Back from Cali

Well, we've returned safely from the beautiful weather of Oceanside, California, to the oven-like temperatures of Arizona. As always, we loved the time we spent with the Peck's. And as always, the 78 degree days with ocean breezes will be sorely missed :) What a much-needed break, though. It's the best therapy I've had since Samantha's birth. Almost every day we spent time at the beach - Jorde in the water, and me sitting on the beach, soaking up the beauty and sounds (while reflecting the sun's rays with spf 55 - if you weren't wearing sunglasses near me, you were likely to be blinded by the whiteness!). I love the beach. It's the best place to slow down, to let go of anxiety and sadness, and appreciate the wonder of the world around you - the little birds that run back-and-forth, away from and into the surf looking for dinner; the squealing toddlers making their first foray onto wet sand (some do NOT like having dirty wet toes!); the old couple walking along holding hands; the sounds of the ocean and seagulls and the laughter of tween-age girls (no longer children but not yet women - I love the innocence they still possess). It's all so beautiful. How can you not believe in the glory of God while surrounded by all of that?

Our tourist excursion was fun :) We usually try to do one "thing" when we visit California, so this year we drove to Hollywood/LA. We really wanted to see the La Brea Tar Pits, so made that our first stop. I don't know why - I guess I never really thought about it - but that place is stinky! And dare I say, slightly boring. Don't get me wrong, the museum was very interesting and we saw a so many skeletons from the ice ages, including a full skeleton of a mammoth. It was amazing! But the pits themselves ... ho-hum. It's immediately interesting just learning the "how it happens" part, but after that, if you've seen one tar pit, you've seen 'em all. I will say, it's funny how the tar pits are SMACK DAB in the middle of traffic and buildings and noise and people. Only in LA, right? Craziness ...

We also visited Grauman's Chinese Theater and saw the hand- and footprints of movie stars, and walked along the Walk of Fame (aka: the sidewalk). It was really cool, and we found the prints of one of my all-time faves, Jimmy Stewart. Of course, being Hollywood, Yoda, Spiderman and a muppet (Elmo, if I remember correctly) were walking along the sidewalk as well, handing out promotional stuff and advertising for whatever was happening later that evening, or week.

We also found the star of one I like so much I had his likeness
tattoed on my ankle many years ago :)

We also drove down Santa Monica Boulevard, through Beverly Hills and Bel-Air. Some of the homes there are just beautiful ... and in some places, crammed in next to each other like sardines ... it's the weirdest thing. You'd think they'd have more property. I think I'd rather have a smaller house (less to clean!) and a bigger yard (room to run!). Maybe that's just my Southern roots comin' out ;)

Even though it's always hard to leave the fabulous weather, it is nice to be back home. I'm pretty sure our kitties missed us (for 2 nights now Cosmo has hollered outside our bedroom door for hours on end, something he hasn't done since we first brought him home), so we're trying to spend some 'quality' time with them - which means we sit on the couch so they can nap with their people nearby. Anyway, tomorrow it's back to the real world, and back to work. Vacation fun can't last forever ;)