Tuesday, January 1, 2013
The year began with some slim pickings at our local waterfalls in the Southern California area. Thanks to a severe shortage in rainfall throughout much of California, there really wasn't much going on except for repeat visits to Eaton Canyon Falls and Monrovia Canyon Falls as well as some fun times at old favorites like Paradise Falls as well as a redux of Escondido Falls, where we finally got to visit its hidden upper tiers.
So even with repeat waterfalls, when you share it with others (in this case our baby daughter), it just never gets old!
The locals waterfalls held us over until Julie and I embarked on a long awaited trip to France. It was Julie's second time there and my first. A major twist to the way we visited this country was that we self-drove once we left the TGV-convenient routes as well as the major cities of Paris and Lyon.
Thus, we got to visit a surprise waterfall in Etretat in Normandy, visit some waterfalls in the Mt Dore area, spend time in the Pyrenees (seeing Gavarnie and Ars Waterfalls), see waterfalls in the Provence area, see waterfalls in the Haute-Savoie area encompassing the French Alps, and see waterfalls in the lush Jura Mountains.
The only real downer to this magical trip was the persistent of bad weather as it seemed much of Europe seemed to get their rains late in the Spring and it seemed to persist well into Summer.
After a long Summer without waterfalling except for one visit to Solstice Canyon Falls (where we were shocked to see it was still flowing in September), we then embarked on a rather unique Autumn trip to the Southern States.
This encompassed the regions of Northern Georgia, Upcountry South Carolina, Western North Carolina, Southern Kentucky, and Eastern Tennessee.
Finally, we capped off the year with a return trip to paradise in Tahiti. It had been 10 years since Julie and I first came here in the Dry Season. But now the challenge was to visit this place in the Wet Season and while bringing our daughter (who was already exhibiting the terrible 2s).
This "test" trip with our daughter taught us many things about what we can and can't get away with when traveling with her. But at least we're now older and wiser, and we're in better position to pick and choose the waterfalling excursions where it's reasonable to bring her along while balancing that out with separation anxiety.