This past weekend we celebrated two birthdays; one at the beginning of life and the other in the closing years. Two special women in my life - my granddaughter and mother, neither one cognizant of the significance of the event. Mom did have momentary recognitions of her birthday, but they quickly faded away. But somehow in her emotions, I believe that she could feel the family celebration on her behalf. A highlight for her was signing hymns with her children. On the other end of things, Ada seemed to enjoy the all the attention given her. There was a big party with many of Bjorn and Jenny's friends. Ada seems to have grown up so much in just the past month. She is standing and walking with a cart, sleeping through the night, and making sounds that at least resemble language. While my Mom is quickly losing her ability to communicate, my granddaughter is quickly beginning her ability.
"One generation shall praise your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts." Ps. 145
My final year as a dad of a SPU student and I got to go to the first annual Dad's Only Day at SPU. The day's events began with breakfast at SPU and then a trip to the Seattle Sounders game. Markus and I went with Jason and Jillian Shdo. I'm not sure why we let Jill get that obnoxious horn! The rain held off except for a few sprinkles, making for pleasant game conditions. The Sounder fans are great and the game was fun to watch as it was my first pro soccer game. Fortunately, the Sounders scored in the extended minutes of the game to win 1-0.
The weather in Sacramento started turning cooler. Jack and I did some shingle repair on Ellen's roof in the morning. We rode about 12 miles on the American River Trail. It is a great trail, and on a Spring Saturday well used by serious cyclers and casual bikers like ourselves. In the evening we had dinner in Old Sacramento before Esther and I headed for home at 8pm. We made it as far as Medford at 1am where we checked in at the local Walmart. Sunday we drove through Oregon and arrived home in time to unpack and rewind before hitting work tomorrow. It was a great trip and we really enjoyed vacationing with Jack and Sue and spending time with Ellen.
Today was work day at Ellen’s. Jack and I did some fence, gutter and lawn mower repair while Esther and Susan did some landscape beautification. Ellen kept a Bulthuis tradition alive by bringing home a Friday night Papa Murphy’s pizza. We had an enjoyable evening as siblings reminiscing and sharing dreams.
I woke early this morning for a bike ride along the coast before breakfast. Today was a travel day back to Sacramento. We did manage to take the scenic route through Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay. The boardwalk was as busy as we have ever seen it. It was amazing how calm the weather was in Santa Cruz when Monterey and the most of the coast was very windy. For a few days we have been anticipating some fried artichokes since we are near the artichoke capital of the world. We got our chance at lunch in Half Moon Bay. We enjoyed dinner at Ellen’s and look forward to a day of work in the sun tomorrow.
Another gorgeous day on the Monterey Peninsula. In the morning, we rode our bikes on the trail into Monterey and Pacific Grove. We found a nice cute motel in Pacific Grove that was reasonable via coupons. After a quick lunch on the wharf and a little more biking on the trail, we headed for Carmel by the Sea. We stopped at the historic mission and then poked around the shops in town. We ate at the Hogs Breath Inn of Clint Eastwood fame. It was a fun outdoor pub in a cool little courtyard. After dinner we drove down the Big Sur coast for a bit before returning to our motel and walking to the beach to enjoy the sunset.
The California sun is here, and we are enjoying it! We drove down to Monterey this morning with Jack and Sue. After enjoying a sourdough bowl of clam chowder on Cannery Row, we headed for 17 Mile Drive. Vehicles pay $9.50 to drive this gorgeous stretch of coastline, but bicycles are free. The wind was pretty brisk off the water, so there was no problem of overheating. We took a few hours to soak in the sun and the magnificent views. We ended the day enjoying seafood and a view of Monterey Bay. It is fun sharing our adventure with Jack and Sue.
The rain gods were gracious to us today. Though a little chilly, we had a dry day. A few hours in Petaluma browsing antique shops and we headed for Sonoma. Lunch was on the sidewalk at the Cheese Factory. Esther enjoyed some window shopping before we explored the short bike path that skirts the hillside wineries behind town. We enjoyed the chance to get a little exercise and sunshine. In the evening we went to Sacramento to join Jack and Sue at Ellen’s for supper and then to witness Butler U's heroic effort in the final dance. Tomorrow Ellen is back to work while the Washingtonians head for the Monterey Peninsula and sunshine.
Today’s weather would have made the Russian emigrants homesick for their Alaskan roots. The wine country of the Russian River Valley felt more like the Ho Rain Forest. After an early Easter service at First Baptist Church in Ukiah and a grand slam breakfast at Denny’s, we were ready to take on the soggy vacation day. Being denied the pleasure of any outdoor activity or museum viewing (Easter!), we headed for the stormy coastal town of Bodega Bay to enjoy nature’s ferociousness. The surf and wind was even too much for the kite surfers as we watched them pack up their gear. We headed in early to our motel in Santa Rosa.
After checking out of our Walmart parking lot accommodations we set the GPS for the closest Rest Area and Starbucks. After departing home after work the previous night, we made it as far as Cottage Grove in central Oregon before our eyelids could not handle the traffic and rain anymore. We began to wonder about a ‘spring vacation in California’ as we passed a blanket of snow from Ashland to almost Redding. The weather broke a little in Redding, so we pulled our bicycles out of the van and checked out the Sacramento River Trail. It was great! A paved trail follows the river on both sides, beginning at Sundial Bridge and continuing to the dam. It was a delight to enjoy a little sunshine and the budding trees along the river. Once out of the downtown area, the trail had little traffic and we cruised along the smooth pavement. After the bike ride we headed south and then west when we got to Williams. We crossed the coastal mountains and passed by Clear Lake to catch US 101. We found a ‘real motel’ in Ukiah and enjoyed a shower and clean bed.