Monday, August 22, 2016

Weekend Adventures: Camping in Pismo Beach

We've been talking for awhile now (about 10 years!) about buying an A-frame pop up trailer to tow behind the Jeep.  Well, now is the time!  To celebrate Zac's company (Otto) being purchased by Uber this week (!!!! so good!!!!) Zac went out Friday morning and came home with our very own Forest River Rockwood A Frame!  We loaded it up and headed south to camp for the weekend at Pismo Beach!

Saturday was Zac's birthday!  He really wanted to rent a dune buggy and ride all over the sand dunes at Pismo - so that's what we did.  I made it for about 5 minutes in the dune buggy before I had Zac take me back to the car.  I couldn't handle the shaking, jarring, noise and speed - not my thing.  But he and the kids had a great time out in the dunes for about 2 hours!
Just outside the campground
Famous cinnamon rolls that our neighbors told us about
The Birthday Boy!
They loved it!
After checking out of the campground on Sunday morning we stopped at Smugglers Cave and Pirates Cove Beach for lunch.  The kids had lots of fun playing in the waves and sand.
View from Smugglers Cave
playing on the beach!
It was a great first trip in our trailer!  For more trailer pictures you can check out our listing on Outdoorsy!  We plan to rent the A Frame out when we are not using it

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Oh. My. Goodness.  The following events are all true, as crazy as they sound, they actually happened.

This last weekend the kids and I got to spend time in Arkansas for my Grandma's 80th birthday celebration!  It was so great to spend time with my Grandma, Aunts and Uncles, and cousins on my mom's side.

Let's start at the beginning...

On Friday the kids and I flew out from San Jose to Dallas.  Great flight, no issues.  When we get to Dallas it starts to rain.  Then it pours.  Then there is thunder and lightening!  We were delayed from boarding our flight to Fort Smith Arkansas to wait for the weather.  Things cleared up and we boarded.  Then the t-storms started again.  We sat on the runway for TWO HOURS waiting to be able to take off!  There was a huge line of planes waiting with us.  Evidently, there is some rule that if you sit for two hours everyone has to get off the plane, so that's what we did.  Shortly after we were back in the airport, our flight was cancelled!  I waited to talk to the agent to see what I could do, but the next available flight we could take would get us into Fort Smith at 10pm the following night!  Not happening, since Grandma's party was at 2pm.  By now it's about 9:30pm.  We take the shuttle over the the rental car building.  I figure we can rent a car, sleep at my friend Emily's in Commerce, and drive the rest of the way in the morning.  After going to EVERY rental car counter - they are all out of cars.  I am calling my parents (who are already in Arkansas) and Zac back and forth to figure out what to do.  After talking it through, the only option was to call a Lyft (like Uber) to drive us the entire way to Paris Arkansas.  So that's what we did!  The second Lyft driver I contacted agreed to take us the whole way (about 6 hours).  The kids slept most of the way - thank goodness, and I was in and out.  The weather was horrible, t-storms the whole way there.  We FINALLY arrived at Mt. Magazine Lodge around 4:30am.  I felt so bad for our nice driver that I bought him a room in the Lodge for the night before he had to turn around and head back to Dallas.
A Screen shot of our Lyft ride!  Zac was tracking us the whole time.
We had a few hours of sleep and then woke up for breakfast and to visit with family!  The kids even got some time in the pool, and me in the hot tub, before Grandma's party.
Blowing out the candles!  She is awesome for 80!
Grandma with the attending Grandkids and Great Grandkids!  We all live outside of Arkansas.  Grandma has 15 grandkids, and 15 great grandkids!  Keanan and Kyla were representing all the greats.
Grandma and her kids! (minus Auntie Cyndi, plus cousin Reggie - her extra :) )
Me, cousin Abby, Great Uncle Snooks, and cousin Allison.  Snooks is my Papa's only living brother - they look a little bit alike.  
Keanan collected name tags at the end of the party
After the party we had some more pool time before some much needed sleep.  About 4am I woke Kyla up because I was shaking uncontrollably.  I was feverish and REALLY sick.  I sent the kids down the hall to what I thought was my parents room - but it was actually my Aunt and Uncle's room from DC.  Auntie Judi got my mom to stay with the kids, while she and Uncle Todd took me to the ER.  We had to pull over on the way so I could puke.  After sitting in the little ER for a while we found out that I had a serious kidney infection!  Some IV fluids, pain killers, and antibiotics later - my Grandma picked me up from the ER, got my prescriptions filled and took me to her house (which we were all going to that day anyways).  Mom and Dad checked the kids out of the Lodge and brought them down.  I took a few naps and sat around for the rest of the day.
Arkansas sunset.  Taking from Grandma's backyard.
I was much better on Monday and Tuesday, only an occasional fever and headache.  Grandma took us to see my Great Grandma's grave who died earlier this year, and my Papa's grave.  The last time I was in Arkansas was when Papa was sick with cancer 5 years ago.  We saw fireflies (first time ever!) and my mom took the kids and I swimming in a cousins pool.
Kyla with Super Judi!  Kyla even got to have a girls night and sleep with cousins Abby and Anna one night!
Swimming in cousin Wayne's pool
The trip home this morning was not as bad as the trip there - but still full of issues.  Mom and Grandma drove us to Fort Smith to catch the plane, but it turns out American Airlines (who I will NEVER fly again) cancelled our return flights because our flight to Fort Smith was cancelled...BY THEM!  That makes complete sense, said NO ONE EVER.  After some waiting, they got us tickets on both flights home.   Security threw out my sunscreen and hollered at me about the kids toothpaste - both of which no one is San Jose had batted an eye about.  After boarding the flight to Dallas we were delayed for about 20 minutes!  We arrived in Dallas, but after boarding that flight we were delayed about an hour and a half!!  We finally made it to San Jose (praise the LORD!), but my Lyft app would not work to get a ride home!  By this point I was beyond done and almost started crying on the phone to Zac.  We ended up just taking a cab home.  Then I took a nap.

End of crazy trip story.  Love you Grandma!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Weekend Adventures: Hiking in Pinnacles

After a fun week of school, playing with friends, and me getting to serve a day at Young Lives camp - we escaped the city on Saturday for a hike on the west side of Pinnacles National Park.  We did the Balconies Cliff-Cave hike and it was beautiful!  The rock formations are amazing.
Heading into the caves!  Lights were required.
Sunday was spent at church, church BBQ, and then helping Ms. Donna (Kyla's ballet teacher) set the floor for the new ballet studio!  Next weekend - Paris, Arkansas!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Meet Clover!

This past week we added a bunny to our family!  Kyla has been saving her money to buy this bunny ever since she joined 4H last spring.  Her official name is Clover Rose Vawter (named by Kyla) and she is the sweetest little lop rabbit.  She is about 9 weeks old, so we are calling Memorial Day her birthday.
her hutch
She loves to hop around the yard