Tag Archives: California

Favorite Days

28 Jul

“Describe your favorite day.”

Every form of this question has left me feeling baffled and slightly sad when I heard it asked. Am I supposed to have a very favorite day that sticks out in my mind? Furthermore, should I be answering these questions like a good little lady by saying “my wedding day”? Or as a Christian, “the day I was saved”… Or when I’m a mother, will I say “the day K was born”?

I can’t imagine the latter. Maybe the day after K is born. I’m no masochist.

Still, I can’t imagine choosing one day in my entire life that is the most special to me. Perhaps this is a good thing because it may insinuate that I have many wonderful days, which I do. I’m not sure I could even choose a favorite day this year, but there are many runners-up. Walk down memory lane with me?

Captain J (pictured above) and I were in a small town in Alaska just beginning our journey across America. We were bordering Canada while our friends back in Fairbanks were experiencing an ice storm that debilitated the city for a while. Meanwhile, we were enjoying a mostly snow free experience in Alaska in November, which is almost unheard of for this area. The wind was fierce in that little town. It whipped our faces and watered our eyes as we fought against it with a vengeance. Who else would walk our pups? This day was beautiful to me because we were together, experiencing a quaint town, and marveling in our last taste of Alaska for a long time. It’s one of my favorite days because we were headed to the lower 48 on a journey that had no time constraints. I cherish uninterrupted time with my soldier when I come across it.

Or maybe my favorite day is this one- when we felt warmth on our faces in sunny California for the first time in a long time. We drove the scenic route that meandered along the ocean for miles. Huge crashing waves provided our picture perfect views, waves we just aren’t accustomed to as East Coasters. There was a man in front of us on our drive riding his motorcycle. We got a chance to talk with him; he was discovering our great country with little more than the clothes on his back and the gas in his tank. As we walked away, we day dreamed about having few responsibilities and the freedom to just simply go.

It might have been this day as my brother, sister, and I snuck off to take pictures for my mom as a surprise Christmas gift. Ever terrible liars, Jake and I dodged phone calls from my mom who was questioning the original lie that “we really wanted to try out the new restaurant in Tellico”. Paige didn’t have service that night or if she did it was sketchy at best. Again, I love uninterrupted time with people I love. We took photos, ate, and boy, did we laugh. It was a great day (Note: No, we did not give the above photo as a gift. ha)

Or perhaps it was the day we got to finally announce that a baby would be making his way into the world to my family.

It could have easily been this day when Captain J and I walked hand in hand along Tybee Island in Georgia for Valentine’s Day weekend. We strolled, imagining the next time we took a trip to the beach that we’d have a son or daughter in tow.

This day was so memorable for me, too. Many of my closest friends were in the same place at the same time, a rarity in military life. I prepared a breakfast brunch for them as my mom decorated the back porch to see that everything was perfect! This was to be our last trip back to Tennessee before we moved for the second time in less than a year.

See? These are just a few. I don’t know that I can pick just one special day because God has blessed me with so many.

Do you have a favorite day?


California Dreamin’

4 Feb

The weather has been dreadful this week! I bet every single one of you is tired of hearing that, but I mean it just as much as those folks in NY do about the snow. We’ve been bombarded with something a little less of a pain in the butt, but a lot less pretty, too. Rain, rain, go away, come again another day.

The rain has me day dreaming of sunny California and the couple of days Captain J and I spent there on our trip across America.

Walking the dogs,

Strolling along the pier, hand in hand

Enjoying breathtaking sunsets together,

Exploring giant redwoods,

and Discovering the city.

And to think those Californians were cold! I’m warm just thinking about it. I want a beach and a good book. I want the energy I had in the picture above before I started experiencing all these lovely preggo symptoms. I don’t want this rain anymore, soaking my poor puppies to the bone each time I let them out. A girl can dream, right?

Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day.

California Redwoods

1 Dec

A couple posts ago, I promised you some redwood pictures, didn’t I? I’m sure Captain J got plenty of good ones with our his fancy schmancy camera, but he has forbidden me to post any until he can choose the ones he wants the world to see. Oh, the trials of being married to a good photographer. He takes five gazillion trillion shots and out of those he’ll like ten of them. Perhaps by the end of this trip he’ll let me share some with all of you. Until then…you’re stuck with mine!

They’re a pixelated mess, but at least you can see how enormous the redwoods are. Maybe I’ll buy myself my own fancy schmancy camera for Christmas and avoid this little problem all together!

But then again, if J is taking pictures and I’m taking pictures then who is going to watch these two crazy mutts?

We’ll be in Arizona by tomorrow!

City Life in Cali

30 Nov

San Francisco  wasn’t ready for us….and boy (or girl), lemme tell you- we weren’t quite ready for the streets of San Fran. These two Alaskans in our F350 just didn’t mix well with the traffic and congestion in the hilly city. The first hour or so was quite stressful as we tried to navigate around the city and attempt to not  dismember any innocent pedestrians. Thanks to the help of Magellan, we found our way to our first stop: Wags Hotel.

We knew hauling two huskies up and down the streets of a busy city was just asking for trouble so we chose to board them for the night. I swear, their “hotel” was better than ours. You wouldn’t believe the ammenities/goodies/extras they offered: One on one swim time, Yappy Hour, and more. I’m pretty ashamed of myself for pampering them so, but I’m sure they had a good time (Their report card said so! 😉 ).

