants. I wish all kids had her attitude.

Daphne surprisingly did really well, she lasted all day without a nap, ate great and was not too freaked out by the noises.

At the end of the day all the kids had a great time and Daphne had her 1st visit to Disney.  We do it all for our kids!

XOXO Desiree