Friday, September 28

the redwoods + hutchisons = bliss

Moving away from our VA friends has been rough. So we were thrilled when we were able to meet up with our dear friends, the Hutchisons, for a fun weekend. They live in California, so we met halfway in the Redwoods National Park. It. Was. Awesome.

Drive down to the Redwoods, arriving late at night and first seeing the trees in the fog. It was like driving through a movie set! We arrived about the same time as the Hutchisons, so we had a giddy reunion but then quietly moved our sleeping kids into our side-by-side rooms at the Econo Lodge.

The next morning, we finally got to reunite Addy with her BFF Charlie. She was shocked and then PSYCHED.

We headed to our first park (there are actually several that are part of the Redwoods), and we couldn't believe the size of the trees. It truly is humbling to realize how dang small you are. We loved walking through the gorgeous park.

Next we drove to the coast (did you know the Redwoods are basically on the ocean? Yeah, me neither.) We ate lunch and played for a bit on the beach. And by "play" I mean Addy and Charlie got soaked.

Then we drove to "Big Tree" (clever name, no?). It's estimated to be over 1,500 years old. Amazing!

Then we drove through a tree, because it would have been tragic if we hadn't! We drove through this bad boy at least 3 times, taking different shots (I like this one with Katie and Andrew's heads... ha!). It's safe to say we had a lot of fun here.

That night we cozied on up in one of the rooms and watched the BYU vs. Utah game. We cheered for the Cougs, but... I guess they couldn't hear us. But at least we got to chit chat, eat candy, and rejoice in the fact that all the kids were eventually sleep in the other room.

The next day we found a church for Sacrament Meeting, and then went back to the hotel to pack up. We ate lunch at a park on the coast.

After that we were so bummed that we had to say good bye. Ugh. It was just SO nice to hang out with these guys. It showed me that you can always pick up where you left off with good friends like them. We love those guys!

When we parted ways, Doug and I decided to do a few more things in the Redwoods area before we started to drive north. Doug had Monday off, so our plan was to stay at a hotel in central Oregon that night and play the next day. Ahem... that was plan. But I'll get to that...

First we saw the lighthouse at Crescent City. You can only access it at low tide, so we played at the little beach for a while gathering rocks and watching the fog lift. It was really serene.

Grace's hair was delightfully windblown.

Next we stopped at a trail at a different park. We didn't go far, but just enough for Addy to have fun, see some gigantor banana slugs, and marvel at some more monstrous trees.

Here's where our plans started to change. Grace and Addy were due to nap, but Grace had a blow-out and Addy kept wanting to see the water. We stopped at one of the park's river access areas, got cleaned up, and then walked down the hill just a 100 feet or so to the water. Addy threw more rocks, Doug found a snake, and again--it was so serene.

After 10 or 15 minutes, we headed back to the car. Doug went to put Addy in first, and I heard him say, "Ohhhh no." I walked over and Addy's window was completely busted through. My diaper was gone, and the backpack with our laptop, portable DVD player, and some other things were GONE. It was a terrible feeling. We knew we shouldn't have left them there, but I'd covered them half-heartedly with a blanket and we knew we'd only be gone for a few minutes. Since they had my wallet, we started making calls. I canceled credit cards and Doug called the cops. While we waited for the police officer, we tried to clean the glass out of Addy's car seat. It was simply filled with glass. We also started discussing the enormity of this problem... they'd taken my driver's license with our address on it and my keys with our house key on it, so we were going to have to change the locks at home. They took some things with sentimental value that just made me livid. They took gift cards I'd been carefully saving (and they had a lot of money on them). It was just so distressing.

We also realized we couldn't stay at a hotel that night with our car window wide open. We just didn't trust anyone to not mess with it. So after the cop came, and covered the window with a blanket and drove the 6 hours home. It was not fun.

As we drove home, though, Doug and I kept saying that we still didn't regret the trip. We love the Hutchisons and we loved this family trip. So take THAT car thief!


Karisa and John said...

Hooray for the Irion/Hutchison clan! We love those guys to pieces. That's nice you all relocated to the same general vicinity so you can meet up easily. I'm sorry for the damper (understatement) on your vacation -- what a low-life.

One little funny typo: you said "my diaper was gone" instead of "my diaper BAG was gone." That totally changes the meaning. Especially that you said it so matter-of-factly. "My diaper was gone." Very funny!

Michal Thompson said...

Grace's Hair do reminds me of jef from the bachelorette