For our two-year wedding anniversary, Sam planned a surprise family trip to mammoth. Best hub award goes to him! If road tripping six hours with an infant is wrong, we don’t want to be right.
The original plan was to head out early Monday morning, but we got so antsy that we decided to pack everything up early and head out after spending Father’s Day at my parents’ house. Packing for myself has always been a struggle, but packing for a baby AND myself is just plain crazy. Luckily, River pretty much rotates between the same five onesies that fit him, so the clothing part is easy. It’s all the other baby stuff that gets tricky. For such a tiny human, he sure has a lot of things. Some of our must-haves for traveling at this age (six and a half weeks) have been his Rock N’ Play, Boppy Lounger, My Brest Friend, Dohm, Shusher, SwaddleMes, and then a million burp rags and muslins. Another thing I’ve learned is to never try to calculate how many diapers or wipe packs we’ll need for any given trip. Bring them allllll. Ok, not all, but definitely over estimate. Just when you think you’ve got a solid diaper supply, dude will have a few too many blow-outs in a row and have you rushing to the nearest grocery store. Not cool.
We drove to Bishop early Sunday evening to get a majority of the drive done and ended up booking a last-minute room using Hotel Tonight. We’ve used it before but never less than six hours in advance. It was seriously such a life saver — using the app saved us money and allowed us to maximize our time in Mammoth that much more the following day. On Monday morning, we grabbed bagels and coffee at Looney Bean (yum!) and headed on our way. Our first stop was Convict Lake. If you don’t know to look for it, you can speed right past the exit off the 395. It’s tucked away off the highway and is beyond beautiful. Parking is free, there’s plenty of paved road for a stroller, and you can find shady spots to fish and hang out all around the perimeter of the lake. We stayed just long enough to cast a few lines (well, Sam did) and take in all the magic surrounding us. From there, we got up to town and went straight to the grocery store. Sam rented a condo in Snowcreek, so buying food for all of our meals ahead of time made the most sense. We were able to cook breakfast in the morning before heading out for our adventures, pack sandwiches for lunches on the go, and BBQ at night. Ideal! And cheap!
After unloading at the condo, we spent the rest of the afternoon at Twin Lakes. We fished and drank beers and couldn’t shut up about how incredible of a trip it was already turning out to be. I also got to check breastfeeding by a lake off my bucket list. After Twin Lakes, we drove over to the Village, walked around a bit, and stopped for happy hour at one of the restaurants. Nothing says classy couple than two glasses of champagne and a plate of mozzarella sticks. We headed back to the condo after that, took advantage of the community jacuzzi, BBQed burgers, and tuned in for a not-so-dramatic episode of The Bachelorette. Because we’re committed like that. Riv slept for about five hours and then was up again after a two-hour stint. Not the greatest night of sleep, but not as terrible as it could’ve been in such an unfamiliar place. We brought the Dohm this time and doused his Rock N’ Play with lavender essential oil, so that definitely helped.
On Tuesday morning, we woke up and had a super relaxing start to the day. Sam cooked up a big breakfast (are you noticing a theme? Sam’s obviously the chef in the relationship) and enjoyed coffee out on the patio. The setting was unreal – birds chirping, not a cloud in the sky, and we were looking out at snow capped mountains. It made me want a usable patio — rather than our overstuffed apartment balcony — so bad. After that, we went on a long adventure. We parked back at Twin Lakes and walked up to Lake Mary, Lake Mamie, and Twin Falls. We started out on the hiking trail but ended up opting for the road after realizing there was still a bunch of snow and fallen trees blocking most of the trail. I’m not sure how many miles we walked, but we got to 9,000 feet of elevation. The whole walk was gorgeous. Everyone is super friendly up there, too. Lots of smiles and hellos and a few surprised looks as we hauled ass with our stroller and giant fishing pole hanging out the front. Side note, the Uppababy Vista was a champ through it all! I’m pretty sure it’s not intended for off-roading, but it held up perfectly! We ended up making it to Twin Falls, our final destination, and it was out of control beautiful. It was enormous and loud and unlike anything I’d seen before. I had snow shoed to the exact same spot this past February, but it was completely frozen over from a huge storm. Seeing it in action was a completely different experience and I’m so glad we got to take it all in as a family. Well, Riv was covered in his car seat and on the verge of a hunger scream, but it was still cool. From there, we walked back to Lake Mary, found a shady spot with some rocks that could work as seats, and had a little picnic by the water. Sam fished (unsuccessfully), I fed River, and we all soaked up the crazy pretty lake. We walked back down to Twin Lakes and headed to Mammoth Brewing Company for a couple beers. We were freaking pooped and our legs were already sore, but that made the double nut browns (our new fave) taste that much better. We headed home for the day, went to the jacuzzi again, and ate some homemade pizza and salad for dinner. Sam taught me gin rummy and, after I kicked his butt, we called it a night.
We ended the trip with another yummy breakfast by chef Sam on Wednesday morning and headed home. Riv slept for seven hours, by the way! Well-fed plus a moving car and loud music made for a veryyy chill road trippin’ babe. That made the drive down a lot more bearable. We’re usually excited to get home and back in our own bed, but we really didn’t want to leave this time. It was one of our most memorable trips and we’re already looking forward to going back. We probably said “when we come back…” at least a hundred times throughout the trip. Everything we saw or did, we’d follow it up with future plans for our family. “Oh, there’s a skate park? We’re totally bringing skateboards when the kids are older.” “That family brought mountain bikes! Let’s totally bring mountain bikes next time.” “That terrain isn’t great for the stroller, but it’ll be so fun when the kids can handle it and go on full-on hikes through there.” You get the point. It’s definitely the perfect place for family trips and I already know it’s going to be a place we’ll visit over and over in the future.