After Captain J and I decided on a location to rest our pretty little heads, we set out to explore the city…on foot. No more driving for us! We walked everywhere we went. I’m surprised I survived.

We strolled down to Fisherman’s Wharf to walk along the water and view Alcatraz from a distance. Later we spotted Ghirardelli, which quickly became my favorite place in this whole entire world. I was in chocolate heaven!

After a quick snap of this photo (and J telling curious onlookers that I was a “chocolate fiend”), we strolled on down the street where we came to a wine tasting. Being in California and not tasting wine is criminal so we sat down to enjoy a few swigs of California’s best aged grape juice.

Afterwards, we continued on down the road to Pier 33 where there were tickets to Alcatraz being sold. Knowing that I’m slightly obsessed with prison shows and culture, J hopped in line to buy us tickets. The boat ride took approximately 12 minutes. In no time, we were standing on the island- looking out at the bright lights of San Francisco. I regret that I didn’t bring my camera during this time. How could I forget that?! All I had was the iphone and it doesn’t have great capabilities in the dark. Oh, well…I’ll have to savor those memories in my mind. I did get a picture of a quote from one of the wardens of “The Rock”-

I thought this was pretty profound especially when I think about all our soldiers who have given all. Did you know that before Alcatraz was a prison that it was actually a military base? Did you know that families occupied the island as well during the time the inmates were there? The tour was quite interesting and I’d definitely like to check out some more literature on the topic.

Around 8 o’clock that night, we finally had dinner. As suggested by my dear dad-in-law, we had dungeness crab and chardonnay. It was excellent! These Californians have it down a little better than Fairbanksians, I just have to say. We left the restaurant with our bellies full and began the long trek back to our hotel.

I didn’t get much sleep that night because there were two women in the room to the left of ours that were having an excellent time together, if you know what I mean. Then to to right of us, there was a young couple who argued in German during the wee hours of the morning. Add in cars honking, tires screeching, and the hustle and bustle of city life and it’s easy to see why I slept very little.

I woke up with a spring in my step, though. I was ready to get out of that hotel! Captain J and I put on our walkin’ shoes and got to stepping bright and early. We had breakfast in the Wharf then headed to Lombard Street to see the crooked roads and beautiful gardens.

Photo Credit Here

Then we went to see the interesing Chinatown district where I wanted to snatch up a couple of those beautiful Chinese children and high tail it to GA and call it a day! (I promise I’m kidding) They were all so precious and it reminded me of the pull I feel to adopt from China. Maybe one day.

We followed the streets to Coit Tower. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to go to the top due to construction on the tower.

Note Annoyed Smile

I could go on forever. We literally went all over this city and by the end of the day I felt as if I had done a half marathon, at least. Then I began to ponder how San Francisco(ians?) stack up in marathons. I bet they win more often than not. You wouldn’t believe the steep hills that I was huffing up. Whew! I get tired just thinking about it. I just know if I lived there, I’d look amazing with all that extra exercise I would likely get.

We loved this city, but were glad to drive out of the congestion and back into a slower pace. We definitely wouldn’t make it as city folk! Tomorrow we’re camping in Yosemite. The adventure continues…

P.S.- Does anyone else have the Full House theme song in their head now?

Hello, Sunshine.

30 Nov

I’m not sure how much sense this post will make as it is 2:30 am and there are a bunch of yayhoos next door being obnoxiously loud. We’re in California- San Fransisco to be exact. I’ll have to save this city for another post, there’s just too much to tell!

But I will tell you about Northern California- It was very rainy at first. We had experienced rain all throughout the ferry ride, Washington, and Oregon so it was just more of the same to these ole vagabonds. Finally, we drove out of it into a town called Crescent City where we were able to catch our first glimpse of the shoreline. After a quick stroll around the water, we loaded up the dogs and were on our way to our next stop.

Orick was interesting, a tiny little dot on the map- nothing at all like you would picture when you picture the state of California. It was here where I met my first Californians and….wait for it….

Sarah Palin fans! I was surprised, to say the least. I knew these people had to be good people when I walked in their cafe and saw this:

Right beside their Northern Cali flag were the flags of the two places I’ve lived- Alaska and Tennessee. It was pretty cool. We talked to them a bit and hearing that we were among people who held TN very dear to their hearts made me happy all over again to be on this journey back to the south. To all you Tennessee folk reading, one man told us he was “at a place called Tellico just two weeks ago.” Small, small world.

I’ll tell you what wasn’t so small, though- those huge Redwoods! They are magnificent. We saw some on our trip to NZ, but those were transplants, if you will. They weren’t native to that area so they hadn’t had the time to get as big as these it seems. I had so much fine hiking around the national park (except I have a bone to pick with them–but I’ll save that for later) and exploring these very old, very large trees. I’m too lazy at the moment to get my camera, but I will post some photos later that certainly won’t do them justice.

Thanks for following along in our adventures! I apologize for lack of commenting/contacting on my part. I’ve been trying to keep up with all of you as best I can with limited internet access. I hope this post finds you well! Much more travel joys and woes to come…