Saturday, August 21, 2010

Our family vacation

We stayed at the Marriott right across the street from the capitol. We ate at CPK. First time for the kids and I. We walked in and around the grounds and then walked to old town Sacramento where we splurged at the candy store, went to a couple shops, and checked out the bridge and river. We then walked back going through Westfield Downtown Plaza. Chris and the older boys went to the hotel pool while Lolo and I crashed. We did just drive 10 hours. Leaving at 5a.m., our new dvd player, listening to my sansa, and bringing our pillows, saved us.

The aquarium was crowded. I think I would appreciate it more if I had a pass and could visit it a couple hours at a time. It's huge. We were there for at least 5 hours and didn't get to read or participate in everything. We quickly went through the place, spending longer spurts of time at the touch and feel areas. We stayed at a Marriott in Salinas and ate at an all you can eat Chinese buffet. Vy said this after setting his first plate down, "Mom, I wish I had a bigger mouth." I think he meant he wishes he had a bigger stomach. I hear ya buddy, kapish.

We camped for four nights at Lodgepole campground. We booked sites 110 and 111. My favorite parts were trying out new dutch oven recipes and eating dutch oven food, being able to see the stars, having my niece and my parents around, Loyd reading The Great Brain to us around the campfire, and the variety of activities available to do.

This is 3.4 miles round trip. This will be a special hike to us since it was the first time we saw a bear in the wild. My neice (T) and Toki were up ahead of us. We see T stop Toki and whisper something to him. They turn to walk towards the rest of us. "We just saw a bear." To which Chris said, "No, you're just kidding. They're just kidding." All the while his head is spinning around to check out if it's true. I spotted it next. We were all really excited and a bit freaked out. However, it wasn't phased by us at all even when Chris followed it to take pictures. Pretty sweet experience. Chris owes Toki and T $5 each for spotting it first. That's the deal around here.
We went to three different areas to play in the water. We were mostly in the Kaweah river. But the kids and I did go and check out a nearby creek.

Some of the trails we went on included the Big Trees Trail which we did before heading to Crystal Cave. We also went on Congress trail where we were able to see some very impressive groves such at The House and The Senate. We were also able to check out General Sherman Tree and The President tree.

On one of the days we drove around to check out some of the trees, we also climbed stairs to this impressive view point. I found the following description on Wikipedia. "The Moro Rock Stairway has 400 steps that lead to the peak. The 797-foot-long stair was designed by National Park Service landscape architect Merel Sager and engineer Frank Diehl, and was built in 1931, following natural ledges and crevices." It originally was made from wood but now is cement. We made our boys go up it. T and my parents didn't quite make it to the top but they got really close.

My three fav. parts of the video include: hearing Loyd's version of why he was so nervous going up to Moro rock....a simple "because I'm a wimp" would have sufficed; hearing Angela say "ohhh, ohhh, it's so gorgeous" in the caves....I chuckled; and when the cave guide told us to turn off our flashlights....Vy had a really hard time doing that....there were at least 3 times we barked at him and once I actually wacked him with my flashlight but T took the blame. heehee sorry T, love ya!

peace out


  1. Great photos! We had such a wonderful time there.

  2. You guys do the coolest stuff together! Do you get your vacation ideas from a book of some sort?

    Also, I LOVE the big aquarium photo with the motion blur! Very well done!

  3. No book. We're just cool that way ;0). We really wanted to camp at SNP with the boys this year. But to get there we have to drive alot of hours. So we broke up the drive. We were going to visit Alcatraz and visit the aquarium in San Francisco but when we went to book Alcatraz they were sold out for the day we needed. So we went back to plan A...Monterey. As far as the stuff we did in SNP....just did an internet search and did all the kid friendly stuff around the campsite. way fun though.

  4. Nice job on the pics. I love the one where you are looking up at the trees. Awesome!

  5. your parents say they love you a lot and then she gave me a giant KISS/BESSO loll then she started to tickle my face know that was weird hahaha so today is my last day here :(!!! i was so sad that you left so early. I start school on Monday 30, 2010 :( :) I'm sad but happy. I'm going home to see my beautiful family!!!! And my puppy ohh i wanted too wish u a happy birthday ;-D <3 love you all have a wonderful school year and thank you so much for inviting me on your family vacation !!! :) i had fun at the river. I love the pic when us three were siting in the "DANGER" river with us laughing those are some good times. Call be for you go to japan

    -love Tamiya!!!! xoxoXOXOXxoxxoXOXXXXooooxooooooOOOOOOXXXXXX!!!