Bug,  travel

Home Again

Happy New Year Girl

Happy New Year! We’re home! Hallelujah! Phew, am I glad to be home! I could almost kiss my dirty rug. (If you’ve seen my rug you know that “almost” is the key word there). Not because I didn’t have a fabulous time, because we did, but because I am SICK of traveling with a toddler! What is the deal with two-year-olds?

Baby Bug was a very good little girl. She smiled and chattered like the darling that she is but every once in a while, probably every four hours or so (when she was hungry or tired or bored) she would wail and carry on and pitch a fit in that particular frequency that makes my eyes roll back in my head and my ears bleed.

I don’t know if it was all her. It was just something that I did not deal very well with while traveling. I didn’t have all my old stand-by’s to make me feel better when stressed. No random walks to starbucks or the beach. No nice two hour baby naps that I could spend blogging or surfing the net—which is really my outlet. Forget knitting or reading romance novels. If I want to relax it’s right here on this web page

It was super nice to hang out with relatives and have her be entertained by somebody other than me but I just needed my home or something. And the traveling! Oh man. I am sick of my car. I love my car but if I have to look at it for another minute over the next two days I think I will puke. I’m walking every where I have to go for a week because I cannot bear to drive.

We took the small car instead of the van. The small car is super fun to drive and is suprisingly more comfortable… but… well, it’s small! And of course I was the mom who is attached to her baby at the hip so I rode in the back seat all cramped up instead of the front seat with lots and lots of leg room. I should not complain. It’s my own fault my legs were cramped between suitcases and pillows and my bag of snacks. But you try playing pacifier tag for eight hours straight and see if you want to sit in the front seat.

Throwing the pacifier was Baby Bug’s favorite form of entertainment during the drive. It was called, “Throw the Pah Down the Crack.” The crack would be any crevice beside her car seat that I can’t reach. I know you are thinking it’s about time she gave up the blankety-blank binky but if you had to live with the shrill complaining that I do, you’d probably be like me and plan on buying enough “pahs” to last until her college graduation. So I sat as close as possible, stocked up on about fifty pahs and tucked blankets and jackets in all possible directions so the thrown pahs would roll down to a point that I could reach them and plug them back into her mouth.

I know. I’m insane. Which is possibly why I am so glad to be home. The pah obsession doesn’t seem so bad at home. We usually manage to keep it to bed time and riding in the car… but all rules were out the window during our travels. I don’t know if it’s because she’s teething (as always) or if it was because we were in new and strange places and she missed her routine but the pah was at times the only thing that comforted her so Pah Tag I did play.

Gumball visits The Hilton

Enough about that. You want to hear about the last two days of our trip, right? There’s not much to report I’m afraid. We left Trinidad, loaded up about eighty boxes of gifts for Baby Bug from the Grandparents (she is sooooooooo spoiled!) and headed to Sonoma County in search for our future new home town.


We were a tiny bit disappointed. Toby found this town, that I’ll call Woodsville, that looked right out of a story book on google earth. It had a river and some hills and lots and lots of trees. It was close to Napa Valley which would provide work for Toby but still far enough from the sprawl of San Francisco to guarantee that we didn’t have to sit in three hours of traffic every day. It seemed somewhat affordable according to some houses that were for sale that we looked at over the internet. Maybe that should have been a clue. Nothing is affordable in California unless it is a dump.

I even found one house on the map that was on a windy little road that lead right to an elementary school. It was perfect in our minds. I was so ready to fall in love with this town. I thought sure we’d drive in, have a cup of coffee in some quaint little coffee shop and before I knew it I’d be making friends with my next play group mom.

Heh. Woodsville was not our dream town. It was dark and scary and along a windy two lane road that I would never want to be caught driving down on a rainy night, let alone a snowy one. Don’t even get me started on how far away a hospital might be… Maybe I’m just not cut out for the sticks yet. It was terrible.

The locals rode our bumper and shook their fists at us because obviously we were dumb tourists driving slow and taking photos of grape vines and stuff. When we did pull over to admire the view, there was trash dumped over the embankment. Who dumps their old couches and refrigerators along the side of the road? Why do people do this? It just makes me sad.

I wanted to fall in love with this place but the trash dumping was like a fly in the ointment. Mostly it was just a dark dirty place. The houses were built on stilts over looking the river which I thought would be really neat but in person they seemed scary and rotting and dank. Everything looked like it needed a good dry-out in the sun but there was no sun because the trees grew so thick. I think if we lived here we would be battling mold until the end of time.

How depressing to be writing about such an ugly place while showing photos that are actually quite pretty. I should have taken some depressing photos but at the time I was still trying to love this place. Maybe that’s why I didn’t take very many photos. The love just wasn’t there.


