Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mammoth Lakes Adventure!

Last weekend, for the long 4th of July holiday, we made plans to meet the Cables in Mammoth Lakes.  We had a fantastic time, picking up on kid/parenting stories and gossip without missing a beat.

It's been almost a year since we've seen the family (our Hawaii trip was the last time our two families got together!) and they've had a BABY since then!  Trent is about 4.5 mths old, about the same age that Callum was when we traveled to Hawaii together (which is hard to remember/imagine).  :)

The Cables left super early on Saturday morning to beat some traffic and to allow their kids to sleep most of the drive - very smart (although butt-crack-of-dawn painful) - as it was a successful drive for them.  They got into Mammoth about noon or so.  We barely left the house around 11am!  Our drive was gorgeous (through Yosemite, anyway), but long and full of traffic, ~7.5 hours.  Logan was content watching one movie after another on the iPad.  Callum took a morning nap right when we took off, but was pretty grumpy when he woke up, wanting to get out and stretch.  We made a few stops for lunch and potty breaks, but it was definitely longer than we had planned to be crammed in the car.  :)

It also didn't help that there was still snow throughout Yosemite - and once Logan saw that, he kept asking if we could stop so he could get out and play in the snow.  :)

Thankfully, the Cables had already grabbed groceries and started on dinner when we arrived.  We had delicious homemade spaghetti and garlic bread made by none other than Master Chef Eric!  :)

The house was absolutely perfect - there was one guest bedroom downstairs and three bedrooms upstairs.  Eric and Jill decided they wanted Amelia and Trent to stay in their room, which left the other two rooms upstairs for us to take over.  The "kids" room had a bunk bed with a pull out trundle underneath the bottom bunk, so we decided to give it a try and have Logan sleep on the bottom bed with Callum on the pull out trundle.  Callum LOVED the trundle and the fact that he could get in and out with ease, but unfortunately he kept rolling off (and waking up) throughout the night, which made for a very rough and sleepless first night for Jon and I.  We moved him to a crib for the rest of the naps/nights.  :)

One of the things we all wanted to do was get out and do some hiking, since Mammoth is such a gorgeous place (and we had our dogs!).  We all had brought backpack carriers for the kids, so after a scrumptious homemade french toast breakfast (again, made by none other than Master Chef Eric!), we packed up and headed out to the shuttle pick-up to see Devil's Postpile National Monument, a touristy but lovely spot for hikes and visits.  Sadly, everyone else in Mammoth Lakes and the surrounding areas had the same idea, and we couldn't find any reasonable parking nearby.  There was also a rule about keeping the dogs on muzzle for the shuttle ride, which we weren't keen on (we would have had to purchase muzzles since we don't have any, which was just one more non-selling point).

We did a quick search for other hiking spots and settled on nearby Convict Lake instead.  We drove out, loaded the kids up and took off on our adventure!  The day was VERY HOT, and each of us had a kid on us (I had Callum and Jon took Logan), plus snacks, water and diapers, etc. which all didn't help.  The kids, on the other hand, LOVED it.  They were all sitting high, with overhead sunshades and great views, living the good life!  :)  We were certainly a sight with all of our big packs, kids and dogs.

Even though it was a workout, it was so beautiful and nice to get outside!  We hiked for about 2.5 hours overall I think, but stopped mid-way to give the parents a rest and let the kids run around and play in the water.  We found a nice unclaimed shady spot with a small creek that was perfect for our break.

After our hike, we spent the rest of the evening lounging around the house and hanging out playing games and watching movies.  Sadly, the adults were all too tired to stay up much later than the kids to hang out, so we all ended up turning in fairly early.  :)

Monday was the 4th of July, so Jon and Logan joined the Cables for the local town parade in the morning while I stayed at the house while Callum napped (I thought he would have loved it too but he conked out about an hour before it was time to leave for the parade and then slept all the way through it!).  It seemed like all the kids really enjoyed the firetrucks, bubbles, balloons and overall festivities.  We spent the afternoon hanging out at the house and taking it easy.  We did a couple "sessions" of bubbles on the back patio which all the kids loved (Callum picked up the word "bubble" very quickly and easily!).

Our vacation home sat on the 18th hole of a local golf course, so Jon and Eric signed up for a very quick round of "5 [holes] at 5".  Eric had forgotten to pack a collared shirt, so he was forced to buy the club's bright red one.  Don't they look geeky! :)

Jill has some family friends that once lived in Mammoth and gave us a recommendation to park at a swimming club's parking lot, where we could still see the local firework show, but be far enough away to avoid all the crowds.  We picked up take-out burgers and fries and settled into a nice little spot about 2 hours before the show began.  The kids loved running around exploring in the dirt, weeds and rocks, while the dogs enjoyed sniffing and peeing on everything.  ;-)  As it got later, more and more folks showed up, which created additional excitement for Logan (not sure the other kids were aware of what was going on), in anticipation of the firework show.

Just before the show began, a rain shower blew through, so we all huddled in the back of the truck, waiting for the rain to clear up.  Luckily it did, just before the fireworks began!  Amelia and Trent were a little too tired to stay the entire time, so the Cables left shortly after the fireworks began, to put their kids to bed.  Our boys stayed up the entire time, amazed by the show along the lake in the distance.  The show was a little farther than I would have liked (I think it also would have been that much more fantastic to the kids if we were closer), but it was still fun and Logan continues to talk about it today.  :)

Tuesday was our check out day.  We packed up the house and headed to a favorite local breakfast joint we always go to, when we visit in the winter time.  The food was as yummy as we had remembered!  We said our goodbyes after breakfast and hit the road for our long journey back home.

Driving through Yosemite this time through was just as beautiful, but thankfully, much faster.  At one point, Logan claimed he needed to pee really badly, so we stopped along the side of the road to let him go.  What we didn't know, was that we had the bad luck of stopping at a place infested with mosquitoes which proceeded to bite us AND get trapped inside the car.  NOT COOL.  The minute we realized there were mosquitoes everywhere, and that Logan couldn't pee quickly on demand :) we scooped him up and got back on the road, stopping a little later at an actual rest stop with working plumbing.  ;-)

Since the kids were pretty quiet and slept for most of the drive, we plowed through, only stopping the once in Yosemite.  They both napped toward the tail end of the drive and woke about an hour from home.  The last half hour was pretty long, as we listened to them whine and complain about wanting to stop, but us refusing to do so.  :)  We got home in about 6 hours - so much better!

We picked up a small dinner and I immediately started with laundry and chores.  Jon helped manage the kids and put them to bed while I unpacked, and then re-packed (for Jon's London trip)!  Because he took off right after we got home, it already feels like ages ago that we had our weekend away with the Cables Family.  But, so many good times and memories as always.  We're looking forward to the next trip with them again soon.  :)

For a peek at all pictures from the trip, visit the full album.

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