Last week we took a long drive up to Humboldt County for a fun camping vacation. When Ryan was about Mila's age we took him beach camping near Malibu and it was honestly one of my favorite family adventures. Both Dan and I have been camping since we were our children's age. Camping is just one of those things that brings on a thousand incredible memories for us. I knew for Mila's first Summer we had to make a memorable camping voyage and we really hit this one out of the park! We packed all the essentials, warm clothes, s'mores ingredients and enough diapers to get through a week. I actually received a lot of questions on how we managed camping with a little one. Honestly, it was pretty simple. I'll put together a little must have list that helped me and post it soon. I definitely recommend camping though starting at Mila's age and on!
We spent our days hiking within redwood tree groves and having picnic lunches with the best Mother Earth scenery. The beautiful trees almost made up for when Mila kicked my salami sandwich into the dirt while sitting on my lap ;) I had never been up to see the redwood trees and they are truly beautiful. So big, when you take a look up it takes your breath away. This world is a pretty amazing one. We ended up using a lot of Ryan's belongings and on the first day I had a minor panic attack about using it all. I felt for a quick moment guilty and didn't want him to be looking down on us thinking we are moving on with out him. I have these thoughts from time to time. We were using Ryan's hiking backpack and Mila wore his blue jacket ... I guess I just came to the thought that Ryan was clearly with us in some way. Some how. If Ryan were physically here with us Mila would still be using his things, because that is typically want second siblings do right?
You know how I usually do things, I do everything with Ryan on my mind. So seeing his belongings in action once again was hard at first. Though the pain wore off and it felt really great to see us being us again. With Ryan present in his own vibrant way. I made sure our son was all over place and we even spelled his name out with these smooth beach pebbles. I also felt so inclined to give Mila her first taste of Nutella which I am sure her big brother approved of. Oh and she had her first roasted marshmallow too!
My favorite day of camping was when we took a long drive up to Samoa Island to eat at the Samoa Cookhouse. We ate so much and the whole family was with us. We explored all around that day and ended up at an old train station with refurbished trains from 1916, a beautiful beach lined with huge sandy dunes and the cutest town filled with weird knick knacks. Of course, it was the day we didn't bring the camera along. But we will be back, because there is a tiny bakery that apparently sells the best cinnamon rolls. We didn't have any cash on us to get one ... next time!
I was smart enough to bring along our Gathre mats which were such lifesaver! I laid them out on the ground and put toys on them for Mila to play with while we made breakfast or just hanging out at the camp site. Those mats come in handy and I love taking them with us everywhere. Now that Mila is so close to crawling, her curiosity gets the best of her sometimes. She played with her toys for a few moments, then wanted to take a taste of nature. She escaped the mats to eat a leaf or two ...
The four of us truly had the best time and are already planning another camping trip for the fall. Below are a few of my favorite photos from our time spent within the redwoods. Thanks for coming along with us on our journey!