We loved California so much. So much that we cut the timing a bit fine, but delighted (and relieved) to have crossed over from US to Canada without any problems.
In a nutshell, we couldn’t renew our vehicle tax on the van, so we transfered it to Uncle Matt in LA, who got new plates on her. We drove over the border technically in someone else’s van. Just got to do it in reverse now in a few weeks.
Squeezing the camper van into Matt’s driveway in LA, taking only one tree down in the process (sorry Anna!) for some quality family time. The cousins wowed the boys as ever. Finn reading with them;
Pascal and Joe showed Milo how to motocross..
which has inspired Milo to add a bike to the list of things we need next!
and plenty of birthday cake, to celebrate Anna and Sophie’s jointly.
Guess who was first in the queue at the cake ceremony..
Leo was working till late most days, but arrived at the party laden with gifts;
Thanks all, for a fantastic time. We’ll be back in a bunch of weeks
I know everyone’s been to California, but I got a new camera so bear with me. Sophie and the boys at the bottom of the tree, we saw the biggest tree in the world in Sequoia National Park;
the biggest pine cones…
made the best pirate raft
saw real black bears on a path through the forest in Yosemite
tried to do the ‘scary’ photo to show what great explorers we were, but I don’t know that everyone quite understood the game…
Though the wildlife, especially in Yosemite valley really did come up close:
the accommodation was less appealing. The RV sites sell out months in advance, so we found a camping village that I thought might be a romantic getaway in the forest. Turned out to be more like a military camp:
which provided lockable steel boxes to store food, safe from bears at night that roamed the valley, but somehow only had a flimsy canvas door to protect the people sleeping… hmm. we slept in the van comfortably!
I mentioned the new camera, which means lots of shots of the boys- apologies up front – but also birthday celebrations for Sophie, with the huge number of Armenians in California, we went Armenian..
Complete with matching outfits of course!
We’ve had some amazing outdoor times, learning to fish;
gathering wood for the fire:
hiking and swimming. Here I think Milo and I are watching Jonah with interest, who’s just fallen into the fast flowing Indian Canyon Creek;
Having completed a gruelling cycle through Yosemite, we decided that our few hours in San Francisco were best spent on bikes again. Terrible idea.
Here’s our girl about to cycle across Golden Gate Bridge from San Fran to Sausalito. We cycled 8 miles, wearing jumpers to keep warm, across a windy, noisy bridge covered in tourists, with the boys fighting and screaming in the tow along. Its the last time any of us smiled that day…
till we got to see our friends from Mexico again. They live in San Fran, had plenty of beer and wine, plus The Best Trader Joe’s chicken and beef. It was good to see Kirsten, Thomas and their boys Owen and Malcolm again.
Thomas. Husband, Father, provider, chef and washer-up. Top man. Thanks mate. See you all on the way back down!
Which leaves us back up north again. Getting the van as germ free as possible, so the mould doesn’t set in whilst we leave her in a hotel car park here in Vancouver for a month. Cant wait for Hawaii, though we only have the first week planned. Frankly all I’ve planned is a few Mai Tai’s on Waikiki beach so I’m relying on Sophie for the details after that. It will sound spoilt, but we’re exhausted. Managing the boys, stopping the boys fighting, driving, cooking, feeding, cleaning, stopping the fighting, school work, research, emails, banking. Did i mention the boys fighting..?
I’m bashing this out as the children are fighting here in the hotel swimming pool. Time to go….