I always look forward to getting away for summer vacation. The hubby is relaxed and not thinking about work. The kids are full of life and energy. I'm on the low down and taking it easy on myself and the fam. Hey, there's no laundry to do or house to clean! Suh-weet!
This year we ventured back to Monterey Dunes. We love visiting the beach and being able to stay in a home that is on the beach is pretty close to heaven for us. The kids got to fly kites and run from the waves. The in-laws vacationed with us which was really nice and my parents stayed with us one night too. It's so wonderful to be able to watch the sun slowly set with family in tote.
We were able to spend one afternoon at the Monterey Bay Aquarium which was a treat. I could have sat and watched the jellyfish all day, but the kids wanted to get back to the beach. Running away from the waves is a favorite past time of theirs.
After we had our fill of the sand and sea we ventured to Napa Valley for one truly unique Safari adventure at Safari West. It was a totally neat place that made us feel we were thousands and thousands of miles away from home. The "safari" is situated on 400 acres in Santa Rosa, California and houses zebras, giraffes, antelope, lemurs and many other animals. We stayed in an authentic African Safari tent complete with a shower, sink and toilet. To the kid's disamay there was no t.v. The got along fine though sitting out on the deck at night watching the giraffes and playing Crazy 8's and Old Maid.
On our second afternoon at Safari West we hopped on board an official safari vehicle and explored the napa "seringeti". It was an exciting 3-hour tour that brought us up close to a lot of the animals. It will be a trip we'll always remember.
The drive home was bittersweet. We absolutely loved our summer vacation, but we missed our cat, Max, and we missed our home. John wasn't ready to call summer vacation quits so we stopped off at Calaveras Big Trees State Park for some fun play in the Stanislaus River. It was a perfect way to prepare us for the long drive home.
As we drove home along Highway 140 we sadly witnessed the early beginnings of the Telegraph Fire. It was scary to see how quickly a fire spreads. Homes were being evacuated and our heart goes out to all of those affected. A big, warm cheer for the firemen trying to get that fire under control. It's a tough day's job for sure. And the fire made us miss home even more. It reminded us how grateful we are to have what we have.
Here are just a few pics from our trip. Click on the image for a larger view.