You guys. This last week was pretty incredible. Marco and I drove 12 hours to visit my cousin in Humboldt, California, with a big bunch of our family. My cousin Haley graduated with her Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy. We’re a proud bunch!
I’m so excited to share this trip with you. It was such a full & meaningful one.
Marco and I left last Friday morning, and returned late Wednesday night. We made the most of our drive up the California coast and stopped in San Francisco (my favorite place on earth) on the way up, and Santa Cruz on the way home. We got to see so much!
As I said, we left early last Friday morning. I drove the entire way while Marco slept. The boy (side note: I often refer to Marco as “the boy” – strange?) had such worked a full night shift – trooper! I listened to two audio books on the way up, and loved the views as I drove.
And, nothing excited me more a stop in SF.
Our first stop in San Fran was Blue Bottle coffee, of course! I got a macaroon that I snacked on through the day with a cappuccino. I bought my cousin Haley a bag of coffee for letting us stay with her!
Simi brought my parents coffee when she came to visit the week before, and I thought it was so special! Coffee makes a great gift.
Best cappo ever. I have a real love affair with Blue Bottle. Who doesn’t?
For lunch, we went to Tacolicious in the Marina. A place I’d been before on my trips to SF, and wanted to show Marco. He was kind of a fan. He’s more into authentic “real” Mexican food. I loved it.
We shared tacos & chips, and were on our way.
Before leaving SF, we walked around the Marina, and hung around the green belt area. We saw views of the Golden Gate bridge, I pointed out where some of my friends live, and we reminisced a bit over our last SF road trip.
After hanging around the Marina, we hopped back in the car, Marco grabbed a pillow, fell back asleep, and I drove the next six hours to Humboldt. I listened to Miracle Morning (great!) and The 12-Week Year (so boring – I can sum this book up for you in 5 minutes and save you a 4 hour audiobook!).
When we got to Humboldt we ate dinner with our family. The parents all rented a house where we hung out each day and cooked dinner together. On night one we had shredded chicken tostadas made with brown rice tortillas. Heavenly, and so simple to make. We’ll need to talk more about this on the blog!
To end day one, we went to visit the farm where my cousin Haley’s goats live. These are the newest babies. How cute are they?! Their names are Dozer & Pearl. My heart. I loved them enough to take on about 5 mosquito bites for them. My aunt must love them more, because she took on about 12.
The Days Between
On day two, we went to the Farmers Market before Haley’s graduation. We walked around Arcata, watched people dance in the park, kids play, and had ourselves a picnic lunch. Haley had me at there’s a sandwich shop around the corner. Can’t help it. Such a sandwich girl!
I ordered the turkey sandwich with every veggie available on a wheat roll + an Honest tea on the side. Obsessed. Can I eat this meal everyday? I think so…
After lunch, we got ready and went to Haley’s graduation. It was so cool to see everyone graduate. I had all of the feelings running through me as I saw families jump up and yell to their kids “I’m so proud of you!” There’s nothing more emotional to me than a family loving on each other.
Our Haley girl! I say it like I’m the older cousin, but really, she is. Haley was the MOH in my wedding. Since neither of us grew up having sisters, we’ve always considered each other sisters. Still do! I love the conversations we get to have now over both of our careers, and I’m so happy that we’re both doing things we love.
In Humboldt, we ate meals together (like this breakfast of eggs, bacon, and toast), hiked, went on walks, shopped, drank coffee, and even did business together. There were a couple of us self-employed people in the house, and it was so nice to be able to relax and get work done away from home.
We went on the most beautiful hike at the Lady Bird Johnson trail, about 45 minutes north of Arcata. I took this photo inside of a HUGE redwood tree that I’d climbed into through a hole about half the size of a hoola-hoop. Who knew what could have been inside!
Marco snapped a photo of us while we were there. From left to right, Bob, Kelly, Haley, my aunt Shelly & uncle Dennis, Robert (Haley’s boyfriend), and myself. And as I mentioned, Marco was the camera boy here.
Here’s a photo of a tree with a much larger opening that you could walk through. Many of the trees in the Redwoods has gigantic wholes because of fires that had gone right through the centers of them. And they’re still alive!
We also visited some beautiful beaches, climbed rocks, played with starfish, watched seals, and collected sticks. The views all throughout California honestly never cease to amazing me. Sometimes, I can’t believe I live here, while at the same time I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
My uncle snapped this photo of us on the big-ol-rock we climbed. To us, this thing was huge. To my cousin Haley, it was tiny. She’s climbed things bigger than I ever need to know about.
On day four or five, the girls and I shopped in downtown Arcata. I found the cutest card and bought it for Marco. This card gives away a HUGE hint to what’s coming soon… Can anyone take a guess? I’ve been teasing you all a bit on Snapchat and Instagram. And I’ve got to say… I think someone guessed right!
If you give me a follow on Snap (@healthyhitsspot – no “the”) or Insta (@healthyhitsthespot), you’ll definitely find out Sunday what we’re up to! I cannot wait to share with you!
The last day before we left, I had to return to the Co-Op for a half sandwich. I also nibbled on a few chips with Marco. Lord, why is this sandwich place not in SLO? I need it everyday of my life.
The Final Day
On the last day, we woke up early, grabbed a cappuccino (also pictured: my leftover tea from the day before), filled up the car, and hit the road. We drove another 12 hours from Humboldt to Santa Cruz to San Luis Obispo. We stopped in Santa Cruz for lunch and decided we’d return to spend more time the there next time around.
Looking back, this trip was one to add to the books. My mom was there, and although she wasn’t feeling 100%, all that mattered to me was that she made it and that we got to spend time together. I got more memories with her, Marco got to connect even deeper with my family (something I love him for – how social he is with others), and I got to visit my cousin finally in Humboldt.
Update on my mama (read the first post here): She’s been in a lot of pain recently, which breaks the heart of anyone who knows her. She’s doing everything she can to support her body to feel healthy, and as for us, we’re doing our best to help her, cry with her when she needs it, and laugh with her when she needs it even more. I am doing my best to treat her as if she’s alive and well, because she is – everyday is a mini-miracle that I celebrate. I don’t want to miss one moment of this precious time I have with her. I already have only the best memories you could have with a single person with her, and we will only continue to add to these. There’s no one in this world I think more highly of – this woman. She’s my inspiration to be kind, compassionate, open, funny, and not take anything too seriously. She’s easy on others, inviting, and the most comforting/safe person you could be around.
As we journey through cancer with my mom, we continue to celebrate and thank God for all of the good things in our life, because what I know for sure is that I never want to look back and think “I didn’t appreciate those times with my dot-dot.” My mama is the sweetest soul, and nothing brings me more peace than to think about enjoying my time with her the best I can. I pray I get 20 more years (and would love for you to pray in the same way), and also know that all of our timing is up to God. I trust Him, we trust Him, and we know that His will is ultimately the best – not only for her, but for all of us. Enjoying her, just as she is, my sweet mama, is the best possible option I have at the moment. I love you mama-dot!
So glad I got to share this trip with you today! We’re leaving for Colorado on Sunday, and again, I can’t wait to reveal what we’re doing there on Insta and Snap! Come follow! I plan to blog about it when we’re home! Thank you for being with me.