This leg of our journey started as a comedy of hurdles – just as we cleared one, another one pops up, attempting to trip us up.
We start at 330a when mini-man decided to wake up to make noise, which woke up little-dude. They went back down around 7a. With a long drive ahead of us, Damon went to get some more sleep while I stayed up (hate not being able to go back to sleep). Hurdle #1 cleared!
Around 8 Damon was up, so he finished our prep to leave. Of course when we want to leave, can we can’t – the jacks wouldn’t lower due to low voltage (I guess this program is a girl since it doesn’t say what it means). According to the internet ( thank goodness it decided to work), it means that a breaker, somewhere under the couch had tripped (why are these important things hidden?).
While Damon hunted for the breaker switch, I sat trapped under a sleeping baby freezing since we’d already unhooked and hadn’t turned on the main heater yet. After a bit of a search, the breaker was found and we could raise the jacks. Hurdle #2 cleared.
As we pulled out of our space, the downward hill caught Damon off guard and he stopped short, causing the van to hit the bumper. No damage (thank goodness). Sailed over that hurdle!
Now, were finally on the road and we lose cell service. Usually, I take this time to update our blog posts and catch up on our social channels. This becomes really hard to do when I have no cell service. So to help, Damon pulled over and hooked up our hard-drive to my tablet so I could at least watch something along our journey. Hurdle #4 no problem.
Back on the road, we encountered our next hurdle – the 101 highway. This is a scenic highway that drives along the Pacific Ocean. While beautiful – it’s definitely not fun to drive with an RV. It also added an hour to our drive time. Amd, ok top of that, we had a lovely layer of fog to contend with. Hurdle #5 survived.
After four hours, we pulled into Eureka for lunch and shopping. This was the first time in a week that we’d been close to any big shopping areas and really needed to restock. After grabbing some lunch, we headed to our favorite place – Walmart. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to tell a Super Walmart from a regular Walmart anymore and this one was the latter. This means that their grocery section is very small. I was not happy that we couldn’t get that much.
To solve this, we found a local grocery store and managed to get some more stuff. This is one of the harder aspects of being on the road – you can’t always get the items you are looking for (especially in smaller towns).
At this point, we were all really tired. Little-dude was already asleep and mini-man was in desperate need of a nap. With about 45 minutes left to go, the boys and I all took a nap. Unfortunately, as soon as Damon pulled into the RV park, both boys woke up – and they were cranky.
I wish I could say that this was the end of our troubles, but as you will see in the next post, it was just the beginning.
Our journey began with a bit of a bit of a woosh – literally. Before we left the RV park, we pulled up to the dump station to empty our black water tank (a.k.a. our sewage). As Damon went to drain it, sewage came spilling out (ew!). We think he forgot to close a valve from a previous dump. Thank goodness we had a sewage cap or things could’ve been much worse.
Damon came back in smelling just lovely (as you can imagine) and, smartly, changed his clothes. Unfortunately, he still smelled for a while during the drive (and, yes, he did wash his hands – several times). I guess sewar is a hard smell to get rid of.
About an hour into our drive, we stopped at a local shopping area for lunch and grocery shopping. This place was cute and had a lot of stores within walking distance. We hit a GameStop, Goodwill, Burger King, and Walmart, all in one spot.
Back on the road, we had the choice between two options – the 1 or the 280. The 1 was shorter, and scenic, but had the same, windy roads that delayed us into San Francisco the other day. The 280 was longer but had easier to navigate roads.
Not wanting to take the RV down windy roads, we chose the 280. And, my goodness, was that the right choice. Not only was it easier to drive, but it took is right through a Redwood Forest. It was an absolutely gorgeous drive that ended at the Pacific Ocean. This is definitely the prettiest drive we’ve had thus far.
We arrived at our campground by the early evening. As soon as we parked, we were outside, enjoying the beautiful weather. It’s so great to be in an area with great weather again.
The following day kept us close to home as Damon wasn’t feeling well. We suspect that some of the previous days sewage might have gotten into his system. So the kids and I played while he rested. Unfortunately, by the evening, I started to realize I was coming down with a cold (so much for our healthy streak).
Tuesday brought such gorgeous weather that we couldn’t stay inside. Armed with medication, we took a short drive to nearby Glass Beach – famed for its beaches covered in glass fragments. The site is certainly interesting, but years of tourism has depleted the glass to just tiny fragments.
