Date of Trip: December 2007
I picked up the motorhome and parked it in the backyard three days before the kids arrived – to stock the cupboards and frig, put fresh linens on the ‘tippy top’ bed for them, and get the firewood and other essentials loaded. Christmas garland and holly strung all around, with a big sign: “Merry Christmas, McCoys!” taped to the side door.
The day after Christmas, Zack, 8, Grace, 5, and I strapped ourselves into our seats, me driving of course, them at the table, each surrounded with their favorite stuffed animals and lots of water and healthy snacks at hand while they shouted Go Fish! all the way down Hwy One. A half hour into the trip I pulled off onto an ocean lookout and we looked for whale spouts. Zack swears he saw one; Grace and I just starred at the big, blue Pacific. We shared a Vitamin Water and some rice cakes, I turned up the heat and we took off again. One more stop, at Big Sur Market, to buy tortillas for quesadillas, stovetop popcorn (Zack loves to see the foil expand before his eyes) and some ice cream.
A few minutes later and we pulled into Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground and found our spot by the Big Sur River. No problem backing in and we got the fire going. Zack quickly learned the fine art of fire building: first the tightly, but not too tightly, crumpled newspaper, then the kindling, crisscrossed, then some larger pieces of wood. He was awkward with the child-proof lighter but soon figured it out. We each found a poker and spent the next two hours poking and adding wood, then roasting marshmallows and making ‘smores from a kit their mother had sent along. We didn’t want the evening to end.
For the next two days we hiked twice each day, before and after lunch, up to the falls, to the group camp, Valley View, and around the campground. It rained, it misted, it was sunny–we loved it all. Grace, the budding botanist, counted the banana slugs we spotted (27) and I took some great photos of her, Zack, the banana slugs, and lots of redwoods, river crossings and vistas. Before they left to go home I printed twelve of the photos and made an album for them, with a banana slug centerfold. The other 144 I have rotating as my screensaver!