Thanksgiving Weekend at Joshua Tree

We spent Thanksgiving weekend (from Thursday to Sunday) at Joshua Tree National Park. It was our first trip with both our kids, and also the first time since Brock's paternity leave that we were all going to be together for more than a weekend.

Traveling with kids is always interesting. We had a great time, but I don't want to sugarcoat it and act like "Oh, we traveled around Italy for two weeks with a baby and toddler and every second was magical!" Because, no. We drove two hours away (same time zone, obviously), and stayed in a house with separate rooms for everyone, and still the kids' naps were thrown off and they didn't sleep through the night and James was weird about pooping in the toilet.

They also were both dealing with hand, foot, and mouth disease (I actually took Calvin to urgent care the morning before we left), and Calvin had just cut two bottom teeth. So taking all that in consideration, it went very well.

Joshua Tree is a great place to go with kids, especially if they are into things like rocks, sticks, and climbing, which sums up pretty much every little kid I know. It isn't a huge park, so I didn't panic about "missing out" on stuff. There were tons of turn offs where you could just get out of the car and walk into the rocks and desert, which is where James had some of the most fun. We went on a short (1.3 mile) hike, but mostly just wandered around enjoying the scenery.

While there were tantrums and crying, there were also a lot of wonderful moments. On the first day, I took an hour and a half nap while I thought the kids were sleeping (they weren't) and when I woke up Brock and I just talked on the couch with Calvin between us while James played on the floor. It was incredibly relaxing.

There was another time when Calvin had fallen asleep in his carseat, so Brock stayed in the car while James and I went walking around. I climbed up on a rock and could watch James below me gathering little rocks and lining them up. The breeze was blowing gently and I felt calm and rejuvenated.

Also, the latest I went to bed the three nights was 9:30 p.m. (one night I fell asleep at 8:00 p.m.), so that is always a good trip where I'm concerned.

Always playing with rocks

Quick nursing pit stop

Spit-up all down my sleeve. Just keeping it real

If you're going, here is what we liked:
-Barker Dam was the hike we went on; it had beautiful Joshua Trees
-Skull Rock and Jumbo Rocks were both great for climbing around
-We stayed at this airbnb and loved it. It was super comfortable and there were tons of toys for kids (James is still talking about them)


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