The best part for me was watching mini-man explore and play in the sand. He was having such an amazing time.
After a much needed grocery stop, we headed back to the RV and fired up the grill for dinner. I wish the warmth of the day lasted but California just doesn’t retain heat like Florida does.
With everyone not feel well, the boys and I collapsed early in the evening. Damon stayed up for a bit to finish some paperwork. Unfortunately, for him, by the time he came to bed, mini-man was waking up. Hard as he tried, mini-man didn’t go back to bed until 6:30 the next morning – just about the time little-dude woke up.
Then, somehow, mini-man woke up just a few hours later (how do toddlers to that???). The boys and I watched some Elmo while Damon slept.
While we spent most of the day relaxing and playing, we did get something done – we got the car registration back in the mail (Fingers crossed we got everything right this time), I fixed mini-man’s favorite book (that he shredded during a midnight meltdown), and we stuffed mini-man with tons of food.
The food part worked so well, that mini-man fell asleep at 7:30 again! But unlike the previous night, both kids slept through the night (thank goodness ’cause this sick mama needed the rest).
We we’re originally scheduled to leave on Thursday, but thanks to illness, we didn’t get to experience everything we wanted to do. But after evaluating our schedule, we realized we had some spare days to play with and decided to extend our stay.
I’m so glad we did this. In addition to giving us more time to complete a few projects, the day turned out to be really warm, so we took advantage and headed to the beach!
Of course, it’s never that simple – both boys fell asleep within minutes of riding in the car. To kill some time, we headed to the local thrift stores where we found some cute toys for mini-man (and paid less than $2!).
As soon as we parked at the beach, mini-man was on the ground, filling up his bucket with sand, moving a few feet and repeating the process 😂. And not to be left out, little-dude starting digging as soon as we put him down.
Then we got to the water. I swear, mini-man doesn’t not care about the temperature of the water – if it’s there, the he has to be in it.
Little-dude was content to keep digging and crawling around.
After a couple of hours, the boys were more than ready to leave – mini-man was very wet and getting cold, while little-dude was more than ready for his nap.
The next day, we decided to take a ride on the Skunk Train. This famous local attraction take passengers on a breath-taking trip through the Redwood Forest.
The train consisted of the main engine, two 1912 passenger cars from New York, and a 1970s open flat car from the US Army. After coaxing mini-man on-board, I figured he’d do better in the passenger car and took him to find a seat.
Just as we were ready to leave, Damon and little-dude headed to the open car for a better view while mini-man and I stayed in the passenger car – I wanted to make sure he wouldn’t freak out.
After a few minutes, mini-man just say, looking out the window saying ‘toot-toot’. I took this opportunity to check out the flat car. The nice thing about the train being so small was I could walk away a bit and keep an eye on mini-man.
The open car offered an incredible view of the forest – the redwoods towered above us. Plus, the train went slow, so it hardly made any noise. However, after a while, the smell from the engine started to bother me and I went back to mini-man.
Just as we got near our turnaround point, I went back to the flat car to see some more of the forest. I tried to get mini-man to come with me, but he was more than happy in his seat. The return trip was easier on me as the train went in reverse so the smell of the engine didn’t come near us anymore.
I tried one more time at the end of the trip to get mini-man to go to the flat car with me – and he did! For about a minute, then he high-tailed it back to his seat. At least he knows what he wants.
The ticket included admission to the local model train museum. This was awesome – it was a scaled replica the area we had just traveled along. Mini-man was in heaven. He walked along the entire track, back and forth, following each train, saying ‘toot-toot’. I guess this was more his speed. It was a great way to end our trip to Fort Bragg, and I highly recommend it.
I have enjoyed our stay here but have been increasing frustrated with the internet at this RV park. This small town has limited cell service, at best, so we chose an RV park with WiFi. However, this particular park has zero cell service and inconsistent wifi. After struggling to connect, if you can, the service is fine but only lasts for a few minutes before it drops. It may not seem like much, but this is a pricier park that advertised wifi and it doesn’t work. And I know that it’s not important to everyone, but it is important to me – it’s how I plan future stops, find fun outtings, and stay connected along our trip.
Here’s hoping we have better luck at our next stop – The Redwood National Forest.
After finally finding warmth, we drove back to the cold in Yosemite. Turns out, it was warm here until recently. Only when we show up do they have a huge snow storm. I think we might be affecting the weather some how.
