Family trip: n.
1. A journey or excursion, especially for pleasure, undertaken with people related by blood or marriage.
2. A stumble or fall involving a group consisting of a set of parents and their children.
3. A hallucinatory experience involving one’s closest relations.

This trip, and I mean that in every sense of the word, is now officially known as Our Second Heinous Driving Vacation. I didn’t quite hallucinate, but I did faint. Three days before we came home, Jack and I got stomach flu. I was freezing, so I decided to take a bath. When I stood up to get out of the bathtub, I fainted. First time I’ve done that in over a dozen years. But hey, at least we weren’t camping that night. Can you imagine yakking into a pit toilet?

Apart from the stomach flu, it was a pretty good trip. Well, except for the part where we learned that Jane suffers from motion sickness.

And the part where I lost our car keys in Yosemite.

And the part where both babies started wailing while we were on an open air tram tour of the Valley, and the only way to get them to shut up so the rest of the people on the tour could hear the ranger/tour guide lady was for me to breastfeed both of them at the same time while on a moving tram. Oh yes. I did.

But you know, except for that, it was a good trip. I mean, we came back with the same number of people, and each of those people had the same number of limbs and digits. What more could I want?

Maybe to have some fun? Well, you know what? We did. Here are a few of my favorite moments:

A lovely picnic lunch at the Jackson Historic House outside Chehalis, Washington.


Family church and tree climbing by the Willamette River our first Sunday on the road.


Discovering our new favorite honey.


Kids laughing in the wind, coats and hair streaming back, leaning into the gale, strong enough to hold them up.


The scent of orange blossoms when I stepped out of the car in Fairfield, CA, where we visited Jane’s godfather. Good conversation with a good friend.


Chips and homemade guacamole and margaritas poolside with my parents, my sis, and her family.


Music and dancing on Mother’s Day.


Jack “Evel Kneivel” Ireton’s amazing diving board jump.


Lunch at the Hot Dog Plane with a childhood friend. The hot dogs were quite good, as was the locally brewed root beer. And we had a fabulous conversation, our first in over a year.


Our first glimpse of Yosemite Valley.


Waking to light on the rocks above our campsite.


Hot showers after three days of camping. Clean babies, clean hair, clean skin, clean clothes. Ah, the joy of clean.

Four black-tailed deer grazing outside our cabin near Ashland, Oregon.


The High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon (especially the Birds of Prey and Miller Family Ranch exhibits).

But my absolute favorite moment?

Walking in my front door on a gorgeously sunny Seattle day.

I just love home.