Saturday, September 21, 2013

CA vacation, part 8 (the end)

Kristan and Dick decided we would go to Squaw Valley, the home of the 1960 winter Olympics, to go up to the top of the mountains.

A map showing how expansive Squaw Valley is:

It ended up being prohibitively expensive to ride the tram up, so we just walked around the little village that no doubt is buzzing during skiing season.  There were shops on bottom and condos on top.

I thought these stools were so cute at the gelato shop.

I was just in awe at the beauty of God's creation.  Growing up in the flat soybean and corn fields of Ohio, and now living in the flat, concrete filled city of Dallas, TX, I loved all the change in terrain and topography.  I so enjoyed my time with Kristan and her husband. The last morning I was there, I woke up to the outside temperature of 46, and the inside temperature of 61!  Love it!!  It will be another month or so before I can begin to hope for even a chance of weather like that here... It was hard to say good-bye, but I'm thankful for the opportunity to have been able to visit her and her retirement piece (and peace) of paradise.

CA vacation, part 7

It was such a gloriously beautiful day and drive up to Lake Tahoe.  We got Beau into his travel vest and settled in the back. (He has to be tethered to the vehicle because if not, he gets so excited to get out when the car stops that he bolts out and could be hit by a car or cause an accident.  This way, he is safe and has plenty of room to roam around in the back.)

I took so many pictures because I couldn't get enough of the views.

It was very windy that day, and the Yosemite wildfires had been burning out of control only a week ago.  We didn't know what it would be like closer to the top.   Thankfully, it was beautiful.  We ate at Gar Woods, which is right on the water.  I want to publicly document that on 5th day of September, I had a jacket on outside and was cold - thanks to the lovely CA weather! (it was over 100* back in TX!)

This was, by far, the most beautiful view I had for lunch ever!

Here's a view from the beach back up to the patio we had lunch on:

These beautiful black-eyed Susans were near where we parked.  I took the picture for my Mom since they are some of her fave wildflowers, and as pretty as the vibrant greens and blues of all the scenery was, the pop of yellow was welcome.

CA vacation, part 6

Lake Tahoe is about an hour away from Kristan's house.  Since I had never seen the mountains, that was one of the things on our list of things to do.  Kristan also wanted to show me the Donner Pass Museum on our way.

I never knew about this tragedy.  If you don't know about it, you can read about it here.

The idea that these pioneers had to take the wagons apart and put them back together to cross certain terrain just boggles the mind.

One of the survivors of that horrible winter was an 8 year old girl.  She had a doll that survived with her.  Somehow that made it just a bit more real - unthinkable.  And while this particular wagon train became famous for awful reasons, there were so very many we don't know the names of.  Yet many of the early pioneers came to various parts of our country without any idea of whether they'd live or die - with only the hope and determination that if they did their best, they would have a chance of a better life than they had at where they were before.  Sobering.

Rock with plague of all the names in the Donner Party.

CA Vacation, part 5

Kristan had been driving by a sign that said "Biblical Gardens" for the past 3 years and had waited for me to come so we could explore it together.  We didn't know what to expect.  It was free and supported by donations.  That's an important fact to keep in mind when you look at these pictures.  It was very pretty in the woods, and it was nice that people had supported it by giving memorials.  There were some things (the wood carvings and coordinated verses with the statues it portrayed) that I like more so than others (plastic flowers and white plaster statues that would have looked better from far away).  Over all, though, it was a nice, peaceful place.  It was very thoughtful of Kristan to save this place for us to come to together.

I appreciated this sign about the Word.

Moses and the Ten Commandments

Weddings and Baptisms take place here year round, thanks to the wonderful CA weather.

Jesus riding the donkey into Jerusalem:

Loved this carving of the Last Supper:

And of the Betrayal:

Pilate washing his hands of ("this innocent man") Jesus' blood:

Jesus praying in the Garden 

Carrying His cross

The EMPTY tomb!

CA vacation, part 4

I worked with a great lady for about 5 years before she retired 3 years ago.  Every time I'm out in CA visiting my bro, SIL and niece, Kristan asks for me to come visit her.  I've always bought my tickets though, so it doesn't work.  This time, she told me to ask before I got the tickets and we would set something up.

So, after a gorgeous 4 hour drive northeast from San Jose to Nevada City (the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains), I reunited with my friend Kristan and her husband Dick and the great big (sweet) black lab Beau.  They have a beautiful 6 acre property and it is just exactly what they always wanted.  It's peaceful there and I just soaked in all the beauty.

Views from Kristan and Dick's deck:

One evening she cooked an entire meal on that grill from pork chops and potatoes to pineapple for dessert.  Amazing!

This is what they call their "swimming hole".  It's the Yuba River.  Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible for someone like me to get down there - steps go only part of the way down; the rest of the trip down to the water is spent navigating the different pointed and jagged rocks!  But once you get down there, it's got to be amazing!  It was incredible just to look down on from the bridge like we did!

Kristan and I went into downtown Nevada City one day and it is everything you'd hope an old gold-mining town would be. This is a monument to the town's history: a mining implement that revolutionized the mining process.

If you know me, you know we HAD to go into this one.  It was charming.  Since we had just had lunch, I actually didn't buy anything.  It had old time candies that Kristan (25 years older than me) remembers from her youth and some that I remember from growing up that they don't carry in the store any more.

This place, ,the "Willo", was one on the corner of the roads we came and went into Kristan's neighborhood.  No, they didn't forget the "w" on the end.  The founders' names were "William" and "Lois", so "Wil" and "Lo".  The funny thing about this is that my Pastor and his wife in my church growing up are named Bill (short for William) and Lois!

Do you see the praying mantis on the top of the wicker love seat?  We were fascinated by him (or her, not sure how to tell!)  It stayed there a long time.  We spent our afternoons on the deck because there was a nice breeze out there.  We would enjoy some snacks and thumb through the beginning of what we refer to as holiday catalog season!  This bug came one afternoon and stayed for a couple hours.  From our memories, we thought it was supposed to camouflage itself.  Apparently it thought the wicker was green?