what do you call a thanksgiving where you spend 20+ hours in a car driving up and down the california coast with a toddler?

some might call it their own worst nightmare.

i would have called it that if you had asked me a few months ago.

but my farmer and i took our chances and it paid off.

1// we flew to chico on thanksgiving day. you can't beat the prices. $180 roundtrip? yes please…i'll take two of those.

we arrived to these smiling faces and were graced with glorious beverages.

a turkey on the BBQ? you seriously can't go wrong with that equation. i'd never heard of it before…but apparently it's a thing…and the result was a good one.

to top it off…the weather in chico was stunning. the 70º weather at the end of november…i'll take it. especially when it's 2º back home.

when the weather is stunning…maybe it makes you feel a little loco. 

actually…this is the way my sister and i are around each other all the time. i miss this girl already.

and for those of you wondering…it was totally a hooch-free holiday. mostly.

i only hooched one time when i threw a mini-fit because i wanted to see catching fire and nobody else did. it was a warranted hooch in my book.

2// after a couple of days in chico we hopped in the rental and headed down the coast to san luis obispo. it took me the better part of a week to master the name of this city. i now call it SLO.

stay with me here: my sister's husband's sister and her husband (and their darling boy, blake) live in SLO. since we were headed down the coast anyway, they invited us to for dinner and a place to stay.

it was a welcome stop after six hours in the car and it couldn't have been better. another glorious dinner, with more beverage, AND a boyfriend for kaye…no words.

it was kaye's first date. she was real REAL nervous. they both were. notice the lack of eye-contact.

but i have to brag on blake for a second. this fella is almost 15 months old (i think) and he says over 35 words and knows some spanish. 

kaye? she knows…ummm…three i think? we're hoping she's athletic.

3// the next day, after a glorious breakfast they whipped up, we said our goodbyes and were on the road again. two and some change more hours and we were in sunny santa barbara to see some of my most very favorite people. 

you guys remember cousin woody, right? RIGHT? how could you forget. he's hysterical. anyway…

we met up with cousin woody and his best gal, lindsey, and they took us to the harbor and out to a great seafood lunch, and two beers, and then some champagne…and and…i don't remember what happened after that. 


but after some champagne…i tend to get a little more affectionate.

my farmer just can't appreciate the opportunity for a nice, kissy picture.

and even better…kaye slept through a solid majority of it. and when she was awake…an animated angel she was.

that night, after kaye was bit by a miniature horse (which was totally my fault), we went to woody's parent's house and they prepared thanksgiving dinner #2 for us…complete with a delicious pie. 

and while i wish i had more pictures of the wonderful company we shared at dinner…i only have pictures of the mini horses.

4// the next day we were due north, in san francisco to see some more of my favorite people. (we have a lot of favorites.) plus, there was another young fella kaye has had her eye on for awhile. 

after several more hours in the car…we had arrived and kaye got straight to work. 

kisses for her man.

and that's my man holding two one year olds. 

which also flips my stomach at the thought of having another. the memory of being pregnant is still too fresh. it quite literally makes me shudder. anyway...

after another enjoyable evening of homemade pizza and yes…more beer…we slept quite soundly that night.

the next day we walked to the museum which was totally radical. and when i say radical…i mean rad.

we knew kaye would enjoy seeing all the people and running around. we knew we would enjoy seeing the exhibits. but in a twist of reality, she was more into the exhibits and we were more into watching her excitement. 

there was an enclosed rainforest and an aquarium you could walk underneath. there was an open butterfly exhibit. 

is anyone else afraid of macaws? because i most definitely am. their beaks are just so large…i don't trust them.

the entire museum was pretty stellar…except for the cafeteria. that was disgusting. a simple turkey sandwich was $10. that is ridiculous. 

6// we finished california and our road trip up with a drive baaaack to chico to spend a few more days with my sister and her special guy.

i FINALLY got to see catching fire (which was glorious).

the weather turned FREEZING (which we didn't appreciate).

and kaye finally got to throw that javelin she'd always been wanting.

and look super hipster at the local coffee shop.

and sneak in some last minute kisses.

it was a fantastic thanksgiving and we miss everyone already. 

we'll probably be visiting everyone sooner than they would like.