Posts Tagged With: California

Redwood National and State Parks

Northern California and the Redwoods are incredible! It seems the further north we went in the state of CA the more we liked it. Sorry SoCal folks, don’t hate us but we’re just not fans of traffic and crowds. Once we got up near the Redwoods it was like we arrived in a different state. It was so much less crowded and busy, and people on the roads no longer seemed like they were in such a hurry. Suddenly life slowed down and became more peaceful and relaxed, just the way we like it.

I wasn’t sure if we would like going to the Redwoods so soon after visiting Sequoia, but we really loved it! Even though they are both about big trees, they are so different.

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We spent 2 days exploring this park and the surrounding area. On day 1 we hiked the Big Tree and Lady Bird Johnson Grove trails. When we were in Texas we visited the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park. We learned a little bit about his wife Lady Bird Johnson, and it was fun to see a trail named after her at this park. She loved the Redwoods and was at the dedication of the national park in 1968.

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Hiking among ancient giants

It’s humbling to see how small we are compared to these giant trees.

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Can you see Jesse in this picture?

The next day we drove up to Crescent City to visit the Battery Point Lighthouse. I loved all the purple flowers in bloom… so pretty!

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Next we did another Redwoods hike called Damnation Creek Trail. I’m not sure where they got that name, but it was our favorite hike that we did at this park.

Most of the hike was among the enormous trees. The sun shining down through the trees looked so majestic!

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Banana slug we found along the trail.

After what seemed like a long time of hiking through the woods, we suddenly came to a clearing with this breathtaking view!

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It was so beautiful here! I took way too many pictures and we stayed for a long time. It was very hard to leave this spot!

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Jake loves looking at all the sea life in the tide pools.

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Jake’s collection of snails and mussels.

As much as I hated to leave this place it was time to head back. I still had one more hike for us to do before the end of the day. The hike out of here was tough! The entire hike getting to this point was downhill which means the hike back out was a very hard climb. I wasn’t sure I could convince my people to go on just one more hike after this one, but thankfully they went along with me. ūüôā

This was the Yurok Loop Trail which was a short trail with stunning Pacific views.

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By the time we finished all of our fun that day it was too late to get back to the Visitor Center in time to get the kids’ Junior Ranger badges. We went the next morning just before we left the campground to head to Oregon.

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32nd Junior Ranger badges

While visiting the Redwoods we stayed at the Klamath River RV Park. This was a very pretty park right on the river. I loved this view right in front of our camper with the mysterious looking fog.

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I think of all the places we have visited in California, Yosemite and the Redwoods have been my favorite. I can’t say I was sad to leave the state though; I sure don’t miss that traffic! We moved on and headed up to Oregon which is quickly becoming my new favorite state. More on that later.

Categories: California, National Parks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Visiting Friends in CA Wine Country

My friend Holly flew out from Florida to spend a few days with us in California Wine Country. We stayed in Napa Valley, but didn’t actually go to any wineries there. Instead we visited some amazing wineries in Sonoma thanks to my friend Sue. More on that later.

First we picked up Holly at the Oakland airport and since San Francisco was “sort of” on the way back to our campground in Napa I thought we should really go see the Golden Gate Bridge. If you know us, we avoid large cities like the plague! Since our mode of transportation is a large dually truck we prefer wide open spaces and San Francisco would be the exact opposite of that. I would love to visit that city, but until we are traveling in a smaller car I’m not sure how that’s going to happen.

Anyway, San Francisco being “sort of” on our way back to the campground means about a 2 hour detour if you are at all familiar with California traffic. ūüôā

I think it was worth it to see this awesome bridge!

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The next day it was time to visit some wineries! My friend Sue who used to live in Fernandina Beach now lives in CA. I kept telling her we would meet up with her eventually in our travels and it finally happened. She knew I wanted to visit some wineries and she knew of some great ones to take us to in Sonoma. What a blessing Sue was to us that day! I like wine, but I’m not at all familiar with what is good. I mean I typically have wine out of a box in my RV fridge if that tells you anything. Sue took us to 3 great wineries and I have never tasted wine so good before. What a great day we had with her and her daughter and grandson! My kids enjoyed playing with her grandson all day which made it not so boring for them to spend the day visiting wineries. ūüėČ

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Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards

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Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

The next day the kids got to have their fun. We participated in the Six Flags Read-to-Succeed program this year and got free tickets for the kids to go to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vellajo, CA. Strangely I realized I hardly took any pictures and I have no pictures of the kids! I guess that’s what happens when I’m hanging out with my friend.

