• jesgooch

    That was awesome and…BTW…I didn’t even NOTICE the “this post was brought to you by blah blah blah at the beginning :) Skipped right over it!

  • Don

    I’m outraged that you put that sponsor disclaimer on the top!!! It should be written in BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS diagonally across the whole post!!! Outraged I tell you!!!

  • Erin

    How great. I would love to do a similar trip with my girls. I often think that I need to spend more one-on-one time with them. You’ve pretty much convinced me I need to get on it! Thanks for sharing.

  • Gemmyner

    My daughter is 13. She still says “I’m bored” but it’s less now than it used to be. Now she can venture down to the park or to a friend’s house without me supervising her. When she tells me she’s bored, I put her to work.

  • http://twitter.com/bleach226 Breanne

    LOVED this post. I don’t know if I’ve ever commented before, but after your last post and hearing the flack you’ve gotten for sponsored posts I felt like I needed to do so. Why? Because I don’t care if you’re sponsored, if you disclose at the top or the bottom, or heck, even in the middle in giant bold, capitalized letters. Your voice is YOUR voice and THAT is the reason I keep reading.

  • issascrazyworld

    One of my favorite parts about my kids getting older is it’s like having a friend around. It’s not that way when you have to keep them safe from themselves all day and answer a bunch of questions about nothing and try and follow a story that has six parts and never ends. They go from crazy banshees to these little cool people and it’s awesome.

    I’m glad you and Leta had a great trip. SHE TOUCHED SAND!!!!! That is just awesome.

  • americanrecluse

    I love how you two have identical smiles in those last two photos, and you both look so happy.

  • http://twitter.com/jennsplace Jennifer

    But how come Diet Coke and not regular Coke and regular DP and not Diet DP? So confusing! :)

  • http://twitter.com/Jennymoo Jennifer Adamson

    I think all non-traditionally-sponsored posts should have a “This post is brought to you by MY BUTT.” at the top.

  • Christy

    The picture of Leta playing guitar makes her look just like Connie Britton’s character’s oldest daughter on Nashville. So cute! And so grown up!

  • Starla Dear

    Exactly. My kids are 6 and 4 and they know better than to say they are bored. I have a job jar ALL ready for them if they do.

  • Starla Dear

    Definitely prefer the sponsorship information at the top. I’m glad Leta had a wonderful time alone with you. But GAAAAH!!! I’m not even a germaphobe but please tell Leta not to put her sweet little face directly on hotel comforters!! Pull the comforters off and lay on the sheet! :)

  • JenVegas

    What a GREAT post! And what a great trip! I’m super jealous. It sounds lovely.

  • Jil

    Love it! And damn are those some shi-shi camping arrangements. Was that a cow hide on the floor? What is this, Game of Thrones?

  • http://twitter.com/tksinclair tksinclair

    I hope someday I have so little to worry about or do that I can get really upset over the fact that there are sponsored posts here. REALLY PEOPLE:? Gah…

  • Lynette

    I think it’s awesome that you got to spend this fun adventure with your daughter. Sponsored posts do not phase me one bit – it’s you and you’re writing and you’re honest, day to day posts that keep me coming back. I would say to the sponsor naysayers – turn the channel dumbasses!

  • Annett

    When my daughter (8) says she’s bored I always proclaim “Great! Then I’m doing a good job as a mum!”. She hates it but kinda can’t help but laugh at it. It lasts a few minutes and then she has an idea and this awesome creative phase just happens. Happens every time. I really encourage you to let her be bored, it gives me such joy every time I manage to endure and get over the moaning phase. I LOVE this post so much and your smiles are just precious :-)

  • http://oddlovescompany.com/blog/ Katybeth

    What a wonderful post. What wonderful memories for you both. I especially liked the part where you wrote, “she’s always been a delightful kid.” Yep, we always love them more than life itself, but it’s so much fun when we like them as well and find their company delightful.

  • http://twitter.com/fishsticked John Bray

    Smiles in the last two photos?! That’s great to see. Really great.

    But was this sponsored? I guess I caught it at the beginning and skipped over it at the end with little more than a glance, but if you could place that bit of information in the middle of the post, in all caps, underlined twice, in magenta, that would help.

  • Carla

    Awesome post. But . . . balloon animals? Ugh.

  • http://twitter.com/EcoTraveller Linda McCormick

    Beautiful post. I have two little girls and am really looking forward to times like these with them. However, I am not so looking forward to the trip to Europe next week (from Australia) with the same lovely 18 month old and 3 year old. What the frig am I thinking? All I can hope is your intestine eating wolf will nab me before we get on the plane!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jessica.miller.77377 Jessica Miller

    I was reading this and stopped short saying, “OMG that woman looks just like Brett Dennen!!”


