I don’t know. Life has just been busy the last couple of days. I don’t remember the last time I went three whole days without blogging! I suppose I just had a strange and relatively momentary lack of things to say. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “How very odd.”

Life is getting busier as Summer sets in and as our vacation ebbs closer and closer. We leave in 10 days for California. We are the adventurous type. Some might say, crazy. Who am I kidding? I think we’re crazy! But what is life for if not partly for being adventurous? We are driving down to the states to catch a train to take to California. The first leg of the journey, from Montana to Portland, Oregon will be spent in coach. Pray for my soul. Pray for my children. Pray for the poor unsuspecting folks who are trying to sleep within a 30 foot radius of us. The second leg should be much more bearable as we have a family car with seats that fold down into beds. It should be a bit more relaxing than coach.

This will actually be our second train trip as a family. I highly recommend train travel. It is a wonderful way to see the country and get wherever you are wanting to go. How much of our beautiful country to do we miss out on by always flying over it without a second thought about the close-up version of what is whizzing by underneath us? Our kids are becoming seasoned travelers as we have driven from Canada to Arkansas and back, from Canada to California and back taking various routes, taken the train from Montana to California and back. This time we look forward to driving our “new” Suburban back taking the scenic route.

Now I know some of you are thinking, “This woman is a bonafide nut job, adding hours to a car trip with four children!” But we can’t wait! When we arrive in California we will spend a week with family and visiting with friends before we head to the Santa Cruz mountains for a week of family camp where my husband and I met 12 years ago while on Summer staff. The next week we will drive up the California and Oregon coastline, staying with friends and family along the way.

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned how much I love Redwood trees. So for posterity’s sake, I LOVE REDWOOD TREES. I can’t wait to do this with my kids. I can’t wait to get my camera on these trees.:

Of course we are going to be spending a whole week nestled amongst the Redwood trees under which my husband and I met and fell in love in the Santa Cruz mountains but is that enough for me? No. I want to do this:

Hmmm… now that I have you here in my clutches and I have your express attention, I will take this opportunity to tell you what else I love and what I cannot wait to get in my sights as well. I LOVE the BEACH! I do not love a highly populated, covered in half-naked (or all naked for that matter either) bodies and bathing suits small enough to fit my Yorkie on bodies much larger than a Yorkie’s. I love wild untamed beaches. No, no, no… you misread me altogether. NOT Spring Break, Mom and Dad aren’t watching so do whatever you want, wild. I mean the only people you find on them are photographers, painters, beach combers and the ocassional over-zealous surfers wild. Big rocks. Big breakers. Dangerous cliffs overhead. The kind where seals like to go. The kind where kelp is plentiful and people are not. The kind where you are not likely to find any oily bo-hunks on the prowl for scantily clad women. The kind of beach where you are more likely to meet a pale frizzy haired marine biologist named Orville or Wilbur rather than a rubberized-tan manicured lifeguard named Chip or Rod. (No offense intended to anyone with any of the aforementioned names… I’m sure there are at least a hundred really intellectual, majored in marine biology, frizzy headed lifeguards named Wilbur out there. Likewise there are more than likely some dashing ken-doll-like marine biologists named Chip who like to life guard in their spare time.)

What else do I look forward to seeing and doing on our trip? We are really looking forward to celebrating the Fourth of July. As Americans living in Canada we have not done so for four years now. The kids don’t remember ever seeing fireworks. They do fireworks here on Canada Day (July 1st) but because it doesn’t get dark here until 11 p.m. by July 1st, we cannot keep the kids up that late, driving them hither thither and yon for the sake off seeing a fireworks show. Maybe when they are teenagers… but of course, being American I have to admit I am biased to want to celebrate the Fourth of July rather than Canada Day. So fireworks and Red, White and Blue are also on our agenda of things to fully enjoy while on vacation.

We are going to drive across British Columbia in order to arrive back at home and we are looking forward to seeing the Okanagen Valley where we get all of our apples and cherries and lots of other yummy fruits and veggies. I’m sure it will be quite hot.

Thus ends my rambling post for the day.

