Category Archives: adventuring!

One, Twice, Three Times Vacation Part Three

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Sooooo, want my list of excuses as to what is taking me so long to write about the last part of our big family vacation? No? Well, I’m excusing myself anyways. Ummmm, I started working more hours a week, my phone is messed up, making it difficult and annoying to type stories, I have been cleaning my house instead of blogging (yeah right), I’m lazy (don’t you know?). Yeah, all of that (minus the lie about cleaning my house. Not happening).

So here it is… Part Three: Family Fourth in Mount Shasta!

We woke up in Redding and drove on up the hill to beautiful Mount Shasta City. We were greeted by my lovely family: my mom, stepdad, cousin Caitrin, sister Maya, brother in law Kevin, and most importantly, my crazy amazing nephew Emmett!!!

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We jumped right into play time and really had an amazing time. It was so much fun to watch Josephine with her cousin. He’s a year old now and is getting so mobile. His little words are starting to form, and he’s a curious one. Josephine and Emmett played well, other than some sharing mishaps where my “angel” decided it was ok to push and hit. Not gonna happen.

My mom has the perfect setup for kids of all ages, and always seems to know exactly what toys to put out for maximum playtime fun! Way to go Grandma Carol!

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When Fourth of July hit we were ready to go with our red, white and blue clothes. First up on the patriotic docket was walking down the driveway and watching the Mount Shasta race participants run by the house. We marveled at their fitness while we dreamed of the homemade ice cream sandwiches waiting in the freezer.

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Josephine and I are in training for next year. I think we’ll win it, don’t you?

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We hung around until the not so serious runners passed the house, like this guy in the American flag suit. He was having people sign his suit, which I’m pretty sure was just a ploy to flirt with my 16 year old cousin, but whatever.
Next we hit up the parade. Now, maybe I’ve just lived in Oakdale too long where parades consist of about one million horses, some dancing kids and a few clowns, but the Mount Shasta parade was loud and just one car after another. Kind of a let down. Next year I’ll skip it. One car did have people handing out American flags, so it wasn’t a total bust.

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We met up with our friends Heaven and Sunny, who just happened to be in Shasta at the same time we were. We all headed back to the house for play time, goofing around, tractor rides, and finally, those ice cream sandwiches. Yum!!

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After eating and relaxing we moseyed on over to the neighbors for some fireworks. Boom, bang, crackle. Josephine loved the sparklers, and the popcorn the neighbors served her! Such a nice community my parents live in. Everyone was so friendly!

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Our vacation continued with lake fun. My mom took Josephine kayaking, we all swam around, and we had a wonderful, family filled fun. I love lakes and Josephine loves swimming. What a beautiful lake to swim in, and just five minutes from Grandma and Grandpas house. Perfect! Watching my mom and Josephine kayak was awesome. She’s been itching to get that kid on a kayak since she was born, and it was finally time. Of course, I had to get in on the kayak action too. Now I want a kayak of my very own. Anyone want to give me one?? (just kidding, unless you want to give me a kayak for reals, because I totally will accept the gift).

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We had a lovely time. I feel really lucky that my parents live in such a beautiful area. We get to vacation in style and comfort. Couldn’t ask for more! Before we left we hit up the fish hatchery to feed the fishies, an instant hit in a toddlers book!

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And so our trip ended, with kisses from Grandma and sweet memories of Josephine and Emmett getting their first real play time in. The first of many. I can’t wait for Fourth of Julys to come. We are a lucky family.

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Our drive home was a quick four hours and blissfully uneventful. As always, coming home is a treat, since our home is so beautiful, and was especially nice since our neighbor mowed our lawn while we were gone. Score!

Festivals, forests and fireworks. This family vacation thing is definitely the way to go! I like my little family. Taylor and I have always vacationed like pros together, and our kid definitely inherited the Websterson vacation style! Go team!

And so it ends, the longest running triple post (and possibly the most photo laden) on these here internets. I’m feeling relieved, and ready for some posts about other things. Like about how I’m lazy and have let some thistles (dun dun DUN!) flower (I know, I know, after I worked so hard to rid our property of them). Happy summer!!

