Life · Parenthood · Travel

The beginning of a family tradition

Montecito Sequioa Lodge was everything and more. I loved it for its comfortable simplicity and reminder of what’s truly beautiful in life. Family. Connection. Nature. No TV. No internet. 

As we began our departure from Orange County and 45 minutes into our 7 hour car drive we heard Celeste’s voice from the back seat “why are we not there yet?”. I tried hard not to laugh. Just as we were passing Griffith Park, Celeste enthusiastically pointed to the hills and said “What about there?! Let’s put our tent there and hike there!” I burst out laughing. What a smart kid. We explained that we would be going deep into the forest with big trees and that’s where we would be staying and hiking. She seemed somewhat pleased with this. And I’m happy to say both our girls did great on the drive. They’re such troopers. 

I wish I had more pictures on my phone to share all the beauty and serenity we experienced. This was the first shot I captured when we drove down to the lodge area and suddenly the lake comes into view. 

  
I knew from that moment we were in for something special. 

The first thing my husband and Celeste did once we were checked in and settled in our room was go for a ride on the canoe. 

  

A couple days later all four of us got in the canoe but the ride was short lived because Elysse was just not having it. I think her life vest was too snug because she cried the entire 5 minutes or so we were out there. My husband tried getting us back to the shore as fast as he could while simultaneously trying to shoo away the bee that decided to circle him the entire time he was paddling us back! That’s what fun memories are made of.

Remember how thrilled I was about the fact the lodge was all inclusive? Best. Thing. Ever! We had breakfast and dinner each night we were there. And if you didn’t think you’d be around the lodge for lunch time, they had lunch meal forms you could fill out the night before, and the next morning they would have your lunch bag ready for you. This meant a sandwich, juice, apple or orange, and granola bar. Best. Thing. Ever! It was a life saver. 

These are some pics of hikes / walks we took. Celeste led the way on this one mile (one way) upward hike and told us to follow the “ranger”. When we reached the peak she decided to climb this rock and roar like a lion. She did such a great job hiking nearly the entire 2 miles round trip. 

  
This was a meadow we came upon on a leisure walk with Elysse snug on my husband’s back. We saw 2 bears and 4 deer during our 4 day stay in Sequioa National Forest!  

  
And Celeste climbing a few of the 300 steps to Moro Rock…

  
Every night after dinner they had smores and a camp fire at the lodge. It was a great time to meet other guests of the lodge and hear people’s stories. We met some amazing people and made friends with a husband and wife that were there with their 13 year old daughter. They told us how they come out every year around that time to celebrate the husband’s birthday. 

God willing we want to make this a family tradition too and invite our family to join us. We both feel one of the many great gifts we can give to our girls is a love and respect of nature. 

  

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