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Chris likes to call everyone a “joker” so this was perfect for him. It happened to be one of our favorite rides that day too!

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The next day we went to the Jelly Belly Factory Tour which was so cool! This was on my bucket list of things to do in CA.

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It’s a self-guided free tour that is very informative. You walk around the entire factory viewing the different stages in the process of creating a Jelly Belly jellybean. At each area there are videos and information plaques to explain what is going on.

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Look at all those jellybeans resting!

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This is where they made assorted bags.

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The pictures in the background are made of Jelly Bellies.

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Sue and her grandson joined us for this also.

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In the gift shop you can sample as many different flavors as you want. They also have really gross flavors like rotten eggs, dirty socks, vomit and some others. Eww! You can buy a game with those flavors mixed in with normal “good” flavors and dare people to try one and they hope they try the right one. This game is called “Bean Boozled” and you just have to hope you’re not the one to pick the wrong flavor. My kids bought a bag of those and have been having fun with it, but I refuse to participate. I do not want to take a chance on eating a jelly bean that tastes like boogers, gross!

On our last day with Holly we went to Point Reyes National Seashore. We didn’t get to explore much of the park because we didn’t realize it would take so long to get there. Again… California! I should know it takes a long time to get anywhere in that state.

There is a lighthouse there that I really wanted to see, but they told us at the Visitor Center that it was a 45 minute drive to get there, which would mean another 45 minutes back to the entrance afterward. Nobody felt like driving that far after the drive we just had so we ended up just going to one of the beach accesses which was beautiful!

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And we got Junior Ranger badges while we were there! The Junior Ranger book is quite long and we didn’t finish it while we were there, but the rangers were kind enough to swear them in as new junior rangers on the honor system that we would complete the book on our own which we did.

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We had so much fun hanging out with Holly and Sue that week! As with all visits with friends, the time went by way too quickly. It was time for Holly to head back home and we moved on to the Redwoods in Northern California. Stay tuned for a post about that later.

Categories: California | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pacific Coast Highway – Day II

If you missed my post about Day 1 you can see it here: Pacific Coast Highway ‚Äď Day I.¬† The next day we headed north of Santa Cruz. Everything we did this day was thanks to the advice of my blogger friend at Weekend Campervanning, and it turned out to be such a fun day!

Our first stop was at Ano Nuevo State Park to see the elephant seals. Wow! So many seals and they make such interesting sounds. Check out my YouTube video below to hear them yourself.

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Beginning of hike to go see the elephant seals; beautiful views along the way!

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So many elephant seals all in one place!

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These seals migrate to this beach twice a year to breed and to molt. At this time of the year they are there to molt or shed their first layer of skin. I found it so interesting that they migrate thousands of miles each year. How do they know to keep coming back to this exact location? Fascinating! I could have literally sat there and watched these animals all day long, but after about an hour or so my people were getting anxious to move on to something else.

Our next stop was at Bean Hollow State Beach to check out the tide pools which were very cool!

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On the way back down towards Santa Cruz we stopped at a couple of beautiful view points. Notice how some pictures have clear, blue skies while others are foggy? It’s very strange how we can drive just a few miles down the road and the skies go from completely foggy to clear!

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Our last stop was at Swanton Berry Farm to pick fresh, organic strawberries. Yummy!

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While we were in this area we stayed at the Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay KOA campground. This was a very expensive campground and not what we normally spend, but it seems everything in this part of California is expensive so we had to splurge. This KOA though is one of the nicest we have ever been to. Our campsite had a deck/patio in back, a great place to relax! The activities for kids at this place were awesome! The kids loved the bounce pad the best.

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The pool was under construction, but it was too cold when we were there anyway so we didn’t mind that it wasn’t open yet. They had a very nice playground, mini golf, a climbing wall and scheduled activities each day including bingo which we loved.

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One of the scheduled activities included a hole-in-one contest at mini golf that Jesse won. His prize was a free bike rental so we tried out the four-seater bike to ride around the park.

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We enjoyed our stay at that KOA so much and really enjoyed visiting the nearby areas along the Pacific Coast. After we left there we went to stay at a Thousand Trails park for free for 2 weeks to offset the cost. ūüėČ I know, it’s not technically free since we had to buy the membership to Thousand Trails, but if we stay at enough of those parks throughout the year it really makes camping cheap, and helps to offset the more expensive places we go.

