Bug,  Super Dad,  Tis the Season,  travel

To Grandmother’s House We Go!

rocks collidetravel Bug

We also made a lot of stops so Baby Bug could get out of her torture chamber (car seat). Even though we hate that Toby is a smoker (cough cough, hack hack), it is kind of handy that he needs to take smoking breaks every four hours or so. Of course if I had the choice I’d much rather suffer with cramped legs in the car and have him live a few years longer but that is sort of moot point. I’m just glad we were able to stop along the way and get the wiggles out.

"getting the wiggles out"

Speaking of Wiggles! Guess what we listened to in the car? The Wiggles! I can’t believe that Toby put up with it. He hates catchy commercialized tunes. He even got a chuckle out of Baby Bug singing “Hot Potato” as loud as she can in her super duper toddler voice. It’s amazing what a little child can do to a grown man. He didn’t sing along but I saw the sides of his cheeks scrunch up from my back seat point of view. I just thought I better put that down for posterity. It may never happen again.

BB and Toby

He’s a good dad…. and a good husband too! I might as well go with this for a theme because Toby really scored some brownie points with me on this trip.

This time the trip was different (besides the fact that we now have a toddler that we never had before). Toby played travel agent. It was sort of a behind the scenes Christmas gift to me that I really really appreciated. He usually asks me to do the online researching for booking hotels and such but I just don’t have the time and brain power that I used to for this sort of thing.

So when he told me he had taken care of all of it I was filled with glee. A holiday trip AND secret surprise stays at hotels that I did not pick. I know to most people, that sounds like a recipe for disaster but I am a true adventurer at heart and the thought of not knowing where I am going to stay for the night (but still knowing that it will be pleasant and nice) is fun fun fun. If I wasn’t such a picky eater I would sign up for the Amazing Race in a heart beat. I want to travel the world someday!

Hotel Chair

The first night we stayed at the Hilton in Sonoma Wine Country. It wasn’t super snobby fancy but it wasn’t the Motel 6 either. It was really really nice. Ever since we had that horrendous stay in a Motel 6 in Vallejo where some drug dealer called us up on the phone in the middle of the night and said he could see what I was wearing… we pick our hotels a little more carefully. That was the creepiest hotel stay I have ever had in my entire life. It even included mysterious brown poop matter and cockroaches. But enough about that. You get the point. It was really bad.

Not like our stay at The Hilton. Hiltons are nice! I couldn’t help thinking of the Hilton sisters as I sampled the fancy shampoo and admired the faux plein air paintings of local landmarks and cows. I wondered if Nicki or Paris helped their Dad pick any of this out. Probably not. But it was a fun day dream.


I don’t really care about hotels though. What was really fun about staying in Sonoma was waking up the next morning and exploring a little bit. Toby and I have toyed with the idea of moving to this part of California because it lends itself to the type of photography he does for a living. We aren’t set on it yet but we talk about it from time to time.

been farmin' long?

It was really fun for me to wake up early and take Baby Bug on a brisk walk in the crisp morning air. I imagined what it would be like to live here where the grass is so green and the sky is so blue. I know it might be a lot colder in the winter and a lot hotter in the summer but I think I could manage it. It’s very very pretty. I think Secret Agent Josephine could find plenty to blog about in wine country. Who knows though. We’ve talked about a lot of different areas around the bay area and north… I don’t think we’ll be moving anytime soon but it’s fun to think about.

not trying to be a car ad

After a delicious breakfast (included at the hotel stay–hot dog!) we hopped back in the car and headed north. This last leg of the journey was definitely a lot easier. There is so much more to look at and the scenery is beautiful. We really appreciated the moon roof in our car as we drove through the redwood groves. I should have take a picture but it was too dark and blurry as we whizzed by going 90 miles an hour. I might try again on our way back. What’s the point of having a moon roof if you can’t take pictures out of it, right?

Middle Fork Eel River

And that was pretty much our drive…with lots of stops along the way.

Next up: Christmas at the Grandparents: Baby Bug gets SPOILED ROTTEN!


  • Michelle in Cincinnati

    B. – Just introduced my mom to SAJ! She said, “Awwww, her baby is so cute!”. It looks like you guys are having a fun time in Sonoma! Very cool that Toby did all of the arrangements too ;o) I love it when the daddy takes charge, ya know? Have a safe trip home, and a very happy new year!!!! Looking forward to the post of your BB with her Christmas bounty :o)

  • Jillian

    Your pictures are amazing. That part of California is so beautiful.. I am missing California so much, sitting here staring out our NYC apartment window at a sea of buildings. I really do enjoy the beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing them. :)

  • BeachMama

    Wow those photos are beautiful. And the green grass! We lost a lot of our mountain of snow in the last four days, but it is supposed to start again tomorrow. I sure would love to see some green grass right about now.

    Please say that you are going to stop at a winery, please, for me ;). And yes, Toby sure sounds like a great Dad and Hubby. Glad you are enjoying some great family time together.

  • Rae

    Ohhhhhhh, you made me homesick. I lived in Humboldt but traveled through Sonoma all the time. I miss it- I think Northern Cali is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

  • Alissa

    Happy holidays to you and your family. I love your pics and descriptions of the places. Oddly it makes me homesick even though it’s not my home (but it is around where I was born and where my family lives :) ). An early Happy New Year to you as well.

  • Pam

    Love your pictures! We used to drive up to my grandparent’s house in Northern California every Christmas – some of my favorite memories are from those road trips! Happy New Year!

  • Steph

    OMG I can’t believe you guys stayed in Vallejo….not the most stand up places you could of stayed….We live about 45-50 minutes from Somona and hubby worksin Napa…..beautiful expensive country up there !!! Of course not as expensive as the adorable little town your in…..but Nor Cal is fun…..we are 2 hours from Tahoe and one hour from San Fran!!!

    Love the scenery !!!!!! Looks like lots of fun…….

  • She Likes Purple

    I tried out for the Amazing Race, it’s my favorite reality show and it’s a dream to go on it, but, we’re apparently not dramatic enough.

    But I’m with you completely, I have an adventurous soul, regardless of how the adventure comes about.