Feeling like I can’t do it… and then feeling pathetic for saying I can’t

Feeling like I can’t do it… and then feeling pathetic for saying I can’t

Last week we were camping at Yosemite National Park.  If you’ve haven’t seen our recent posts on Yosemite, you’ve got to check them out, especially Monica’s detailed itinerary for a family camping trip at Yosemite. We’d spent an emotional day in Yosemite a few years ago but this trip last week was really our first real immersion into the park. I have a feeling that over the next few years we’ll be treating this place as our backyard. I’ll let you in on a little secret about me.  I love tradition. Our first Christmas after we were married we went to San Francisco at Christmas.  I said from then on I wanted to go every Christmas.  When we went the next summer, I said I wanted to go ever summer too. And so it started.  Every time we go somewhere I say, “I want to go here every year…” A few months ago we were camping in Oregon and then at the Jedediah Smith State Park in the heart of the Redwoods. I said I wanted to do that every summer too. By the time we drove the 8 hours home I had a change of heart. The Redwoods are amazing. But the world is too big. There’s too much I want to see. Too much I want to do. The places you go back to over and over again are the places you love which are also easily accesible. We love Yosemite. And it’s an easy, beautiful drive, with no traffic from our base in Lake Tahoe. Not that I was planning on doing it on this trip,...
Bad Start…Great Finish

Bad Start…Great Finish

Have you ever let a bad start to a trip ruin the whole time? That almost happened, but we were redeemed. It started out rough. Stayed up until 1:30 am the night before our Yosemite camping trip working and then got a very late start to the day (3 hours late!). Road construction delays, rain-with my non-waterproof suitcase on the roof, and two kids who had already been in the car for an hour before we even got on the road. There was stress, tension and uncertainty. It wasn’t looking very promising as we crossed the Tioga Pass and rain turned to snow. Camping in the snow?! Really?  The weather said 0% chance of rain, 0%! We got to our site and it was raining. No jacket, no umbrella and I will mention that on the list of things that were important in choosing a tent, waterproof was at the bottom. We always said we aren’t going to camp in the rain! So…as we raced to get our camp setup and to keep the kids wet feet off our bed I had a sinking feeling about the next three days. It is one thing to be wet when you can go home, shower and sit by the fire and get dry. Going back to the wet tent and freezing all night is quite another. Camp setup, kids crying and adults hungry-I skipped breakfast and lunch in our haste, we set out to the cafeteria. We had a good dinner and the kids played around the table. The dining room was mostly empty and we were able to get warm and dry....
Drumming up heartache at Yosemite

Drumming up heartache at Yosemite

This week we are camping at Yosemite National Park with our good friends Lisa and Andy Nelson and their boy Caden. As much as we love to travel and adventure, it’s hard to believe that we’ve failed to really take in this world renowned area which is so close to where we’ve lived in Santa Barbara and Lake Tahoe. Maybe we’ve been hesitant to go back because it conjures up so many memories. Almost four years ago I quit my job. I left a lucrative, “enviable” position to chase a dream. I’d been working on the deal for months. Sensing the deal was about to go through, my wife and I left town for a few days with our son Jackson, who then was just a baby. We drove to Merced, California and stayed with friends and made a day trip of Yosemite. When we left we felt like it would be our last chance to get away for a while. We were on the verge of buying a business and for the foreseeable future we’d be tied up getting that business running the way we envisioned. It was a Tuesday and we were on a short hike in Yosemite. I knew the board we were working with would wrap up their meeting around 3:00 in the afternoon. As 3:00 approached I kept my cell phone at the ready–anticipating the call that the board had approved the sell and that we were a go. 3:00 o’clock passed. 3:15. 3:30 3:45 4:00. At 4:30 I got a call from a representatiave from the board. They were holding off their final...
“Can you help me plan my cross-country drive?”

“Can you help me plan my cross-country drive?”

Our family has been traveling a lot for a while now.  Long before we started our family travel blog the questions were already coming from friends, family, and random people in our life. How long does it take to drive 500 miles with two little kids? (10 hours) Do airlines charge a fee for checking my baby’s stroller? (In most cases no, but some airlines are beginning to charge for “non-basic” strollers.) What’s the best place to search for flights? (Kayak.com, Travelocity.com, and Expedia.com all have different advantages.  But I like to use these as search engines and then book my flights directly on the airline’s website if the price is the same or almost the same.  When flights are oversold the first people to be bumped are those who booked through discount websites. AND please don’t book multiple carriers. You will regret it, no matter how much money you save!) Today the question comes from my brother-in-law who is flying to Maine to drive to Santa Barbara with his girlfriend.  “Can you help me plan my cross-country drive?” Sure.  And now I’m on a mental escape. Here are the parameters, either told to me directly by my brother-in-law (Matt) or based upon what I know about him. Matt doesn’t like cities.  He’s far more comfortable in open spaces. Matt hates the heat.  So my plan is to keep them north for the majority of their trip. Matt specifically requested camping “near a lake or river.” Budget matters. (Budget always matters, but I think that in this case budget really matters!)  And so does time.  So there are going...

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