Tuesday, June 20, 2017

California Dreaming (Day 1)

It was BEYOND a blessing that Beach was able to get away from work for a special Master's training  and his assistant was even able to come along! 10 days without kids on the other side of the country!  For so long this seemed like it could only be a dream but one that was finally to happen!
I do believe traveling is my love langue, that is a thing right?  However having little kids, your own business and lack of fiancees prohibits that.  So I greatly enjoyed planning and anticipating the months leading up to the main event!  Even the airport is trilling when there is so much anticipation!
California did not disappoint.  It has been over 15 years since I got a taste and it is still so sweet!  Beach's training was in San Rafael, so that was our home base to begin.  We got in late the first night and figured out our rental car system and the crazy streets!
I had a very rough sketch of what I wanted to do each day and wish I had more of the details beforehand but I just couldn't wrap my mind around it until I got there.
Beach had to be in class at nine so that gave us a leisurely morning start, which was great as our bodies were still operating on Eastern Standard time. We found a cafe coffee house in downtown San Rafael. The breakfast menu was small and I ordered the one thing that I knew I could probably eat. I have no idea what it is still to this day but it had eggs and spice which reminded me of a dish I make at home (Eggs in hell).
After dropping Beach off, I head it to Muir Woods, a redwood forest popular too many tourist, as I noted by hearing multiple languages while I was there.  I was able to get there early enough to beat the major traffic and parking. 
After talking to the Ranger, finding a good long trail, I headed off. The forest was truly mystical. If one were going to film a fairy forest enchanting scene, this would be it. Constantly throughout the trip, I tried to capture what I would see in my camera phone and, alas, always fell very short. I did expect this, as such had been my experience in other amazing places such as Israel and the Alps. 
The trail I chose was over 5 miles up the mountain and I added a little bit more out of curiosity.  I knew my legs could handle it but I always seem to forget about my lung capacity, as when you're climbing up and up it's not always easy to breathe. Once I began to climb, though, the crowds disappeared.  I hardly saw anyone on the trails and I soon figured out why. 
Perhaps people did not want to tackle this "strenuous "trail - but it was so worth it! The whole time I just kept thanking Jesus for being able to be there and experience such.  
My little extra trail enabled me to see such an amazing view that I was beyond awed by. You hike in these deep wooded forest and then all of a sudden there's a huge clearing of dryness and nothingness that opens up to a spectacular view. I tried to sit down for a minute to enjoy a snack but just couldn't do it for long before wanting to get even closer to the shore. Of course after examining the map, I found that that trail would last several more miles and I knew that was not for me for the day. Although I could see how one living here would want to tackle it all the time!
I tried out the panoramic camera on the phone for the first time.
On my way back down the Lord pointed out some blackberry bushes along the trail which was a yummy snack and getting to even taste His creation. Despite the cooler temperatures on the ground floor I worked up a nice little sweat on the hike. 
I remembered seeing on their website awhile back some amazing organic food at the parks rest area. When I made it back I found they had gluten-free scones. Let's be honest, I've never even seen a gluten-free scone so I had to partake. The thing was huge, especially since I'm not used to eating such now, but I managed to do so (and remembered a picture at towards the end)!
Leaving there I found that there was no Wi-Fi signal which meant no map quest working either on my phone. However I was thankfully still able to see a map and between that and the signs I made my way to my next destination of Muri Woods beach. Another spectacular view. As I was getting out of the car I realized that I was not really in beach attire with tennis shoes and capri workout pants on. However I soon learned that that was not too abnormal and I assumed many other tourist were there as well. 
The sand was a lot darker than the beaches in the Carolinas. I sat down to read my Bible and found I was pretty sleepy. Knowing how much I love to take a nap on the beach, I set out to find a slightly more isolated spot to hunker down. I then had a great little nap with my book-bag as a pillow. I honestly have no idea how long I was asleep but woke up to my phone and getting to talk to my Littles on Face Time. Although slightly groggy it was a nice treat.
I explored a little bit more in my car and found an awesome lookout spot. I just knew I had to bring Beach back there to experience it too.
It was one of those take a picture every couple feet moments. The picnic tables there gave me idea that I hoped for in the evening.  
I headed back to San Rafael and then made my way to Whole Foods to grab some dinner items. However Beach's class ended up going longer, till after seven.  Said picnic was no longer an option but I hoped for it another day. Instead I was able to take a quick shower outside at our airb&b. 
A unique experience feeling pretty exposed when the shower curtain barely covers, especially when the wind blows, but I just hoped no one was around to see.  Let's not get me started on the swiss water toilet!
When I was finally able to pick up my babe, we headed to a downtown burger joint as my hubby loves his burgers. 

He was right, the burgers were great, although I ordered a salad which had a beautiful presentation. However the taste was pretty bland and I longed for my salads I would make at home everyday for lunch, as it tastes a lot better. Finding a gluten-free beer cider was a plus though.
The best thing by far about our tiny house was the hot tub which we enjoyed when we came back home. It was right under a redwood tree.
Hiking all those miles, which my body was not quite used to = truly enjoying the relaxing end to the day!
Amazing day 1...not sure if it can get much better than this!

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