Day 1: Little Rock, Arkansas, to Amarillo, Texas
Snapper and Pepper keep happy in the car by coloring, reading, and playing with toys in the morning, and watching movies after lunch. They are awesome travelers! No tears at all between Little Rock and Yosemite...2,400 miles cry-free!
Day 2: Amarillo, Texas, to Flagstaff, Arizona
On the other side of an Arizona desert rainstorm, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw this.
Our dear friends from Little Rock met up with us in Flagstaff on the tail end of their road trip. The kids didn't know, so it was a fabulous surprise! We stayed in adjoining rooms in a fun hotel.
Day 3: Flagstaff, Arizona, to Laughlin, Nevada
Snapper's #1 priority for our trip was to see the Grand Canyon. We all loved it, but I think she loved it most of all.
Day 4: Laughlin, Nevada, to Santa Clarita, California
We stayed in Santa Clarita with Matt's sister Julie and brother-in-law Timothy. We had never gotten to meet our little niece. I'll call her AJ. She is absolutely precious, and the kids loved her.
I had the delightful privilege of doing AJ's first birthday portraits. Here are my favorites.
Day 5: Santa Clarita, California, to Groveland, California
When we had the opportunity to spend the 4th of July weekend with my birthmom, grandma, and aunt at my grandma Nonnie's house in the mountains, we jumped on it. We had a great time relaxing and celebrating Pepper's birthday (a week early).
This photo is four generations of my biological family!
Aunt Linda took Pepper to the fire station, where the firemen were great with him! He got to climb in the truck, "drive" it, and wear the real helmet. They gave him a badge and helmet of his own.
Nonnie made a Transformers birthday cake for Pepper, which was the highlight of his weekend.
Listening to a message from Optimus Prime on his new Transformers play phone.
Day 6: Yosemite National Park
For the record, Yosemite is without a doubt my very most favorite place in the whole wide world. And yes, peeps, I have been outside of the U.S.
Little hikers on the trail to Yosemite Falls.
We swam in the Merced River in Yosemite Valley, even though the water was not more than 50 degrees. SO cold, but perfect, beautiful, and refreshing. Matt even rescued a family whose boat capsized. None of them could swim, though all were wearing life jackets. Matt helped get them safely out of the current and to shore.
See the waterfall in the background. Gorgeous! Or, as Pepper announced as we left the park, "Gorgeoufully Beautiful!" (Gor-juh-full-ee BEAUTIFUL!) I think that pretty much sums up my thoughts about my favorite place!
Right before sunset at Glacier Point, overlooking Yosemite. Spectacular!
Now we are with our best friends Stan and Noel in Central California. Noel is in cosmetology school, so she cut Matt, Pepper, and Snapper's hair. Snapper had been growing her hair out for Locks of Love. It was finally long enough, so we chopped 11 1/2 inches off today. She has an adorable a-line bob. More photos of that later. Tomorrow we are off to my dad and step-mom's house in Santa Cruz, CA. Looking forward to lazy days by Dad's pool, and afternoons on the beach.