After our jaunt down the Pacific Coast Highway, we decided to make the long drive down to Southern California to see Luke’s sister, Sarah and her family. It was a long day of driving and we were all glad once we finally arrived. Many of the days were a lot of the same, family time, games, rest, repeat. I really enjoyed watching the dogs reaction to little boys running around them.
The whole family made their way to Aliso Beach where Luke enjoyed teaching his nephew how to embrace the waves splashing him and we all enjoyed the beautiful weather. It was a really pretty beach too and it wasn’t very crowded like other Southern California beaches I had been to. We’d recommend this spot for sure.
Another day Luke and I made the trip to San Diego for the day to see my sister and nephew. On the way, we also were able to meet up with my cousin and his girlfriend in Temecula. Matt and Maria, were also on a mini road trip because they were moving from Austin to Northern California for a job. We had left our dogs back with Sarah, but Matt and Maria had their dog Murphy with them, so we needed to find somewhere Murphy could join us. I was pretty surprised at how many dog-friendly wineries they had there. If you are interested; I used this website as a resource to find them. We chose Oak Mountain Winery because dogs were allowed almost everywhere and they had an entree for dogs. It was really fun to catch up and enjoy some delicious wine and food. We said our goodbyes and they headed back on their journey, but Luke and I had about an hour and a half to kill before meeting with my sister still. I decided to take him to my favorite winery we visited at my bachelorette party called Bernardo Winery. It has a really relaxing atmosphere and a garden feel. I was excited to have a glass of my favorite sparkling wine, but they had changed the recipe a bit since I had visited so I was a little disappointed in that.
Anyway, we met up with my sister and my nephew in Old Town San Diego and ate at one of the many Mexican restaurants there. I hadn’t seen her or my nephew since the wedding so I was glad to visit with them. After dinner, we walked around Old Town and drove over to Coronado Beach. Since we didn’t have our dogs, we had room in the back to drive them, sort of. Our car has all the seats folded down, so my nephew and I just sat up against our supplies in the back and held on. It was a squished and silly experience, to say the least. Once we arrived, we looked at the amazing houses, walked down the beach and had a good chat. We offered to drive them home since they had ridden the trolley to us initially. We made our own drive back after that.
After a week of family time and rest, Luke and I missed camping a bit. I actually might have missed it more, which I never thought I’d say. We decided on the way to Arizona we’d camp and Joshua Tree National Forest area was a logical choice. We said our goodbyes to Sarah and her family and made the 3-hour drive to our camp spot, the Southern entrance of the park. We drove down a dirt road a bit and set up camp. Sox and Shoester were happy for some freedom again and wandered everywhere. It was pretty desolate but we did manage to find wood for a campfire. We had a campfire and it was refreshing. It felt normal again and we were both happy.
I had really been hoping to experiment with some nighttime photos, since I really had never done it before, and this was the perfect place to do it. Luke and I had fun being models and trying different settings to get a great photo. My favorite one Luke actually took. The Milkyway barely made its appearance but I love that it showed up in the shot. I definitely have some learning to do, but it was a really fun pastime for us that evening.
We decided to only stay one evening because Luke really wanted to spend the weekend at one of our favorite spots in Payson, Arizona. We packed up the next morning and as we headed out a fellow camper needed a jumpstart to his mobile home. Luke and I drove near to where he was but we needed to readjust and Luke got out of the car and started talking to the man. I tried to drive around but somehow missed that there were giant boulders in this campsite. After our Oregon experience with boulder highway and the way I freaked out, this was definitely a moment of karma for me. Luke laughed a “how did you even manage this” laugh and he had to fix the situation. Luckily, nothing happened to the car and we were able to get him jumpstarted.