Travel Days: Vegas and Sequoia National Park

After Denver we had a lot of time on the road to get to the west coast. We stayed one night in Las Vegas. The kids learned a valuable lesson about gambling when they lost all their souvenir money in the slot machines.

Just kidding.

They only lost half of it.*

 The view in Nevada as we were driving.

The view in Nevada as we were driving.

 The late-night view of the strip.

The late-night view of the strip.

The next morning we hopped back in the car and continued heading to California. We typically let the kids play video games for half of the long drives. When they are not in their Minecraft world, the inside of our car gets a little boisterous.

 Sometimes it is happy roughhousing. Sometimes it is definitely not.

Sometimes it is happy roughhousing. Sometimes it is definitely not.

We finally made it to Sequoia National Park. Zach saw the trees when he was a kid and he's been rooting for us to see them too.**

 A downed tree to Rowyn's right. Turns out a gigantic tree means it leaves a gigantic stump.

A downed tree to Rowyn's right. Turns out a gigantic tree means it leaves a gigantic stump.

We walked from our campsite to the General Grant Tree. We knew the kids could make it (we walked way more in D.C. and in New York), but the path definitely felt longer than we expected. Rowyn and Cole weren't so sure they were having a good time. However, this was not the case for Logan. He'd put together a survival pack and took the hike very seriously.

 We took a much needed water break while admiring the girth of Grant. Logan was sure fortunate to have packed all things necessary for life in the wild. He suffered an injury on the walk, but with all his own medical attention and his supplies it was turned into a scratch rather than a mortal wound.

We took a much needed water break while admiring the girth of Grant. Logan was sure fortunate to have packed all things necessary for life in the wild. He suffered an injury on the walk, but with all his own medical attention and his supplies it was turned into a scratch rather than a mortal wound.

 We drove to the hiking path for the General Sherman Tree. To change it up, we played chase down (and later back up) the trail. Cole was the winner.

We drove to the hiking path for the General Sherman Tree. To change it up, we played chase down (and later back up) the trail. Cole was the winner.

 Three goofballs sitting on a stump.

Three goofballs sitting on a stump.

Sequoia National Park was a beautiful place to stay. The campsites are very close together, so we had to remind our kiddos that the adults next to us might not to deal with the wildlife (aka Cole, Logan, and Rowyn) the entire time. Also while we were there, the kids really got into helping us cook.

 Rowyn was our potato cuber, Cole was our potato peeler. (Logan was probably poking at the fire with a stick.)

Rowyn was our potato cuber, Cole was our potato peeler. (Logan was probably poking at the fire with a stick.)

We got to see the coolest thing one of the nights we were there: Pandas in the wild!

They were so great! We got to hang out with them at their campfire--just chatting and munching on bamboo.

 Here are the "pandas" holding my bookmark. Since meeting these fantastic people, Rowyn has decided she and Zach need matching kitty onesies. And I'm pretty sure she'll make this happen.

Here are the "pandas" holding my bookmark. Since meeting these fantastic people, Rowyn has decided she and Zach need matching kitty onesies. And I'm pretty sure she'll make this happen.

One of the coolest things (besides pandas) at national parks is they give the kids an opportunity to achieve Junior Park Ranger status. Rowyn LOVES this. They boys begrudgingly join her. I thought I'd share this record of my son's deep thinking about how he experiences nature with four of his senses.

 Note: What his smells in the National Park. It was a legit answer though. We made him add another detail or two before he earned his badge.

Note: What his smells in the National Park. It was a legit answer though. We made him add another detail or two before he earned his badge.

*They did not actually gamble.

** See what I did there? Rooting for us to see the trees. Sometimes I like to be punny.