Thursday, December 20, 2007

[Wish they all could be] California Girls

Growing up I loved the Beach Boys. Although I never quite got the whole California thing. I mean, didn't they know they could be swallowed up by the earth any minute? Kentucky was a LOT safer with no fault line running underneath. Granted we didn't have any cool surfing places but we did have plenty of good fishing and swimming holes. So I never really had a desire to Go West.

Until my sister moved there.

Now I'm glad I did.

California is SOOOO beautiful!

And not even the slightest tremer occurred during our stay.

Such a good visit with my sister and her family! It was an excellent way to use some of those accumulated miles :-)

Packing as much as possible into our week, we visited Lake Tahoe, Sacramento and San Francisco. Did not make it to Ghirardelli Square in San Fran BUT I did buy a big ole bag of Ghirardelli chocolate at Costco in Sacramento -- does that count?

In San Fran we hit Pier 39 for a bread bowl of clam chowder and the cousins took a ride on the carousel, with Tina helping 4-year-old Emily climb to the second level and up on a horse. Tried to take some shots of the harbor and Golden Gate but our camera isn't so great on shots in the dark. The next afternoon we took a walk in Chinatown where Tina had oh-so-much fun shopping. An excellent spot for some bargain hunting :-)

Our trip to Lake Tahoe on Friday was timely as that area got a couple feet of snow over the weekend. Even on Friday there was close to a foot of snow on the ground. Our photos don't really do justice to the scenery -- it was spectacular!

During our visit niece Kitty performed in a shortened version of The Nutcracker. She was adorable as both a soldier and sugar plum fairy. A burgeoning thespian following in cousin Tina's footsteps :-)

The reason we were able to go was because we didn't have any meetings for the middle of December. But we ended up being able to share in two different churches while in California! Both pastors are on our mission's Board so we knew them, but still it was awfully gracious of them to give us time in the midst of all the Christmas 'doings'. (Thanks Pastor Steve and Pastor Rick!)

In my last post I mentioned some of the travel travails on our way home but didn't mention the trip out there. Because we woke to freezing rain the day before our flight and the news that it was to keep up until the next morning, we decided to head to the airport as quickly as possible and stay in a hotel with shuttle service. Of course we weren't totally surprised to get to the airport early the next morning and find out our flight had been canceled :-( After standing in line for over an hour (plenty of time to think about how awful it was probably going to be to try and get on a different flight) we found out they'd already re-routed us, leaving only an hour later! AND THEN we were put on an even earlier flight which allowed us to make an earlier connecting flight in Chicago. So we were only about half an hour later than we would have been if we'd made our original flight! How amazing is that?! Go United! :-)

All in all, a remarkable trip jam packed with memories and fun times.

And now we're home, facing the still daunting task of preparing for the move to Argentina. I spent most of today going through stuff in the basement. Two large black garbage bags full of stuff we don't want, and nobody else would either. Seven boxes packed and in the car ready to take to Goodwill. And two boxes shifted to the corner where we're putting stuff to take with us. A very satisfying days work!

And that doesn't even take into account all that Ivan got done today in his corner of the basement. :-) Go Ivan!

Most of the gifts are wrapped and I carried up the boxes of Christmas decorations. Hey, it's a start!

No comments: