Bankhead Adventures

02 December 2016

Sequoia National Park

Some crazy school circumstances had us scrambling over the summer to decide where to educate our children. In the end, we chose the school that had the latest start date so that we could take one more summer camping trip. Totally worth it, both because it was one of the best camping trips we've ever taken and because the school turned out to be great. Highlights include snuggling in the hammock, navigating through several rivers, finding a completely isolated campsite, and family skinny dipping in a pristine alpine lake.

09 November 2016

Halloween 2016

Miles: The tiger costume that has served every 2- or 3-year-old Bankhead was repurposed as a Shere Khan costume. Miles is obsessed with The Jungle Book, thanks to his older siblings who performed in that production last spring.
Amos insisted on being a P.E.K.K.A. from Clash of Clans for several months, despite Amy's attempts to change his mind. As far as we could tell, no one else in the world makes that costume, so we rallied our creative juices and produced an outstanding costume that he was thrilled to wear.
Sadie had the brilliant idea of our whole family dressing as characters from the movie Inside Out, including Miles as Bing Bong and James as Anger. She had trouble recruiting willing participants, though, and rocked her Disgust without any sidekicks.

After nearly giving up on a Halloween costume all together, James assembled a respectable skeleton costume about 30 minutes before trick-or-treating began.

The evening ended with an epic candy-trading session with some neighbors.

11 October 2016

Art at Stanford

Not only is Stanford campus an architectural treat, it is also adorned with a wide variety of sculpture. Because James and Sadie don't remember living there, and Amos and Miles never did, Amy took them on a walking tour of Stanford's art installations. We're not sure if Stanford would approve of kids climbing all over their sculptures, but Amy thinks it's a great way for kids to experience art. If anyone wants a dynamic tour of art at Stanford, book with the Bankheads.

30 September 2016

Journey across the Golden Gate Bridge

Amy's been working with a non-profit called Stroller Hikes for nearly a decade now, and summer hikes are especially fun because the school-age kids get to join us on our adventures. Unfortunately, James doesn't see it that way. He's so over hiking with moms and toddlers. Probably doesn't help that the organization has the word "stroller" in it. To encourage his participation this summer, Amy let James choose all our hiking locations, and James set some high expectations. Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge was at the top of his list, so off we went with a dozen kids. Only a few minor incidents along the way: James experienced anxiety-inducing vertigo in the middle of the bridge that we remedied with a photography assignment distraction (hence the gorgeous bridge pictures), and we lost Amos for about 5 minutes at the visitors center. All's well that ends well, and any outing that leaves the children exhausted is a success.

19 September 2016

Yosemite 2016 with Friends

How to describe the wonderfulness of our most recent Yosemite trip? Fun friends and family, an all-day 10-mile hike that was just at the limit of possible for 8 children, scenic waterfalls and rugged mountains, and a birthday celebration for Miles. This is the epitome of Bankhead Adventures.

05 September 2016

Costume Fun for Jungle Book

This year, Amy volunteered to be in charge of costumes for James's and Sadie's school play. Summoning all her latent creativity, she assembled costumes for the entire cast of The Jungle Book, using herself and her children as models when the actors themselves weren't available. Somehow there are few pictures of the performance itself, but here's a glimpse of the costumes in process.

25 August 2016

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Paul and some buddies climbed Mt Lassen and skied back down. Not quite up for that adventure, Amy and the kids explored the rest of the park during Paul's outing. Highlights include playing in what was left of the snow, scrambling through a place called "Chaos Jumbles," watching a snake fight a squirrel (really!), and convincing a tired Miles to keep hiking.

05 August 2016

Twelfth Anniversary

Amy and Paul have been married for 12 years. In the past we've celebrated with some epic wilderness backpacking in Yosemite or Kings Canyon or Mt Whitney. This year we commemorated the day by going to church and tag-teaming naps and childcare. Paul would probably say that's a sad reminder that we're old and boring. Amy might say it's a meaningful way to embrace the goodness that is our regular life. Either way, here's a picture from our wedding day.