She arrived on Saturday, August 3. Aaron gets to spend very little time with any of his cousins, and he doesn't really have many--and they are all girls. So we had a family dinner at our house.
They had lunch at the iconic Ahwahnee Hotel (thankfully, the park service and the concessionaire who was holding the naming rights hostage settled their differences and it is no longer the Majestic--not that anyone in California was willing to call it that...)
On Tuesday morning, we headed to the central coast. First we stopped for lunch at our favorite place, the Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill.
Then we headed up for a tour of the Hearst Castle. Mark and I have been there many times. If you have been there, you know that there is about a 20-minute bus ride up to the castle. Along the way you learn about how William Randolph Hearst built the "castle" and where he procured all the priceless artifacts. It is often foggy down at the visitor's center but by the time you get to the castle you have broken through the fog and it is clear and sunny.
This is one of the guest houses.
The famous outdoor pool.
The main "house."
Just a small corner of the "family room." Ha.
The dining room.
The indoor pool, with 24 carat gold.
The scope and absolute enormity of this place is mind boggling.
We stopped at a charming yarn shop in Cambria before heading over to Pismo Beach. While I love the neon yarn colors, I'm not sure what I would make with them.
The restaurant where we had dinner had the military phonetic alphabet on the wall, which I have always wanted to memorize.
The view from our rooms. Christina lives in the land of 10,000 lakes, but she doesn't get close to the ocean.
I finished my second rosette and photographed it in Pismo.
On Wednesday, we walked on the beach. It was a bit foggy, and this is the view of our hotel from the beach. Every single room has a stunning view.
I brought along a quilt to photograph underneath the pier.
We drove on the beach--not my favorite thing to do but it's an interesting experience.
Lots of people camp on the beach. No thanks--way too sandy.
You can also rent ATVs and drive around the dunes. Also, no thanks. It's way too dangerous.
There was such a beautiful sunset on Wednesday night.
On Thursday we headed into San Luis Obispo. We stopped at another charming yarn shop, and the tree outside was completely yarn bombed. It is considered a "giving tree," with pairs of socks and stocking hats attached. So if you are in need of one of those items, you are invited to just take it.
We had lunch by the creek that runs through San Luis Obispo.
And no trip to SLO would be complete without a stop at the infamous Bubblegum Alley. Gross...
On Friday, Mark took Christina on a tour of Fresno, including a stop at the neighborhood where most homeowners have a private plane in their garage/carport.
The week zipped by. I hope Christina comes to visit again sometime.
Meanwhile, everyone started school, even Christa. She is getting a master's degree in Ministry, Leadership and Culture, which will help her in the work she does with human trafficking.
Aaron had her fill out a questionnaire. I might have learned a few new things about our daughter-in-law.
And how did this happen??
Charlotte, 8th grade.
Levi, 6th grade.
Gabriel, 2nd grade.
And a chuckle.
Until next week...