Sunday, December 20, 2015

Oldtown San Diego

Well I have been home since Thursday, but its been a busy few days.  I still wanted to post about the rest of our trip though, especially the part when we went to Oldtown San Diego.
Tuesday morning we woke up and had breakfast at the hotel. After we check out, we headed towards Oldtown. Emily really wanted to drop in at a local Crossfit, so we dropped her off so she could do a class. While she worked out, Carolyn and I went to Oldtown.  Its a beautiful part of San Diego; it is quiet, and pretty with lots of Mexican flair. We went to a shop to get some souveneirs, walked around enjoying the sun, and then went back to pick up Emily. I thought she'd like Oldtown (which she did) so we went back.  We enjoyed looking at many handmade items, beautiful wall murals, various cacti (I really liked those), and even bought some churros.  We heard a live band, and enjoyed some more sun!
Eventually we hit the road and headed back to Pheonix.
Wednesday we went hiking for a few hours in the morning, climbed up a very small mountain, and saw more cacti.  After we finished there we stopped by Paige's apartment for lunch then headed to another part of the city to tour the Grand Canyon University, which Carolyn was interested in possible attending.  I enjoyed that quite a bit as I had never toured a college before (I've seen colleges, but not on a specific 'tour'.)  After we finished there we headed downtown.  Pheonix has a beautiful downtown. If you are ever visiting Pheonix, go downtown.  We only had about half an hour so really we didn't walk around much.  After we left we headed back to pick Paige up from work, spent a few more hours with her, and headed to the airport to catch our 1:28 am flight back to O'hare.
It really was a good trip.  I loved visiting Paige and Melinda, seeing some many new sights, and experiencing different cultures.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

San Diego Adventure

Monday morning we got up early, and picked up a rental car at 7 am.  We then hit the road headed to California.  Driving through the desert took several hours.  Miles and miles of sand, scrub brush and cacti.  When we drove into California we went through a border check but actually didn't have to stop.  (I think it was a check for produce and plants.)  A little while later we had another checkpoint, this time it was for drugs. There was a dog and all. We didn't have to stop for that one either.  We drove through mountains for quite some time, and then arrived at San Diego.   When we arrived headed to Chula Vista, where we found our hotel, and then headed to the beach. The beach we went to was at Point Loma. Cabrillo National Monument is located there. The ocean was beautiful; the view of the San Diego skyline was also amazing. We toured a lighthouse that was furnished with antiques, and no longer in service. The ocean was very rocky, and lined with small cliffs.  It was cold, so we opted against climbing down. The view was gorgeous though.  We took several photos of the sun setting on the city. We then headed back to Chula Vista; we hit some rush hour traffic-not my favorite to be sure.  We arrived safely though, and checked into our hotel, then ordered and picked up some supper.  I had chicken enchiladas from a delicious Mexican restaurant just a few blocks away. A long but good day full of adventures.
I will post about Tuesday in the next post..

I love seeing all the cacti everywhere!

The view from the lighthouse front door

San Diego skyline during golden hour was stunning.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Grand Canyon, South Rim

Early Saturday morning my dad dropped me and Emily off at the airport.  We flew in to Phoenix, AZ, where Paige picked us up.  She did not know I was coming...Surprise!!!  A few hours later Carolyn joined us.
We spent a few hours hanging out, then headed to Flagstaff, and on to a hotel near the Grand Canyon.  We got up this morning, and after breakfast headed over to see it.  I have never seen the Grand Canyon before, so I was very excited!  It really is an amazing and beautiful sight!  God's creation is so awesome.  Here are a few pictures for you to see a glimpse of what we saw.

Friday, June 19, 2015

June 17

This was the last day of our road trip. Since it turned out to be such a long day, I postponed blogging about it until now.
We spent the night in a town in Colorado.  We were up at 6, and left shortly after. We continued on towards Denver.   Of course this meant driving through lots of mountains.  At one point we were more than 11,000 feet above sea level. We even saw snow on the slopes right next to the road. We eventually left the mountains to drive through miles of farms.  The road got flatter, and the snow covered mountains disappeared into the distance.   We drove about 16 hours, finally arriving at Lauren's house about 2:30 am.  It was very nice to be back in Wisconsin. 
The trip was amazing.  We saw such a variety of landscapes, cultures, and many memorable locations.  Thank you to all who were following the blog posts!
I will be back to posting only once in awhile now.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

