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From Yosemite to Malibu… California at its Finest!

As you know recently Yosemite National Park had a devastating forest fire. Because of this and the iffy weather, we weren’t sure we were going to make it to Yosemite, but the weather cleared and the fire was extinguished so we took the weekend window to head over there! We stayed at a great RV park (although hard to get around in – and a 10% grade DOWN into the park – yikes!) This RV park had a petting zoo, a pool and great wooded sites. I bet this is a hopping place in the summer.

We really wanted to do our next overnight “pack-in” camping trip hoping for another great adventure. You remember the first one right? Ha! Well, we always and I mean always underestimate the time it takes to drive into the park, talk to park rangers, get your overnight camp permit and pack everything that is needed in order to have enough food and water to make the hike enjoyable. Some may say my husband over plans or over packs, but honestly have you ever been back country camping? With no water? And no comfort food and and…. needless to say, I think he does a GREAT job.

night-hike

By the time we figured out where we actually COULD go (due to the fires and recent snow) and then read the map to FIND the place it was about 4:00 or so. Well… it gets dark at 5 and we had a 2 mile hike in before finding a spot and setting up camp.

Its an adventure right?

To make a long story short, we ended up hiking in the pitch black, not finding a good spot and giving up and going back home to order pizza.

I don’t even know what else to say except…. we had a ton of fun!

yosemite

Yosemite was interesting. People talk about it so fondly and I can really see why – the jutting rocks so high into the sky are awe inspiring. And just hiking up to get a view of the half dome (Yosemite’s most known spot) is glorious. But the crowds were still a bit much for us. I can definitely see coming back for a real Yosemite vacation though. Its an entire village all on its own! Completely different from any park we’ve been to yet. I think tent camping in one of the campgrounds here would be a blast.

half-dome

After the fun-filled Yosemite weekend it was time to head to Los Angeles. This was an incredible time hanging out with family (Brandon’s Aunt Marty lives in Burbank). My mother and sister in-law flew in for a long weekend and we all spent an incredible time at our RV catching up, laughing and drinking wine.

We also had time to spend at Aunt Marty’s place picking lemons and oranges from her gorgeous trees in her back yard. We made homemade lemonade and fresh squeezed orange juice and I find myself wondering… why would I ever buy it from a store again? Sure it takes a little more time and effort, but the pay off is so worth it. In the name of simplicity and the fact that life is SO short, do yourself a favor and make some fresh squeezed lemonade. Or buy a couple oranges and just juice them right into your morning juice glass. It will feel so. good.

aunt marty visit

After seeing family, it was time to head to Malibu! Oh Malibu, how I love you. We have dear friends who moved there 8 years ago and our other best friends decided we should all meet up there when we began planning our RV trip. It was the perfect “half way” point and good to have this to shoot for in our travels.

palm-trees

I can’t begin to tell you the awesome time we had.

The view from our friend's back deck

The view from our friend’s back deck

Malibu Sunset

Malibu Sunset

I don’t know if it was the sun, the warmth, the waves of the Pacific Ocean, our awesome RV park, the incredible hospitality of our friends, the visit from dolphins or the beautiful sun rises and sets… but we did not want to leave. This was the first time in our travels that we have been somewhere and were not ready to go.

alec-surf

Alec got some incredible surfing lessons from his new friend Will and had a great time.

My gorgeous beach boys

My gorgeous beach boys

It was all those things but mostly, it was our friends. Their hospitality, the laughter and the fact that our kids made new best friends.

All the kids!

All the kids!

Fast friends - Will and Alec

Fast friends – Will and Alec

As you know I have two boys, so it was SO awesome being in a house full of girls who love to cook and bake. We had more fun and laughter than we can even describe. Pictured below is Annie and I in the thick of it. I won’t even go into the story of those darn biscuits! Some things are better left out. Gosh, we had so much fun. I really wish I had more pictures that captured the fun we all had.

annie-tammy

Brandon had carving duty

Brandon had carving duty

Our friend’s oldest daughter Annie is an excelled photographer and was kind enough to do our family photos while we were there. It was a blast! I hope you will check out her website and of course if you are ever in the area, do give her a call – you won’t be disappointed!

family-photo

Super Hero Fun

Super Hero Fun

Oh yeah, I got to celebrate my birthday with these awesome ladies!

bffsbirthday-tammy

Malibu leaves you wanting more…

kids-beach

We made it to Thanksgiving everyone!!  Now what?!

 

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