Over the 2016 Christmas and New Year week, Bella and I took off and headed up north to visit the grandparents. We have done this drive dozens of times over the last 6 years since they moved up there. This time was particularly brutal. We started the trip with a flat tire about 15 minutes into our 13 plus hour journey. Typically I would get up about 3am and hit the road to bypass any possible traffic getting out of the LA area, but this time I had to pick some stuff up on my way and the store did not open until 10am, meaning we did not properly get on the road until almost noon.
Getting out of the LA are was a bit rough. We hit a ton of traffic that I was not expecting. It was like that all the way up Interstate 5. We stopped at Pea Soup Andersens for dinner. Normally getting there would take us about 5 hours…this time it took 8. At this point we were only at the halfway mark of our trip, with me having to work at 8am as well. So after a long night, filled with a couple of stops so I could take a cat nap, and one stop by CHP to make sure nothing was wrong, we made it to the hotel at 5am. I was able to get us checked in, get Bella situated and then take a couple hour nap before jumping on the computer and checking into work fro the day.
The rest of the week that we were up there was a mix of some awesome colder weather, day trips to the beach for the kiddo with Granny and Uncle Jason, evenings hanging out as an entire family at the local brewery, just all around great fun and great family time. As usual, the week went by super fast and New Years day was upon us and it was time to head home.
On the way back down south, Bella and I took a detour through the Avenue of the Giants. It’s a long road that goes through the redwoods running north to south. These trees are amazing.
We stopped along the road to hit one of the drive-thru trees. Being able to take our car through one of these giants was something I remember doing as a kid. To experience this with Bella now was incredible. After we made our way out of the Redwoods, we just ran south. We met up with some long time friends in the Oakland area for lunch and then made the last 5 hours home go by with an audio book. I love these kinds of trips with Bella. She is an amazing travel partner and I cant wait to take her on so many more adventures.