We had a really busy day today. After breakfast, we drove over to Sequoia National Park. It is about a 1 hour drive to the park entrance off CA-198. Michael fell asleep in the car on the way there and woke up as we were winding through some of the small towns that we drove through to get to the park entrance. Little did we know we still had an hour of windy, twisty roads left to travel. I am not one to get car sick but I think the combo of sitting in the backseat and being 19 weeks pregnant made me pretty queasy. Luckily, we made it without incident.
After ascending thousands of feet in the car and traveling from brown, dry landscape to beautiful, green lush trees, we made it. The park was absolutely beautiful. The nauseating car ride was well worth the beauty of the park. Our first stop was at the Museum. We all needed to get out and walk around after being cooped up for 2 hours. While we were there, a little rain storm blew through and cooled off the air so we had to pull out our sweatshirts. The second stop was at a picnic area. We had packed a cooler of sandwiches, chips, and pasta salad. Michael downed two hard boiled eggs and then decided that searching for sticks and rocks was more fun than eating. Well, more fun that eating table food at least. Towards the end of our lunch he decided to plop down on the ground and chow down a handful of dirt. Taking after that cousin of his again! (The picture of him sitting was after he took a bite - a fuzzy pic because he was sitting about 10 feet away from me and I had to zoom.)
After the picnic, we headed to The General Sherman Sequoia Tree. This tree is the oldest living tree in the entire world. It was quite beautiful. We overheard a tour guide saying that the scope of the size of the tree is like a mouse looking up to a 6 foot human being. So we all stood around gazing up like little mice at the enormous tree. Many of you are probably familiar with the California Redwoods. The difference is this: The Sequoia's are heavier and much thicker (at their base) while the Redwoods are taller than the Sequoia's. The National Park Service has done an excellent job in maintaining the beauty of this park. Michael absolutely LOVED running around picking up little branches, watching the other kids around him and just being outdoors in the the clean, fresh air. He found some big boulders that looked intriguing to him so we played around them for a while. I find it so funny how we spend so much money on toys yet he seems just as happy playing with the rocks, sticks, sand and wood chips of the outdoors. We hated to have to put him back in the car to go home. But alas, it was nap time and the car's gas tank was on E with the light blinking!
So down the mountain we headed. The nausea was not as bad, thank goodness. And we did not have to go for an emergency gallon of gas, we made it to the Chevron outside of the park just in time.
Another highlight of the day was seeing the wildlife. We got to see a deer up close as it was searching for food. Then on the drive down the mountain, we spotted (from our car) a Momma bear and her two cubs. That was pretty neat considering the only time I have ever seen bears before was in a zoo. The Momma bear was actually a lot smaller than I expected her to be. Maybe my frame of reference of the size of bears comes from the movie: The Great Outdoors. Classic John Candy movie.
It was a wonderful and much needed adventure. But of course we pay the price by Michael not napping as well during the day and as Chris says, "He turns into a pumpkin around 7 pm." Tonight the Pumpkin turning was occurring earlier in the evening because he did not get enough of a nap. Thirty minutes after putting him down he was still not settling like he normally does so I snuck into his nursery and picked him up to rock him to sleep. Like a comfy cotton t-shirt, he snuggled right into my arms and fell asleep on my shoulder. It was so hard to transfer him because I was enjoying him sleeping on my chest and feeling his breath on my shoulder. I know one day he is going to be too big to do this with so I try to enjoy and take in every moment. It was a great way to complete a great day.