    I love this post, too. Being cold while sleeping and snuggling with loved ones is one of the best parts of camping.

  • Mrs. Pom

    I almost stopped reading after —-BRETT DENNEN!!!
    Who knew he was available for campfire sing-alongs! LOL

  • Mie

    I’d love to know where you found the Kristina sunglasses for $87- they’re retailing for $148-I’d be ever so grateful for your source!
    PS Loving your posts these days.

  • Amanda H

    So glad you got to enjoy our beautiful city of Santa Barbara! Sorry about the freezing nights, we’re trying to get those fixed ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/AmidPrivilege Amid Privilege

    Oh geez. I’ve been reading you for years and this is my first comment.

    I had that same experience, only my daughter was 23 or 24 at the time.

    Thank you for the reliving, albeit in different decades.

  • Hanni

    I love this post…sounds like you had an amazing time! And sleeping with your little one in your arms is the BEST!

  • Sadie7

    Heather, I have been reading for years and have been truly moved by many posts but today I completely lost my shit ( in a good way) while reading about you and Leta sleeping in the tent. I have four girls aged 4-11 and have co-slept at some point with each one. Sometimes 2 or 3 at a time. I have literally lost at least a year of sleep, probably much more, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Thanks for reminding me of how wonderful it is.

  • JRSF

    Brett Dennen! He’s such a great musician. For whatever reason I always thinks he looks like Peppermint Patty, which in NO way diminishes my enjoyment of his music. I’m not sure I could have slept in a tent (took, and used, a hair dryer the first time I went camping), but glad it was a great trip.

  • Amanda Greer

    I am so happy that you got to have this time with Leta. And she will probably always remember this as being one of the best things EVER! I remember the first time my mom took me to stay in a hotel over night. It was just one city away and there were no fun activities, but there was a pop machine! And an ice machine! And we ordered room service! And I still talk about it like it was the best thing EVER because it was, it really was.

  • http://twitter.com/SharonaZee Sharona Zee

    You captured it beautifully! I remember vacations with my (non-custodial) mom as being all elevators and ice machines…and glorious!

  • KenJG12

    Uhh,,,this screams sponsorship, right down to the Hyundai nametags.

  • Kacy Kirby

    I hope that no one missed reading this post because they don’t like sponsored posts. This was so great to read, you look and sound happy. Good for you!!

  • Tasteofhunni.com

    man that trip looked like so much fun! She is a lucky girl to have a mom like you…*cough* adoptmeplease *cough*

  • Sandra T

    Heather! Your writing is so awesome! You actually bring back memories of the age when I thought sleeping in a tent (a pup tent, no less) was “cozy!” And believe me, that was A LONG TIME AGO! Please tell us that you told the awestruck Leta that YOU actually used to live in LA? A little stardust in their eyes for mama never hurts! Trust me!

  • Sandra T

    Man, can I take this comment back and remove some of the exclamation points? I didn’t mean to do that. But I did love this post that much! ha ha

  • Erin @ Dwell & Tell

    I AM SO GLAD I REDISCOVERED YOU. It’s been too long. You are brilliant.

    No, this is not spam! ;)

  • Becky

    I think it may be that boredom is the “cross you’ll have to bear” for having the audacity to birth and raise thoughtful, curious and intelligent children.
    SIncere congratulations on the obvious contentment, joy and success on your slightly rocky new path.

    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
    R. Frost

  • Emily

    I loved this post – sponsored or not. You look beautiful and, more importantly, happy in these photos.
    And your thoughts on sleeping with your daughter is so dead right. I sometimes catch myself annoyed that my 3 year old wants to come into my bed at 4a.m. because he prefers to sleep with mommy. But then I remind myself that there will come a time when he’ll be a stinky 15 year old trying to sneak out of the house to meet up with a girl he likes. So, I think instead I’ll cherish these times…

  • elise

    Love this sponsored post, sounds like a fun time. Unlikely to ever buy a Hyundai, but glad they treated you right.

  • Nicole Francois

    This post was great and all, but thanks to you and YOUR WORDS I had no choice but to steal a Dr. Pepper from my roommate.

  • Thrift Store Mama

    I could feel your joy and happiness in this post – so glad the two of you had this time together.

  • Dawn Brandvold

    My daughter is nearing 30 and we still take trips every year, just the two of us. It helps us to see each other as real people, not merely the roles we play as mother/daughter. Also…LOVE Brett Dennen.

  • Lexi

    Loved the post and especially the last paragraph.

  • NHMaman

    Great memories! Perhaps you will now want to try a single mummy (mommy) sleeping bag on the ground in a tent with two kids in it with you. I guarantee that no one will freeze, but you won’t be able to breathe either. Still … amazing fun!