Monday, June 8, 2009

I ♥ Faces--ChiIL Mama's Twelve Year Reunion Tour From San Francisco to Chicago Via RV

The countdown has begun. We are officially in the last week of school. Sagezilla and Du-Jay have less than 3 days and 1 hour left of Kindergarten and second grade, respectively. Everyone's getting a bit squirrely and thoughts are turning to summer vacation.

Last year we spent a lovely week in Vail, CO, thanks to Dug's Dad and Stepmom. This year we're going to Portland to see my sister for 10 days, later this month. But the best vacation to date has been our Twelve Year Reunion Tour Road Trip, 2007.

In 1995, Dug and I drove a car from Chicago to LA, for some friends who had moved out there. We took our time, and spent 3 weeks seeing the country. We began the drive as acquaintances and ended in a relationship. It was such a fun trip, we vowed to get together and do it again in a decade or so, no matter where we were in life.

As it happened, in a decade, we were married (to each other) and had two children, 2 and 4 years old, and we rethunk the whole, spend 3 weeks in the car with screaming toddlers plan. We opted to wait 2 years and do a Twelve Year Reunion Tour.

In the spring of 2007, we flew to San Francisco.... Leaving Chicago--O'Hare Airport-Day 1

rented an RV, and spent 17 days driving back to Chicago. It was an amazing journey. I have an entire blog devoted to our travels and will post a link here, for those who want more. Click on Twelve Year Reunion Tour. For the sake of I ♥ Faces and ChiIL Mama space, I will copy a few of my favorite photo moments from our vacation below.

We began in San Francisco, where we visited SF MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art. They were having a traveling exhibit of Picasso's work which even the kids got into. We explored Golden Gate Park......
discovered hidden playgrounds......and added our first Ugly Dolls to our family, with the kids own birthday money.

Before leaving California, we spent some time camping among the giant redwoods in The Big Basin.These are my Doc Marten's boots AKA: Road Trippin' Shoes. I've photographed them in interesting places around the world. I was excited to find a matching pair for Sagezilla, in a thrift store, for a few bucks!
Since we traveled in March and early April, the mountain passes were snowed in, so we went down through Las Vegas. The kids stayed up past their bed times riding all the carnival rides at Circus Circus.

We saw lots of natural wonders throughout the west, like The Petrified Forest and cliff dwellers homes. And we saw strange, off beat works of art and/or vandalism that I found just as interesting.

This is Zilla with her "art feet" in our RV, The Chalet. This was our home away from home for 17 days. It was hugely helpful to have a potty, fridge, stove and beds on board, since our kids were so young.

The upper sleeping loft was big, but Sagezilla inevitably ended up in the cozy little window ledge instead.

I would highly recommend at least one long road trip with young children. They learned so much and got a much better idea of the true size of our country, than kids do just flying over. There's no substitute for getting the real feel of a place, including it's special foods, sights, sounds, smells and natural wonders.


  1. What an AWESOME vacation! My family took TONS of long road trips every year and I can't wait to do it with my kids--thanks for inspiring us all!

  2. how fun! i have ALWAYS wanted to take a road trip in an rv up and down the east coast (i have also made the drive from california to illinois when i went to ministry school). there is nothing like it!

  3. Looks like a great time! I'm so glad to hear about road trips with young kids these days as we are planning a road trip from Seattle to Virginia this summer! I'm a little freaked out, to say the least. We'll have two moms and three kids-- ages; 2, 3 and 7. I think we might be a little crazy :)