California, part 2

So we left San Francisco Saturday night, driving 3.5 hours to Redding.  We were both so tired, but we wanted to make it to our destination so we wouldn’t have a long drive in the morning.  And we made it!  We found a scary motel and fell into bed.

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We actually overslept on Sunday morning, which was no surprise, considering how tired we were.  We went to the early church service at Bethel, arriving halfway through.  After the service, we were honored to talk with Bill & Beni Johnson.  They played a big part in our pregnancy journey with Elana (more on that story at a later time), and it was so rewarding to show them pictures of our miracle baby and thank them in person for their part.  We stayed for the second service too, and were so blessed by the people and their heart for God!

After lunch, finding a new motel, and some much-needed naps, we met some new friends at the coffee shop, and then had a wonderful evening of celebrating people getting baptized.  This was a baptism like I have never seen before…celebrating and honoring and rejoicing with those who were making a public declaration to follow our Jesus!

And those new friends we made?  Well, after the service we enjoyed more fellowship & food with them 🙂  I just love it, because when God puts people together, there is an instant connection of relationships that defy the length of time.  The neat part was that this couple was from our area…we just had to travel to the west coast to meet!

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Monday was a beautiful day, perfect for our plans.  We drove up to Whiskeytown Lake and hiked up to the falls.
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It was absolutely beautiful!  The weather was perfect for hiking, the scenery was gorgeous and the trail not too difficult to make us ache the next day.

Tuesday and Wednesday we sat in on some classes at the Bethel school, relaxed, spent some time at the Prayer House, relaxed, ate amazing food (thanks to a friends recommendations), relaxed, did laundry, relaxed…Can you tell we had a relaxing time together? 🙂

Wednesday afternoon, after school, we joined a friend in her Revival Group.  We had an amazing time of worship and remembering God’s goodness in our past.  Kenton was even able to share briefly of our journey and how God proved Himself faithful.  The leader of the group felt led to pray over Kenton, speaking life and blessing and prophecy over him.  It was so beautiful & God-ordained!  How else can you explain a complete stranger being able to speak into Kenton’s life about a heart-dream, except to give all credit to God?

It was the perfect way to end our time in Redding.  We still are in awe at all that God had planned for us that week and the many ways that proved He is the ultimate Travel Agent.

Thursday morning we headed south, taking the scenic route to Napa and the Valley.  Beautiful, beautiful country!  We wound our way through the mountains, stopping often to take pictures and stand in awe at God’s handiwork.  I especially, was thankful for the open windows and fresh air…it helped ease the rolling of my stomach as we rode the ups & downs & arounds of the mountains!
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The vineyards were empty of any fruit, but it was still beautiful and I can only imagine how that beauty is multiplied when the vines are lush with fresh grapes.
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We wound our way over to Sonoma (where we stopped for a picnic lunch), up through Santa Rosa, and on to Guerneville.  We stopped at the Armstrong Redwoods State Park and walked through the forest for a bit, marveling again at the what God created.  Our plan was to spend the night in Guerneville, but someone (uh,me.) wanted to keep driving, thinking that surely there would be towns along the coast and we could find a motel for the night.
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So we kept driving.  We found no motels, but we did find a most gorgeous west coast!  “Beautifully rugged” are the words that come to mind.
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We ended up driving down to San Francisco that night yet, and woke up on Friday with two goals for the day: walk the Golden Gate Bridge & get on an airplane.

We parked as close as could to the bridge, but still walked more than a mile to get to the bridge.  We weren’t rushed for time, so we were able to enjoy the scenery and San Francisco for one last time.
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We are on the bridge!
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We knew the Golden Gate Bridge was big, but when we got up close and personal, we realized just how BIG it really is!
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We ended our time in San Francisco with another great meal and some Peet’s Coffee.
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We made it to the airport with hours to spare and then we jetted across the country,  reuniting with our girlies the next day.  The trip was so much more and did so much more for us than I could ever explain, even in person.  We were so blessed on this trip and will forever carry the memory of it and all that God did, in our hearts.




Part 1
For many years, Kenton had been dreaming of visiting San Francisco, CA.  I caught his “adventure fever” and several years ago we started saving and planning; we planned to go for our 10-year anniversary.  But a few months ago, we were talking & dreaming and decided “there is no time like the present” to take this trip.  So, tickets were bought, motels booked, babysitters arranged and bags packed.  And then we left for an amazing week to celebrate us and our marriage and our life together.

We flew into San Francisco late at night, and despite the 3-hour time difference, were up bright and early the next morning.  We had a loose plan of what we wanted to see and do on the trip: a few attractions, but mostly, we just wanted to relax & enjoy being together.

Our first day in San Francisco, we parked our car in down town and began walking.  Apparently, we parked at the bottom of a hill, because we climbed walked up & up & up!  We kept thinking that we were at the top of the hill soon, but the street kept going up! 🙂  And then, sweet relief, we reached the top and could finally descend.
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We walked through Chinatown and Italy, and made our way over to Coit Tower.  The tower is the highest point in the city and has a beautiful view of San Francisco.  Unfortunately for us, the tower was closed for construction, but we could still visit the park area around it.

This is the street leading up to the tower.  It was so crazy steep, cars had to park perpendicular to the street!
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A view from the tower.
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Another view (with some explanations (click on the picture to view it larger)).
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From Coit Tower, we walked down the hill and up again, to Lombard Street.  This is at the top of Lombard St., where we could look back where we came from and see Coit Tower.#88 038
From there, we walked down to Ghirardelli Square where we sampled some amazing chocolate!
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From the square, we walked along Fisherman’s Wharf and finally found some delicious food for us to eat!  Maybe it was because of all the walking we did that day or the fresh air we inhaled or being by the Pacific Ocean, but the burger & sweet potato fries we had for lunch were absolutely!

We found a beautiful spot to rest before it was time for the Alcatraz tour.  We also found the “bush man”…a man with a sense of humor who hides behind a bush and then jumps out to scare unsuspecting passersby.  Thankfully, we were walking the right way and were able to watch the scene unfold, rather than being the unsuspecting passersby!
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We took the early evening Alcatraz tour, so we were able to watch San Francisco light up as darkness fell.  The boat took us around the island and then inside the prison, we had an audio tour as we walked through.  Some of the audio was actual guards and prisoners that were in the Alcatraz prison.
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After the Alcatraz tour, we decided to take a cable car because we were tired and it would be faster than walking.  Unknown to us, the car we chose to ride on was having mechanical issues.  The mechanism kept slipping off the underground cable, so the repair truck had to come out and push us to the shop and then, with everyone still on the car, they put a new one on and we were good to go!  We finally made it back to our car and said “good-bye for now” to San Francisco.
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Our first day on vacation was amazing and it was only the beginning of a wonderful week that God had for us.  We saw His hand so many times, and as we drove 3.5 hours north that night we had no idea what He had planned for us in the beautiful city of Redding.

But that will have to wait until another day!

 Be blessed!