Showing posts from August, 2013

Grateful Friday

Yes, it's Friday. But, any day is the right day to feel grateful.

I am grateful for the protection and provision of our LORD.

I am grateful we were able to travel and see relatives and special friends.

I am grateful for my family.

I am grateful for all the things that made this summer great: sunshine, the YMCA, memories, day trips, digital cameras, travel planning...really living.

I am grateful for a safe and peaceful place to live...and laugh.

This sounds strange, but I am grateful that I am not a part of a religious congregation right now. The LORD has me right where He wants me. Praise His Name!!

I am grateful for all the incredible, awe-inspiring, grand, glorious, and mostly unbelievable sights and sounds we experienced while traveling. What a thrill!

I am grateful for music and for itty-bitty tuned chimes.

I am grateful for my new car.

I am grateful for my children...always. I am always grateful to hear their voices, their laughter and to be there to love them and share their…

The Last Four Days of the Road Trip 2013: Oregon Coast, of course!

Who doesn't love the Oregon Coast? We truly enjoyed our time in my favorite vacation paradise, although honestly, I think we were all ready to head for home. For the first time, I have wanted to come home. Why? Because for the first time we have a peaceful home where we feel wanted and safe. No guilt. No obligations. No cold shoulders or shunned vacations pics. No financial chaos. No judgment. Only peace.

Anyway, we did all the usual stuff on the coast - the aquarium, Mo's, shopping in Florence, checkin' out a lighthouse or two, and walking on the beach. I loved morning coffee on the balcony and shmoozin' with the other vacationers walkin' the boardwalk along the marina. I very much enjoyed pokin' around historic Nye Beach and Cannon Beach (of course) lookin' for the perfect touristy things to purchase. I took scads of pics and filled my lungs with the fresh, coastal air.

And when the day came to pack up and make the final drive of the trip, we were all res…

Day 19: Eureka!

Golly, it is hard to put these things in order, especially on day 19 of our trip! I was more than ready to get movin' north...

Almost outta Cali...phew!

Road Trip Extras: Pheiffer Beach and Oakland

California was pretty much a smoggy whirlwind. However, there were a couple of highlights that couldn't be overlooked.

As we were leaving San Simeon, we were encouraged to visit the elephant seals that have taken up residence just a short drive north a bit from the town-proper. It was pretty foggy, but we did see some elephant seals, which was a good segway for our visit to Pheiffer Beach. This little gem hiding near Big Sur on the Cali coast was a great stop. There were a lot of people, but the air was fresh and the surf was fabulous.

Another extra I would like to share was our stop at possibly one of the most dramatic LDS temples. The temple in Oakland involved a drive out of San Francisco across the Bay Bridge, which afforded great views of the city behind us. At all the temples we have visited, I have observed one commonality: they are all serene and calm, like an oasis in a chaotic desert. As we walk the grounds, appreciating the views, architecture and landscaping, I drink i…

Day 17 & 18: A Stop in San Francisco

I love San Francisco. That is, except when the tourists swarm in August.

We stopped at the Presidio and spent some time with Yoda at the Lucasfilm offices there. I cannot even imagine what it is like to work in such beautiful surroundings...

After our meeting with the old master, we meandered our way to the Palace of the Arts. Have you seen this? I was unaware that it was built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Expo that was held in San Francisco. It has a rocky history, but is restored and is a major attraction visitors.

Further exploration of San Francisco included stopping for some sourdough bread, eating at one of the incredible seafood restaurants along the wharf district and shopping in touristy shops. There was quite a few street performers hoping for a couple bucks for their efforts, including a gentleman hiding behind a bush and jumping out at people to scare them. Unfortunately, he picked me out of the crowd to frighten, to the amusement of onlookers. Needless to say, this wasn…

Day 16: Hearst Castle & Cambria

Boy, it is difficult to catch up after not having access to blogging daily.

We are now home and nearly unpacked. But, I don't want to leave anyone hanging, so I will continue with our days. The photos are stunning, especially in the California sunshine! San Simeon was a beautiful place, although our hotel was nothing to scream about (I really would hesitate to recommend the Silver Surf Hotel, frankly).

My mom loved Hearst Castle, and she passed that love of this place onto me. I was able to visit when I was about 9 years old - it really left an impression on me. As it was then, I still am fascinating with the contemplation of the many, many antiquities collected by W.R. Hearst. I find it amazingly ironic that William, an only son, wasn't the preferred choice as heir of the Hearst fortune. I, for one, am so glad he used his eventual inheritance collecting historic pieces from around the world.

I took an amazing amount of pictures on our tour - we took the 'upstairs' tou…

Day 15: Makin' our way toward San Simeon

Workin' our way out of L.A. - hurray!

Too much traffic.
Too damn hot.
And the smog...did someone say that it was much improved? Gah!

We did manage to get all packed up after Disney - we did a bit of shopping, to be sure! Back on the road, we were ready for our next adventure: San Simeon!

Day 13 & 14: Doin' Disney

What does one say about Disneyland?

Even when you say the word, childhood memories may come to mind. Or the movies you were eager to share with your children...or the fact that Disney just bought the Star Wars franchise. Whatever you think of, everyone loves the 'happiest place on earth'!

I took loads of pics during our two days at Disney. Disneyland is on one side and the newer California Adventure is taking up the acreage that used to be the parking lot. Personally, we preferred Disneyland to the newer Cali-Adventure; I think we all just liked the historic wholesome-ness of the older property. The rides didn't look like they were aged, though. Everything was shiny-new and maintained to perfection. Shoot, you couldn't even find any litter...anywhere! The roving talent was top-notch, the rides were every bit entertaining, the thrill rides were thrilling and the shops were engaging and interesting to nose around. I guess I can't say enough good things about Disney.