Once, Twice, Three Times Vacation Part Two

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I figured I better get to work on this post, since I am about to leave on a lady trip to Tahoe sans J and Tay (!) tomorrow, and I haven’t even finished posting about this here vacation. So here goes…

Our triple vacation kept on keepin’ on as we left the magnificent Kate Wolf Music Festival and we headed north on Highway 101. Our destination was to get to my mom’s house in Mount Shasta by Monday early afternoon, which gave us a little over a day to make the five or six hour drive.

We had no real plans other than driving up through The Avenue of the Giants just off of Highway 101. We drove up and hopped off the freeway to start what can only be described as a (and I’m sure I’m going to use this word in this post waaaay to much) magical magical adventure.

As soon as we drove into the trees I knew we’d made the right choice to take the extra day to do this. I have been to the big trees in Calaveras, but the combo of damp, mist, green and giant trees is just beyond compare. Magical.

Our first stop was the Drive Through Tree that our truck barely squeezed through!
We didn’t get a picture of the truck going though because we all wanted to be in the car while it drove through, but we did take these fun photos walking through the tree.

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Next up was an amazing redwood tree playhouse that Josephine wanted to stay in aaaaaallllll day. We had to drag her away from her house. It was pretty neat. How fun would it be to have one of these in your backyard??

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We meandered through the redwoods, laughing and amazing and basking in the magic magicalness of the magical redwood forest.

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And then we frolicked. We pretended to dance with fairies. Hugged giant trees. Felt the moss. Tromped around. It was (here it is again…), magical.

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Next we headed up to Eureka to eat. We magically (!) stumbled across the most amazing family style restaurant called The Samoa Cookhouse. It was perfect luck, as there was no menu, they served home made delicious food (menu for lunch: minestrone soup, fresh baked bread, salad, bean salad, corn, roasted red potatoes, baked beans, RIBS!, and apple pie), and served you all you could eat. Yum yum yum!
Right outside was a Maritime Museum, which was closed, but a good playground.

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All in all a great pit stop!

We drove on (while the little miss napped contently) through the mountains east towards Redding. We still weren’t sure where we would stop. We made it to Redding, and despite being just an hour from my moms, we stopped for the night. Partly because upon entering Redding we had a not so pretty family style meltdown, which was only resolved by a stop at the most ghetto family fun center arcade thing I have ever seen. Josephine cried and whined, Taylor raged around a bit, and I may or may not have yelled, shed a tear or two and huffed around while Taylor “won” Josephine a stuffed tiger from the claw machine. I say “won” because the teenager who worked there just gave it to him when he asked her if he could please just buy the cheap tiger after he spent ten bucks trying unsuccessfully to claw grab it.

We all calmed down, got another hotel room, went swimming at the pool, and just chilled the eff out. It was quite nice.

The next morning, meltdown free and relaxed, we drove up the hill to Mount Shasta. And there will begin chapter three of….. The Epic Family Vacation Chronicles That Are Taking Me Forever And Ever To Write! Thanks for hanging in there, buddies.

Once, Twice, Three Times Vacation: Part 1

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As you may have been able to tell by my blogging absence (as I’m sure you were all saddened by my silence over here, right?), we have just returned from a triple threat vacation. We packed three vacations into one in a bit over a week, and boy, did we have a time! We hit up the Kate Wolf Music Festival in Northern California where Taylor’s band, The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit played Friday and Saturday night, then we drove up highway 101 through the Redwood Forest otherwise known as the Avenue of the Giants, and finally we drove on over to Mt. Shasta for Fourth of July with my family. What an adventure! So much that I will be breaking this into three parts so as not to bore you to tears.
Part one: Kate Wolf
We left last Thursday evening to get a head start and stayed at a hotel in Ukiah. You have never seen anyone so excited as Josephine to sleep in a hotel. She was STOKED! for lack of a better extreme excitement to the brink of nauseating joyful explosion word.
We arrived at the festival the next morning and set up camp.

And now a word on potty training training while camping… Wow. I didn’t even realize we were doing this until it was done. Remember to take bags to dispose of the number twos. It actually went well, but for your sake, that slice of advice, plus this picture, is all.

