Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Home sweet home (for now)

We made it!

The morning started with the kids running to the railroad tracks to find their pennies.

Then we had one last moment to play at the beach and find shells and sanddollars and crabs before we had to go.

We have been following the bells of El Camino Real for a couple days.
And here our new "home" shall reside until we clean out our old home. We have to be out by July 7!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Parkfield, a slight detour

We drove to the middle of nowhere to see the San Andreas Fault.
It was a scenic drive from San Miguel. 
Farmland being worked
Hay being baled
And then... What we had been driving forever to see... A spot where 2 tectonic plates meet! Here, we stand on the North American Plate and across the bridge is the Pacific Plate. Incredible, isn't it?
These 18 people are brilliant. 
They set up a monument to the fault and entice tourists to drive miles out to see. (Notice the boys -left- relaxing I the hammock.)
There was a friendly pup to greet the kids. 
"Everything" is closed Monday to Wednesday. 
So we just showed ourselves around.  
Fun tree house. 

As we drove miles back to civilization, I noticed another little library!
And at our next rest stop was a fun explanation of the fault. 

Mission San Miguel 6/27

Church and au revoir 6/26

Bridgeway Church welcomed us this morning. We were blessed to worship with the Nolls and Boons. After church, we headed to the Noll's since Karissa had made a pie with all the blackberries the kids picked yesterday. We had lunch and pie and then the inevitable happened... We had to say goodbye. ): Hannah wanted to come with us and I tried to console her saying we'd come back another time. She replied, "Ya. In 5 years!"  I'm determined to prove her wrong!
Link to the flashback of this photo from 2008. 

Had to bug Michael one last time since he won't be along for he ride. 
Thank you Boons for hosting us!

We set out for Santa Cruz. Scott wanted to do the boardwalk. "On the way" we saw San Francisco Bay - which was on our geography list from CC homeschool memory work. 

Good thing we came along. This end of the refuge was pretty much deserted and closing at sunset. We found a couple in need of a jump. Glad we carry cables for times like these - to offer help. This gentleman offered us info about camping in Santa Cruz, so he helped us too. (:

Gold Country & Taylor's

We also saw James Marshall's cabin and many different old buildings where various people would have lived during the height of the gold rush along with a Catholic Church and cemetery. 
The old jail

Where it was 100*
By the end of our hike, I was completely dry! Oh, how warm it was.
We hopped on our cars and headed to Taylor's for a milkshake. Taylor's has 247 flavors to choose from! And though I didn't get to try them all, I feel confident in saying that they are delicious. If you got a milkshake everyday after work, you could come for a year and never get the same flavor twice!
We tried strawberry, chocolate strawberry, lemon merengue pie, sour apple, rainbow sherbet, and Oreo.
The kids played at a water feature in the park across the street where we chatted while listening to a local band play in the background. 
Finally we decided to head back and get dinner started. Since we were barbecuing, we let the guys cook while Karissa and I went for a walk to catch up - just us, with no kids. It was a blessing to chat with my dear sister about all the life that had happened since we last hung out. We agreed it had been far too long since we encouraged each other. I am so thankful for her friendship even though we're miles apart. 

To the beach!

When we reached the 101, we stopped in Paso Robles us for lunch. We had planned to get rootbeer floats after lunch at the A&W, where we have stopped in the past. However, A&W was out of root beer! Can you believe it? 

We continue down the 101 until we hit the beach. Then we had to stop and play. It seems every time we make the drive north or south along this way we stopped to play at Pismo. 

The rock formations on the side, the tidepools created, and just the sand play all draw us. The kids made friends building sandcastles. It just so happens the family was from San Dimas, only 15 minutes north of our home. Their family has been coming to Pismo every summer since the 60s!

Alas, all too soon, it was time to say goodbye to our new friends and to the beloved beach. But, thankfully, we were planning on camping at the beach this very night. We stocked up on some groceries for the last night out and 12 to Emma Wood state beach.  

We set up camp and then headed down to the beach to play. 

Scott and Kaden made dinner. After dinner, we headed to the nearby railroad tracks to leave pennies to retrieve in the morning. Then we hung out in the camper and read another chapter of our current Henty book, True to the Old Flag. What a lovely day, made lovelier by finishing it with the sound of the ocean nearby. My soul is soothed here at the beach.