travel with kids


“Bigfoot” is this character in Humboldt County. Sort of a cross between Chewbacca and Yenti, he’s supposed to be huge, hairy, forest-dwelling and while I’m not sure if he’s really mean, he’s not really a persona you’d care to come across on, say, a trip to the campsite bathroom.

I had my fill of stories about his close cousin, ‘Alley Oop” while a child, staying at my Great Aunt Minnie’s cabin in Big Lagoon. My brother Dana and I would die with delight and fearful paroxyms raised by the bejesus coming on out of us with stories of these forest beasts.

And so when Mikey and I changed our plans completely last minute from boondocking at Honeydew to camping at Big Lagoon, I started plotting out potential stories for Micah about Bigfoot.


Our campsite was totally magical.



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If you are ever in the area – it was #25 – info & maps at the end of the post – and simply spellbinding.

It made it easy for me to spin my tales.

And Micah made it easy, too, of course, with his relentless questions and brimming inborn curiosity. “Why?” “But – why?”, “WHHHYYYYY?”


Oh, I love having a 5 year old! They are awesome!

Anyway. So, our grove? – I told him that it was a grove filled with faeries who come out and dance by the light of the moon.

“When?” asked Micah.

“By the light of a SPARKLING moon”, I answered, adding, “and then BIGFOOT joins in and that’s the marks you saw down by the beach.”

“BIGFOOT joins and dances with the faeries?” – Micah was suspicious.

“Oh yes,” I nodded seriously, gravely. “Yes. And there is music played that we humans can never hear. Only the faeries, Bigfoot and the Big Fish that lives in the Lagoon can hear.”

Micah looked impressed. “There’s a Big Fish that lives in the Lagoon?”

“Uh huh”, I answered, “he’s HUGE and shining and you can only see him when he comes out by the sound of the faerie music.”

“The faerie music that we can’t hear, right Mommy?”

“Right, Micah. You got it.”

*big smile*


Here are some more photos:

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More from Big Lagoon in my next post.

and happy halloween everyone! can’t wait to see your costumes on IG/FB!


More on Big Lagoon:


It’s $20 a night with a 7-day maximum stay. Showers are usually available but they were out of water storage or something so only the camp host got that luxury!

Drinking water available from the taps (- and it was delicious). Dogs welcome on leash (- but with hardly anyone there, we let Pugsily roam free most of the time).

Most all of the sites are really, really nice – with a view of the lagoon and with some sheltering, but a few of the sites are forest-facing with no lagoon. It’s a county park – here is the official site.

For us, with our particular beach-front spot, we felt it was on par with Baja – just colder. But truly, amazingly lovely.



My One True Darling and I are both from the San Francisco Bay Area. I was born here (4th generation), he wasn’t, but he spent more time actually living here. We are third culture kids – raised abroad in cultures different from our parent’s own – but the San Francisco area is where we have roots stronger than any other one place.

We’re planning on leaving next year to travel the Pan American Highway with our three kids and we are looking hard and long all around us, savoring the bits we know we’ll miss. Like Trader Joe’s. And like the cool things we can do here. We’ve drawn up a Bucket List of Stuff We Want to do Before We Leave and it runs like this:

Bucket List of Stuff We Want to do Before We Leave

  • Eat at the House of Prime Rib
  • Take a mud bath in Calistoga
  • Visit Alcatraz
  • and Angel Island
  • Go apple picking. Or fruit picking. Pick something
  • Spa Day at the Claremont
  • Go grape stomping with the kids
  • Take a boat ride in the Bay
  • Go for an open bus tour of SF
  • Take a ghost tour of SF
  • (and how about a segway tour?!!)
  • Take the kids to an opera/ballet

– that’s the short list.

Not 10 days after I had been lying on a gurney with my child being lifted out of my uterus, I felt so great that we all hopped in the mini van to travel up north to Sebastopol, a delightful little town that hasn’t been “discovered” yet. Sebastopol is loaded with farms all around, it’s a great place to look at cows, rolling land and… um…rolling land.

So we went there to pick some apples, at the Twin Hill Ranch. It was last of the season, the apples were said to be good only for juicing and apple sauce. We didn’t care. We just wanted to do it.

Mikey and I were pulled together – Moxie in his backpack and MacQuinn in the Ergo:

Micah turned into the most enthusiastic apple picker EVER, running around, plucking, filling his basket, emptying it into ours. Excuse me for a moment while I bomb you with photos:

OF COURSE Moxie wanted in on it, so down out of the backpack she went

She got a little distracted in this part – she wanted to put the apples in the big basket into her little basket. She really wasn’t about to give up the apples in her own basket….And we thought that was pretty funny

We walked up and down those rows, all around. Even though we’d been told that the apples were end of the season, there were still plenty that were great to eat. We know. We ate ’em.

And it was pretty much every kind of amazing: the light, the kids, just being together. I couldn’t get over that just a week previously I’d had my baby lifted up out of me, that my belly was still taped up. I felt so great, so alive, so pain-free (with just one midol!).

We went on over, weighed and paid for our apples (-$10)

I always love those big old barn spaces. Makes me want to move in and be all Jennifer Beals in Flashdance.

Went and played in the open space they have there, the kids were all over the old tractor

Mikey’s hair is getting really long again, isn’t it?

We wrapped it up. Called it a grand day. Couldn’t be more happy.


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