Tag: Calistoga’

Some days ARE better than others

 - by Sarah Lipoff

Yesterday was a perfect day. The weather was wonderful, my daughter in her best mood, and the husband excited to head out into the world and get things done. By the end of the day we all were shiny with a healthy glow of accomplishment. Everyone slept great and woke up ready for another great day.

And, of course, that didn’t happen.

We decided to attempt a road trip to Calistoga, which is about an hour and a half away. There is Old Faithful Geyser and the Petrified Forest in that neck of the woods, along with the itty-bitty-but-posh town of Calistoga, so we figured we could check out the geyser, walk the forest, and enjoy a great (but overpriced) lunch in town.

I packed for the event with snacks, water, sun block, baby books, a couple of toys, along with diapers and wipes. We weren’t sure how long our adventure would take us, so wanted to have necessary items ensuring we all wouldn’t go crazy.

Within the first five minutes of the car ride, all above mentioned items were littered about in the back seat. The babe wasn’t excited about anything. She wanted out. She wasn’t cooperating.

The husband and I put on our chiseled happy faces and through gritted teeth continued forth.

When we arrived at Old Faithful, it had just blew its faithfulness and wasn’t due for another 30 minutes. The sad (but famous) fainting goats didn’t entice us enough to pay the $20 for us all to venture in. Onward to the Petrified Forest!

Once we arrived at the forest there was NO way we WEREN’T going to check it out. So, we unloaded, strapped the wee tot into the stroller and squeezed through the small gift shop to purchase our overpriced admission tickets ($8 each adult) to walk through what we were imagining to be an amazing forest filled with petrified goodness.

After our 10-minute meander through the not-so-exciting forest, we decided to wander through the nettle filled picnic area and at least allow our child to enjoy some tasty snacks. Sadly, she was more interested in the stinging nettles than her food.

The struggle to strap her back into the car was almost enough to make my husband and I both curl into the fetal position and hide in the hatch back. But, we were determined to have lunch. So, once again, onward we went.

By this time, the middle of the day was upon us and pretty much every other person in the entire Napa/Sonoma area was heading out for lunch. As we drove by place after place that we enjoy having a bite to eat seeing line after line of people waiting, we decided that the frustrated whines of our child were best kept inside the car and not shared with others.

The hour drive back home was tiring. I kept thinking my daughter would fall asleep, but she’s stubborn like me. The whining wails continued as we drove along with my husband offering small special words of consolation, which made things worse.

As we pulled into the driveway, I reminded him that at least we had been to the Petrified Forest and knew we never needed to go there again. So, the day wasn’t a complete waste.

He did agree to that.