Tuesday, September 11, 2012


We had a wonderful time in California!  I thought I'd share a quick photo journey with you.

We started off by driving from the airport to Monterey.  While driving we listened to the book on cd the Life of Pi, about a boy's journey as a shipwreck survivor in the Pacific.
In Monterey we enjoyed the sea and its many creatures.  We got up close and personal to otters, seals, sea lions and we saw dolphins and whales from a distance.
Braving my fear of the sea to go Sea Kayaking  


Mariposa Grove looked like Endor!

Next we headed to Yosemite where we hiked among 2000 year old trees in the Mariposa Grove.  It was a long and rather steep trail for our younger ones especially on a 95 degree day, they really wanted to turn back before we got to the end.  Despite complaints that they might perish on the trail, we convinced them to push on.  By the time we finished they were amazed and proud of themselves that they had made it.
Finally at the farthest point in our hike
Alyssa and Ryan aren't quite as thrilled
This is Tunnel Tree which fell over.
We rewarded them with a nice lunch and an ice cream (and my normally small eaters ate everything on their plates!)

The kids loved an afternoon we spent on the Merced River banks in view of El Capitan.  A little duck befriended us.  She waddled right up and hung around like she was part of our family.  We named her Ethel.  The water was beautiful and no one else was around.  It was like our own little private beach.

The girls enjoying the views of El Capitan
in the Merced River.
Tunnel View

For the last part of the trip we drove to Palo Alto.  Here we visited Stanford University, where Jessica and Ryan want to go to school.  Alyssa is still undecided.  My husband and I had lived here 16 years ago when he went to graduate school.  So we showed the kids all around campus and where we lived, we even saw some of the people I had worked with.  We also had the chance to meet up with some old friends.
Stanford  from Palm Drive
Stanford Memorial Church in main quad

In Alcatraz Prison

We went up to San Francisco and hopped on a boat to go see Alcatraz.  The kids were fascinated by the audio tour which uses the voices of the real prisoners and prison guards to guide you and tell the story of the prison.  They were certain we would encounter the ghosts of the three escaped prisoners.  We made sure to get back on the boat before it was dark.

Golden Gate Bridge
We drove back to the airport and were spellbound by the end of the Life of Pi.  If you haven't read it we all highly recommend it!

All in all we had a great trip.

Kathy :)

P.S. I had been hoping to get around to your blogs while relaxing, but the internet was so spotty for most of the trip I couldn't, so I'll try to make it up to all of you in the next couple weeks.



  1. Kathy you were on vacation - heck with the Internet!
    You guys really saw a lot. I've been to Yosemite and San Francisco, but it's been years.
    Welcome back!

  2. Oh, yes, Mariposa does look like Endor.

    I hope you had fun at Monterrey, definitely one of my favorites!

  3. I live in the Bay Area here in California, so I'm familiar with many of the places that you mentioned. Hope you return here soon!

  4. What a lovely trip, Kathy. I lived in the Bay area for many years. This made me miss it all the more.

    My son is almost 18 now and next summer we're hoping to take a trip back out to California. I want him to see the redwoods as a young adult. We spent a lot of time around them when he was preschool.


  5. Sounds like you had a great trip! My family and I just took a California trip this summer - from San Diego to San Francisco. We saw Muir Woods, but not Yosemite. We saw elephant seals, too. Very cool!

  6. I'm visiting from Alex's blog/celebration today. I love California and have been to many of the places you listed here. I'm glad you had a good trip

  7. That part of California is so pretty -- my son took me on that drive to Monterey on a cold, cloudy, blustery day and it was beautiful!