 

Categories: California | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Pacific Coast Highway – Day I

If you read my last post about Yosemite, you might remember I mentioned our unfortunate truck incident that turned out to be a blessing because of the rental car we were able to use to drive the scenic Pacific Coast Highway. After Yosemite we headed to the coast to visit the areas of Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz. These areas are pretty congested with lots of traffic and tight parking spaces so we were pretty happy to have a smaller car for this!

On day 1 we explored from Monterey south on Highway 1 until we couldn’t go any further due to road closures.

Our first stop was at the Dennis the Menace park in Monterey. The boys loved this! What a unique and fun playground!

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Then we headed on down to the 17-mile drive through Pebble Beach. It costs $10 to drive this scenic drive, but if you stop and eat at a restaurant along the way you will get that back. We didn’t stop though because as you can imagine restaurants in this area are quite pricey. $10 off wouldn’t have made much difference.

The first part of the drive was very foggy! It was hard to see much of the ocean. There are several viewpoints along the drive to stop and take pictures.

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One area had some nice tide pools to explore.

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Once we got to the Lone Cypress tree viewpoint, the fog cleared a little bit so we could see the beautiful blue water of the Pacific. This was definitely the prettiest stop along the drive.

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Our next stop was at Carmel-by-the-Sea, a cute little town with lots of shops and restaurants. We had planned to find a place to eat lunch there. We walked around for over an hour checking out restaurants and could not find a single place with reasonable prices for lunch so we ended up just getting some sandwiches at a market/deli and continuing on our way.

Then we drove down Hwy 1 and stopped at many vista points to admire the view and take pictures. The fog would come and go along the way, and in some ways the fog made things look more mysterious.

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Looking down over the ocean covered in a thick layer of fog was a really cool site to see. It was kind of like being in an airplane looking down at the clouds below you. The fog just hovered over the water.

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Our last stop was Point Lobos State Park. The fog cover was so thick there we weren’t able to see much.

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Pretty eerie look with all the fog, don’t you think?

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The next day we drove north to Santa Cruz and beyond to see elephant seals and more. Stay tuned…

Categories: California | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Yosemite National Park

When people ask me what is my favorite place we have been, I find that is a very difficult question to answer. This country has so many beautiful national parks to explore and it’s hard to pick just one. Some of my favorites are Bryce Canyon, Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Now I can add Yosemite¬†to my ever-growing list of favorites because I just loved it!

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We had to take a few days off work to visit Yosemite because we stayed at Yosemite Lakes RV Park where there is no cellular coverage at all. That’s okay though, sometimes it’s nice to go somewhere and disconnect and really focus on enjoying our time at the park.

On our first day driving into the park we were lucky enough to spot a bear grazing in the grass beside the road. We pulled over to get a few pictures.

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Our first hike was to Lower Yosemite Falls. I have to say that when we were there in early May the rivers and waterfalls were raging and so powerful! The large amounts of rain and snow that California received over the winter have resulted in amazing falls to see in Yosemite.

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Lower Yosemite Falls

We hiked a portion of the trail up to Upper Yosemite Falls but did not make it the whole way. It’s a long way up there, but the views along the way are beautiful even if you don’t make it all the way to the top.

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Next we went to Bridalveil Fall which was overflowing onto the trail. As soon as we got close to the falls it seemed like it started pouring rain even though it was a sunny day. The spray from the falls was like a drenching downpour. And our feet were freezing walking through the ice cold water.

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Bridalveil Fall

There were some ponchos to borrow on our way up to view the falls; Chris was the only one smart enough to grab one. The rest of us got soaked!

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Ooh, that’s cold!!

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Raging river below the falls

After this we went to Tunnel View to see one of the best views in all of Yosemite. You can see El Capitan on the left, Half Dome in the distance in the middle and Bridalveil Fall to the right.

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The next day was a cold and drizzly day in Yosemite so we just took care of getting the kids’ Junior Ranger books done and watched the park movie which was very interesting.

On day 3 (our last day in the park) we did a really long hike to Vernal and Nevada Falls. We hiked a total of 9 miles which included a mile each way from the parking lot to the trailhead. We had hoped to also hike the 2 miles to see Mirror Lake after this but we were all way too tired after this hike to do it. Next time!

The hike up to Vernal Fall is very crowded, but starts to thin out once you get past this waterfall and continue on up to Nevada Fall.

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Vernal Fall

There is so much spray from this waterfall that you get soaked on the way up. It felt like we were getting rained on in the picture below.

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With the spray comes beautiful rainbows!

