Early in June, we loaded the van with enough gear for camping and traveling for a month. Our plan involved the Sequoias, San Francisco, the Redwoods, and then driving along the coast to meet up with family in Oregon for a reunion. Somehow we managed to fit all of our gear, which was miraculous indeed since we packed everything but the kitchen sink. We set out for California and made our way to Sequoia National Park. We thoroughly enjoyed the scenery and the GIANT trees. They were outrageously huge, plus they have very soft and furry bark...strange. General Sherman is the largest tree in the world and also a whopping 2,000+ years old. It is incomprehensibly ginormous. We also drove our van through the hollow tree and snagged a photo. Miss B had only one shoe on for the picture because there was a long line of cars waiting to go through and therefore we had to be quick as a flash.
Plus we saw a bear. Although I don't have the best proof...
We found a suitable camping spot later that afternoon and Dad took the boys fishing after dinner while Q and Miss B made caves for his dinosaurs. I snoozed in the tent. Twas mighty fine. Also, the kids were enthralled by the giant pine cones they found...and so we had to document the momentous occasion of discovery.
On our way to San Francisco we stopped at a fab little fruit stand and purchased some stellar white peaches and nectarines. They were divine. We snacked on fruit and smoked salmon and Havarti on crackers and felt very fancy. The smoked salmon was so delicious. Then a quick detour, a toll and a traffic jam later, we drove across the fog-covered Golden Gate Bridge. I tried to show the kids the heavy fog, but they don't see the stuff much (if ever) so they showed no interest until I changed tactics and exclaimed, "Look we're driving in a cloud!" Q was then duly impressed and excitedly requested the windows open to let some cloud in.
After that we drove through some amazingly beautiful wine country. It blew my mind. Seriously. We had to stop and take pictures, although I could never quite capture the essence. There were miles and miles of rolling hills COVERED in grape vines. It was misty and the sun was getting ready to set so everything was golden and perfect and I could have died and gone to heaven. And we would stop and I'd snap a bunch of photos and then drive a little ways and pull over and I'd run out and take more and I would get increasingly frustrated as the essence seemed just out of my grasp. I don't think I ever did capture that elusive essence...but trust me, it was so breathtaking.
Soon after that, we hit the coastal highway and reveled in our first beach experience of the trip. It was glorious.
To be continued...a lot.