I estimate that it’s been at least 15 years since I’ve visited my home state of CA. Ben, Zo, and I were eternally grateful when we found out my parents were treating us to a vacation in Palm Springs/ Rancho Mirage for a week! I won’t bore you with drawn out details and explanations… let’s just hit the highlights!
Zo got searched by TSA. Her primary concern was Toothless’ wellbeing. He came through just fine… and they made her “officio” TSA… She flies like a boss. Can’t complain one bit. When we arrived in Rancho Mirage, I couldn’t believe my eyes when we pulled up to the house… GORGEOUS. And the BOUGAINVILLIEA!!! Breathtaking… and EVERYWHERE!
We were in the pool most of the seven days that we were there! Zo learned to swim under water and dive down to the bottom of the deep end of the pool!!! We were honestly in awe. She was a fish. Even Auntie Carly, the swimmer of the family, was impressed!
We went to the San Jacinto range and rode the tram to the top. Again, breathtaking…
Grandpa bought Zo a bag of rocks (she was geeked!) so we had to immediately investigate those (and all the others that she picked up on our hike) when we got home!
We also commemorated the huge a** digger I took during our hike. Nothing like a little snow rash from your desert vacation. I amaze myself sometimes.
We took many walks in the gated community we were staying at… mostly so Zo could collect her rocks in her rock necklace on our “wock walks”…
Ben was the grill master during our trip, and he didn’t mind, because he had help…
Ben, Zo, and I headed to Joshua Tree for a day trip. Again, I’ve never seen anything so breathtaking! From the view of the San Andreas fault (geology geek in me was flipping out) to the bird watching, I was in heaven…
Zo was completely in her element, being that we were surrounded by rocks (especially nose rock that you can see above in which she’s making a pig nose in front of). She even completed a Junior Park Ranger course (had to complete and document activities during her time at the park). She even had to take an oath to earn her badge and certificate. I think this was the highlight of her trip. She kept telling us she couldn’t believe “I’m an actual Power Ranger now!” Although, her best quote came from one of her required activites. She was required to think about what she smelled, saw and felt while at the park. When Ben asked her what she smelled she quickly stated “I smell Joshua Trees!” Since she did such a wonderful job completing her Junior Ranger workbook, we let her pick out a “guy”… she chose a Bighorn Sheep. She loves putting flowers behind his ear :).
We had a lot of fun time with the Giesens. It’s so sweet to see Graham and Zoey have some quality time together! Cousins!
And, of course, with Baby Jillian… Melt!
We took a trip to The Living Desert Zoo and Arboretum with the entire group. The landscape was stunning and impressive!
Speaking of creatures, I was in bird nerd heaven! So many new species to see! And hummingbirds everywhere!
And, we obviously have to mention that we were vacationing over the most epic of Pi Days. 3.14.15 at 9:26!!! A sure cause for celebration!
My Mom’s best friend and my
Aunt Uncle ;), Carol, came to visit while we were there. I was so glad she was able to come and stay. Zo adores her! We went out to dinner and witnessed a gorgeous sunset. The best of the trip!
It’s the sad truth that this is the longest amount of time I’ve spent with Zoey since my maternity leave with her four years ago. I treasure every moment with my mini me. She is a light in so many peoples’ lives… even those she’s just met. I’m proud to call her my daughter.
She appreciates things most adults take a lifetime to learn. I’m grateful every day for her.
Speaking of grateful, a HUGE thank you to my parents, Wayne and Connie, for the trip of a lifetime! You treated us to EVERYTHING and we are lucky to have you. It was exactly what we needed. We love you more than we can say, and a token of our appreciation for the trip (and, quite frankly, all that you do and have done for us) will be waiting when you get home. :) Thank you both!