Road Trips are for Making Amazing Family Memories: Sequoia National Park
As with my last post about our road trip, I left off after our visit to the San Andreas Fault in Parkfield, Ca. I want to personally invite you to check it out.
After our brief visit to the San Andreas Fault, we headed straight to our destination: Sequoia National Park. Planning for this trip was fun. We are most definitely not the hiking-type familia. But there was something about visiting this particular national park that made me want to make the trip up north. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even know this park was so close to us! I thought the Sequoias were way up north.
I think I had them confused for the Redwoods. We weren’t that far, so the drive wasn’t too bad.
We cut across the heart of the agricultural farms. What I love about this part of the trip was showing the kids the fields where our food comes from. They got to see onion, corn, lemon, and orange fields. We also saw cows, horses and farms galore! It kept the kids busy, which was good for all of us.
When we finally got to our destination, we didn’t go into the park right away. We actually stayed at Comfort Inn in Three Rivers, which is just outside of the main entrance of the park. The reason I did this was so that we had an evening of rest. We got into the room, cooled down (because OMGOSH it was hot!), I didn’t check the weather, so I didn’t know it was going to be close to 100 degrees at the base of the park. We were so comfortable in the Kia Sorento, with the AC, we didn’t even realize just how hot it was outside!
After our rest, we went out to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant, walked across the street to pick up some snacks at a little market and went back to the hotel for the rest of the evening. See, traveling with kids is tough. No matter how old they are. Even though my kids handled the drive pretty well, I knew they were tired. Heck we all were tired. This is why I decided to get a room and stay there the rest of the day. The Comfort Inn at Three Rivers provides free breakfast (YAY!) and we got up early to get our tummies full of yummy delicious foods like bacon, sausage, homemade waffles, eggs, toast, muffins, teas, juice. Oh, man! The selection was plentiful! How cool was that? We went back to the room to wash up, packed our bags, and off to Sequoia we went!
The drive through the park, to get to where the Sequoia trees are, is a winding one, but we didn’t mind. Plus, there were plenty of places to stop and take pictures. Which was good. That way the drive didn’t seem that long.
We wanted to see the trees so bad. We’ve talked about them for almost 3 weeks, and the time was nearing with each passing mile. I could see how excited the kids were, and you know what? So was I! Then, it happened.
We passed one. Then another. And then several. We made it. I couldn’t believe how ENORMOUS these trees really are! As we kept driving, we could see more and more of them. Mixed and scattered among other trees. We pulled over to the side of the road and took pictures. We even had nice people who took our pictures too.
We made our way to the grand daddy of all sequoia trees; General Sherman.
The General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park is the largest (by volume) tree in the world!
It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen. It’s majestic. It’s sacred. There were plenty of people there to take our picture. When you decide to go, I’m sure you’ll have no problem getting someone to take your picture. I have no words to describe our experience there. Forest rangers even had to get their paintball guns to scare off some bears than has made their way to where the public was. We even got to see a bear cub! Oh, and the weather? AMAZING. It was a cool 75 degrees!
The Kia Sorento was the perfect vehicle for the long winding road. Like I said a little earlier, what made this trip bearable was the AC. Although we didn’t have it one while we were climbing the mountain, it was a lifesaver when it came to driving through the hot central valley.
We had great ventilation in the front, and in the back. The third row seat had rear AC and the front and middle passengers had Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control. It was just wonderful.
Another feature that was just fan-ta-bulous was these 2nd-row sunshades. Yes, sunshades!!! The kids were shaded the whole time and it didn’t require any suction cups or sticky tape. The sunshades are built into the door and can easily be installed and uninstalled. They are pretty cool. No need for blankets, sweaters or magazines to be trapped under the window to provide shade. Neat-o, if you ask me!
Check out my periscope of the 2016 Kia Sorento
We spent the morning visiting other parts of the national forest. Then it was off to the third part of our trip. I hope you’ll just us for that too.
This is not a paid post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was given the opportunity to drive the 2016 Kia Sorento to facilitate this review.
Liz is a Mexican-American blogger living in Southern California. Married 19 years, and a mami to 3 kids, her content is inspired from living in and raising a multicultural familia. Liz has been blogging for more than 7 years, establishing herself as a nationally recognized Latina blogger. She often blogs in Spanglish and may throw in some Tagalog when talking about her hubby. You can also find her chit chatting away at @Liz_Cerezo on Twitter!