There is nothing better than a long weekend. 3 whole days to do whatever you want. Well it was, then we had kids and it is just another day. However, it does give us the opportunity to travel on a family trip. This Labor Day weekend we were given a 4 day weekend by the LAUSD school system. ( Yes our daughter is in public school….gasp! ) We loaded up our minivan ( gasp!….we are still cool ) and headed out on a family road trip.
As the mom, I am in charge of packing pretty much everything. My stuff, kids stuff, household items, food/snacks and all things for fun. I also have to make sure that the house is ready to be closed up or ready for a house sitter. I also organize where the dogs are going to go. Does this sound familiar? I like doing it. I was once told, if you want something done right then do it yourself. It also makes sure that I can’t get mad at Ian for forgetting something important, like say, toothbrushes. (which I forgot this time!) And did you know, it is hard to find toothbrushes in the mountains! This made me realize that I need to find a good master list of items to pack so this doesn’t happen again. I am guessing there is a great app out there I am about to hear about!
Of course it took us an extra couple of hours to get out of Los Angeles because of traffic. We headed up the windy mountain roads to Lake Arrowhead, California. Our friends have a beautiful mountain house overlooking the lake. Ultimately a free trip. No plane tickets and no hotel cost. This can make a weekend away a lot more relaxing when you are not stressing over costs. We took our oldest dog, the Golden-doodle, Sparky. Little Oscar went to the pet hotel. I do not trust him enough to not run away.
Our first night in the mountains we enjoyed the fresh mountain air. The kids love it. It is so different than where we live. We cooked out on the grill and enjoyed a bottle of wine while the kids piled up in the living room playing games. We played our favorite game, Cards of Humanity and laughed through our second bottle of wine. We were all ready for bed by 9pm! I woke up about 1am. I can never sleep my first night in the mountains. I spent the evening on the patio looking at the owls and listening to the coyotes.
The next morning Ian took Sparky on an epic hiking adventure with his friend and his dog. The women and children stayed back. They went exploring to find a waterfall. They also had an epic fail when Sparky fell off the water fall. Ian was brave enough to go after him. Sparky luckily wasn’t hurt and I am sure had an amazing story to communicate to his best dog buddy Oscar when he returned.
That evening we had a friend come up on our family trip to watch the children. Us adults went out for margaritas and a nice steak dinner. You would think we would be out so late having a blast but we were actually home by 830. We talked about our children a lot of the time. I think this is normal, especially on a family trip with your children. Sometimes kids are what you have in common and it makes everyone relate to each others struggles. Being home from date night by 830 may not be normal though. We were all exhausted.
The next morning we took the kids on a beautiful boat ride. It was Penna’s first boat ride ever. She seemed so happy. She couldn’t stop smiling. When it was over she told me that she loved it. We parked the boat at a town center in Lake Arrowhead. They have lots of fun restaurants and really cute carnival rides for children. The kids had a blast. Our adventure quickly ended when we got a phone call that Sparky got lose and decided to go on another epic adventure. (the exact reason I didn’t bring Oscar!) We all headed back to get him and enjoy our night at the house. We cooked a big pasta dinner and enjoyed some wine over looking the mountains. We sat up talking and planning future trips. The couple we were with have 2 little girls very close in age to ours. The kids call us parents Auntie and Uncle. The kids call each other cousins. I love this so much. The memories you make with families like this truly last a lifetime. The weekends away on a family trip with other families you love and the little adventures (or mishaps) that happen along the way will shape their life. We are looking forward to the days when the 4 girls ask to go up to the mountains alone. When our daughters are women and sit on the same deck and enjoy a good drink, a laugh and these memories that happened along the way.