Monday, August 31, 2009

Family Vacation: The Grown Up Years

I once said in a blog entry (about 2 weeks ago), "I often wonder how I'll top my Bali vacation". What I should have said was, "I often wonder how I'll top my Bali vacation, but I also wonder how I'll top The Great 2009 Anderson Family Recession Road Trip."

I should have said this because
1) it's true, but also because
2) I should've known my dad would find this blog and be "heartbroken" by the oversight

My dad is a Chevy Chase reincarnate and he planned our family vacation down to the minute. SERIOUSLY YA'LL, a 62 page pdf in chronological order, including excel spreadsheets with drive times and purposes for stopping at said places, google maps, website print outs of all restaurants and tourist stops. . . the list goes on and on. This OCD-like organization and flare for the dramatic? apple/tree, I know.

Soooo the 2 Trees and 2 of their 3 Apples (and the oldest Apple's Orange) set off on a vacation of a lifetime in June. We drove from Oklahoma City through a couple state lines to the Grand Canyon sculpted by the hand of God; on to Vegas, lured by the sites and sounds of Sin City; then through a maze of tree sprinkled mountains on the Pacific coast to Bodega Bay, affording us the opportunity to experience culture-rich San Francisco and the inebriating effects of Napa Valley.

I have to say - I think vacations are wasted on anyone under the age of 10, because I've been to the Grand Canyon before, but somehow can only remember being really hot and thirsty. Seeing it again with a new adult appreciation for all things Natural and Amazing, was amazing.
It was also my inaugural trip to Vegas. The youngest Apple couldn't join us on the entire road trip, something about supporting her college career via soccer? but somehow she managed to meet us in Vegas for that portion of the trip (funny how the timing worked out for her :) Either way, I worried about being amongst the delightful filth for the first time with my parents and sisters (19 and pregnant) ((one is 19 and the other is pregnant)), but it suddenly hit me!!

I don't have to be drunk to stay in Vegas.

It's not like they have cops at the city limits with breathalyzers, "0.08? Sorry, ma'am, you're not drunk enough to enter." I hope everyone has the chance to experience the city sober - Cirque de Soleil, french bistros, an 8am run on The Strip, actually having the inhibitions to stop gambling while you're up??? Fabulous.

I want to know where California residents go on vacation. And then I want to know why. Why do you ever leave California, Californians?? Maybe if you vacationed in your own state, it wouldn't be in debt. Ever thought about that? I l o v e Northern California.

They have San Francisco. It's always a dear joy to walk around that city and people watch! And consume Ghirardelli's best fudge, take Alcatraz tours, ride trolleys for a hot second, let crazy homeless people tell you jokes. Just a delight.
And they have big sequoias! at Sequoia National Forests! Really, really big trees. Named BIG names like "General Sherman".Then there's Napa Valley and it's oldest child, Wine. Wine is beautiful, smells good and doesn't talk back. Dad bought a million cases. That may or may not be the reason I visit Dallas so regularly these days.
And Bodega Bay -- Hitchcock's The Birds was filmed there, but I didn't have a single nightmare. In fact, it was the most peaceful sleep I had the entire trip, because I had my own FLOOR and a purple room. Luckily, we're related to the people that own the rental, so anytime I want to pretend I'm rich and stay at a mansion on a coastal golf course, I'll just scoot on over.

I was scared about being cooped up in a vehicle with my family for 10 days, but we're much more travel-compatible than I thought. And we had a DVD player with headphones, so I didn't have to converse with them much.

Thanks to these two for the vacation. And the gift of life.
(I know what you're thinking, it'd be easier to get a good pic of dad if we photographed him awake? You're probably right)

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