Tag Archives: vacation

Visiting Family in Central California

9 Dec

So here I am, writing from my broken laptop in California, watching reruns of Chopped and trying to love on all the cats like there’s no tomorrow. It feels just like every day I spent in my second trimester of pregnancy waiting for Jonathan to get out of boot camp. Not kidding. I spent the whole time trying to tune out the TV and gather my thoughts, and failing miserably, and as a result  just churning out rambling blog posts and run on sentences and trying to remember why I’m staring at a text box and… anyway. Allow me to share my visit to California thus far via Instagram! Cuz it’s really not gonna happen any other way. (And forgive me for the rambling. We’re watching Kid Snippets on YouTube now.)


Tessa and I spent the morning yesterday lazing around the apartment with Jonathan, not getting packed till the very last minute. We barely made it to the airport in time, because what kind of adventure starts with timeliness and promptness and all that boringness? Not baby Tessa’s first adventure, that’s for sure!


Tessa was completely enthralled by all of the people in the airport. If I suspected before that she is a freakishly, abnormally awesomely chill baby, I know it for a FACT after yesterdays travels. With 8+ hours of travels, Tessa did not cry ONCE! She flirted with everyone, got a trillion compliments on her pixie hat, and had every passenger on the planes going on and on about how cute and calm and wonderful she was. She was giggling and chattering and watching the world when she was awake (which gave me great company when I’d finished reading through the two books I’d brought) and she was sleeping snugly and soundly in her ring sling when she was conked out. It was the easiest thing on the planet! Tessa kept watching the passing clouds out the window, completely entranced. She gets so focused and calm when she’s encountering something new. She’s already such a smart baby. Have I mentioned how much I just love her!?!?


My flight was about 40 minutes behind schedule. Which meant I left my dear friends (whom I’d never before met in person, haha) waiting at In and Out Burger for awhile. I first “met” Josh and Kristen when I was looking for breast milk donations for baby Tessa awhile back. Kristen provided Tessa’s early colostrum heavy milk and has become one of my favorite people. We like to tease each other about how we’re mutual blog / Facebook / Instagram stalkers. I am so blessed to know this lovely couple and Tessa is blessed not just with amazing nutrition, but with an amazing Auntie and Uncle in Southern California! I was so dang excited to meet these guys!! We spent so much time visiting we didn’t hit the road for Hanford till.. what? 8ish? I think?? (I stole some of these Instagram images off of Kristen’s page.. cuz I’m baaaad like that.)






So when we finally hit the road, my mom was all like, “Waaah wah waaah, I have to pee!” So we started to pull over at the nearest exit (Lyons Ave in Valencia) and then we realized, hey! Dennis from Billy Hill and the Hillbillies at Disneyland usually plays with his bluegrass band The Grateful Dudes on Saturday nights at a pizzeria right off of Lyons, let’s see if they’re still playing! And lo and behold they were! We stuck around for an hour or so to listen to the band and catch up on old times, then when we hit the road for the Central Valley it was well past 10pm. See? Timeliness = BORING.



After much coffee and soda and other unhealthy caffeine laden beverages, we finally made it home past 1am. Lots of visiting and settling in ensued and finally, around 3:30am, we headed to bed. Look at Tessa, all snug as a bug in her borrowed bassinet!


This morning we headed to Marshalls so I could buy the Christmas gifts for family that I didn’t have room to pack in my bags. Jessica had fun trying out the ring sling with Tessa. Check out their matching penguin hats:


My brother Jeremy and his lovely wife Angie visited from the coast to meet baby Tessa for the first time. Tessa LOVED them. It just kind of dawned on me today… she’s going to have an auntie and uncle that are going to spoil her rotten.



We headed over to Grandma Ree and Steve’s house in Lemoore for a kind of impromptu family reunion. Look, here’s my brother, me and my sister as babies!


Grandma Ree and Steve meeting baby Tessa for the first time!


