On Day One of our Spring Break trip this year, we were packed up and ready to leave the house by 8:00 a.m.
No one other than Josh really knew exactly where we were headed though.
The kids quickly scoured their new travel bags, which I packed the day before with snacks, gum, some of their favorite things from their rooms, a water bottle, a scavenger-hunt list that Josh made up (which was pretty similar to last year's list), and a bunch of dollar store finds to keep them busy.
Cole spent the morning cutting little strips of paper so everyone could work on them in the car. (They earned points on their scavenger hunt list for each strip of paper that was colored and written on with a quote or encouraging words or scripture and was left somewhere along our trip for someone else to find. I remember reading about a family doing something similar awhile back, but I can't remember now where I saw it.)
We didn't make it far before pulling over at a Reststop for a bathroom break, football and flower picking though.
And then we were back on the road again.
And then we were stopping at yet another reststop for another bathroom break and more football throwing and flower picking.
And a foot race, since that was on the scavenger hunt list.
And another stop to check out an old, blue Travelall. (I am officially in love with Travelall's.)
And then we were back in the car listening to Happy, amongst other songs.
And then we stopped at In-N-Out burger for lunch. (The only place in the world I will currently eat a burger from.)
And that's precisely where Cole and Courtney got, 'Dance in a public location' checked off of their scavenger hunt list.
And then there was another stop just to stretch our legs and check out the sites.
Coley took that one of Annie and me. (Thank you very much Cole Downs.)
And then we were back in the car again.
And then we stopped to check out this scenic lookout.
And found the smallest, cutest lizard ever. (If you lay a lizard on its back, it won't move.)
And then we stopped at this scenic lookout.
And just as I turned my camera towards Courtney, I hear Cole (who was repeatedly rolling himself off of the two-foot high retaining wall in order to appear as if he were plummeting off the mountainside) saying he had hurt himself.
I thought that was just part of his plummeting routine though.
But then Courtney Lee said, "K.K., I think Cole is really hurt."
Turns out he landed on something sharp and had a really deep, jagged cut in the palm of his hand that was bleeding like nobody's business. (Josh Downs doesn't handle throwing-up kids and I don't handle bleeding kids - so Josh took care of this one. I was just in charge of finding enough napkins to stop the bleeding and taking photos.)
Thankfully, there was a town nearby where so we stopped to get gas and bandages. (That thing bled for two days.)
And then we were back on the road again.
And then we stopped once again to check out this cave that was cut into a limestone hill. (So the whole cave and all of the stones in and around it were made out of light, porous, powdery, chalk.)
The whole floor of the cave was powdery, which meant my kids were kicking up dust every chance they got.
And then we dusted off our pants and our shoes and got back on the road again.
Which quickly led us to yet another scenic lookout.
And finally, we arrived at our first destination in Fall River Mills, CA, where the kids waited outside, while Josh went inside the bar to talk to the owner of the hotel we were staying at.
That gave all of us a few minutes to goof off before getting checked into our room.
And then we got into our room.
Where Cole counted his money. (The kids started off the trip with $20 in quarters, and could lose or earn quarters based on whether they were acting like twerps or not.)
And Josh had a beer.
And Annie checked out every square inch of the three rooms we had all to ourselves. (Three connecting rooms for only $79 a night.)
And then Courtney Lee slept. (She had a headache.)
And Coley read.
And Annie and I took off to check out the rest of the hotel together.
Once Courtney was up, we went on a walk to check out the town.
That eventually led us to a nearby school where we played on the playground.
And a nearby river where we looked for turtles.
And a whole lotta time spent just aimlessly walking around town.
Where we found puppies.
And old cars.
And places to stop and read.
And places to take pretty photos.
And then we had dinner. (It was dark as a cave in there and I was too tired to shoot.)
And then we got in our pajamas and brushed our teeth.
And ended our night with a few rounds of Old Maid (played with Noah's Ark cards that I found at the Dollar Store.)