The Best, Failed Family Adventure

Yesterday we picked Wyatt up from school and surprised him and Rosie with a little adventure, as Wyatt sat in his carseat he yelled in excitement over going to see a waterfall!

Gavin decided we were going to Big Falls/Little Falls outside of Arroyo Grande for a little family adventure, I was in. With goldfish, oranges, and drinks we were ready to rock and roll.

We drove 40 minutes on the back roads, kids on our laps going through these big river crossings in Gavin’s truck. The noise of life felt farther and farther away every mile we drove into this beautiful mountain. I’ll never forget watching Gavin and Wyatt’s facial expressions as Wyatt sat on his lap. As if I didn’t think they were already the same person, watching their reactions confirmed it, every reaction was the same I just started taking pictures because it was so funny. They were both like little kids in a candy store, hooting and hollering through each river crossing. Rosie was just laughing and eating, of course and enjoying herself on my lap. We had the best time with a little George Strait in the background I thought to myself how lucky I am to be right where I was.

When we arrived at the trail head we saw a beautiful waterfal (not the one we were hiking to) perfectly situated in plain sight for the kids to see, I joked with Gavin we could have ended it there and they would have been happy. Gavin wanted more of an adventure so we headed down the trail. Remember that big river we crossed in our truck a few miles back? That same river was in front of us and we had to cross it, on foot with two little kids. Most parents would probably realize that it was now a risk and we should probably turn around, not us. Gavin took both kids to the other side, using what rocks he could as placement for his “waterproof” boots, made them sit far away from the river then came back and got me while I watched them and made sure they didn’t move a muscle. It was comical, you think we would have stopped there. Nope, two more river crossings and a few minutes of hiking we decided it was time to stop and just enjoy where we were. The idea of getting to the waterfall seemed less and less important the more we enjoyed the simple journey of getting there. We threw in rocks, felt the freezing water, looked around at the big trees and enjoyed a few hours of no reception or a person in sight. Just our little family and nature.

It made me think about the idea we had at first, needing to make it to the waterfalls and see how happy the kids were when they saw it. Yet when we really thought about it, the journey failing to get there was the best part. As we drove home, back over all those crazy rivers I smiled to myself, grateful for Gavin, Wyatt and Rosie’s giggles and squels all along the way. Grateful for the ability to get excited over the little things. Sometimes when we forget to stop and find success in the process and joy in the journey, We get to the end and realize its not its all chopped up to be. There is power in finding success in the process. I hope today, wherever you are in your journey you can find some joy like we did.

Hugs!

Stephanie

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