We just returned from a two week road trip to Washington State. We camped outside of Redding the first two nights at McArthur Burney Falls. It was beautiful and the sites were nice and big with pine needles on the ground, instead of dirt. It was gorgeous- the waterfall is 129 feet and over 100 million gallins of water flow over it daily. There is also a nice lake there with a swimming area and paddle boat rentals. We of course had to rent a boat so the kids could fish off of it. We saw lots of bass and trout jumping, but none on our lines! We plan on going there again. Redding is a pretty fun town, too. We went to Turtle Bay Explorer Center and crossed the 'world famous' sun dial bridge. It is an actual working sun dial and spans across the Sacramento River. We broke camp on Sunday and drove up to Portland. We then spent 5 days at my parents and Dante celebrated his 6th birthday (really! he is SIX!) at Big Al's- a mongo bowling alley and arcade near my family's home. He is absolutely in love with my sister's youngest son, Alex, who is wise and all knowing at age 11. Dante was his shadow, and actually has his first ever sleep over at his cousins' house! Alex was very accommodating and i think enjoyed his status as KING for a few days. We all (my parents and sister and her clan) went camping for three nights near Crater Lake. It was so nice there, too. We fished and toured Crater Lake Park and just relaxed. We have become experts at telling 'fish tales' as Dante insisted the four rainbow trout that he was given by some avid fishermen were really caught by him. He has the whole story down about reeling it in, almost falling in the water, etc. It is the only time a lie is not a lie and he cherishes it! :) We then said our good -byes to the family and drove to Santa Cruz and rewarded ourselves with a hotel room instead of a campsite The kids loved the pool and hot tub. It's a neat little eclectic town. Allan even bought himself some 'earthy hippy shoes' as a souveigner. We then drove the coast as far as Cambria-stopped to see the Sea Lions on the coast along the way and then zipped on down to SD on the Hwy 101. Its a much more scenic route than the I-5! We came home the night of July 4th, just in time to light our contraband sparklers and spinners purchased in Washington State and watch the Fallbrook fireworks from our neighbors backyard. It was really a great trip and the kids were AMAZING travelers and did the 10-12 hour drives like real troopers. Praise the Lord for portable DVD players! The only disaster was the GI-NORMOUS spider crawling up my leg while we were in the car driving home from L.A. The F-bomb was dropped, along with a few other choice expletives as i frantically tried to get it off me, find it again, squish it, re-squish it, and get its shriveled freaky carcass out the window against the wind, without it flying back into my face and in revenge, eat my eyballs. All the while Allan was trying to figure out why I was so hysterical as he wove in and out of traffic while I grabbed his arm and head trying to get away from the arachnid from hell. Did i mention it was CRAWLING UP MY LEG?! Allan, exasperated, kept telling me to stop grabbing him, stop swearing in front of the kids, and what the hell is going on anyway?! I think the word SPIDER should suffice, don't you?