THEN! My Aunt Peggy stopped by and Tessa got to meet her Great Aunt. It’s funny to me that Tessa was an angel on the flight -didn’t fuss or cry ONCE – but once we got to visit with family she decided to go all teething infant on me and drool on everyone. She got a tiny bit of a fever today, and kept trying to bite everything (but mostly her overalls). But still, Tessa was being a super cutie, and loving on everyone with her perpetually alternating “oh!” and “wtf?!” faces.


After the family get together, we all headed back to my old apartment (now my dads super secret lair) and spent some more time loving on Tessa. My mum sniped this shot of all three of us “kids” with the first grandbaby. I can’t wait till Tessa has some cousins to play with!


Anyway, I’m going to head to bed now. SO. VERY. TIRED. It’s only been a day and a half and we’ve already had some fun little adventures. Sorry for the rambling nature of this post. I’m tired, I’m distracted, and I’m… I can’t even remember what I was going to say. Yeah, that’s my cue for bed time. Goodnight, ya’ll!


Camping at the Grand Canyon, Arizona

27 May

Jonathan and I had been craving a camping trip for some time now, and after tossing around various plans (Yosemite? Yellowstone? Sequoias?) we finally decided on a quick jaunt to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, one of the seven natural wonders of the world – thus allowing me to check off another location on our 501 Places To Visit Before You Die checklist. I love me my checklists. Our friend Nate came along to spend his birthday weekend with us at the Canyon.

While I tend to pride myself on my vacation planning abilities, this weekend was, uh, not well planned. First we forgot it was a holiday weekend. (Oops.) Then, we didn’t check routes till we were halfway there (landslide in the park made us have to backtrack and reroute), we misjudged the cost of gas, and once we arrived at the National Park, we found that Desert View – the first-come first-serve campground we intended to set up at – was full, and we had to drive 15 miles out to Ten-X Campground that LUCKILY had a cancellation and let us set up camp. But all those adventures aside, the trip was a blast!

We were up at 3am to drive to the canyon, grab a vantage point and watch the sunrise. While Jonathan and I had both been to the canyon prior to meeting each other, we’ve concluded that this is THE way to see the Grand Canyon for the first time. We literally watched the canyon unveil. It’s gorgeous. At its widest point, the canyon stretches 18 miles across and is around 6000 feet deep, so in the dim light of the pre-dawn moon, you can only see the cliffs around you faintly – the gap across the canyon and the floor is pitch black. Then as the horizon lightened and the sun rose, the canyon was literally unveiled. It was unreal. It was like watching a literal painting in process.

We spent the morning hopping along vantage points and visiting Native American ruins. When we went to the historic Indian watchtower at Desert View on the South Rim, they were playing the Disneyland Grand Canyon song that plays during the train ride and I was like, “OMG, it’s for real!” (Yes, I get all my real life adventures out by reenacting my childhood make believe sessions from Disneyland..)

We also brought our puppy Thor along with us and he was fantastic. It was the first major trip we brought him along on and he couldn’t have been a better behaved dog. He spent most of his weekend off the leash because he was so well mannered and obedient. I really don’t know what happened to the little terror we’ve spent the last year trying to train! ^_^

So, according to the Grand Canyon National Park Service, the only thing more dangerous than a person hiking the canyon alone, are two men in their 20s hiking together. The majority of people who die by falling over the edge of the canyon are men aged 20-40, and many of the deaths involve guys peeing off the edge. Guess what Jonathan and Nate both did? *sigh*

I don’t really get the appeal of peeing into a giant hole in the ground. What is it? Claiming your territory? Although I do kind of get the bragging rights concept. I mean, I once peed in the original Batman Bat Cave in the Hollywood Hills. In high heels. So there’s that. And for the record, I also peed in the canyon. Well, Tessa started kicking my bladder so I hid behind a bush to go. So it was less peeing in and more peeing on.

Anyhoo, we had a fun weekend of camping and sightseeing. I love creating memories around the world with my handsome husband – and soon our family vacation will include TESSA! I’m so glad we had a chance to do this last minute trip, it will be our last family vacation as a two-some. Jonathan leaves for boot camp in just 7 days.