Taking a “vacation” to visit family during the holidays can be pretty draining. Sure its great to catch up with so many important people in our lives. But there’s only packing in a year of relationships in one week before Wuggs and I just become basket cases. That is a LOT of being on the road and a LOT of being very extroverted.
Add in the ingredient of visiting during the holidays with a family who translate “Mangia Mangia!,” as, “Eat this food if you love me!,” and you begin to understand just WHY we needed to take one day off from family visits to be close to nature, close to each other, and close to our bodies!
We invited Aunt Laurie because she, too, enjoys a good hike. We woke up on the early side and arrived in Madera Canyon by late morning. After parking the car near the family tree and studying the various hiking paths, we opted for a short one that started right near the tree. It is about 2 miles to the top parking lot and passes by a lovely bed & breakfast lodge that we plan to come back to and stay one day!
Once we got to the top, we opted for a more gentle walk down the paved road and enjoyed a lunch of healthy sandwiches near the family tree while sharing memories of family picnics and Johnny.
All in all it was a very nice day and I also learned a valuable lesson in this. So often we make plans to meet up with friends, family…people, around food. It was a perfect change of pace (pun intended) to make the catching up around a healthy activity like hiking. I plan to incorporate this in more meetups in 2012!