Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's Official....

After two visits to the DMV, taking the written test, and paying all the fees....
Smog certificate (that we didn't need)...$65
2 new license...$56
Special license plate holder for the front of the car...$50
They're going to let us drive in California! =)
Can I tell you...I felt like I was 16 again. That written test was tricky! I kept thinking about how embarrassing it would be if I didn't pass, but I guessed on at least 11 of the questions (out of 36). I guess I should have read the handbook, oh well.
I also drove over both the Golden Gate bridge and the Bay bridge into Oakland, in addition to the streets of San Francisco (in our car with a stick shift) I feel like I passed my driver's test as well. =)

I thought I'd include a list of other things we've seen here in Cali you don't experience in Florida:
  • coyote and deer in the front yard
  • cactus leafs in the produce section at the grocery store
  • goats to "mow" the grass on the hills
  • sweaters & scarfs in the summer
(This picture was taken on our first day in California...fortunately it's warmed up over the last few days) I gotta say...we're lovin it though.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Weekend Review

This weekend was great....Fri night the school had a Luau for the new married students and their spouses. They had a roasted pig and everything! The seminary has really gone out of their way to make everyone feel welcome and especially to make sure the spouses feel included. It's very nice.

Saturday morning Abel got to try out his new surfboard. We got up at 7:30AM to find some waves (in 60 degree weather!). Luckily both spots had the parking lot nearby so I was able to sit in the car and still see the water. Abel's lips were so frozen after a half hour that I couldn't understand what he was saying. =) He had fun but realized that it's better to go in the afternoons when it's a bit sunnier and only worth going out when the waves are really good, b/c it's really cold! He has also met a couple of guys that surf, so hopefully I won't have to sit in the car every weekend. =)

Then Sat night we ate dinner with our neighbors before their friends came over and we all hung out watching the Rick Warren interviews. Their friends were really nice and we had fun hanging out with them. One couple has a two week old baby girl! She was precious and I got to snuggle with her for a long time. I love having friends with babies (sorry Dad, I don't think it's rubbing off on me. I still like handing them back over to go home with their parents). =)

Today was a great day too. We drove about 45 minutes to Santa Rosa to visit this cool church- New Vintage Church. They had Mac Powell from Third Day visiting and the whole service was like a worship concert. The church had an environment that was a lot like Flamingo Road, so it made us feel good to be there. And the music was great! We probably won't make that trip every Sunday, but it was fun to be there today. After lunch we drove back towards Napa and saw all the vineyards. It was a beautiful and relaxing drive and the weather was warmer than where we live. A nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

We're really enjoying living in California! 'Til next time....

Monday, August 11, 2008

Home Sweet Home

We officially arrived in San Fran last Tues. at about 5 P.M. after a long but beautiful drive up the coast. In the days that followed our arrival we worked hard to get all our stuff unpacked, we shopped for and purchased some furniture for our space, and after getting everything set up we have been showing my parents around and enjoying some of the cool sights around San Fran and Marin county where we live.

It's beautiful here, the weather is cool at night and in the 70s-low 80s during the day. We have really nice neighbors and are looking forward to meeting more people as the week goes on. Here's a few pics of our new place so you can picture where we live.

We miss everyone back home! Abel signed up for classes last night and I've started applying for jobs- please keep us in your prayers.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Viva Las Vegas

Vegas was….well, hot! We were a little tired and over the desert heat by the time we arrived so we actually spent most of the time resting in our hotel room. And even then, we were suppose to stay on the Strip in the New York New York hotel, but chose to stay in a Doubletree 5 minutes off the Strip both nights instead. We thought it was great. We needed the rest, and coming from all of God’s beauty we’ve seen in the last week the Strip wasn't very appealing to us.

We did have one special Vegas night, Sunday night, we had dinner at Olive’s in the Bellagio hotel and then saw the Cirque du Soleil show “O”.

It was incredible; the Cirque people really know how to wow your senses! O is the show where they incorporate water into the performance- so there were divers and swimmers as well as the acrobatic routines. There are several Cirque du Soleil shows in Vegas, and it was worth going to Vegas just for the show. In front of the Cirque theater there was an art exhibit that featured sculptures of different Cirque performers. That was really neat too. We watched the famous fountain show in front of the Bellagio hotel a couple of times which was a cool ending to the Cirque show we had just seen. We didn’t walk around any of the other hotels but we enjoyed our time at the Bellagio.

We missed the beach, so we headed out this morning and drove to Laguna Beach, which is just south of LA. The weather is amazing, and we loved being in the cool breeze! We then drove up the coast to Ventura Beach, which is just south of Santa Barbara. The drive took a lot longer than we expected, but there were a few pretty beaches along the way. Tomorrow (Tuesday) will be our official last day on the road. We hope to arrive in San Fran in time to have dinner with Abel's parents. They flew in on Saturday (Happy Birthday to Rosa!) to help us move in. We've had an awesome trip, our dream vacation became a reality, and now we are ready to see our new home. We'll let you know what it's like so you can begin planning your vacation to visit us! =)

Isn't it Grand?

We arrived in the Grand Canyon on Friday night after a long day of driving and exploring Antelope Canyon. We had reservations to stay in a cabin along the rim of the Grand Canyon and it was beautiful. The weather was cooler when we arrived, which was great. We got dinner, sat at a table next to the window, and watched the colors change as the sun went down. We walked around and watched the sun set before heading into bed for an early night’s sleep.

We woke up early and enjoyed the cool breeze and stillness of the early morning. There were very few people out on the rim and we decided to walk along the rim for several miles while it was still cool out. We saw two deer feeding along the path and continued to take in the vast beauty of the Grand Canyon. About 10am we got on a shuttle and rode out to the furthest point along the South Rim to see a different part of the Canyons. We climbed the Watch Tower and saw an amazing view of the River. After a long ride back on the shuttle, we had lunch, and headed on to Las Vegas. On our way out of the park there was a huge elk feeding on the side of the road. It was so cool, and it totally didn’t seem to mind all the cars pulling off or the many people staring and taking pictures of it.

The Grand Canyon is an amazing site. We really enjoyed the early evening and early morning times, when there were less crowds. It was so calming. There’s not much to do but look at the Grand Canyon, but it is breathtaking.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon was simply amazing. It is one of God’s wonders. We spent more than two hours walking through and just couldn’t get enough of the simplistic beauty. The swirled patterns, shapes of the rocks, and the rays of light were mesmerizing.

To get to it you walk out into the desert and squeeze through these cracks in the surface. There are steps and ladders at times to help you descend. If you look thru the pictures you can see some of the path we took. They lead tours through the Canyon, but we bought a photo pass which allowed us to go through on our own pace.

After Antelope Canyon, we drove by Horseshoe Bend to see this beautiful r
iver. Only I was toooo hot, so I turned back and sat in the car w/ the AC on full blast while Abel hiked on. So I'm enjoying this beauty through the same pictures you are. =)

It was amazing.
Definitely a day trip you have to do when you visit Sedona and the Grand Canyon….which everyone should do. =) It has been an incredible trip and we’ve been trying to burn all this beauty into our memories forever.

We were in the Grand Canyon Fri night and Saturday so we are a bit behind on posting updates. Today we are resting in Las Vegas before dinner and a show on the Strip. We'll post more on the Grand Canyon soon. We've changed our plans a little so we will head to California tomorrow so that our last day we can travel up the coast all the way to San Francisco. We're looking forward to leaving the desert behind and being at the beach again! Til next time....