BFSV- driving, driving, driving.

Good morning from the Great Northwest! And still no coffee in the house. sigh.

We're currently on Leg Two of our Big Fat Summer Vacation (BFSV) -- the "mom and dad need a cocktail and the munchkins need to have some quality time with Nana and Grandpa" part of the trip. If you have read blog for even two minutes, you know a) I heart Twilight and b) we are going on a TwiTour to Forks and La Push as part of this trip. Squeals and claps…

We decided to crash and burn the first day with driving non-stop from the LA area to Oregon. A 16- hour day of driving fun. We'd rather get most of it out of the way at the start and then be able to meander our way back home. We shot for Eugene, OR as our stopping point, aggressive yes. But really, when you don’t have two munchkins in the car with you the time literally flew by. Speaking of the munchkins. BigBoy wanted to make this adults only trip start off as guilt ridden as possible. The night before, I was putting him down for bed and he started crying, “Mommy don’t leave me! Take me with you! I’m going to miss you too much!” Gee thanks, kiddo. Sassy on the other hand was all about Nana. No Mommy for nuthin. “I want Nana!”Gee thanks, kiddo.

So we headed out in one of my in-laws’ cars (thanks Memaw and Pepaw!) and hit the road. Just me and BigDaddy… and Edward. Yes Edward, the Roaming Vampire (the Roaming Gnome’s second cousin, once removed) is making the trip. When he heard we were heading to Forks, he begged to come along. He batted his golden eyes, sparkled a bit and I was a goner.

It's a bit surreal that we won’t have the kids for such a long time.  It was also strange that I was driving through my old stomping grounds without a clue as to where I was. I didn’t spend a ton of time as a driver in my home town. I finished high school and got the heck out, eventually moving farther and farther south and then farther and farther east. So it dawned on me that I really didn’t know my way around as a driver. This gave me a new view on LA, a totally different perspective. We made a large sweep from the East and headed north (via the 210) We eventually made our way to the Grapevine. Time for a little lunzy siesta. Travel Tip: don’t let your husband listen to Ray Charles as you nap. The musical horns eerily mimic the cries of children. Kid. You. Not. I woke up in a panic to my non-existent crying babes. Sigh.

(Warning: dusting off my soap box for the next section)

As we traveled north on the 5, I realized my older, wiser, tree high-fiving self was totally checking out the farm crops and wondering how much Monsanto ruled the land. BigDaddy and I were trying to identify what was growing and wondering what the politics were behind the produce. You could tell something was up as signs were sprinkled about saying “congress made dust bowl” and something about no water, no crops. We also saw a big beef farm right next to a corn field and quite a bit of brown water. Eeew. The entire region was used for farming and we saw quite a few fields with migrant workers…. I don’t even want to think about their working environment. It was beyond hot and dusty and just miserable. But this is cheap food, people. Acres and acres. We stared at the cows and BigDaddy said to me “I can’t wait to get our Polyface Beef!” Proud MamaBear moment!

Okay happy thoughts….

We needed a booty break and decided Bakersfield, CA would be a gorgeous location for some photo ops. Okay, not really. It’s kind of the armpit of CA, but they had an IHOP! Done deal. Edward joined us to keep appearances for the whole “human” thing.

There’s not a whole lot to mention about traveling up the 5, other than food, shocker right? We stopped at the Olive Pit in Corning, CA due to the power of their multiple billboards along the highway. “Olive Tasting Bar!” sealed the deal and we made a detour. We were hoping for more of a dive, but it was actually really nice! We also hit In-N-Out, of course!

Driving, driving and more driving.

We made it to Cottage Grove, OR (just south of Eugene) about 9:30 PM and crashed for the night. Edward sat on my nightstand and watched over me while I slept. It’s sweet in a creepy, stalker kind of way, right?  Nonetheless, I crashed with Eddie by my side and sweet dreams of Forks...


Over the hump.

Not a moving box in sight!
Hello Loyal Seven! [insert group hug here] I can’t believe we made it over the hump! The last month has been beyond crazy, even for us. But I kept repeating my mantra Embrace the crazy, embrace the crazy. Plus, I stole a few glances at the manifestation pom-pom for good measure. But it worked! It really worked!! We made it!

The end of the school year had its usual chaotic schedule. We have another field trip AND a class picnic AND a Field Day?! WTH? Additionally, June gave us a trip back home to Hell-A, (which included a big birthday bash for BigDaddy with his childhood friends, and the kids’ first trip to Disneyland) BigDaddy taking off for a week to work a camp, and then returning back home the night before our own week o’ camp. What did I miss…. Oh yeah, we MOVED in the time between camp and leaving for our Big Fat Summer Vacation. And we can’t forget the biggest.event.of.the.year. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Midnight Premiere was shoved into the mix during camp too. We really should be committed to the funny farm because trying to do all this, in the amount of time we had, was certifiably insane in the membrane.

Luckily I am surrounded with my village. They rock. And they pack and they move our crap across town and they watch my babes and feed them dinner when I need to hightail it up to a triple feature premiere all dressed in black and drenched in body shimmer…. but I digress. My village. This was the first time we did a local (read non-interstate move) and we had HELP. On both sides. They kept me sane, gave me pep talks and used their brain cells when I ran out of my own. I heart my village. I heart them even more when I am asked if they can be referred to as The Village People. Can you see that I’ve found my peeps?

So we made it over the hump! My world of moving boxes and totally disorganized cabinets is on hold and for now, it doesn’t exist. I'm on vacation. We spent last week in San Diego with BigDaddy’s extended family for the annual family reunion. Of course I will bring you all the nuts and bolts of the trip, but get this…. I have actual WRITING ASSIGNMENTS I have to work on about the trip. You better hop on the crazy train now before I become amazingly famous and don’t reply back to personal emails. I’ll let you on the 411 soon, but for now, I'll just babble a bit about cloudy skies and holding court bay-side.

This year the weather decided to make it a bit more exciting. I mean really, 70 degrees and sunny everyday is pretty boring. Who wants that? Well, um, me. We had just left triple digits and humidity back home in the Kinda Country, so boring ol’ 70 and sunny sounded pretty darn perfect. But it wasn’t to be. We had June Gloom way into July. Now, don’t get me wrong, being on vacation in San Diego in and of itself, I’ll take, but some sunshine would have helped the cause a bit, mainly the wow-my-body-is-really- really-white cause.

Thankfully it got a bit warmer and we managed to do some fun stuff outside. But really, the kids could care less. Sun? We don’t need no stinkin sun! Sand? Check. Pool? Check. Cousins to entertain me 24/7? Check. Grandparents to buy me whatever my little heart desires? BIG check.  Throw in a trip to the San Diego Zoo and Sea World and we have a rockin’ munchkin summer vacation.

The sun decided to warm things up a bit, and showed up on the last few days of our trip. I got to do my most favorite activity: kick it bayside and visit with lots of my friends while our children played. We ended up with a jam-packed trip that you will read about in all its glory, with photos too. Pinky promise. I even have a surprise guest who will be shaking things up a bit on our vacay.  He's already way more popular on this trip than moi.  sigh. story of my life.  

That's it for now as I need to run and find some coffee.  How's that one? We chose to stay with the one guy in Seattle who doesn't drink coffee.  Seriously??  First San Diego without sun and now I get Seattle with no morning coffee.  Vacations can be so brutal but I guess I just have to muster through...


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