During our drive, we experienced a first for us! When we stopped for lunch, we parked on a small road that had access to an exit. Unfortunately, by the time we were ready to leave, other trucks had shown up, complicating our exit. There was a small gap, so we tried to navigate through it and got stuck. In order to get out, Damon had to block the exit to the restaurant, unhook the car, and move the RV out. Apparently, this is common for class-a’s with tow vehicles.
We arrived at our campsite just in time for the rain. Not feeling particularly adventurous at this point, we settled in for the night
After some rough sleep, we decided to get out and get the boys some fun. First stop, the Children’s Museum of Sierra.
This place is amazing! Four large rooms fill to the brim with toys and activities that the kids could play with. Both boys had a great time – so great that Damon was able to sneak out and get some car stuff done. Now we can finally get the car registered.
The rest of our very wet afternoon took us a “red tape” adventure. Turns out that until we get our paperwork filed, were not supposed to drive our car. So we very carefully drove to a rental place in nearby Fresno to get a car for the week.
This wound up being a blessing I disguise. You see, the van’s been going through oil and smelling over the past few weeks. What better time to get it checked out than when we have a rental car. Unfortunately, we ran outta time and had to leave the van near the rental place for the night.
Since we were in Fresno, we decided to get some shopping done. Totally scored a Lego Dimensions game for half off (I know it’s discontinued but we have all these figurines now and I’m curious, some Lego tape for mini-man, and lots of food! The real fun part was figuring out how to fit this all in our rental truck.
The following day we made a plan to get the car to the mechanic. While the kids and I had lunch at the McDonald’s in the local Walmart, Damon set about rearranging the cars.
While we were at Walmart, and just as Damon joined up with us, an amazing milestone happened – little-dude to his first steps! I love that they are side-ways steps, since he’s been practicing on the furniture that way 😆
After that, we decided to try some local pawn and thrift stores. Unfortunately, we struck out and didn’t find anything. But, we did hear from a local guy selling his PS3 and games for a great deal, so we went to meet him. Now we can play Lego Dimensions!!
After an accomplishing, and exhausting, day, we treated ourselves to dinner at BJ’s.
By Sunday, we’d done a lot and decided to have a nice day at home – which included installing and playing Lego Dimensions (of course 😆). That game is a lot of fun. I’m really glad that we got into it now, when everything’s on sale!
After a few hours of video games, we headed outside for some fresh air. Mini-man had fun with his bicycle and building set while little-dude practice walking with his toy truck (he’s getting pretty good at it 😍).
Still excited about the Lego Dimensions deal we found, we decided to head into Fresno for the evening and do some more shopping – where we scored a Cyberman from Doctor Who!
The next day was our nicest, and warmest day, during our stay, so we decided to head to Yosemite National Park.
Knowing that we had a two hour drive ahead of us, and to the cold no less, we prepared like crazy – food, drinks, toys, cameras, tablets, and anything else we could think of. Luckily, the kids fell asleep pretty quickly.
Another blessing in disguise for our car troubles – having the truck for this trip. Over two hours we saw lots of hills, winding turns, and complicated directions. At one point we had to follow a government snow plow to avoid a clean up crew working on a part of the mountain. This would’ve been a much harder trip in the van.
Speaking of the van, thank goodness we got into the shop (another blessing), it had a lot of issues – brakes almost gone, rear shocks shot, serpentine belt about to break, and cylinder head seals almost eroded. Imagine driving that up and down a mountain.
Since it was snowing in multiple areas of the park, we opted to take the more scenic route that was longer but didn’t require any snow chains. It was a fascinating drive – it was amazing to see how the road evolved over the decades.
Once we arrived, we parked at the visitors center to stretch out legs and check out the area. The kids were really happy to get out of the car. The walk to the center was so serene and beautiful – the smell of pine instantly relaxed me. And you can’t miss the half-dome in the background.
The visitors center had a cute walk-through that explained the history of the park. My favorite part was seeing photographs of the same fall from different time periods. The kids loved the hands on elements. After a quick stop at the gift shop (a must), we picked a few areas to visit and headed back to the car.
Time sure flies when your having fun – we managed to spend two hours in this area! With a long drive ahead of us, we decided to just hit a couple of places. First was Bridal Falls, one of the many gorgeous water falls in the park. Since Glacier Point was closed, the road to half-dome, we continued on.