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Josephine is a professional camper, and looooooves having all her (our) friends around. She danced, played in the dirt, swam in the creek, and made lots of new adult friends. She even got to meet kd lang while in line for dinner Saturday night (I said nothing to her, however Josephine thanked her for complimenting her on her butterfly face paint. She’s less socially awkward than me and she’s just friendly that way). Our friend/TGLSTO drummer, Aaron, brought his niece Mia, who was visiting from Japan, and Josephine just about died with love for her. Mia was very gracious with the constant, “Mia, play with me. Mia, Mia, Mia, come to creek to go swimming. Mia! Mia!! Mia!!!…MIA!!!!”.

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Our girl slept like a champ, even being super close to the main stage (artist camping was just behind and to the side of the biggest stage). She fell asleep to loud ass Leftover Salmon jam banding it up on Friday night. Saturday morning Josephine woke up early in the morning, looked at me and said, “Camping is easy, Mama.” then went back to sleep. That’s my girl. Sunday morning she was sleeping so soundly that we broke down camp and loaded up everything except the tent, her air mattress and her. Completely perfect!

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So, on to the reason we were there: the show.

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As I said before, TGLTSO played two shows, Friday afternoon on the main stage and Saturday night on another stage. It’s always so much fun to see people that I don’t know enjoying the music that this group of talented men work so hard on and put so much creative energy into.

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It was also nice to hear some songs off the new album and songs that have been reworked and I haven’t heard in a while. And of course, watching Josephine watch her daddy play is something special, although she gets a little demanding about what she wants on the set list. Burden of Sea Captains is her first request, and she won’t quit til it’s played. She’s quite persistent.

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waiting excitedly for daddy to play

I felt filled with joy and pride watching Taylor and his group of friends sharing their music with people. It was a good start to the festival!

By Saturday night we were all pretty dusty, and the boys put on a good show.

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By the end they had everyone up and dancing in front of the stage. Josephine stayed up late to party with everyone. At the end of the show it was getting pretty loud so I made her wear her eardrum protecting sound blocking earmuff things. She kept them on, but was not happy, telling me, “Mama, no! I like the sound!”

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Chris Doud

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Will Taylor

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Mr. Matt Cordano, who had a new baby boy just ten days before this show. We missed his wife and that sweet baby at the festival. Maybe next time 🙂

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Chandler Pratt, aka Uncle New Guy to Josephine. She refuses to let me reference him by his real name

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The amazing (and seriously badass) Aaron Burtch. He’s a good guy.

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And finally, Taylor Webster. One handsome, talented, wonderful man. And one hell of a bass player.

This picture of Taylor is a little blurry, but I love it because I know how in the moment he is in this picture. I wish I could be so present ever in life. It makes me smile. Taylor enjoyed himself, even though his back was out and he was in excruciating pain the entire darn time. He didn’t complain much, although I know it bummed him out. At least he was able to take advantage of a free massage. The whiskey in his jug helped a bit too.

And so part one of our vacation comes to a close. Festivaling is my favorite, and I’m glad we’ve gotten a couple in so far this summer. And that’s all for leg one, folks. Be sure to tune in soon, as I know you are waiting with bated breath for Part Two: The Redwood Forest!

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Perfect timing

Well, folks, we made it. And weatherwise we had perfect timing! When I left Strawberry Music Festival after working on Thursday (I have a job up there so I get in for free, so I have been going up on Wednesday night by myself, sleeping in my car, working Thursday morning, coming home, working my real job at home, and going back up Saturday for a couple of festivals. Got that? I think I really am crazy).
So, back to it. When I left Thursday to come home, it was sunny and beautiful. Then, it rained/snowed/hailed all day Friday and Saturday morning. When I returned with Josephine Saturday afternoon it was cold and overcast, but the rain was through. Sunday was beautiful! Today was even better. Good job, me.
Josephine got to run and play, swim in the lake, play in the creek, dance, eat Popsicles, make new friends. All of the things that keep me coming back to Strawberry (even though the music line up is not so much most of the time). It is fun to see her enjoy herself as much as I did as a kid.
We had a magical moment at the lake (after she pooped in the grass. She is so ready to be done with diapers) after she was done swimming where I lay in the grass as she lay her head on my stomach, and we lounged quietly in the sun, watching people. It was lovely and peaceful, and I’ll treasure the moment forever.
And so we are back and unpacked. Laundry is going, and we have taken our Strawberry baths. We will now begin relaxing! Summer has begun!

