Every summer since I was about 13, my family has taken a road trip down to Malibu, CA and up through Arizona and Utah. We lived close to Malibu when I was little while my dad studied at Pepperdine School Of Law. Now he teaches a summer course at the school during June, so we’ve always gone with him to hang out on campus, at the beach, and eat at our favorite restaurants. We drive the long way home through Arizona, stopping in Sedona for a few days, then finish off the road trip visiting family in Utah.

This road trip has always been important to me. It was the highlight of my summers growing up. These adventures with my family are what sparked my love for travel in the first place. I feel like traveling of all kinds is a transformative and cleansing experience for the soul. It’s a way to rid yourself of old ways of thinking and feeling. After these road trips, I always felt like I came home a different person. Now that I’m a mom and my brother is officially an adult and in college, the dynamic of the family has changed a lot, so we decided this summer is most likely the final year for our annual road trip to California. It’s bittersweet, but we want to create new memories in different places.

Not only was this our last California road trip, but it was our first time traveling with Acacia! The longest we had ever driven with her before was 3 hours, but this was the big one. I was nervous at first, not knowing how well she would handle being stuck in the car for 14 hours…but overall she did amazing. As we headed West for California, we only stopped a couple times including once at an old casino in Winnemucca, NV to grab dinner and play some roulette. Other than that, Acacia pretty much slept the entire time. The first leg of our trip was an 8 hour drive to Auburn, CA. We got in late and stayed in a semi-sketchy hotel that was robbed in the middle of the night while we were staying there…no seriously, I woke up to a dozen cops in the lobby! The following day we drove 4 hours to San Louis Obispo, where we stopped to shop, eat dinner, and stretch awhile before finishing the first half of our road trip and arriving in Malibu.

We feel like this trip really helped Acacia grow and brought her out of her shell. She experienced a lot of new things and encountered a lot of new faces. She started baby food, went to the beach, and met her family in Utah for the first time! The entire trip, good and bad, was a blast to experience with her.

Stay tuned for more stories from our family road trip!

xx Safe Travels,