We then stopped at Tunnel View, a stop that gives an amazing overview of the valley. It was amazing to me to see the beautiful views and the juxtaposition of the snow capped mountains with the green valley below.
At this point, both boys had fallen asleep, so we decided to head back home. So glad that we got to experience this gorgeous park.
Our last full day and we were busy! It’s so great that we’ve accomplished so much during this stop – car, paperwork, video games, children’s museum and Yosemite – which led to a very busy last day.
First up, visiting the thrift stores and pawn shops one more time. Unfortunately, we struck out again. This trip hasn’t been great for our thrifting. We did walk away with another Lego Dimensions character. Can’t wait to see if we find any new ones in the next city.
On our way to the grocery store, we finally got the call that our car was ready! Woohoo! So Damon dropped us off and raced to drop off the rental truck and get the van. Luckily, the people at Enterprise were really nice – not only did they stay later for us, they drove Damon to the repair shop!
Meantime, I was chasing mini-man around Walmart, while trying to calm a very tired little-dude. I finally wrangled mini-man and took both kids to the toy aisle to play. Thank goodness for the toy aisle.
With a long drive in the morning, I’d hoped we’d go to bed on time. No such luck, both kids seemed wired once we got home, with mini-man becoming so over-tired that he became delirious and extremely loud. I guess we tried to do too much.
Just another lesson learned, I guess. At least we have some fun things planned for the kids at our next stop – San Francisco.
California is known for many things, but one of the things I’ve always wanted to see, but never have, is their magnificent sequoia and redwood trees. This stop, I get to strike one of those off my list.
Our drive got off to a late start thanks to little-dude waking up at 3 a.m., then mini-man waking up at 5 a.m. Damon let me sleep while he played with the boys, which meant he got no sleep. Once I got up at 7 a.m., Damon went back to bed to get a couple hours of shut-eye. Fortunately, our previous day’s cleaning spree meant that we didn’t need to do too much to leave.
A few hours later, we were ready to go. Before we got too far, we stopped by the bank to get Damon’s debit card, which had been taken the day before for safe keeping. For some reason, though, the bank cut up his debit card. They said it was for our safety, since we’d lost it … even though they were our bank and they had it. Who’s gonna take it? One of your people? Oh well. At least I have my card, so we continued on.
We arrived out our campground by mid-afternoon, after a very bumpy ride (Hey California, how about making your roads a little less bumpy!?!). Due to the rain, we settled in for the night.
I wish! Between both boys I got no sleep. I managed to get a small nap, but you all know it doesn’t makeup for no sleep.
By the afternoon, we loaded up the kids into the car and headed for the Sequoia National Park. Even though it’s just a few miles from our campground, it’s 7000ft up!, which meant over an hour drive.
Luckily, the kids fell asleep and I could enjoy the beautiful scenery. Unfortunately, it didn’t last. Little-dude is going through a ‘I hate my car seat’ phase, which means he cries non-stop. Nothing seems to help him – I hope he gets used to it soon.
We’d almost made it to our destination, the Trail of 100 Giants, when we hit a road closure – snow had blocked our way. At least we learned this now and could try again.
After an hour drive back down the mountain, we headed for dinner. When we arrived, we stumbled upon a local Goodwill! Thinking we wouldn’t find anything, we went in for a quick look.
We. Were. Wrong! We found so much stuff here. Awesome 1980’s Sesame Street books, magnetic toys, a Connect Four, a mystery toy box, and a great GPS!
After the previous day’s long drive to a closed road, we learned our lesson and decided to ask before we drove anywhere. Turns out, the area we wanted to see was snowed in and not accessible by cars.
We did learn that there’s a Grove of trees about two hours away but the thought of spending one of our only nice days in the car didn’t sound appealing to me. Instead, we went to lunch.
While we were out, we discovered a few thrift stores nearby, so we walked to them. While the Goodwill stop was a bust, we scored at b the .99 cent store – dozens of Lego Dimensions characters, candy, and some cascarones (which mini-man wanted to open in the store).
On the way home, we heard something hit/tumble across the roof of our car. We didn’t think much of it and kept going. 10 minutes later, Damon realized his phone was missing!
So we went turned around and went back to the place where we heard the sound. While Damon searched the side of the highway, I took a chance and called his phone. I heard it! I searched the car frantically but couldn’t find it. Once Damon got back to the car I told him I heard it and had him help in the search. He found it stuck in the roof rack on top of the car. Turns out, he left it on the roof of the car and it tumbled across when we sped up. Luckily, it got stuck and there was no damage.