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I didn’t take many pictures because I forgot my real camera, so this is it. Photo of Josephine and me by Kristy Weiss, Facebook stolen 🙂

Because I like to suffer..,

I am taking Josephine camping at the Strawberry Music Festival with me and it is supposed to be cold and rain tomorrow. Also, I have been offered a free camp by myself and Taylor will stay home with Josephine pass, and I’m choosing not to take it. I must be crazy.
I wrote this poem (in five minutes) all about it:

I hope it gets sunny
I’ll feel like a dummy
If tomorrow it starts to snow

I hope for my child
The weather stays mild
Or Taylor will say “Told you so”

I may come home soaked
It’s the truth, it’s no joke
I may just be out of my mind

But however it goes
If it’s sunny or snows
It’s gonna be Strawberry time!

Wish me luck, folks!

Puke-cation

Our Thanksgiving trip to my mom’s house both began and ended in puke. That’s right, folks. Good old upchuck.

About an hour into our five hour drive to Mt. Shasta, Josephine said to me, “Get me out, Mama.” Taylor and I both sternly told her that we had a lot of driving to do and that she was going to have to sit tight. She responded by looking at me and throwing up. Yogurt and oatmeal…all over herself, her car seat, her blanket…just about everywhere.

Now, in high school I took a child development class. We had to tote around a mechanical baby that would cry at various times during the day and night. You would put a key in it’s back and hold it there until it was done crying. This was supposed to show young women how daunting caring for a child could be, henceforth, scaring them out of having a baby in high school. Other schools had students carry around eggs as babies, or sacks of flour. I, for one, had a fun time dressing my doll up, got to have a babysitter while I went to swim practice (you can’t leave a baby by the pool, after all), and figured out how to sleep while holding the key in it’s back. In essence, it was not too daunting for me. I didn’t get pregnant in my teens, however, I wasn’t really at risk to begin with.

I propose a new program. All at risk teens should be forced to clean child puke from a car seat. This disgusting, unsavory, wretched activity will surely be enough to deter every single one of them from unprotected sex for the rest of their lives. Seriously. Do you think I could get a grant for that program? Most disgusting thing I have had to do as a mother, hands down. And I didn’t even have to clean up the pools of vomit. Taylor took on that task (Hallelujah!) while I cleaned Josephine off in an unsuspecting Burger King bathroom. Additionally, my job was to clean the cover, straps and plastic part of the seat when we got to our destination. And the Velcro on the straps? Forget about it. This was so, so nasty. I had no idea how many crevices, caves, and cracks are in the plastic car seat. I will spare you the details, but really, there should be someone you could pay to do that for you. Or maybe parents can just sign up for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (which I would call P.U.K.E.S. – which stands for Proving Upchuck Kills Early Sex) and you can call over a high school student to come clean the puke off for you. This is sounding better and better the more I think about it…

So there was the start of our trip. Needless to say, I was worried about the trip back, however, Josephine’s food all stayed inside of her. When we arrived home after our uneventful, even pleasant five hour drive home, we were greeted with cat puke on our bedroom floor in not just one, but three places. Taylor was dismayed, but really, after cleaning up toddler puke from car seat crevices and Velcro strips, I happily cleaned up the cat puke. Even exclaiming about how pleasant cat puke smells. Just like wet cat food, really. Nothing like a toddler to put it all in perspective.

A quick glimpse

Taylor and I just returned from an epic, four night Vegas vacation. Our friends Sean and Melanie were married last Saturday, so we joined them in Sin City to watch them be joined in Holy Matrimony. After so much Las Vegas fun (and so very little Las Vegas sleep) I am having a hard time getting back to reality, so here are a few pictures to keep you company until my exhaustion wears off 🙂

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The Bride and Groom

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I have to admit, I didn’t take as many pictures as I usually do. I suppose it was more fun to just get out there and play 🙂 See you when I recover!