Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Memorial Day Road Warriors

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.
~Lao Tzu

I guess my family are good make that great travelers.
This Memorial day weekend we just got in our car and drove. I know of very few children that would put up with Tom and my shenanigans. Our kiddos not only put up with it but they actually had a blast in the process. I have no idea how many miles we drove over a three day period but I am telling you it was substantial. It was in part because there is no better hotel then our cozy cottage. So our suburban meandered back home every evening very late.

Day 1 we drove to the wine country in Sonoma.
2 hours there.
We picnicked in the town square of that adorable town and wandered into shops that we really shouldn't with our crew.

Drove to the most amazing winery. I know, I know but they are soooo beautiful!!!
Drove some more to Jack London state park. (closed)

Drove to another state park named I can't remember and went on a stunning hike. Everything was covered in an unbelievable gorgeous, thick, fuzzy moss that my kiddos wanted to sleep on.

Drove back to Sonoma and ate at a fantastic Mexican restaurant ever. I am serious and even Tom agreed it was the best we have had in what seems like FOREVER! Now because we are us, we just had to try out a Mexican ice cream shop in town and I am thinking that it rivals bi-rite in San Francisco. It was a little like gelato and we might have to make special trips just for that crazy amazing stuff. Just to jog your memory of how serious we are about food you can look at this post here.
Drove 2 hours back home.

I never realized how identical those cute dimples are on both boys

All the pictures are sooc (straight out of the camera) except this one. I think I will post the edited later. Just too many to play with right now.

The hike

The fuzzy moss

Tom and I got a kick out of this. Lollipop in his mouth...I think this is the only thing that could make Nicholas look small.

We drove over three hours and picnicked on this beach past Bodega Bay.
Oh what a drive.
The ocean was wrestless and the waves were huge. Water was pounding on the coast and water was hitting the jagged rocks that lay in its path. No matter how far I travel in my lifetime, I know that this is some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.

Drove up the coast another 1/2 hour or so to the tallest lighthouse in California (115 ft.). It must be my dad in me but I love maritime history and have always been intrigued with lighthouses. I find myself thinking of the gale winds and huge rainstorms that happen so regularly along the coast. Can you imagine the relief and comfort that beaming light would be to those sailors?
We learned that there are no two lighthouses that are the same. At first I thought this one was a little boring in its all white but that quickly changed when we walked up the stairs and had a view from the top. Breathtaking!

Drove to Boonville for no particular reason except Tom wanted to see it. Just a side note... this 2 lane highway through a jungle could be the windiest road ever. That is saying a whole lot considering we just drove along highway 1. We did solid S curves for what seemed like days on end. If my kiddos didn't have iron stomachs it would have been a full barfarama.

In the end Boonville was absolutely nothing so we skedaddled to another town, ate pizza and then
drove our 3 hours home.

On top of the lighthouse

On one side of this picture is the ocean, up the road a couple of miles is a lush redwood forest and everything in between. The diversity of the pacific coast is astounding...beyond every S curve is something new.

Day 3:

Drove to San Francisco to the Memorial Day celebration at the presidio.
I know we are all trying to instill in our children the love of country. I want my children to know that we are free because of brave soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice. What a humbling backdrop with the rows of graves as we listened to past generals and soldiers remind us of why we celebrate Memorial Day. To say I was touched is an understatement but to say my children learned anything is an extreme overstatement.
Benjamin and Nicholas were asleep. Charlie and Ella were running around playing tag on the tombstones. Needless to say it was not the learning experience I had envisioned. We will continue to try....I think.

Next we ate at Mel's and drove to Pacific Heights because Nicholas was begging to see the huge homes. He is seriously at the height of his materialistic youth...we hope.

And after all that fun we drove back to our cozy cottage and had a big, fat, Memorial day barbeque at our house with Doxey's and Call's.
So even though we didn't have any fixed plans and no real intent of arriving anywhere, me and my great travelers had a perfect weekend just exploring this incredible state we call home.

Off to Mel's

Drove to Pacific Heights

Nicholas pointing out yet another nice car.

I just needed to end on these pictures. Because of the time that I spent in Northern France, including Normandy I have been forever altered. War took on a new level of horror for me when I visited those cemeteries, memorials and battlefields. The destruction that war brings and the innocent lives lost are permanently planted in my brain. I will never take the freedoms of this country for is something that every American should see.

I am grateful for my Suburban, for this beautiful country, for the soldiers who protect it and for my great travelers.

1 comment:

My boy and I said...

Oh my gosh so jealous of your good travelers. Olivia's car limit is about 1 hour. But oh my gosh talk about stunning pictures and such fun day trips! Love you guys!!

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