The year 2016 has been a hard one for me; to say the least – to read that story, click here. Needless to say, I had been looking forward to some quality family time for a while. About two weeks ago (last minute, I know), we started booking flights and hotels for a trip to SAN FRANCISCO!
We spent last week exploring San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, and Monterrey – with some pit stops in Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay, and the Coastal Highway. It was a GREAT trip and taught me a lot.
I want to share what I learned with you – not only because it’s an excuse to show off our awesome pictures – but because these life lessons apply to all kinds of people. In a world where tragedy and negativity are consistently on the news, it is important to remember the positive moments and share them with others – Spread Sparkle, as I like to say.
So, what did I learn?
- San Francisco has some CRAZY steep roads and my Dad is a daredevil. On our way to find the house from
Full House, he drove on two hills while my mom, sister, and I were nearly screaming in the backseat.
- Ask for a lid for your drink when on a boat – especially if it’s wine.
- Elephant seals sound like clogged drains. I’m serious.
Okay, I’m slightly joking – not about the elephant seals, that is 100% true – but those were not the three lessons that inspired this post. I learned something much more valuable. Brace yourself for….
The Real Life Lessons I Learned on Vacation:
Family is Forever & I am #blessed.
We aren’t perfect – there was occasional snapping or sass – but I love my family anyway. They have been by my side through everything – celebrations, heartbreak, silly drama, illness, etc. Bonding with my family on this trip reminded me how blessed I am to have such a great support system. Plus, they are pretty fun to be around.
In addition, a friend of mine passed away while I was on this trip, reminding me how important it is to hug your loved ones tight, be grateful for the relationships you have, and tell them you love them every day.
Push yourself but know your limits.
This trip included a lot of walking – several miles a day. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to do much hiking (due to vasculitis) but I was able to do a LOT more than anticipated. There were some days where I was unable to hike longer trails and I had to take breaks a lot. I’m not going to lie; I did get frustrated that I was unable to do as much as I could when I was healthy and fit. I pushed my limits (because it is necessary to improve and because I’m stubborn). This helped me quit being embarrassed about having to elevate my feet after a hike in order to get blood flowing again – sometimes I HAD to elevate; I didn’t have a choice. Health is more important than people’s questioning stares.
Enjoy the little things – like nature’s beauty.
Northern California is a beautiful place. We were able to spend time in some of the most beautiful parts of the country. I was in awe. We saw whales, sea lions, harbor seals, elephant seals, otters, giant redwood trees, mountains, waterfalls, beaches, and more! These days, it is too easy to get caught up in our devices, work, Netflix marathons, etc that we forget to go out and experience nature. There are so many beautiful things in the world. Take the time to look up from your phone (you too, Pokémon Go players) and enjoy it!
What are some of your favorite lessons or memories from family vacations? Share them in the comments below! I’d love to hear your stories!