A couple months ago we traveled up to the Reno / Lake Tahoe area to visit family. The trip was definitely a whirlwind – two nights and basically half a day of travel on each end. We couldn’t find any flights that worked to take us straight to Reno. Instead, we flew from LAX to Sacramento, and then rented a vehicle to drive through Donner Pass to get to Reno.
Of course the day before we were set to fly out, my daughter woke up with what seemed to be Pink Eye. I had not dealt with that virus/infection before, so I wasn’t too sure if that’s what it was. But to be safe, I didn’t send her to school, of course. I took both kids to the doctor and they didn’t think it was Pink Eye but instead a bit of an infection in her sinuses from a residual cold. After we filled the prescription, I hurriedly finished a few loads of laundry, threw our clothes in a suitcase and tried to get us all to bed early. Well, I did manage to get to sleep early but I woke at 3am unable to get back to sleep. We needed to wake around 5 to catch an 8am flight from Los Angeles. We all got ready and hit the road, fighting traffic to get to the airport during rush hour. Once we arrived, it was interesting trying to figure out how to drop three kids, two carseats, a stroller and five bags at the curb and try to make our way to security while my husband parked the car. Somehow we made it pretty effortlessly (even when the TSA had to test my five bottles of medicine packed in our carry-ons).
The kids did great on the flight, a big change from the last one we took. When we landed, we had to drive through crazy rain on the mountain pass for 2.5 hours, but luckily we rented a 4-wheel drive SUV and didn’t have any problems. The smaller kids napped and did well on the road trip. And as a wonderful surprise, we were greeted by a rainbow on the other side of the mountains.
Our trip was short but sweet, and we loved all the family time. We packed in as much as we could, spending most of our time with my kiddos’ great Nana. We also were able to meet up with some dear friends for breakfast on our last morning and then it was time to hit the road for our flight later in the day.
We knew heavy snow was expected for that Sunday and the forecast certainly delivered on its promise. Not necessarily ideal conditions for driving, but what a beautiful sight it was.
We made it through in roughly four hours, sometimes stuck at a standstill. I just felt so grateful that we missed a 29-car accident that happened somewhere behind us. I was so happy to see sunny, clear skies when we made it through to the other side of the mountains.
Despite challenges of sickness, weather and exhaustion, my husband and I agreed this was our best trip yet as a family of five. I can’t help but think my change in mindset over the last year has much to do with it. As they say, if Mom isn’t happy, then no one’s happy. I’m continually shown how choosing joy in less than ideal circumstances can make the journey truly enjoyable – something I could have never imagined before.
“Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.”