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Once you get to the top of Vernal Fall, there is a large flat area to rest, let your clothes dry and have a snack before continuing on up to Nevada Fall.

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Top of Vernal Fall

Continuing on up to Nevada Fall was strenuous but so worth it!

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Nevada Fall

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Top of Nevada Fall

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There was a nice, large flat area at the top of this waterfall also which was a great place to rest and have lunch.

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Starting our hike back down the other side of Nevada Fall

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We really enjoyed our stay at the RV park because we got to park next to the Travaglino family. They are the ones that started the Fulltime Families group. Fulltime Families runs all of the rallies we attend and it is through that group that we have met so many other like-minded traveling families. We are so thankful for FtF. We had met the Travaglinos before, but never had the chance to get to know them very well. We enjoyed hanging out by the campfire each night and getting to know their family better.

Unfortunately one night while we were sitting around the campfire someone ran into our truck. An RV was pulling into the campground at night and took a turn too wide and the back end of his RV hit the back of our truck. With us always traveling we wondered how in the world we’re ever going to get that taken care of. I prayed that God would help us work out all the details and that something good would come out of the inconvenience. Well it did! First of all, the other guy’s insurance took care of everything and they did it quickly. They got it fixed at our next stop in Santa Cruz within a week, and meanwhile we had a nice fuel-efficient rental car to use to sight-see around Santa Cruz and Monterey. If you are at all familiar with Highway 1 (also known as the scenic Pacific Coast Highway), you would understand that having a smaller vehicle for that was a true blessing. The timing could not have been better to have something besides our big truck to drive around in for a few days. Romans 8:28 says that all things work together for the good of those who love God. I find that promise to prove true in our lives all the time, and this was one of those times. ūüôā

Categories: California, National Parks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Sequoia National Park

After leaving Las Vegas it was time to head into California. First stop was Sequoia National Park located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We had planned to also visit Kings Canyon while we were there, but the only day we had available to do that ended up being a rainy and cold day so we didn’t make it.

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Anyway, Sequoia was beautiful of course but we only spent one day there. We stayed in Lemon Cove about¬†30 miles from the entrance. I had assumed we could make a few trips into the park in the evenings during the week, but on our first visit on Sunday we quickly realized that was not feasible. The hard part about visiting Sequoia is that you have to drive a very long twisty & windy road up a mountain before you get to most of what you would want to see and do in the park. So even though we were only 30 minutes from the entrance, it was probably another hour drive before we got to any hiking trails and things to see. And that hour drive was the source of some complaining of car-sickness because of the windy road. So we decided in order to more full experience this and Kings Canyon (which is connected to Sequoia), we will come back again someday and stay at a cabin or lodge inside the park. That way we will only need to do the carsick-inducing drive once and then spend a couple of days exploring once we’re in there.

Of course the main attraction at Sequoia are the enormous sequoia trees.

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General Sherman is the biggest tree on earth. Not the tallest nor the widest, but biggest by volume. Interestingly, the top of the tree is dead but the volume keeps increasing. The trunk grows wider every year, adding enough wood to equal another tree.

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A¬†tree’s trunk tells its history. The rings in the tree below show that the tree lived about 2,210 years and marks within some of the rings show scars from at least 80 different fires

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Can you spot the boys and me in the picture below? We are so small compared to these giants!

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The area of the park where you go to see these trees is at a pretty high elevation, so there was still lots of snow left in May.

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After admiring the giant sequoias, we went to hike up Moro Rock. You get beautiful panoramic views of the entire park from up there.

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Lastly we went to the Tunnel Log to see if we could fit our big truck through it.

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We fit!

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We stayed at Lemon Cove RV Park which was a nice little park with a¬†pool. Even though it was very cold up in the higher elevations of Sequoia, down where we stayed it got quite hot that week. An added bonus to staying there is we met another Fulltime Family staying at the park. We really enjoyed getting to know them during the week at our nightly “happy hours” and hope to meet up with them again soon.

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The drive into Sequoia from Lemon Cove is very pretty, passing by Kaweah Lake…

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…and the cute town of Three Rivers and the currently raging Kaweah River. Please be careful if you visit any areas with raging rivers like this. Two people died falling into this river during the time we were in the area. The water is so rough right now due to all the heavy rain and snow CA experienced over the winter, and the rocks are so slippery. I believe the people that died fell in when they slipped on the rocks.

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One day was certainly not enough to fully experience Sequoia, there is much more to see so we will hopefully go back again someday and visit Kings Canyon while we’re at it. Next we moved on to Yosemite, one of my new favorite parks!

