Family, Real Life, Travel

While I was away

Thank you all for visiting my blog last week while Christa was in charge. I was mostly unavailable because my mother and youngest sister were visiting from Indiana. And now I’m sick, so today I’ll just share with you some photos I took while we showed them some of the glories of living in California. Enjoy.

Our first stop was Monterrey Bay, where we watched the sea lions, gulls, and boats before we ate lunch.

Pride of Madeira at Old Fisherman's Wharf.
Pride of Madeira (echium candicans) at Old Fisherman’s Wharf.
One of the whale watching cruise boats.
One of the whale watching cruise boats.

Next we drove down to Carmel, where I plan to move just as soon as I win the lottery. 🙂 The April sun was warm, the wind chilly, but the sand was light and fine as sugar.

Carmel River State Beach
Carmel River State Beach

We ended our coastal experience at Pacific Grove. The wind was even stronger and colder here, but the view was fabulous. I really need to live by the ocean, people.

Lover's Point
Lover’s Point

Another day we went to Yosemite National Park. My mother had been there before when my father was still alive, but she only vaguely remembered that.

San Joaquin Valley
Starting the drive up. A San Joaquin Valley view, north of my town.
Three ladies about to slide into the valley at Oakhurst!
Three ladies about to slide into the valley below Oakhurst!
Yosemite Valley
The majestic Yosemite Valley

Next we viewed Bridalveil Falls. First from a distance and then up close where the wind blew the falls into their full veilness.

Bridalveil Falls from a distance.
Bridalveil Falls from a distance.
Bridalveil Falls up close.
Try keeping dry when the wind billows the “tulle” as you stand at the bottom.
South Fork Merced River
South Fork Merced River

We ended our visit to Yosemite with a picnic beside this river. It was warm and sunny and perfect. In the same week, I spent time at my two favorite places: the mountains and the ocean. I’m not a hiker, swimmer or surfer, I prefer just to sit quietly and commune with nature. There wasn’t much time to do that on these trips, but maybe someday soon. At least we had homemade chocolate chip cookies—with pecans!

A quick lunch on the way to the airport.
A quick lunch on the way to the airport.

Too soon the visit was over. My mother is 89-years-old and I doubt she’ll make another trip out here, so I’m happy we had this opportunity to take her to some beautiful places. Plus, she loved the cookies. 🙂

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Real Life, Travel

Meander through a sunken garden with me

I hope to be back to blogging as usual on Friday. Until then I thought I’d share some photos I took in the Sunken Gardens in Lincoln, Nebraska. It’s an amazing, peaceful place. Of course, these photos don’t do it justice, so use your imagination and enjoy.

Please click the photos to see larger images.

“I expect to make this spot the most beautiful place in the city, either in or out of the parks. The ground lends itself perfectly to the making of a sunken garden, and at the same time a spot rich in beauty, at a small expense.”

– E.M. Bair, Lincoln Park Superintendent, November 1930

Blog Stuff, Family, Real Life, Social Media, Travel, Writing

I missed the party!

Like you, I balance two lives: real and virtual. I discovered how hard it is to mix the two this past week. When I left on vacation to visit some real life family, I thought I could also keep up with my virtual crowd. The first day on the road, I posted to my Facebook Page and my profile, with photos, even. That night I responded to blog comments and a few emails.

The second day, in Utah, I kept up with my blog and email. No time to read your blogs.The next day, I published a new blog post and responded in batches to comments for a day or two. My next appearance was a re-post from a year earlier. After that, I gave up. Sorry, friends, you just can’t measure up to family.

I expected to get caught up a bit on the way home, but the hotel’s WiFi didn’t like my laptop, so I couldn’t get online. It was just as well because I was feeling the effects of a virus. I slept most of the way on the second leg of our trip and went straight to bed when I arrived home.

What did I find when I woke this morning? The party went on without me. So many emails and blog posts—and Cathryn’s podcast—to catch up on. While I get caught up, I’ll share a few more photos from the road for you to enjoy.

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Family, Real Life, Travel, Writing

Utah bound, road trip!

Today, my husband and I leave for Utah. The photo above shows our destination. One of our sons, his wife, and two children live outside Salt Lake City, and they can’t travel home for Christmas, so we’re going to visit them. We’ll drive for thirteen hours, over a day and a half. My biggest regret with car travel is that I can’t read to pass the time. I get motion sickness if I try to read more than a few words. Such a waste of time.

I usually take notes of things I see or songs I hear, and the thoughts they inspire. In the past, those notes have sometimes been indecipherable because I couldn’t look at the paper as I wrote, but this time I’ve decided to type them directly into my laptop. I type by touch, and though I can only glance at the screen for seconds at a time, I’ll have better luck deciphering my typos than my blind-handwriting.

I’ll also write some blog posts along the way, so you’re not getting a break. Sorry. Right now, blog posts are about the only thing I’m writing, so I have to keep that up. A couple of days after as we return home, our son who lives in Nebraska will arrive for Christmas. I don’t anticipate getting back to the business of writing fiction until January, and by then, I’ll have a long to-do list compiled.

In any case, know that I will be reading any comments you leave on my blog, and I’ll be reading your blogs, but commenting on my end will be slower than usual while I’m away from home. Of course, you know me, I’ll probably be checking for an available internet connection a thousand times a day. If nothing else, I’ll respond via iPhone. Don’t expect verbosity.

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