Once we got home, it was still nice out, so we pulled our outdoor stuff and enjoyed the evening. Mini-man was thrilled to break his eggs (finally!).
The next day, we expected rain, so Damon played with the kids outside for a bit while I cleaned the playroom. Don’t know what happened to the rain, but glad the kids got to play.
Later, Damon and I did a major purge of the kids toys. We realized that a bucket and a hose kept their attention longer than most of their toys. So anything that was a one-hit-wonder (only kept their attention for a few minutes) got donated or stored for future use. Man, does the playroom look so much better.
Per usual, on our last day we get ready to leave. Unfortunately, when we pulled into this sure a few days ago, our living room side got stuck half-out for some reason. The motor engaged but the slide would barely move. Now that we need to leave, we had to figure out how to get the side back in.
Then I remembered that our auto-level jacks couldn’t finish due to slope of the site. Turns out, the slide twisted due to the unevenness of the site. Once we raised the jacks, the RV straighten and the slide started working! Score one for the wifey 😆
So now we say goodbye to Sequoia. I wish we could’ve seen more of the trees but weather has not been our friend lately. Hopefully we’ll have better luck in Yosemite.
Growing up in San Diego with a Disney loving father meant that my family visited Disneyland a lot. In fact, my parents got engaged at Disneyland! So it’s become pretty important to share these experiences with my kids. I have to admit, I was so excited the first time I took mini-man I forgot that I didn’t have a teenager, I had a baby – their abilities at a theme park are vastly different.
I have taken these lessons and applied them to all of our outtings – take your time, have your must-do’s, be flexible, and relax! Since then, our adventures have been much more successful.
Thanks to some wonderful family members, we were able to get some free tickets to Disneyland. After parking, the day was so nice we decided to walk from the parking garage to the park – something mini-man absolutely loved!
After we got in the park, we attempted our first attraction – the Disneyland Railroad. Little-dude hadn’t been on any rides before and mini-man isn’t the biggest fan of riding anything. We thought that since mini-man liked trains, it was open-air, and slow, that he’d okay. At first, he wasn’t thrilled and tried to get off. But after riding for a bit, and playing with my purse, he calmed down. I was worried about the dinosaur section of the ride, but once it started mini-man just closed his eyes and waited for it to be over. I’d call that a success.
Next we took a stroll down Main Street U.S.A (one of my favorite things), and headed to the Mark Twain River Boat. We had a similar thought with this ride – it’s slow, outside, and you can see a lot of things. Mini-man loved climbing the stairs but didn’t like hanging out with other guests. Eventually, he and I found an empty bench to sit on while the journey finished. He was very excited to go back down the stairs.
Feeling bold with our two minor successes, we took mini-man and little-dude on Pirates of the Caribbean. Little-dude didn’t seem to notice, but mini-man did not like it. He started crying once we sat down on the boat. After that ride, we decided to relax and walk around for bit, making sure to visit some of the new Star Wars areas.
Once we made it to Fantasyland, we took one last chance and rode the tea cups. Little-dude loved the wheel in the middle of the cup while mini-man was not happy. But, by the end of the ride he went from ‘I hate this’ to ‘it’s not terrible’. Hey, I’ll take it.
At this point we were all tired, so we started for the exit of the park. However, I cannot leave this place without a churro and a dole whip. Luckily, we found both fairly quickly and with very short lines. Mini-man wasn’t interested in my snacks, but little-dude could not get enough. I think he’s following in his mama’s food-lovin’ foot steps.
All-in-all, it was a very successful, and fun, trip to Disneyland. I can’t wait to return many more times in the future.
This past week, we’ve spent some time in our old home in Glendale.
First up – thrift stores! After living here for a year, we got to know some awesome places and they did not disappoint. We were able to get some great toys and clothes for the boys. Afterwards, we walked around our old neighborhood and had a wonderful lunch at Everest burger.
A few days later, we took the kids to the Los Angeles Zoo. Mini-man and I came here all the time when we lived here and it was great to be back. I really like this zoo – its well laid out, beautiful, and has a lot of great elements for kids. We saw a lot of animals and had a really great time.