I wanted to say thanks to all who gave such great advice and insight with regards to “Tightening our belts” for meal planning and grocery budgets. We are already purposefully improving our mindsets when we go into the store and when we plan our meals. So, thanks for the great conversation in the comments there!

16 thoughts on “Where have I been?

  1. Cool vacation! Lots of good spots, and the beach. Sigh. I was born on the Oregon Coast, and so miss the beach! We want to take a train trip soon. I am envious. We won’t be doing much more than camping locally this summer, but I would love to do a train ride.Only ten days! Get packin’!LB

  2. I am a Sales Executive and I use the Amtrak all the time – even in lieu of air travel. It is great and a lot of fun!It can get a bit pricey – especially for a sleeping car, but it is so relaxing.

  3. A second comment, make use of the “Cafe” Car on the part when you are in Coach. You can get a table, bring some board games and have a lot of fun in the process. Email me if you have any questions.

  4. I would love to travel by train. With Lynn losing his legs by a train, I’m not sure how likely it is we will use this mode of travel. I can’t wait to meet you all finally. You know we LOVE the beach and can’t wait to take you all there to play and see the seals. Even though I was born and raised in San Diego, I prefer my Oregon beaches and the more natural coastline. Counting the days till you get here. Have a great trip, I look forward to hearing about it and seeing your pics of the Redwoods!

  5. I hated both long train trips I’ve taken, one with my twins when they were 4 and I was 8 weeks pregnant (but didn’t know it) . . . three nights in coach. The second was from Houston to Orlando with a two year old who wanted to go downstairs and use the gross train potties about 10 times a day. Also, not fun. We had fun on a shorter trip (2 hours!), except for the mentally deranged man who scared us half to death. Have fun! If you drive up I-5, wave near Tacoma!

  6. Sounds like fun, I also love the beach, but have to admit my favourite time is right now (the middle of winter over here). Normally, its peaceful and quite and I could sit or walk for hours. Summer time we are inundated with tourists and those half naked bodies you mentioned. They may not wear much clothing but they always seem to leave a lot of rubbish behind. In winter it is our quiet time, but this year we are suffering terrible storms so havent been able to go outside… Sigh…

  7. I think your trip sounds terribly exciting. You will be creating such awesome memories for your sons. There’s nothing like getting away from home to reconnect with your mate. Have fun!

  8. Wow- This sounds like a really fun trip. I know you will have a wonderful time. I’ve never seen the redwoods but know they are a sight to behold.

  9. WOW! That sounds like a lot of fun! So many wonderful things to see along the way! Take lots of pics for us!You will be in our neck of the woods it sounds like. We are south east of Portland, about 40 minutes! If you want to head inland from the Oregon coast and see a bit of history at the End of the Oregon Trail, give me a hollar before you leave! Would love to meet you and your family! My hubby would love to take a train trip someday. It does sound like a fun way to see this beautiful country!

  10. Oh Melanie! It would be so fun to meet you (again!) but I don’t think we’ll be that far inland. We will, however, be on an afternoon layover at the Portland train station on our way down… But it will be a Sunday. Not so practical for a meeting. :^( I think we’ll be having to eat lunch down there. I wonder if any places down there are open on Sundays even? Otherwise we’ll be hungry! LOL

  11. Email me the details of your layover in Portland and I’ll check the calendar and see if something can’t be worked out! Would depend on how long you have there I suppose but send me the date-time-where the train station is and we’ll see! littlesunbeam@hotmail.comLeft you a comment in response to your posting on my blog. I don’t blame you for not coming inland from the Oregon coast. It is much more beautiful than I-5! LOL! But wanted you to know that you always have an open invite to stop in here on a future trip to CA. if you so like. It would be nice to spend some time with you and also maybe help you break up your trip some! We have room to put you up for a night or two…no problem!

  12. I just came back from visiting California and reading your post made me want to go back again. We didn’t make it to the Santa Cruz beaches but we did go to a nice one in San Francisco. I’ve never been to a beach warm enough for the scantily clad but do agree with you on that whole thing. I hope you are having a wonderful time, I’m sure you’re there or almost by now.

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