We haven't been getting much sleep around here lately, and a couple of weeks ago I was feeling an intense desire to just get out of town for the refreshment of a beautiful place. Death Valley came to mind (one of my very favorite beautiful places) but was too ambitious. We settled on Pinnacles National Monument, about 2.5 hours south of here between the coast and the central valley. Both Denis and I had been there separately once before. It's a place for hiking and rockclimbing in a pretty rugged patch of wilderness. Camping seemed like way too much work with all the baby-gear we have to carry with us already, so we decided to stay in a motel between here and there for two nights and get a good dose of beauty and quiet for the weekend.
I will skip over the disaster that was our first night in the motel, where all three of us got less than 3 hours of sleep. I will also skip over the part where we turn away from Pinnacles due to the huge crowds and long wait to park.
The valley drive to and from the east side of Pinnacles was amazing. Green rolling hills dotted with sprawling oaks and the occasional farmhouse and barn. Really got my farm-dream juices flowing.
Our second night went better, and Sunday we packed up, went out for a big breakfast, and headed to Henry Coe State Park, a place neither of us had been before. We made sure to call ahead to insure parking. It was lovely! We took a nice hike through woods and open hillsides. Wildflowers were just starting to bloom and the hills still had a bit of green. Sam looked a little tired in the backpack, but perked up when we let him hike through the grass with a steady hand from Daddy.
Although sleep deprivation reached a new low on our little trip, it has improved greatly since we've been home. I have heard from everyone that the 2-nap to 1-nap transition is a challenge, and it certainly is, but it's been working out really well ever since we've been very consistent with an 11:30 nap every day. Yesterday he even slept 3 hours! We've also had great success dealing with the early morning wakings (4:45 am) by going in to Sam and explaining very softly that it's still nighttime and it's time to go back to sleep and mommy and daddy are asleep too and we love you and we'll see you in the morning. He really understands! I think we're back to a normal 6-ish am wakeup time now. Amazing what a little sleep will do.