June 16

The plan was to leave Salt Lake City bright and early. However,  since a thunderstorm stopped us from ziplining yesterday,  we decided to do it today. Our adventure actually started at noon, as that was the earliest available time slot.
I didn't love going up to the tip top of a mountain on a chair lift, or walking the top of said mountain,  but I did really enjoy the actual ziplining!
We went on a short practice zipline first, then a series of 4 other lines, totally around 1.86 miles. We went down 2,100 feet.
They told us we could get going up to 70mph on the last stretch, which was 3,871 feet.  I loved that; I tucked my knees up and went as fast as I could. What fun that part was!
We then had lunch at Culvers. That felt like home! (I am missing WI now!)
We headed to Denver. After about 5 hours we drove into some thunderstorms. Thunderstorms at night in the mountains was not great. I greatly dislike wipers that don't work perfectly,  so we stopped at a Walmart. They didn't have what I wanted so we went to AutoZone. That was great because the guy there put them on the car for me.  He also told me he thought it would be snowing up in the pass; he wouldn't drive to Denver in this weather. Lauren and I weren't super thrilled either, so we called around and found a hotel.
The crazy thing is we had already booked a hotel in Denver. Then a few hours later when we had phone service again, we saw it had bad reviews, and canceled it.  Then booked a second hotel in Denver (we had to call a lot of hotels to even find a room.) Then I had to call and cancel that one too. They waived the cancelation fee since we hit bad weather, so that's nice at least.
Despite hitting bad weather,  we did see a beautiful glimpse of Colorado first.
All in all, a crazy day.

Monday, June 15, 2015

June 15

Today was a leisurly day; we slept in, ate breakfast, and left then Lauren's Uncle took us on a tour to see the mountains.  We saw Bridal Falls, and put our feet in the frigid pool of water at the bottom.  The water fell almost softly down the side of rock for a long way, hit the ground, and then splashed down a hill of stones into a small pool.  We then drove over to Sundance, where we were going to take the chair lift up the mountain.  However, Sundance apparently has the sixth longest zipline in the world...of course, this was something that needed to be done.  But, we were wearing flip flops (I hate shoes), and you have to be wearing close toed shoes.  So we drove back to the house, ate Subway, got shoes, and went back.  However, a thunderstorm appeared while we were gone, and the lift and ziplining were closed for the day.  This was very sad.  Lauren was very convinced we still needed to do this insane activity, so we are just leaving later tomorrow instead of right away...

I'm a little nervous about being up so high (again!) but I think it will be interesting to zipline so far.  We will be going 3,871 feet. Seems kind of scary, but I guess worth a try.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

June 14

More driving today.  Lauren drove most of the time; we listened to the rest of our book on cd, so the drive wasn't to bad.  We saw the salt flats, and lots and lots of nothingness.  I did not like the desert.  Its so bare, and dead.   There seem to be almost no life anywhere.
We are near Salt Lake City, which has quite a bit of beauty to it.  I feel like we are in the center of a giant bowl.  The mountains surround us on all sides.  Several of Lauren's aunts and uncles live here.
We had fun tonight on the lake driving a jet boat.  I loved that.
Seeing the sunset over the lake, behind the mountains was very pretty.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Today started with quite an adventure.  After waking up and having breakfast at 4am, we headed down to the beach and arrived just after 5 when the morning light was just showing in the sky.  We had flashlights, and walked down to the tide pools again.  Because of the cliffs, it was quite a long walk from the car. What a grand adventure!  Lowest tide was at 4am, and the water was still out pretty far when we arrived. We saw three large starfish, and three small ones, lots and lots of sea anemones, mussels, shrimp, and other critters I can't identify.  We stayed on the beach for about two hours; what a lovely experience to see the sun peek over the mountains and trees, and shine on the waves.
We left Crescent City, California about 8:30 and drove for hours and hours.  Through redwoods for a little, up and down mountains, back and forth on curves, then miles and miles of the high dessert.  What a insane sight to see.  So much nothingness.  So odd.  We listened to an audio book most of the way, which kept me happily entertained.
More driving tomorrow!

This is what was above the beach.

The dessert is a strange place.