I do love little acorns though. Aren’t they cute with their little nut hats? I got a kick out of showing Baby Bug her first acorn. The good news is, oaks grow in more than one place than Dark Dank Woodsville. They grow all over in fact! So we drove to the next town over and guess what! We loved it! We didn’t get to explore much because it was dinner time for a cranky toddler but we did get to take this beautiful photo of a sunset.

sunset over future home town...maybe...

I’m not going to say where the new story-book possible future town is. This time, if we move I’m going to try and keep my location somewhat mysterious because as it is now google knows everything about me and it is downright scary. Also, we might not even move here. It’s all part of a five year plan that is just in the very beginning research and development steps. We have about five towns we are investigating and this one is just barely in the top spot. So don’t get excited. Nothing new is happening for quite a while.

But it doesn’t hurt to dream!


  • bethany actually

    I don’t know why I am still awake, but as long as I am, I’ll comment.

    Yay, glad you are back home! I hope with the return of a routine, BB settles down and is happier for more than four hours at a time.

  • familymclean

    Feeling for you with the tot in the car crisis!!!! We did the same freaking thing over the holidays except it wasn’t ‘pas’, it was cars or gijos or books or snack food orsippy cups. No matter how well I thought I had stuffed every nook and crany with coats and blankets they found new cracks!

  • The Chatty Housewife

    I love the banner… or did I say that already? The hedgehog is so cute but it makes we want to eat another of those hazelnut-chocolate hedgehogs. Good thing we don’t have any. Anyways, I just wanted to say that I love the sunset photo. It is so beautiful!

  • Kuky

    Happy new year!

    And sitting in the back seat…isn’t that where everyone sits with their babies? I know that’s the place to sit with us. Front seats are for coats, purses, and diapers. But to sit? Pashaw unheard of. :)

  • MommaTaderDoodles

    People think I’m crazy for traveling with my two girls (6 and 3)… I traveled a lot with Sam when she was little, and I was traveling alone. I can imagine how happy you are to be home!!

    If someone has a problem with your baby bug’s “pah” send them to me, they can fuss at me, my girl still had a sippy cup at 5 1/2 years old… and they both had their bottle until they were well past two years old… Sue me, I don’t like spilled milk…

    Small towns are wonderful, till you move there… I live in a a beautiful place… and I’d give someone money to buy my house so I could leave :)

    The photos are great btw!!!

  • Carrie

    Glad you’re home! You aren’t insane, you’re just a good mom trying to make travelling work. It is so tough to travel with a little one who depends on routine.

  • JennyC.No3

    Good luck on whatever you choose! We’ve been dreaming about our new home for six years now (well, off and on) so I know it’s hard to get up and move without finding that perfect place.

  • Katie

    That last picture is breathtakingly gorgeous! And it’s fun to dream about where you might end up…I’m in that same stage right now and I’m enjoying just exploring for the time being :)

  • andrea

    Welcome home and Happy New Year!

    Traveling with a toddler is exhausting to say the least, glad you all survived and had a great time. Have fun scheming your next big move in life–even if it is five years away, it is always fun to dream about.

  • Uncle George

    Glad you are back home! Crazy, you are not. You are a fantastic mom, and BB is a very well behaved little lady…never mind the Pah and what opinions others may have. Just like my brother and I did, she’ll cast it off one day (we called ours “Guy-Guys) without a second thought, and if that doesn’t happen until just before kindergarten who cares? Your photos are marvelous, you are a natural. I wish you much luck in search of your future home, just don’t choose one where the homes are near a river and on pilings…unless the house comes with an outboard and a rudder!

  • kiki

    What an adventure! I too have taken on the “Road Trip” to never-never land, only to find out it wasn’t as magical as I once believed. My Husband said ” Never again!” I think we might try the train next time. I always find that 4 days of vacation is plenty time for me to miss my own bed and bath.

  • Mrs. Wilson

    That last picture is beautiful.

    I’m fully supportive of the “pah”s. My oldest had one until she was three. At home it was only in bed, but in the car? It’s a necessity.

    And pah tag is NOT fun!!!! I would have been in the back seat too.

  • Gramma

    Once we had a next door neighbor whose six-year-old wore a necklace of “pahs” just so she would have the proper flavor handy.

    House hunting is fun…it’s the packing and moving that is the nightmare. My complete set of Fiestaware is somewhere in the hills above Kaneohe Bay. The moving van just happened to break down at the tunnel in the rain and everything had to be transferred to another van. I never did find the iron pinecone weights to the coo-koo clock.

    I love the rolling hills of vineyards near Healdsburg. The climate is relatively mild and it is only two hours north of San Francisco. Just mentioned this in case you ever crave metropolitan life. Of course Santa Rosa would fill the bill and it is closer to the shore. I still have nightmares about Bodega Bay. Since this is a five year plan you can research thoroughly before you make the leap.

    We’re glad you are home.

