All in all we had a wonderful vacation/trip up to Portland. None of the places we went to were busy at all, which allowed the kids to wander and explore as much as their parents would allow. Hearst Castle was the only hard part for the kids, as it was a living museum and no flash photography was allowed in or OUT of the castle grounds. The younger kids were getting a little rowdy outside the front of the castle and the guides suggested that they go inside to a quite room to play. This allowed Darcy to feed the baby and allowed Brooklyn to play with some toys, and get some of their energy out without disturbing the other visitors.
Sequoia was great. I think we saw maybe a dozen other cars the whole time we were there. It felt like we had the whole park to ourselves. The kids and I loved it. (Darcy was not comforted in the fact that no one would hear our screams, if a bear or mountain lion attacked) The kids could be as loud as they wanted and not disturb anyone. We had an amazing experience seeing the wonder of the some of the largest trees in the world. The few visitors we did see were mostly foreigners. It reminded me of when we went to the San Diego Zoo in October (kids are free for the whole month). A lot of people were speaking in foreign languages. The zoo wasn't that crowded then either.
Yosemite was awesome. Again not a lot of people. We did meet up with a family from England that we met in Sequoia, and their daughter, who was about Elena's age, and about her height too. If Brooklyn hadn't gotten sick we would have been able to have hiked a few more trails. She was able to ride "shotgun" on Darcy's lap. Maybe it was the insanely windy roads or the entire pack of ice breaker sours that she ate that made her throw up. We knew when it was time for her to throw up because she'd say, "Don't like it throw up." Not very enjoyable for Darcy who had to hold her for the hour trip on these curvy roads. We all wish we had a few more days there to see the grandeur of it all. We were able to get up to Glacier Point before they closed it the next day for the winter months. Hiking up to Glacier Point and Moro Rock and seeing the views were breath taking.
I think I should be out of work more often. j/k
All in all the trip was great. The day before we left Fontana there was a car chase that ended in front of our house to wish us goodbye with Fontana PD and Sheriff lights flashing all around, and even a helicopter overhead for over an hour wishing us goodbye. One of the suspects only broke in and barricaded himself in our neighbors house for an hour or so.
Arriving into OREGON, we were greeted with snow. Lots and Lots of SNOW. Roads were closed. What should have taken us 8 hours took over 13. Did I mention there was lots of snow. Record breaking snow. It broke records dating back to the January 1950. Welcome to the cold Humphrey family.