It’s been a long time since we’ve ventured out of La Mesa and it’s been an eternity it seems since we have slept somewhere other than our own beds on little ol’ Samuel St.
We booked an Airbnb in Joshua Tree with the intent of just not being at home for a couple days, watching critters, going on adventure walks and treating ourselves to some delicious meals.
Cam and Demi were so excited that Cam had a 12 day countdown taped to his door that he marked off as it was getting closer. He tried to negotiate 10 nights away instead of 2. When that didn’t work, he tried to negotiate 5 nights. Demi asked daily if “today is the day we go to the vacation house?”
The morning we left, the kids were so excited they fought over what to pack like I’ve never seen before. Cam was shoving things in brown boxes and taping them shut (his form of packing), and both of them were so emotional and out of control, they just wanted to be on the road. I was slightly unnerved by their intensity and fighting, but Joe knew they were just excited and was mostly cool and laughing about it.
Against all odds, we made it. Here’s a cutie little video of the adventure we had, which ended up being a LOT more adventurous than we’d even expected. We did the whole Joshua Tree loop, hit up the Giant Rock in Landers, hiked Coyote Hole, built stone towers, watercolored and smores’d our hearts out.
The official critter-spotting list includes:
- Quail families
- Regular rabbits, jackrabbits
- Chuckwalla lizards, regular lizards
- Praying mantis
- Mice and kangaroo rats
- Velvet ant and horned beetle
- Hawks and birds of all varieties
Not featured in the video:
- Their aggressive tug-of-war pre-vacay
- Demi’s bloody nose and subsequent sneeze spraying the blood everywhere during a car ride
- Demi’s fall into some tiny spiny cactus that spurred 30 minutes of screaming and just as many minutes of tweezing
- The horrifying Lander’s Brew patio
- The excessive whining at the end of our adventure drive “we wanna go to the house!”
All-in-all it was a memorable and wonderful family adventure and a delightful break from what has been too much time on the homestead.
It’s been a bit since we got home from vacation, but I am fiiiiinally posting about it. One thing that struck me after vacation was that we rarely vacation without family or friends or someone to visit. While we loved it, it also highlighted the benefits of being with other folks. I think we would have pushed ourselves to do more different things. Nonetheless, it was a vacation to remember.
First the whole mashup of photos, then the lowlights and highlights.
- Demi decided she’d rather drive than sit in a car seat, so each time we got into the car for a 2 minute drive or a 2 hour drive, she’d try to get into the front or lose her mind screaming. This would go on for a couple minutes or up to 30, which was just awful. It reminded us that we’re entering official tantrum zone with her.
- When Cam had an accident in his pants during dinner in the bathroom of a restaurant and I had to run him out to the car with no pants on to change into his wet board shorts and finish dinner.
- Cam and Demi tug-o-warring over _____ (fill in the blank with whatever you want–a towel, the door knob, a piece of broccoli). This was also an indicator we’re entering that era where we need 2 of everything and they need to be equal, look equal, sound equal, be shaped equally… or someone is mad.
- Early morning sunrises on the back patio with coffee!
- Kiddie pool at the condo was 2 feet deep which means the kids could flounder about happily and mostly safely without active assistance. They looooved it.
- The kids “jumping waves” in Hanalei. I say “jumping waves” in quotes because Joe and I were breaking our backs lifting them up and over aggressive “pre-winter” waves as they shrieked and laughed and couldn’t get enough.
- Shave ice every day. Favorite: Wishing Well outside of Hanalei.
- Evening/night swims.
- The beach in Poipu was the best suited for small kids and therefore allowed Joe and I to chill a little more while the kids were still thoroughly entertained.
- All. The. Birds. There were sooooo many native birds. We fed the “nenes” (geese) each morning, watched the red-headed cardinals, tall white birds, and chased chickens and roosters around everywhere. Demi called the chickens “bawk bawks” so we spent a good portion of our vacation talking about bawk bawks.
- The rain followed by a rainbow! We only caught 1 rainbow, but it was a really good one.
- Naps after getting sun-kissed.
- The moments when the kids were cooperatively playing. This happened in short bursts every day.
- When Cam sounded out and spelled “pool” to earn going to the pool one evening.
- How Demi now calls all bodies of water “pool” even if it’s the ocean. It makes me giggle.
- Cam’s drawing of the Hawaiian Islands which included several volcano islands, the one we were visiting and the one that Joe and I got married on.
- For me: poké every day, no cause to put on makeup, convenient entertainment, discovering organic non-refrigerated milk (what!? It exists.), the scenery, the beer, listening to the waves to put us to sleep.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about all the amazing things I’d love to be able to do with Cam and Demi, all the trips and adventures and sites to see. But I’ve also been thinking a lot about the age-appropriateness of anything we do outside our house. If it’s age appropriate for a toddler and an infant, then Joe and I are going to have a lot more fun.
That’s why I booked this little end-of-maternity-leave/last-hurrah/Joe-birthday/belated-Mother’s-Day trip to Palm Desert. I used my Mom’s network to get a referral to somewhere in Palm Springs or Palm Desert that would be fun for the whole family and this place really fit the bill.
It was such a bonus that Regina and MoRo decided to come and Ralle and Bernice decided to come as well. Everyone had fun… from the 2.5 month old to the 90 year old. Seriously.
Cam even said the last day of the trip “this vacation is awesome!” That was a reward in and of itself–validation from my own CamO.