Midweek brought a magical stop – DISNEYLAND! Some wonderful relatives gave us some of their Disney tickets so we were able to take the boys. This was little-dudes first time at a theme park and he had so much fun looking and touching everything – he especially loved eating a churro and a dole whip. Although mini-man has been to several theme parks, he is not a fan of rides. Despite this, he did so well on this visit – he did the train, river boat, pirates, and the teacups!
After many days of adventures, we took a day to just relax by the pool. This is what we’ve been searching for since San Antonio – a gorgeous day by the pool. Mini-man, being the water bug he is, knew instantly what we were doing when we put on his swim clothes and instantly walked into the water. He spent hours in the pool. While little-dude doesn’t love the water like mini-man, he had a blast splashing around the pool.
On our last day, we got into a cleaning mood and ended up cleaning, organizing, and storing lots of stuff. The trailer looks amazing – we even found our kitchen table! Our little spree also alerted us to some things that we needed before we left, so we headed out for some quick shopping.
While we were out, Damon noticed that his wallet went missing. Luckily, a very nice person found his wallet and turned it in to our local bank branch. They stayed at a local restaurant and waited for us to get there. Amazingly, everything was still in the wallet and they wouldn’t accept a reward. They just wanted to make sure that we got it back. Its so great to meet some genuinely nice, honest people in the world.
And so ends our trip to LA. Next up – Sequoia National Forest!
Our original travel plans had us going to Phoenix, AZ, and then Joshua Tree, CA. But thanks to my teeth, we stayed at the Grand Canyon longer than we anticipated. To make-up some time, we decided to skip Phoenix and go straight to Joshua Tree. What we didn’t realize was the travel time from the Grand Canyon to Joshua tree was double the time as it would’ve been from Phoenix.
Damon wanted to try and do the drive in one shot. I was concerned – every other time we’ve tried to do longer trips it’s stressful. To compromise, Damon stayed up late cleaning and getting us prepped for driving. This enabled us to leave early. By nine a.m. we were on the road and before I knew it, we were already in California and just a few hours from Joshua Tree. It really helped that the kids are better behaved in the morning, that I was feeling better, AND I had cell service almost the whole time so I could stream movies along the way.
When we arrived in Joshua Tree, we attempted something we hadn’t done since New York – Boondicking! Our last attempt was less than successful since many things in our travel trailer didn’t work and it was really hot! This time, Damon made efforts to make sure that everything in the RV worked, so we’d be comfortable.
After we set up, we instantly went outside to enjoy the warmth of the outside. Definitely very different from the freezing tempts we’d left just hours before. However, it was the desert and as the sunset it got very cold.
While we could do a lot without hook-ups, the downside is our RV can’t power our portable heaters and our central heat isn’t working at the moment. So by morning, it was very cold inside. Added to my lack of sleep thanks to little-dude and I was in a bad mood.
Since it was our only day here, we decided to explore Joshua Tree. After a beautiful, hour-long drive through the park, we decided to stop for lunch in the small town of twentynine Palms. In a happy accident, we were unable to stop at Five Guys for lunch since it was on a marine base. Instead, we ended up at Andrea’s Charbroiled Burger – a popular, local restaurant.
After an enjoyable lunch, we drove the hour back to our campsite through Joshua Tree. However, this trip wasn’t so peaceful. Little-dude wasn’t happy about being in his car seat and let us know by crying, which upset mini-man, who started screaming, which further upset little-dude. The whole thing ended with my contorting my body so I could feed little-dude while he was in his car seat, which stopped the screaming from every one. However, it didn’t last. The whole thing repeated three times during our drive.
Exhausted, I collapsed with little-dude when we got back. I wish it was a nice nap, but little-dude wouldn’t sit still. I wonder what, of the thousands of things, could be going on with him (teething, growth-spurt, wonder-leap…?). Ah, the joys of parenthood – constantly trying to figure out what’s going on with your kids.
Joshua Tree National Park
Fingers crossed that our next leg is peaceful. At least it’s shorter than the last one. Hollywood, here we come!
After being nearby for over a week, we finally made it to the Grand Canyon.
We stopped at the visitors center on the way in to see the Grand Canyon Imax movie. We tried to see it together but mini-man didn’t want to. Instead, we split up – one watched the movie while the other played with mini-man in the gift shop. We later learned that this wasn’t the official visitors center and that there was a free movie available inside the canyon.
Our first stop was Mather point, one of the easiest, most accessible areas of the canyon. Since the boys just had naps, we were all able to visit this area. The scene was spectacular.
