Two weekends ago we went on a mini vacation with the family. The kids had the week off for spring break but mommy and daddy have things to get done at work, so we couldn’t take the whole week off. I figured that many people would start the Easter holiday around Thursday making it very busy everywhere. So we decided to start the vacation on Saturday the week before through Tuesday. Four days of “vacation” right before the madness: perfect!
We didn’t wanna go too far because if you are a parent with kids like mine who can’t stand to be on the road for more than 60 mins, you know too far is not possible. And it couldn’t be too close that it felt like we weren’t even gone. So we decided to go visit Clear Lake in NorCal which is about 3 hours away from our house. This amount of time on the road with kids is definitely right at the limit of road trip acceptable time/distance with kids for us. Anything more and it turns into a nightmare with too many stops so the kids can let the sillies out. The lake is in located in an area of Cali we don’t visit frequently, so it was a nice change that was both far and close enough for us to be able to do it.
So off we went! The very first thing that stood out was the benefit of the heavy rain we had this year did to the mountains. It was green everywhere! Perhaps you aren’t aware but NorCal was on a drought for the last years. We had several years with little to no rain and the mountains had turned brown/yellow. But this year is all bright green and flowers everywhere. So pretty! The road narrows to a single lane after you pass Santa Rosa heading north. It was such a lovely drive. My husband and I kept just enjoying the view while he drove. We talked about the mountains, the few houses off the road, the farm life. I didn’t check on my phone for other than confirming we were staying on the correct road when the GPS lady said something. This is one of the things my kids complain about often… getting bored because they have “nothing” to do. Apparently at some point people decided that if there isn’t a screen in front of you to provide enterntaiment, then you are destined to be bored. Say what?! Doubtful! The baby fell asleep and the two big kiddos were reading books they brought so I was able to just have a nice conversation with my husband while enjoying the views of the road trip. Awesome!
The second thing that stood out is the lack of phone service in areas like these. The GPS was able to keep up with us but we had no phone reception. We scanned through the radio and we were able to only find one or two radios that would come clearly. So what do you do when you can’t stream music? You talk! As I said, we had such a nice conversation with my husband just talking about a gazillion things. What would it be like to live in this area? What do people do here for fun? And we would come up with a bunch of guesses and just kept getting inspired by the road to find things to talk about. I found that super duper awesome!
The third thing that stood out was life off the grid. After driving up and down the mountain that is next to the lake, we found ourselves in an area that had little to nothing of things to do. I mean you don’t even need all your fingers to count the restaurants available to grab a meal. And you know what…. sometimes less is more! Less choices made it easier to pick something. Menus weren’t complicated and that is nice for a change. I am the kind of person who wants ten different things from the menu every time… sorry! So less choices make it easier to pick. The lifestyle seemed so laid back. Very few cars driving through. People just chilling on the piers fishing. Small parks. One market only that carries just a bit of everything. Perfect!
So there we were. In a very small town in the middle of nowhere. And it felt so good! It is nice to disconnect every once in a while even if it is for just a tad bit. We walked around the lake with the kids. We drove a lot around the lake because there are very few available places that are spread apart and every time it was nice to drive with the lake in one side and a mountain or a winery on the other. It was a recharging moment. And I have been so much better at living in the moment these days which translates in less pictures and less check-ins in social media. That is rather neccessary! It is hard to be able to enjoy those around you when your attention is on a small screen attached to your hand. So put down the phone. Take a look around that spring is here and is in full swing! Make the time to disconnect and to recharge even if it is just a few hours.
And like I said, I have been much better at enjoying the present. I have this new motto in my life “own it“. Owning yourself, your present, and the opportunities in front of you make life so much more enjoyable. I continue to work on my goals but my main focus is in embracing my current state, whatever this might be. And while we were there, I had a moment of doubt when it was time to wear a swimsuit for the first time this year and I had been eating a bit too many slices of cake. There was a moment of doubt that was wiped away by my new motto: time to enjoy the moment with my babies! They love the water and being able to share that joy with them was worth putting my insecurities aside and just being present. I know this last one is not so much about disconnecting but in a way it can be. Disconnect from the negative thoughts that make you unhappy and focus on nothing but the positive! Create your positive, is worthy it.
Mama Bear Kim