Sunday, October 26, 2008


Vacation? Are we crazy? I did ask myself this question several times in the last 2 weeks. Cornett and Company took our first official family road trip down to California and back. Are we worse for wear? I WILL say that we learned a lot about our baby boy on this trip.

Initially, we intended to see a few friends and family, boldly drive the highways and biways of America, and spend some time away from our house. We accomplished all of these goals easily. We also visited Crater Lake, Yosemite National Park, and played golf (twice). Having the chance to travel outside of the "normal" school schedule was a big plus. We beat the crowds, enjoyed the crisp fall air, and stopped along the way for nursing and plates of cheese and crackers.

But WHY do it with an INFANT? Hmm. That is a good one. Because we could? Because its there? Because we're trying to inculcate this boy into our culture of travel and life experience that he will never remember? We are both off of work, and hate to miss the opportunity to laugh and play. So laugh and play we did!

Yosemite could be the greatest of the national parks. I haven't seen Yellowstone, or Teton, or many others - but hear me out. It is at a gem like Yosemite Valley that the entire idea of preserving natural American treasures was born. John Muir sat around the fire on the valley floor with Teddy Roosevelt and they hammered out a plan for public funding and park ranger uniforms on the back of a cocktail napkin. This is where history was MADE, and it feels like it. Yosemite comes from an earlier time when men and women on horseback rode for days to see the waterfalls and rock formations they had only read about. And when they arrived? They dressed up for dinner, thankful that they could at least get a good cocktail and a medium rare hunk of bison. Some of them played golf, for gad's sake. The Wawona course was built there in 1918. And I played it. Poorly. But proudly.

Yosemite was impressive for its Sequoia trees and rock formations. Crater Lake was beautiful on the afternoon we stopped, cold and windy, and wild. Linden and I hiked to the top of a rock called the Watchman. Jude remained impassive, and asleep. After, we sat in a parking area along the rim and watched the sun go down as the boy had his dinner.

So Yosemite and Crater Lake were fantastic! but the bulk of our trip was really spent among friends and family in the fine city of San Francisco. More on that soon!

One more short anecdote. Jude became increasingly mistrustful of the carseat over time. We fed him, watered him, gave him short walks along the way, but he was on to us. Eventually we began referring to it as the "Hell Hole", and then (for propriety's sake) the "Hell-Heck Hole." But, as might be expected by people who actually know anything about children - eventually Jude got his revenge. We were driving a windy route down from Glacier Point in scenic Yosemite, when Jude dipped his hands down around his butt region and came up with something brown and sticky. Basically, we refer to this incident as a "blowout". I will never forget Linden muttering the words "What is this on your hands?" just before the screaming began. We pulled over on a narrow turnout and changed EVERTHING we could change. Except the car seat cover. We wiped it down the best we could. Eventually, we had no other recourse. He had to go back in. It was a warm day, and the drive through the central valley and into San Fran was only a few hours. But I think you can understand why we may have re-christened the car seat as "The Smell Hole!"
Posted by Picasa