We've made a habit of going to the ocean at least once a year. It all started with Fynn's love of whales, which we don't get to see very often here in Colorado. Last year we had a miraculous encounter with whales, which i wrote about in an older post (here).
For the second year in a row Grandma and Grandpa came with us, Turning it into an extended family vacation. As usual Rowan got himself all ready to go, and as we were packing up th' day of departure Fynn caught th' first garter snake of th' season, it was a good day.
Here are th' kids blasting off in their rocket.
Last year two really big things happened, and we wanted to do them again. One is that th' kids discovered they could ride with Grandma and Grandpa, and the other is that their favorite thing in th' whole world besides the ocean is a hotel with a swimming pool. This year they rode with Grandma and Grandpa almost the enitre trip, and so me and Beth got to actually spend a lot of time together. We both feel like this, at least for us, was really th' reason for this year's trip. If you are not a special needs parent it's hard to understand what it's like to be around th' person you love th' most and yet never have any time to actually be with them. We can't even have a conversation unless both kids are asleep, which is sometimes never. People tell us to go on dates, get a babysitter, and that's a great idea, but we only have one babysitter, and it's two people. (You know who you are and we love you for that) We spent more time together on this trip than we have in th' last eight years. I tell you it was wonderful. It was like meeting and falling in love all over again.
So anyway, th' first night we stayed in this nice hotel with a pool and hot tub, and in th' morning had breakfast and swam till we had to leave. Nothing calms our kids more than swimming. While i was holding Rowan in th' pool he said to me, Oh Papa, this is th' best day of my life! He'd been alive for 1,230 days at this point, so that's saying something.
Here's Fynn and Rowan in our hotel th' first night- They love hotels so much that Rowan actually wants to live in one, and talks about it almost everyday.
So anyways we drove on through th' desert towards ocean, stopping by some salt lakes, and spending our first night in Reno at a casino.
It was a grey drive most of th' way, till we got over th' pass in california and dropped down into Sacramento, where we got out and picked blackberry leaves for tea, and even found some good butternuts from last fall.
And finally, we made it to San Francisco. Both kids love th' Golden Gate bridge, so we made sure our route crossed that. Last year Fynn got really into hills, and he spent a lot of time on Google Earth looking up hills, well he found out that one of th' steepest streets in th' world is in San Francisco, Lombard street, so we got to drive down that, and it's featured in Inside Out, which was both kids favorite movie at th' time. They were so excited we thought they were gonna pop. Beth got a video of us driving down that, which you can watch on our Youtube channel here.
After Lombard street we went down to th' Wharf to let go of our jetlag by running around a crowded outdoor area and watch th' kids bump into complete strangers, and just generally act inappropriate. They chased pigeons, tried to take over th' magic shows, played other peoples drums and ran ran ran up and down th' wharf. It was quite fun actually.
Social graces are not our kids strongpoint. I hear that's a common trait of people with autism. What ever Fynn should not do, he's probably going to do that. He'll go right up to th' street magician and start rummaging through his bag of tricks, or th' drummers and start banging away, or impulsively pull over a drum. We try to stop him but he's just so fast, sometimes he gets away from us. And Rowan is quickly following in his footsteps. Keeps th' sketchy people away though, in this respect our kids are kinda like guard dogs. We, as a family, are a walking tornado, and most folks keep their distance.
Oh yeah, do you remember th' movie Big, with Tom Hanks, where an eight year old makes a wish on th' Zoltar machine and wakes up in th' body of a thirty year old?
That evening we checked into our hotels, got a room right next door to Grandma and Grandpa, which meant th' kids could run back and forth, which they loved. Did i mention that we love hotels? Free breakfast, two beds right next to each other to jump back and forth on, only one room to clean, simple living. A short walk to th' ocean. Wildflowers.
|Fynn and Rowan picking mustard flowers|
We spent most of th' days on th' beach, Flying kites, drawing pictures in th' sand, listening to th' waves, looking for whales, being calm.
|Rowan just rolling in th' sand, because he can|
|"It's Fynn Den"|
Rowan flew his first kite all by himself.
We went to a couple of different beaches, at one of them there was a trail going up a steep cliff. Last year me and Fynn climbed it, and loved it. This year he started each of three days by climbing this cliff. It took us about 45 minutes to go up and come back down. On th' way up and at th' top we found a couple of spirals made of rocks- Fynn ran in and out of them and had a blast. We found wild strawberries and fields of fennel. On th' way back down we saw a creek lined with poison hemlock, perhaps th' most deadly plant on earth. Fynn stopped each person we saw and pointed it out to them and told them not to eat it.
|Rowan playing in th' bubbles|
Once again it was a great trip. We had some food issues, and some incidents, but i'll spare you th' bad parts for now- it was worth every bit of it.
On th' way home we stayed in Vegas, and got to see some canyonlands, where Fynn says he was born and lived until we found him and brought him home to live with us, so he was very excited to go there (again). We found this hotel in Green River, Utah, with an Indian family running it, very friendly, served us breakfast and everything, and i thought, wouldn't it be amazing if Fynn liked indian food. (You must understand, he eats almost nothing but bean burritos and fresh fruit) and somehow, when we got home, me and Beth decided we were going to make some indian dishes, and Fynn actually like a lot of it. I can't tell you how good that is. Thanks Fynn for loving whales enough to carry us around th' country, and thanks Grandma and Grandpa for coming with us. And thanks to you for taking th' time to peek into our lives-
|"and this is where i keep my oatmeal and my burritos"|
See Ya'll next time.