Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Redwoods Vacation: Part One

 When our dear friend's Paul and Rachel moved with their five children, they left a hole in our hearts. We agreed that just because they moved to California didn't mean that we wouldn't be able to see each other. A year later, we headed to the Redwoods and Crescent City  to meet up with them. They came from San Francisco, which was almost halfway. We have been on one other vacation before together three years ago. It was so much fun, we knew we had to do it again!

Since it was an eight hour trip for us (without the stops), I got creative. I saw a yard sale sign the day before and stopped. I found a cute bag of Polly Pockets for the girls and a small box of Legos for the little boys. I gave the toys to them the minute we got in the van to leave. They were thrilled to play with their new toys! They played the entire time with them. I couldn't believe how peaceful it was. I also charged up their MP3 players and Marcus brought his Game Boy. In 1,14 miles we had a five minute meltdown with Lily. That was it! God really blessed us.

We decided to take the backseat out of the van, so we could have more cargo space. That made it really squishy for the kids. They are used to having space in between them. They did really good overall with being patient with one another.
 The first day we drove five hours and stayed at Roseberg, OR. Lily let Jessica hold her in the water. They had such a fun time swimming in the pool and even made some new friends.
 The next day, we got up early and headed to Crescent City. Wow! What a winding road the Redwoods Highway is. I'm so thankful for our kids don't normally get carsick. Most of the corners you had to take at 25 to 30 and there was a lot of them since you were following a river. Here we are at the beach waiting for Paul and Rachel's family to arrive. The kids were so happy to be out of the car!
 Lily hung back with me. She is very afraid of the "pretty water". The ocean must just look too big to her.
 We were in the pool when their family arrived. When they came in, we pretty much took up the pool! There were 15 of us all together. Eleven children between us. They are basically all about the same age, so there is a friend for everyone. I can also count on Paul to bring the pool toys! I am the world's lightest packer, and that man packs everything but the kitchen sink. I love it! I told you our families were meant to be good friends! LOL! It felt so good to spend time with them. No one was shy, they just started playing and having a wonderful time. Rachel and I just kept hugging each other and I couldn't stop bawling. What a treat to be able to see each other face to face.
 The next day we headed to go hike the Redwoods. We found this delightful grove by a creek. The weather was warm and sunny. We managed to get them all gathered to snap this picture of all eleven children. Talk about a miracle! LOL! They may not all be looking at the camera, but all of them are in there.
 Heading into the Redwoods was just amazing. They are different than anything I've ever seen. The kids were just so happy to be out of that van and running around with their friends.
 We kept finding these banana slugs everywhere. We had never seen them, but apparently they are everywhere in San Francisco. They told us all kinds of facts about them. Here David (their oldest) is licking one. It makes the tongue go numb. EWWWWWWW! Elijah even put one across his face. We were all thoroughly grossed out!
 We tried to get the kids to take a few pictures of us. This one was pretty good.
This was our silly picture. Paul is didn't get the memo! LOL! I love Rachel's look, though. She always makes me laugh.

More later. I don't want to overwhelm you. I played a lot with my camera and I can't wait to show you some of the shots I got.


Wanting What I Have said...

I am ALL smiles! What a great trip!!! I am so happy for you that you got to spend that time together!

Chelle said...

I am happy you got to take a trip. when our family went to california we went to the redwoods. They are very pretty.

Rachel and Family said...

What an awesome time we had. I can't stop smiling! I also didn't realize how much room we were taking up in the pool :)

Kimberly said...

How did you manage to get past the 6 people max per motel/hotel room rule?

How funny you and another blog I follow both poted on trips to Crescent City and the Redwoods!!!

We still need to take our children out to the coast!

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

We didn't get past that rule. It cost a fortune, because we had to have TWO rooms each night. We spent over $1000 on the two motels we stayed out. Ouch! That is why we have to do this every few years. Got to save up.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I loved looking at your pictures. Loved Rachel's posts as well. So glad you guys had such a great trip :)

Homestead Living said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time. I have never been to CA. Hope to make it someday. I hear it is worth the trip. :)
Glad the children did well during the ride. That can be the hardest part.

OurLilFullFam said...

Great time it looks like! What a great hing to have such close friends to do stuff like that together!


Amber said...

Looks like y'all had a blast! Beautiful pictures! I'm glad the car trip went well.

Camille said...

What a fun trip Stacie!! I was there LONG ago...it is truly amazing how HUGE those trees are!! I had to chuckle at the drive through tree experience...good for you!! LOL! I've read through all your posts down to this one...sorry I've been *out of the loop* for so long. Your haircut is cute...just thought you'd like to know I noticed. :)

And your most recent post about mothers giving grace to each other...oh how I hear you!!! Isn't it amazing how MUCH the LORD teaches us through being a parent?? How Gracious HE is with us!

Have a terrific week my friend.

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