 

Categories: California, National Parks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Santa Barbara and Rancho Oso

After 7 weeks in California, it’s time to go. ¬†I can’t say I’m very sad to leave. ¬†It hasn’t exactly been my favorite state to visit during our travels. ¬†I think I have a love/hate relationship with the state. ¬†It is very beautiful and the weather is wonderful. ¬†The lack of bugs is also very nice. ¬†What I don’t like is all the crowds. ¬†There is just way too many people in Southern California. ¬†It was difficult to go anywhere that wasn’t overly crowded. ¬†And in some areas the people are just not that friendly. ¬†But for the most part we really enjoyed our stay, and I think I especially enjoyed this most recent stay in Santa Barbara the best. ¬†It seems the further we got away from Los Angeles the better. ¬†Santa Barbara was a lot less crowded and a lot more friendly!

We stayed at Thousand Trails Rancho Oso which is probably my favorite Thousand Trails (TT) we have stayed at so far.  It has all the normal TT park activities like a pool, mini-golf and candy bar bingo.  But it is also on a beautiful ranch where you can see lots of horses and amazing views like this one.

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They even have a Stock Dog and Bucking Bull show that was really fun.  During the show they explained how they train dogs to round-up cattle and how they train bulls for rodeos.

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Duke the dog, rounding up the cattle.

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Duke trying to round-up the last bull that was not cooperating.

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Pony training.

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That’s not a real person on this bull.

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We walked the hiking trail at the campground to the “waterfall”. ¬†Since there is currently a drought in California, there was no waterfall, but we did the hike anyway.

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You don’t have to own¬†an RV to camp at this campground. ¬†You can stay in one of these cute covered wagons.

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Or in one of these little cottages.

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Or even in a teepee!

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Beautiful views at Rancho Oso!

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An added bonus of our stay — we were parked next to another Fulltime Family (FtF). ¬†We met this family at Wilderness Lakes in June and it turned out we were planning to be at this park at the same time. ¬†We had so much fun spending time with them, and we look forward to seeing them again soon!

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Our sightseeing from this location included a visit to the cute little Danish town of Solvang.  My sister gave me the t-shirt last Christmas and now I can say that I have been there.

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Santa Barbara was absolutely beautiful and so much fun to visit since it wasn’t too crowded.

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We still had the FtF mascot Rambler with us to take him on one more field trip.  Then we passed him off to the FtF staying next to us.  We enjoyed having Rambler travel with us for a couple of months and hope he enjoys his continued travels with the Smith family.

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We also visited the Santa Barbara Zoo and the Sea Center. ¬†We were able to go to both places for free because they are included on our Friends of the WNC Nature Center pass. ¬†This pass only cost us $64 for our family for one year. ¬†It gets us into many participating zoos, aquariums and science centers all over the country. ¬†It’s a great deal for traveling families.

This spot at the zoo was so beautiful, you can see the Pacific Ocean peaking through the trees in the background.

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The ocean on one side and mountains on the other.

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Penguins in California! ¬†I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, they have them at the Jacksonville Zoo in Florida too.

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Touching sea animals at the Sea Center.

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And finally, for those of you who are wondering what Fat Cat was up to in Santa Barbara, see below.  Besides this, she stayed busy chasing squirrels outside of our camper.  The squirrels are very happy we left!

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That’s all for now. ¬†Bye California! ¬†We’ll probably see you again next year to explore more to the north of where we went this year.

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Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

My parents have always loved Ronald Reagan so during their visit we decided to go to Simi Valley and visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

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What a beautiful and interesting museum!  We spent hours going through all the rooms and reading all the history of our 40th president.  The outside grounds had spectacular views of surrounding Simi Valley.

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This was a piece of the Berlin wall that came down during his presidency…

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President Reagan’s memorial…

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The self-guided tour takes you through his history from his birth…

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How neat to know that his mother instilled Biblical values in him…

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I remember when this assassination attempt happened. ¬†The quote is something President Reagan said later, “Whatever happens now, I owe my life to God and will try to serve Him in every way I can.” ¬†I pray that I will live my life in the same way.

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A replica of the Oval Office…

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He loved riding horses when he had some time off…

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Future presidents?

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We were able to tour Air Force One, but we were not allowed to take pictures of the inside.  This was really cool!

