Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Last night we stayed a t a state park—Sea Cliff in California just about an hour and a half from San Fran. We literally had a spot about 100 feet from the ocean. It was really quaint and I loved it—even though it was a bit pricey. It poured all night and the howl from the wind pierced the RV as the waves crashed onto shore. It was just beautiful. I had to remind myself that I wasn’t listening to my relaxation cd; we lit some candles, had a great dinner and relaxed. I played some Norah Jones and looked around at my family and thought “this is living life”. (I love storms so of course I was a bit partial to the moment.)
The next morning we head to Frisco. Did you know, by the way how many artichokes are grown in Cali? A lot apparently, and one town even boasted it was the artichoke center of the world. I never had seen artichoke fields before…it’s quite interesting. Also, for all my health nut friends and family….there are organic farm/ food stands all along the way. Fabulous…just fabulous!
Everyone loved Frisco; in fact I believe we will be going back there in a few days when the weather is more suitable for some serious walking/touring. You can’t park an RV anywhere downtown so it looks as if we will be parking quite some distance and then heading in by double decker bus or trolley. The girls are pumped and I am too, however it is a city that I wish Nick and I could have a night or two alone in. Not all the things I experienced when I was in Frisco on business were necessarily kid orientated—jazz clubs, open mic night and coffee shop gigs. Anyhow, I know they will enjoy the pier and the sea lions. The Golden Gate was cool too.
Now we are headed to the National Redwood Forest. I think we still have another 3 hours. I am so pumped. I think this is one of the most exciting things I am looking forward to experiencing. I think we will camp a couple of nights to take it all in.
It’s very weird traveling in the dark. Sometimes I like it and sometimes I don’t. I do like the kids all mellowed out and time to just chill with Nick, but I don’t like not knowing if we are right on the edge of a cliff or a field and what is out even 100 feet from us as it’s just Pitch Black. There was an accident tonight that looked quite awful and from what I could see it seemed a semi slide off the road. Not knowing these roads I am always in a bit of fear—Lord protect us!
The kids are doing real well with the Ron Clark rules. I haven’t gotten used to some of their quick application of them—for example them responding to us with Yes Mame and Yes Sir. I like it though. Some of the other rules have ready benefited us a family. I suggest this book to anyone—anyone with kids or not.
We have been passing through really cute little towns—kind of reminding me of Kohler—so I can say cute cause I don’t live there (some refer to it as anal—just quoting people). I am also amazed at how many RV parks there are along just about ANY road we’ve been on thus far. RV parking, RV repair, RV sales…let me tell you…if you are looking for an RV I believe the south is the place to get one rather than a used hunting RV. It is sick what the snow and salt does to vehicles. Nick and I noticed how new everyone’s rides look--even the ones that are over 15 years old.
I almost forgot to tell you…we got to see the most fantastic rainbow I ever saw. I have NEVER EVER EVER seen such a simple yet spectacular sight. It was a full rainbow and we could see end to end (even though I couldn’t capture it in full.) It was just the most beautiful thing I have seen so far. Plain as day…right there in the middle of the field. I will post pics! God is amazing! His artistic skills more than I can fathom.
16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."
The Grand Canyons were beautiful. Anyone one whose been there knows there’s really no words great enough to express this majestic beauty. I can’t believe how the trails follow right next to the edge of the cliffs of the canyons with no rail guard. Nick and I both looked at each other and were like…yea…right! We pretty much stayed near the look outs that had metal rail guards. We viewed the Canyons from the South rim which receives over 90% of the visitors who come to view the Canyons (4,000,000 a year). The RV park was far from decent though—water was froze, showers you had to pay for ($2.00 for 8 mins) and wasn’t kid friendly. The park isn’t government operated, which it says right in their literature, and real hospitality has been compromised for strictly profit. We didn’t stay as long as I thought we would because of this. One really cool thing was a Condor that was boasting his magnificence right over us. He was huge! His wing span must have been over 10 feet (which is common for this bird). The bird itself is endangered—only 300 in the world! I will post pics.
Then on to Las Vegas which was only a night drive through just to see the lights. Nick was VERY hesitant about this, but I begged. I knew it was going to be something else.
On the way we saw the Hoover Dam which felt like something out of the movie Water world. Unbelievable. I was a little frightened since I was not expecting the vehicle inspection that we were required to have upon entering the vicinity of the Hoover Dam area. It is a little intense having men in plastic coats with flash lights in the middle of the night demanding to come in and look around.
After the dam, we went through to Vegas. Grace and Hannah slept through most of it, despite our consistant poking and calling to them to awake. As we began to exit the city, they awoke and were in disbelief about the lights (which were nothing compared to what we saw on Vegas Blvd) however Nick and I both agreed we felt God was protecting them from everything else they would have seen. Michaela was disgusted enough, saying with conviction, “Sin city...that certainly is a good name for it!”
As we drove out of the city in attempt to find a place far away from it, the three of us…Nick, Michaela and I were in a bit of a “Vegas Coma” if you will—completely stunned by the amount of filth, and outrageous media promoting drunkenness, sex, adultery, drugs, gambling, materialism and anything else! It made us even more happy for finding a place for God in our life-- not just a place, but above all else. It wasn’t even the busy season for Vegas and on that Friday night there were people already stumbling around the walks carrying their beer with them and shouting obscenities. The billboards should be R rated and yet there were tourists (mostly out-of-country) who had there children in hand, walking to or from their destination. The look on their kid’s faces made me happy only Michaela was awake to see it all. Good riddens Vegas!
Next we headed for Death Valley National Park which was just a load of fun—who knew? It seems we are finding more fun in the places not so obvious to it. The best time was the hikes we took—two of them. The Sand Dunes were incredible and Grace was off her rocker just running and “flying” all over—up and down them like a skater in a ramp park. It was really neat. The sand was nothing like beach sand, rather more like powder and when I ran on it, I felt a cushion to it. I wish we would have had more time to hike there but we were on a mission to dodge a storm that the Ranger said was headed in that direction. Not only would it shut several parks, but require all who decided to drive in it, chains on their vehicles. It was terrible news for us—VERY disappointing as our next destination was supposed to be in the Sequoia National Park and then on to Yosemite. But 36 inches of snow DID NOT sound appealing as we are still waiting to experience a 70 degree day (the locals said we just missed 75’s the week before!) Go Figure!
We dodged the storm in its winter form and are receiving it in rain today and tomorrow, so we decided for today to be our cleaning, laundry, mega driving and school day. Our next destination is San Fran and then up the coast to see the Red Woods!
That’s all for now. This post doesn’t seem as exciting to me, but there was just so much to cover I guess I didn’t know where to begin. If I am not writing at least every other day, I feel overwhelmed with it. I hope you all enjoy the pics! Miss ya!