  • ThePsychoExWife

    We found several of our homes doing the exact same thing. We’ve been in our dream town for 6 years now and I will never leave! (At least until the kids are grown and then we will find our new dream town on some island!)

  • Sarah

    You’ll have to tell me where (if) you move because I live vicariously in California through you! I used to live in the bay area and worked at a winery, so I’m all about the Sonoma area. sigh. Sorry that town was sucky though. It sure looks pretty!

  • She Likes Purple

    It doesn’t hurt to dream at all. I think we can still afford to travel to Lithuania this coming year or maybe a jaunt around the Mediterranean, but, come on, I can hardly afford a fancy designer bag, I think globetrotting is out of the question. But gosh I’m such a dreamer.

  • nicole

    Gawd … the mysterious World of Two. It is such a roller coaster. Little ‘Ny woke up this morning with a wild hair up her tush! She is all sass today … and when she is like this you don’t know quite what to do with yourself. Hang tough … keep “pahs” handy for her and some Bach’s Rescue Remedy for you!

    Happy to hear you are home safe. BTW, I love the new banner! Hedgehogs are too cute.

  • mindy

    reading blogs is my outlet when my 18 mo. old is napping and i have access to the computer which my hubby is usually on. i stumbled upon your blog a while back and read it often. i love your writings! you make me laugh/smile which is what a crazed mommy needs now and then. :) i never mention where we live on our blog. my hubby thinks i’m nuts but it is in fact scary how quickly your info can be googled. i love your vacation pics. trinidad was gorgeous…and that b&b made me jealous. my hubby and i have done the b&b thing and i love it. so quaint and fun. glad you made it home safely! :) happy blogging!

  • Leah

    I took a picture of that same sunset! I was on BART and we came up out of a tunnel and the sky was blazing red and everybody turned to look and ooh and aah and then those of us with cameras got them out and started snapping. I’ll have to post that on Flickr soon and send you the link.

  • Clownfish

    I understand the dilemma of seeking a home in CA. It’s gotten very hard. I know someone who pays $12K/yr just in property tax in OC (1,200sqft)! Crazy. Good thing I love the desert because this 4th generation Californian went to AZ! Hold tight to your dreams. Mine is of a second home in Avalon with view of Avalon Bay.

  • Oopsy Daisy

    Watch out for that 5 year plan. The hubster and I had a 2 – 4 year plan of moving back to the East Coast. We sat down and actually decided this 4 months ago. Now we just got back from an East Coast trip where he signed an employment contract and we have to be moved to coastal Maryland by mid March. So much for that 2 -4 year plan.

    BTW, Happy New Year!

  • Carrie

    We had the *exact* reaction to “Woodsville” (yes, I know which town you are talking about!). We were all pumped to move there until we actually visited… We really like a few towns nearby, where the forest gives way to farmland, but they are out of our price range right now (we’re trying to save, save, save)…. Anyhow, I hope you guys move up here! It would fun to be finally meet! (And feel free to drop me an email if you have any Sonoma County questions!) And yay for 5 year plans. I just completed my mondo beyondo list… That’s more our 10 year plan…

  • jenn

    man that last pic is magnificant, makes me wanna move there myself!
    and dont stress about the paci.. heck my oldest son had one and beleive me, I used it in times of um mommy stress! he was broke by the age of 3 and he is just fine.. my youngest, never would take one and at times I prayed he would.. two year olds can be so dang loud and their voices I swear break some sort of sound ordinance!

  • nicole

    I forgot to mention … I luuuuuv Gumball! You need to make some and add them to your Etsy shop … I want one for Little ‘Ny!

    SAJ says: I know. I’ve been thinking that too…. too busy right now but maybe I will outsource it to one of my industrious family members. Anyone?

  • jo's mom

    talking about pahs i just found 2 of them while I was taking things out of “bb’s truck” (my car). So it is a good thing you bought some more

    SAJ says: Oh no. I must lose 2 pahs a day. Save them for me. Thanks Mom.

  • Gramma

    Did you know that Groundhog Day is February 2nd in Pennsylvania. If he sees his shadow, he’ll go back into his cave for six more weeks of winter. Sorry I can’t spell the name of the town.

  • BeachMama

    Happy New Year!! Love the new banner and kudos to you for driving in the back for the whole trip. I had to do it this past November for part of a two hour trip and I was batty from just that little bit. I like my front seat ;). Your five year plan sounds interesting. I wish we could plan properly for five years, it seems we do things on spur of the moments, it always seems to work out though. Best wishes on town hunting.

  • OMSH

    Just make sure wherever you move there is DSL. If you went off-line permanently and I was to be separated from you forevah and evah … well, I might die a little.

    Missing you.
    Such a stinkin’ busy season.


    beautiful photos, but I particularly like the static in BB’s hair – hahahaha!