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There was so much more to this museum and it was well worth the visit.  One thing that really struck me was to see the election maps when he won in 1980 and 1984.  He won most of the states in the first election and won all states but one in the second.  It looked like our country was much more united back then.  In the last few elections, I have been saddened to see how divided our country has become.  Oh how I wish that we could have another president like Ronald Reagan, a man who loved God, America and freedom.

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Vasquez Rocks

We took the Grands hiking in Vasquez Rocks. ¬†I am so proud of my parents! ¬†They hiked up these rocks with us and I think they even enjoyed it. ¬†I’m so thankful¬†that they stay healthy and in shape so they can keep up with their grandkids.

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What a good-looking set of grandparents…

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That’s a cool dude right there…

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And there’s another cool dude, he’s the “king of the world!”

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Those 2 little people down there are Chris and Jesse…

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The views from the top of the rocks was so amazing!  I could have sat up there for hours.  I love the peacefulness way up there away from all the traffic and busyness.

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Have I mentioned that I am definitely not a city girl? ¬†I’ll take these wide open spaces any day over a crowded, bustling tourist trap. ¬†Well, with the exception of Disney World. ¬†I think I’ll always love Disney.

Vasquez Rocks was named after this nice law-abiding citizen…

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And many movies were filmed here…

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Can you guess why I took a picture of this movie poster?

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We had so much fun taking my parents hiking with us.

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Family Time in California

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My sister Cheryl and her husband Chris have been living in Burbank, CA and we had plans to spend some time with them while we’re out on the west coast. ¬†A few¬†months ago they made the decision to move back east to Georgia so we knew¬†we needed to get out here before they moved. ¬†We spent some time at Wilderness Lakes Thousand Trails in Menifee, CA which wasn’t too far from Cheryl and Chris so they were able to come out and visit us there for a few days. ¬†Wilderness Lakes was lots of fun and we met 3¬†other Fulltime Families staying there. ¬†It’s a very kid-friendly park with train rides, candy bar bingo and Jesse’s favorite — mini golf.

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After that¬†we moved to another RV resort in Acton, CA which was a little closer to Burbank. ¬†Fat Cat really liked this campsite where she learned to climb trees. ¬†Chris had to rescue her once she got up there and didn’t know what to do.

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My parents flew out from NC to visit for a couple of weeks while we were there. ¬†The timing worked out that they were here at the same time that Chris & Cheryl were moving out of their apartment in Burbank so we were all available to help them move. ¬†That was an interesting fiasco, but I won’t bore you with those details. ¬†ūüôā ¬†Besides helping them move we all did some sightseeing together.

The Los Angeles Zoo…

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Travel Town Train Museum…

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We caught a glimpse of the famous Hollywood sign…

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Visited downtown Burbank…

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And had make-your-own-pizza night at Chris & Cheryl’s place…

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The last time I visited Cheryl in CA was 12 years ago and one of my favorite things we did back then was visiting Santa Monica and rollerblading on the bike path along the beach. ¬†This time Santa Monica was not nearly as fun as it was 12 years ago. ¬†It was so much more crowded than I remember and some of the people just seem really rude. ¬†We locked up our bikes and sat on the beach for a while and walked out on the pier. ¬†Then we were ready to go for a bike ride but when we got back to our bikes we found one of the locks had been cut and Chris’s bike had been stolen. ¬†We just bought this bike a couple of months ago in Texas and it was a really nice bike so it was very disappointing to find it had been stolen. ¬†So we never did end up going for a bike ride that day. ¬†We tried to make the best of it and enjoy our day there, but after that happened it really wasn’t that much fun. ¬†On a positive note I found out later that our credit card that we used to purchase the bike has purchase protection against theft and damage. ¬†I filed a claim and it turns out we might be able to get the money back that we spent for the bike. ¬†I sure hope so!

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Riding the ferris wheel was really cool!

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After helping Chris and Cheryl move, we all went back to spend some relaxing days at the campground. ¬†It was a very refreshing change from the busyness and un-friendliness of L.A. ¬†Now that my sister doesn’t live there anymore, I’m not sure we’ll ever go back there again. ¬†I’m definitely not a city girl — I much prefer the wide open spaces and friendliness of some of the other states we have been to.

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Such beautiful mountain views…

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Playing Mexican Train Dominoes one night by the pool.  Our family loves game nights!

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One evening¬†we saw this spectacular¬†rainbow and sunset at the campground…

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And another night a beautiful full moon…

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Time with family is time well spent.  We were so blessed to have this time together.  I wish they all lived in RVs so we could travel together more often.

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