Today we left Anaheim Disney to head to our California National Park Adventure, not without a short stop at the shops of course. We had not planned this, and rather had just hoped to see something on the way, which we did, and it turned out to be perfect for what we needed. Citadel Outlet Mall was on the side of the Highway and easy to get in and out of giving us just the break we needed from the traffic.
We found a Ruby’s Diner there which was perfect and a total taste of history and everything we love about America. Cars hanging from the roof, great burgers and shakes, brilliant service and a fun atmosphere, the stop was worth it just for an all American lunch, plus Shane got a new pair of Sunglasses.
Our Main aim was to be out of the north side of LA by 2 which we did comfortably, after this part of the trip the traffic was really quite fine, large open roads and some glorious scenery. When we were planning the trip I wasn’t sure how we would all go travelling, but being in a new country with a completely different landscape was so fascinating that it kept us all entertained for the duration of the trip.
My biggest concern was not eating in the car, an easy way to keep kids happy on long car trips, as I didn’t want any crumbs, or food shoved down the seats as kids are prone to do, as we were heading into bear country. Shane and the kids were overawed driving into the park as desert became hills (giant for us) which became mountains, and experiencing the trees change as we climbed in altitude was spectacular.
We arrived at the lodge around dusk, thankfully as our Sat Nav took us on a little detour and didn’t quite get the location right. We have since found out that Electronic Navigation systems can take you off course in the mountains and it is better to use a paper map, a great learning experience for all of us.
We drove in past a herd of deer, which excited us all no end and we headed up to the lodge.
“Thousands of tired, nerve shaken, over civilised people are beginning to find that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity” – John Muir. How thankful I am to stay at John Muir Lodge, I have always wanted to go here, Shane planned this and I was so incredibly grateful.
“Keep close to natures heart…and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods, and wash your spirit clean.” – John Muir
Porches with rocking chairs where you can sit and just hear and smell the forest gave us the ability to reset, to be restored deep in the mountains.
It is possible Levi has never been so happy, he was jumping around with joy, having never been to mountains like these, never been to the forest. He grabbed my phone to take selfies so that he could remember the moment forever, which for him is unheard of, he does not care to have his photo taken. The kids could not believe the air, the smell, the sound, the beauty of this place.
After Shane signed the Bear Safe Policy (a new and somewhat terrifying one for us) we raced down to restaurant which was about to close, and begged to be let in late (ah the adventure). They so kindly let us in and we had a beautiful dinner in a one of a kind restaurant, absolutely divine. Being our first night in the woods, we raced back to the lodge, terrified of a bear encounter in the evening, which if you can imagine was really quite hilarious. Once safely back at the lodge we headed up to the porch to sit on the rocking chairs, breathe in the forest and chat about our day.
Lots of Love