We then got to do something special – drive Hermits Rest. Most of the time, this area is only accessible by bus. But during this time, we were able to drive to some of the prettiest spots on the canyon. At this point, it was late, so Damon hopped out at each stop to take some pictures while I stayed with the kids in the car.
Health – Check. Weather – Check. Things to explore – Double Check! After being in Williams for a week, we finally went to the Grand Canyon.
“The Grand Canyon is too massive to be captured in a single photograph”, is an understatement. The canyon has several stops and multiple places to get a spectacular view that its not possible to see the whole thing in one stop.
The next day was beautiful weather, which gave us a chance to explore the small town of Williams – the last town on Route 66. The town is filled with cute shops, restaurants, and lots of Route 66 nastalgia – which I adored. It took some doing to get mini-man to walk with us but once we made it into the small town, he had a blast running around (so much so that he cried when we went back to the RV).
Sunday brought another day of beautiful weather, so we decided to check out a popular, local attraction – Bearizona. This drive-thru/walk-around zoo is home to hundreds of animals that you can get up-close and personal to.
Little-dude slept through most of the trip and mini-man didn’t want to get out of his stroller – until we got to the gift shop. Suddenly, he wanted to explore and wander on his own. Then we got to the center of the store, which had a model train. I swear, he sat there forever watching the train go round-and-round. Unfortunately, it was lunch time and we wanted to leave to get food. Mini-man was not on board and screamed all the way back to the car. I felt bad for him, so we went back to the store and let him watch for a little while longer. This time when we left, he was much calmer and fell asleep in the car on the way home.
The next day brought more snow. But this time, it was constant snow, covering the whole campground in 3″ of snow! Before now, the only snow I’d seen on this trip was a light dusting. It was amazing to see the snow build up. It looked beautiful.
The downside to the cold has been out water and sewer hoses. Apparently we got the hoses that work only in warm weather. Once the snow came, we had two sewer hoses, a water hose, and our water filter break. Which meant that we had no running water for over a week. To compensate, we filled up a bucket of water for our daily needs.
The big day arrived and I finally got my tooth removed. Everything went well and I now have a big hole in the back of my mouth. Eating has certainly been fun.
Thanks to the cold weather, our mini-man caught a cold, which, naturally, I caught as well. So we spent the rest of the week bundled up, inside trying to get better.
By the weekend, we all felt better and had some nice weather, so we went to Flagstaff for some shopping. This meant that mini-man actually went outside and walked in the snow! I was thrilled, him – not so much. Oh well, at least he tried it.
As my next dentist appointment neared, we made plans to move onto California. Unfortunately, my mouth hadn’t healed as well as he liked and wanted to wait another week to remove the stitches. Luckily, my former dentist is in Glendale, where we will be next week, and my current dentist agreed to have him take them out.
Success!! We can finally get back on the road. California, here we come!
Unfortunately, during our stay at the Painted Desert, I developed a tooth ache that cause me great pain. And while I saw a dentist, he could help with the tooth that day. Instead, I got antibiotics and an appointment to see a dentist at the Grand Canyon. Turns out, I had a massive infection under one of my crowns. We made it to the Grand Canyon, but I felt horrible.
I spent the next few days in bed while the antibiotics did their job. I felt bad that we were so close to the Grand Canyon but hadn’t seen it yet. Fortunately, we have a flexible schedule and Damon was amazing with handling the kids.
By the time my dentist appointment rolled around, I felt a lot better. At this appointment, I learned that my crown is pretty much ka-poot and I need to get an implant. Fine by me if it means this pain will go away. Unfortunately, they couldn’t do that until I finished my antibiotics and the infection went away. At least I felt better and could finally explore the area.
We started immediately. The dentist was in Flagstaff, Arizona, and had a lot of Goodwill’s and grocery stores. Man, did we score! Books, toys, and some other accessories that we needed. Plus, we were able to stock up on food at Sam’s Club. A very satisfying outing.
The next day was another accomplishing day – this time with paperwork. Since we’ve been sick for so long, we put off a lot of important paperwork, which we finally got done! Now we can enjoy the rest of our trip.
The next day brought snow!?! While I love seeing it snow, the whole point of leaving the northeast so fast was to avoid the snow and get someplace warmer. Often times, the weather limits how much exploring we can do.
Luckily, the weekend brought warmer weather (yay!). And boy did we take advantage. See what we did in Grand Canyon Adventures.