It has been more than two weeks since I last updated the blog about our little life and some people have reached out, wondering if everything is alright. The past couple of weeks have been filled with fun activities — so fun that I did not have a chance to sit down and talk about any of it.
After a brief but welcome visit from our friend Diana (in town from Minnesota), we got ready for a week with my parents. To say that I was excited for this visit would be an understatement — I talked about it many times in the weeks leading up to it. Soon enough, the day had arrived!
Last year, my mom and sister made the trip out to visit us here in sunny California but my dad had never been here — until now. I was nervous and excited for them to come out. I really wanted to show them what our life was like out here. When my mom came out before, we had not really settled in the way we are now. So, this trip was different for many reasons.
After talking over the past year about how beautiful it is, how much we love it, how much fun we are having out here, we were ready to show my parents all about it.
A big storm kicked up just before they came into town and things were quite a mess here. One of my favorite roads was closed down for repairs due to a huge rock slide and I was disappointed that it might be closed for their visit. Not only would it make our travel around the area more difficult, but I wouldn’t be able to show my dad one of my favorite drives.
No worries though! The road opened up the next day.
They flew in Friday March 3rd and we got back into town just before dark. After a long day of traveling and with the two hour time change, nobody had much energy for anything other than visiting, so we enjoyed a delicious family dinner at a restaurant in town.
The next day marked the beginning of our adventure. My mom wanted to go up to Julian again and I thought it would be fun to show my dad the little mountain town that I loved.
I stopped in to the Daffodil Show to take a few photos for work while we were there and boy did it smell good!
The drive up was as beautiful as always and we stopped several times to enjoy the views. In town, we went around to the different shops so that my mom could have a bit of fun shopping. After lunch at a diner in town, we picked up some of Julian’s famous apple pie and headed back to Ramona.
But not before stopping to check out the view at one of the overlooks!
That night, we grilled food and hung out at our park with Andy and the dogs.
Sunday we decided to venture down to the coast. It was a gloomy, overcast day (not the typical sunny California weather I had been bragging about). We drove down my favorite road on our way to Oceanside where we checked out the harbor and pier.
Then we decided to take 101 down the coast to show them some of the cute beach towns. We ended at La Jolla Cove for a quick visit with the sea lions.
Though the weather was wet and misty, it didn’t deter us from doing a bit of exploring (we are from Minnesota, after all).
After a full day of travel, we headed back up to Ramona.
Monday was a new adventure for all of us: we decided to try our hand at ocean fishing.
The water was rough but it was a beautiful, sunny day outside.
We saw some dolphins before leaving the harbor which was pretty much amazing.
Once on the boat, we worked on getting our sea legs.
I had fun taking pictures of some of the birds.
And then the fishing commenced.
It was slow-going at first. The rough waters did not make for a really successful day. We tried several different spots before we hit a good one. Then the fun started.
We certainly didn’t catch any monsters but we did have a good time! Watching the pelicans stalk our boat was fun.
As was watching the sea lions stalk us.
On Tuesday, we decided to venture down to the Safari Park which is a pretty neat experience.
I thought my mom would enjoy feeding the lorikeets so we made sure to visit them while we were there!
Wednesday, we took some time to relax and recoup. It was a good thing we did because Thursday was quite the adventure! My mom stayed home with the dogs so that my dad, Andy and I could have a desert adventure.
We headed out to Ocotillo Wells to spend a day exploring on ATVs.
It was a good thing we booked a half-day rental because there were so many trails to explore! We had an absolute blast checking out all the sites and playing around on our ATVs.
One of the coolest parts was stopping at the different site-seeing locations. We had no idea when we booked the trip that we would have “destinations.” It was nothing like four-wheeling in the woods of Minnesota.
Our first stop was a place called Pumpkin Patch which had these sandstone balls all clustered in one area — sort of looked like a desert pumpkin patch.
Next, we headed down to a place called Shell Reef that had fossilized clam, oyster and scallop shells embedded in the ground (from when this area was underwater)!
From there, we headed to Devil’s Slide which was basically a huge hill. I had a blast racing up and down in the deep sand and I guess I gave my dad and Andy quite a laugh when they heard me screaming and giggling!
We got to see the desert in bloom — something I never expected to experience but was really amazing.
It was 92 degrees, no water, and these plants were in full bloom! Beautiful.
Parts of our adventure were very desolate, without much to look at. It was true desert.
Our last stop was Gas Domes which was an area that had mud/water bubbling out of the ground. In the middle of the desert!
I am glad we brought lunch and as much water with as we did — we certainly went through it all! What an adventure. By the end of it, my hands had decided they did not want to grip things anymore and my legs were pretty convinced they were done working, too.
We went back to get my mom and headed over to their hotel room for a soak in the pool and hot tub. It felt great on our muscles.
Friday, the final day, came but thankfully we could spend the morning together. We stopped by Andy’s work so he could say goodbye.
I took my parents down to see the Coronado Bridge and hotel. We ate at In-and-Out Burger (I think that’s a must). Before heading to the airport, we went to Point Loma.
We visited Cabrillo National Monument.
And my dad and I went down to explore the tide pools.
By then it was time to head to the airport and say our goodbyes. It was an amazing visit. We were able to show them a slice of our paradise here in Cali and experience some new adventures together, making awesome memories in the process.
It was incredibly hard to say goodbye to them, not knowing when we will see them again. I miss them so much, it is hard to describe. My parents and the rest of our families are amazing for supporting us during this crazy adventure and we are so thankful for their love and support!
As I drove away from the airport crying, all I could think about was wanting to go home. But home/Minnesota right now means barely hitting double digits and why would you want to go back to that when this is our next week?
Hopefully, we can find a place to settle down for good and I will just have to work on convincing my parents to join us!!!