We had been to the Grand Canyon back in 1989 when our children were young, we visited the more popular South Rim that time. The North Rim is no less spectacular, but much less crowded! When we arrived it was cool and pleasant, only in the 60's; perfect weather to walk around and take it all in.
The Grand Canyon Lodge
There were hundreds of these little cabins in the Grand Canyon Village. Rustic, clean, with no frills; (I peeked in one that was being cleaned) they're equipped with beds and a bathroom. All the entertainment one could ask for is outdoors! We heard that the stars here are breath-taking after sunset.
We can across a Bison herd when exiting the park, the baby Bison are cinnamon colored; so sweet. We stopped at a restaurant on the way out, in Jacob Lake, to get a milkshake. I have NEVER seen such a thick shake in my life! I wish that I had taken a picture so that you would believe it-- the milkshake protruded above the rim of the cup by 4" easily, like a column of ice cream! I ate every bite.
Scrap Apple Quilts in St. George, UT was a wonderful shopping experience, as you can see I didn't come out empty-handed! This shop was not only well stocked but beautifully decorated as well, I could have moved right in! Mr. Goodneedle went and found a car wash while I was shopping, the perfect arrangement for two happy travelers!
The North American Lutheran Church was holding their Convocation in Anaheim, CA at the Wyndham Hotel; our travel schedule perfectly coincided with that event. The next day we pointed the car in the direction of Anaheim and arrived in time for the opening worship service; Mr. Goodneedle attended that, I stayed outside with Hannes and read a book. After that concluded, we traded places and a Pastor friend took me on a tour of the activities and goings-on in the book vendor's area. We were so happy to have the opportunity to be there, even if only for a brief time! The traffic from Anaheim to Stevenson Ranch, our destination for the night, was horrendous on Rte #5. It took us two hours to travel 20 miles. I am not sure I could deal with that kind of traffic on a regular basis.
The next morning we arrived in Simi Valley to tour the Reagan Library. This has been a "bucket list" destination of mine for a very long time. Arriving early, there was only one person ahead in line! Not that it mattered, I hadn't bought tickets ahead of time nor am I a patron, so the line was a long one. Live and learn.
My disappointment in waiting evaporated as soon as I stepped inside. Remember that Reagan statue from The National Cowboy Museum in OKC? The second, of only two, was right inside in the door! What are the chances I would see both of these within a week?
The Oval Office perfectly detailed, right down to the famous jar of jelly beans.
I am so happy that I have been here, I will remember it always. For me, that time during the "Reagan years" was a happy time personally-- we were raising our family and life was good. I remember that sense of optimism in America too, that "can do" attitude. Without going off on a political commentary, I did have a profound sadness walking back to the car this day; suffice it to say that the optimism I so fondly recall is seriously missing today in 2016.
The next morning we headed toward Fremont, CA driving through beautiful citrus groves as far as the eye could see. When we drove through San Simeon we glimpsed the Hearst Castle high on a hill.
Just beyond the Hearst Castle we came to a viewing area along the coast where Elephant Seals were on full display; these creatures are HUGE! I haven's done any research on these, I will have to find our more about them, we got a kick out of them cavorting and "sounding off" to each other.
We stopped in Cambria, CA because I saw a sign advertising "Linn's famous Olallieberry Pie". I had no idea what an olallieberry was but I wanted to try the pie! This photograph is from their website; and, YES, ours had that much fruit filling in it! We bought a whole pie; needless to say we ate it for a few days, not a hardship whatsoever! The berry is a type of blackberry that tastes like a cross between raspberry and blueberry. Two Snapple facts for today: an Eagle has approximately 7,000 feathers and New York was the first state to require cars to have license plates.
Life is Good!
Next installment: Lassen Volcanic National Park, Crater Lake and the Oregon Dunes Recreational Area.