A Really Long Post Wherein I Talk About My Jaunt Across the Country to the Golden State

Last week my in-laws (Rick and Carolyn) took Eric,  Eric’s brother (Elliot), and I on a spectacular trip to California for my sister-in-law’s (Claudia) graduation from grad school.  <——That must have been quite confusing for you…sorry.
We arrived in San Francisco on Thursday afternoon, and settled into our hotel.  One of the first things that Eric wanted to do was to find the steepest hill and climb it.  I don’t know if we found the steepest, but this one felt like the steepest when we were walking up!

Friday evening was Claudia’s graduation ceremony in the most beautiful church.

The grad-school-conquering hero!

Saturday we went to Muir Woods where the Redwood trees are.  It was so beautiful!

There was even some family bonding going on as Elliot held hands with Claudia and Carolyn.

Sunday was a really fun day that I didn’t get any pictures of.  We went to Claudia’s church, then went to her graduation party.  It was so fun meeting all of her friends.  They are all really nice people with trendy jobs at places like Google, Wikipedia, Pottery Barn, and Kiva.  After the party we drove to Yosemite where we didn’t exactly camp…

One of Yosemite’s many gorgeous views!

The squirrels were my favorite…this one posed like this for a few minutes while people gathered around to take pictures.  He was quite well mannered while others would crawl onto people’s legs or sniff at their hands while they were resting.  Obviously, SOMEONE didn’t take the “Don’t feed the animals” signs to heart.

Ok, we were among those people.   And as it turns out, squirrels love apples and Clif bars.

Of course, we had to endure some hardships to see some of the most beautiful parts of God’s creation.  Some of these hardships included hiking for miles on steep trails that relentlessly led us up (and up and up) to the best lookouts,  getting drenched while hiking within a hundred feet of a huge waterfall, and even seeing snow!

But it was always worth it to see things like this:

We also went to the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite to see the GINORMOUS Sequoia trees.  I love trees, so the bigger the better.  You may not think this one is that big, but those tiny specks at the bottom of the photo are people!

This is the root structure of a fallen tree:

These trees made some pretty darn big pinecones too!

Rick may have thought that he was immune to Elliot’s hand-holding under the canopy of these seemingly fantastical trees, but he was wrong.

On Wednesday, after spending three amazing and tiring days at Yosemite, we said goodbye  to the park and headed back to San Fransisco.  This time around we stayed in Japantown at Hotel Tomo.  It was anime themed, and totally awesome.

On Thursday, Eric and I visited a school where one of Claudia’s friends teaches.  She generously let us spend an hour in her classroom to teach her students how to play the awesome game that Eric invented.  You may have heard me talk about the game before.  It’s called Animal Herders, and it’s a trading card game for kids.  The kids loved it, and we sold 18 decks!

Eric and I spent the rest of the day relaxing.  We walked across the street to two of the Japanese malls, and found a dollar store with tons of Japanese stuff.  Of course I went through and picked out all kinds of handmade papers and stuff for bookmaking.  Eric went crazy in the candy department.

That night all of us went to the California Academy of Sciences for the weekly NightLife event.  On these nights the museum is open to adults 21 and up, and they essentially transform the museum into a night club with a DJ, and drinks.  It was a strange, but cool event.  I loved the aquarium exhibits.

At NightLife the roof was open and there were long lines to view the night sky with telescopes.  We didn’t want to wait in line, but we did get some great info from a star expert.  He had a laser that pointed right to the stars, and was able to point out different constellations to the small group of people gathered around him.  I guess he worked for the museum.

Friday we packed up, took one last walk around Japantown, and boarded our plane.  And that, my friends, is the account of the spectacular time I spent in California with five of my favorite people.

**P.S. If you want to see the rest of my pictures from the trip, you can visit my brand spankin’ new Pigments of Imagination page on Facebook.  You don’t need to have a Facebook account to view it.  I didn’t want to include a lot of these pictures in the post because it’s just TMI.


About Melody

My name is Melody Martin. Check out my art blog, and learn all about the steps and techniques that go into oil paintings.
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3 Responses to A Really Long Post Wherein I Talk About My Jaunt Across the Country to the Golden State

  1. Erika says:

    Looks like you all had a great time — love the pics!!!

  2. Margaret says:

    how fun! i love all your photos and i absolutely LOVE the west coast…thanks for sharing about your travels, it looks like you had a wonderful time!!

  3. arrynvogan says:

    What an awesome trip! I got to go to the red wood forest a couple years ago and it was INCREDIBLE! I haven’t been to any of those other places though, so it was fun to see.

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