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Matty_summer-bucket-list4When you live in such a beautiful place like Lake Tahoe, coupled with the demands of modern life, it’s difficult to remember the importance of getting out of town once in awhile to explore other regions. With the challenges that accompany raising young children and the shear amount of logistical “stuff” required to orchestrate traveling with an infant and a toddler, one could have easily thrown in the towel at the mere thought of such a journey; but this summer, the McInnis family was determined to change the paradigm and to hit the open road as much as possible. And we did indeed.

After deciding to purchase a house on wheels this spring, my wife strategically coordinated our summer full of trips, carefully navigating around work and daycare schedules. In all, we managed to load up our 3.5-year-old boy, 1-year-old girl and two dogs for approximately 13 trips throughout the greater Northern California area. Among the destinations were Santa Cruz, Monterey, The Redwoods, Lake Almanor, Lake Davis, June Lakes, DL Bliss, The American River among others.


Now it’s important to classify these as “trips” and not “vacations” as traveling with children many know can be quite challenging. Yes, we encountered many sleepless nights, diaper disasters, carseat restlessness, crying and navigational errors, but all of these were heavily outweighed by a massive collection of moments where we found perfect harmony as a family and knew that we were creating memories of a lifetime.

Among some of my favorite memories we had camping this summer were watching the sunsets in Half Moon Bay, taking a steam train ride through the giant Redwoods, hiking through June Lakes with the dogs running free, to relaxing on the shores of Lake Almanor and listening to the continuous crackling of campfire under the blanket of stars with my wife after successfully putting both kids to bed. I’m looking forward to what trips we decide to take next summer as we carry on our newfound tradition of exploration.



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