Wednesday, May 23, 2007

California Trip - Day 2

Wednesday - May 16th, 2007

Sir drove until 2am after we left Lynnwood. By then he was starting to get tired. He had been watching for a truck stop since we wanted to get a little pillow for Dolly's neck, but by the time he woke me up to talk to him, he still hadn't found anything promising. Finally we spotted a Walmart Supercenter and to our delight it was open 24 hours. While Sir stayed with the kids I ran inside and found a pillow among other stuff and re-emerged to find Sir starting to wonder if I had fallen asleep in the pillow isle.

Since he wasn't quite as tired after the Walmart stop, Sir kept driving until we stopped to get him something to drink and a snack in Kelso. While we were there I nursed PC so he wouldn't wake up later when it was more inconvenient for us. By the time PC was finished, Sir was awake enough to keep going and after a while I dozed off to sleep again. At 4am. he couldn't drive any more and I took over the wheel. I was absolutely delighted to get to drive into the sunrise and since it only got lighter outside after I took over, it was a lot easier to stay awake than I had originally anticipated.

The kids started waking up around quarter to 7 and when they started getting restless I started looking for a rest stop. I didn't want them to disturb Sir any more than necessary. We stopped at Gettings Creek just outside of Eugene where I got the kids dressed before letting them stretch their legs a little. It was sunny and about 45 degrees. Dolly started out riding her scooter a bit before losing interest and joining PC in a game of ball. We watched a robin hop around and saw him swallow a worm (major highlight for my daughter). Then Sir woke up, washed up a little and played a bit of ball with us before we hit the road again. Of course, I completely forgot to take any pictures while we were stopped.

Sir drove to Roseburgh where we ate breakfast at at Denny's. The kids were starting to get tired of traveling and were restless during breakfast. Once breakfast was over, I called my parents to let them know when we thought we'd be getting in based on where we were at the time. We headed out again and I had to get some rest. The kids were still fussy, but they soon fell asleep and I started to un-stress enough to doze off for a while.

Just before we got to Grants Pass, we started thinking about lunch. I had packed sandwich supplies, but wanted to grab some lunch meat to put on them. Once we found the Fred Myers in Grants Pass, I ran in for some allergy/sinus medication and the lunch meat while Sir stayed in the car with the kids. Next time somebody needs to tell me how vast a Fred Myer store is. I'd never been in one and ended up trekking across it in four different directions to find the few things I was looking for. Consequently I ran into two irresistible sun hats that would be perfect for keeping my kids from getting fried in the California sunshine. When I finally emerged from Fred Myer, the kids were both awake and we decided to try to get as far as we could before we had to stop for lunch.

Somewhere after Grant's Pass and before the California border, Sir and I traded off again. I know this because I was the one who drove across the CA border and remember looking for a place to stop for lunch. It was getting late for lunch and the kids were fast reaching their limits, so we stopped at the first rest area inside California and had our picnic lunch. Sir took the kids down to look at the river that ran along side the rest area and they loved it. Dolly made about four trips to the washroom before finally using it, but at least she did.

While I packed up our lunch stuff, the kids and Sir kicked the ball around before discovering the water faucet next to the parking lot. It wasn't until just before we left that I remembered the camera, but at least I got a couple pictures. I had changed the kids into cooler clothes since it was already 80 degrees and it was barely 1pm, so we just dried them off a little before loading them back into the car. It would be a lot warmer at our destination and it wouldn't take very long before they would be nice and dry again.

After lunch, the kids fell asleep and our next stop wasn't until we reached Weed. We needed to get enough gas to get to our destination where we could fill up at at more reasonable price. We reached Redding around 4:30 and after missing an exit, we turned around and found our way to the jewelery shop where we had purchased our wedding rings. My ring needed to be repaired in order to keep it under warranty and we thought that we might as well see about having it done by the people we bought it from. I'm glad we did because the quote we got was less than half of the amount I was quoted in Bellingham a few months earlier. We left my ring and headed for the ranch.

Dolly and PC woke up as we got to Cottonwood and because we were so close to our destination, it was easy to keep them happy. Dolly loved the bumpy dirt road and just as we got to the main gate, we ran into my dad on his way to work. We stopped and said hello through rolled down windows before continuing on. It was 89 degrees and after 5pm. I was really glad we didn't get there any earlier since I can only imagine how hot it must have been at noon! We actually pulled into the driveway just after 5:30 glad to have finally made it.

Liz, her boyfriend C, and my mom were the only ones at the ranch when we got there, but the kids didn't care. They were too happy to get out and see all the dogs, cats, cows and horses that were all over the place. To our surprise my family had collected the cows earlier that day so Sir and I were able to walk through and see our cows that we were hoping to sell later in the week. Dolly started out very excited to see all the cows, but then turned absolutely terrified when she realized how big a cow really was. She clung to Sir and switched between laughter and whimpering until she noticed that "the cow has a pink nose!" She thought that was the silliest thing and forgot to be afraid of the cows after that. Liz and C had run the horses into the yard by then, so Sir took Dolly out to see them too. She wasn't afraid because they were kindof like cows, and she really enjoyed petting "mommy's horse".

We visited with my mom, looked through the cows and got a tour of the house before it was time to get going. It was meeting night, and we wanted to make it out for meeting. Since we didn't have enough time to eat supper, we made arrangements to meet my family for pizza after meeting. Then we headed in to the meeting room and had just enough time to slip a skirt on Dolly before meeting started.

The kids were hot, tired, hungry and restless, so keeping them quiet during meeting was a bit of a handful, but we managed. After meeting we said hello to everybody and then took our leave for the pizza parlour. Mom, Liz and C showed up about ten minutes after we got there, and since we had ordered pizza as soon as we had arrived, it didn't take long before dinner was served. Dolly fell in love with Aunt Liz and PC really hit it off with my mom.

When dinner was over, we followed my mom to her new office in town where she showed us around. She had to grab some stuff for a class the next day and it was on our way to the cottage where we would be staying anyway. Once we'd seen the office, we drove a few minutes more to the cottage where we carried our sleeping babies in, unloaded the car, set up the playpen, changed the kids into pajamas (without waking them - I was proud of myself for that), took showers, and finally crashed in a monstrous king sized bed in utter exhaustion just after midnight. We were glad to have made it safely to our destination and glad to have a place so comfortable to stop.


  1. Thanks for sharing. Love the sun hat!

  2. I loved reading it! Sounds like a good trip.

  3. I hope Dolly wore the brim down while you were at the ranch! Cute hat.