Of course it happens that every time we set off on a road trip, we are motivated to sell off everything and travel the country. Permanently. This trip was no different.
While on our amazing road trip this past summer, Charlie and I did what we do best: We questioned everything about life - what we were doing - where we should be - and if any course adjustments were necessary. Seven months later: the jury is still out.
There is something so incredibly freeing about just taking off with everything you need to survive in the vehicle you are driving. You have no responsibilities, except arriving safely - and enjoying the journey. We listen to books on tape, read stories, sing songs, listen to music and talk radio, play games like, "I'm thinking of an animal…" and "This is the game of concentration - no repeats or hesitation … category is: sedimentary rocks!" And the kids all get frustrated with Charlie and I because they don't appreciate geology categories as much as their parents do.
After spending an amazing time with Charlie's family - we loaded up our trusty 11-year old minivan which was absolutely packed to the brim, with all of the supplies and camping gear we would need for our three week vacation. And in that space between the driver and passenger seats, Kathy gave us an abundance of fresh vegetables from her garden. And then - just as we were pulling out of the driveway, Steve eyed a minuscule patch of space on Henry's lap and quickly darted in to the house returning with - of all things - a baritone. Yep. Let that soak in.
I'm not sure what we ever did to hurt Steve … but there you have it.
"No, really, I insist. It is because of my affection for you, the children must take this horn to play on the nearly 2,000-mile drive from northern California to southern Texas. Isn't that right, children?!"
Once we departed Santa Rosa, we continued on - partially deaf - to the southeast for Calaveras County; the gateway to Yosemite National Park. It was in Angels Camp, that we tread in the footsteps of Mark Twain … and learned all about the jumping frogs. They really exist!
We toured the historic town, ate peppermint stick ice cream (our favorite)…
And Charlie and I had a Ms. Pac-Man showdown wherein I impressed the socks off our children by landing the HIGHEST score on this arcade game (NOTE: my video game ability rises and sets on this game, only. With two quarters and a Ms. Pac-Man table game … it's on like Donkey Kong.)
After touring the town, the kids, not me because I'm not totally cra-cra, swam in a ridiculously cold campground swimming pool; and then we settled down with a game of cards around our campfire - before climbing in to our newly pitched, 8-man tent that had been set up in a picturesque location. Thankfully, there wasn't any inclement weather or wind, because after we set it up, we realized that we had TWO remaining poles. Oops. Instructions would have been useful.
The next day, we woke up at the crack of dawn - ate fresh vegetables from Kathy's garden for breakfast - and continued southeast to Yosemite National Park, the first of what would be five national parks that we would visit over the next five days on our beautiful drive back to Texas.
Hop on back soon for more to this story.
Get it? Hop? Like a frog?