Another Adventure Begins!


After much saving and planning, the circus fam set off for another National Park adventure.  Our mission:  to visit 8 national parks (7 in California and 1 in Nevada). 


Because we wanted to maximize our time at the parks, we opted to fly to Las Vegas and rent a van.   We plan to camp for 12 of our 17 nights of vacation.  The thing about camping is it requires the same amount of stuff for one night away as it does for 5 or 12.   We limited our camping gear to a tent, ground pads, sleeping bags, pillows, a small cooler and a jet boil (for coffee and oatmeal).   We plan to spend the bulk of our time exploring the parks, and our camp site is really just for sleeping and breakfast, so we didn’t bring supplies for cooking meals.  We have laundry stops built in after 7 days, so I only needed to pack 7 outfits per person, (which was still 42 outfits). Thankfully Southwest lets you bring 2 bags each for free, so we had the option of 12 checked bags if we needed them.  We managed to fit it all in 10 checked bags and 3 carry ons.  I was pleased.   But it still looked like a crazy amount of stuff when we lugged it to the ticket counter at the airport.



We checked our bags and I got my free Starbucks birthday drink. 


We had a flight to Nashville, with a 30 min layover.  I was a little concerned about whether or not we’d have problem making our second flight.  Turns out our concern was valid.  We landed 2 minutes before our next flight was to take off.  The flight attendant announced they’d be holding the flight but we’d have to high tail it over to our gate.   Scott and I started prepping the kids that we would probably be split up for this next flight.  I mean what is the likeliness that they’d have 6 seats together after the time for take off. 


20160716_175850We raced to the gate and the attendant at the door asked if we were the “Circus” family?   He then said, they had saved 2 rows for us in the back of the plane, just let the attendants on the plane know who we were so they could release the seats for us.  WHAT A BLESSING!  When we were in the air, I was seriously thinking we wouldn’t even make the next flight, then we thought if we did make it there is now way we’d be sitting together. Not only did we make our flight, but we’d be sitting together as well.  I was so grateful. When we got on the plane, our youngest peeked in at the pilots area and exclaimed, “Wow look at all those buttons?”  The attendant asked if he wanted to go in and look. Then the first mate offered him his seat and the captain even let him hit the horn.  He was super excited.  For years he has been talking about wanting to go on a plane with Daddy whenever Scott takes his business trips.  We then went back to out seats and shortly after the plane took off. 


The last time we flew was 6 years ago (so our oldest was the age our youngest is now).  The kids really didn’t remember much about flying and were quite excited to go on an airplane.   We got to see The Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam from our windows.  



We20160716_200038 landed in Las Vegas at 6:30pm…which was 9:30pm east coast time.  By the time we got our bags (hooray all of them arrived.. they had to make the quick transfer too), and got our rental car, it was 8pm when we arrived at our hotel.  Now, 11pm our time… and we hadn’t eaten dinner.  We found a nearby Mexican restaurant recommended to us by the front desk of the hotel and dashed out to feed our crew.  As we sat down to eat, tiredness set it.  Their faces looked like it was midnight…. Which is was.  But, they held out till we ate, and went back to the room to crash. 

I went to bed so very grateful for all the many blessings in the day.


  1. WOW What a first day!! Let the adventures continue.

  2. That is quite a story! I am so impressed with Southwest and the kindness they showed to your family. Really happy you and your kids got to experience it. Also, I must say -- HUGE PROPS to you and Scott for the planning and packing it took to make this trip happen. It will be a lifetime of memories!


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