Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Merry Christmas from CA

I know it's early, but we wanted to wish everyone we know a merry Christmas. Some of you we'll see back in Ohio when we visit next week; others won't be so lucky ;)
The time is getting near, the "most wonderful time of the year." Julie put up our tree and did all the decorating. A humble tree, yet it's full of the yuletide spirit. I sing "Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum," everyday when I walk by it.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Monterey Bay Trip

This past weekend Julie and I went up to Monterey to meet up with one of her friends from her days at Great Lakes Christian College. We took the scenic route, which goes along the coast for the majority of the trip, and it was spectacular. It's so cool for so long that you almost forget that not all roads are so scenic. The 5 hour trip took us through Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Cambria, San Simeon, Big Sur and Carmel, amongst other towns. A few miles north of San Simeon (which is where the famous Hearst Castle is located) is one of the more common spots for Elephant Seal viewing. This was our favorite part of the trip, seeing these comical and weird creatures. It was amazing how close we could get, and at first we thought they were just really smooth rocks. They look like huge sacks of blubber with eyes, mouths and fins. The main area had barriers, but further down the beach a person could almost touch them if they really wanted to. But we didn't, mostly because we didn't want to mess with their natural habitat, but also out fear. They look funny and somewhat harmless, but they're also huge and have quite formidable-looking teeth. You can't help but laugh when the huge male bulls rear their heads back and let out what sounds like a cross between a gigantic belch and a loud Harley-Davidson. Then they just plop down as if exhausted by the effort.
It was also very good to see Julie's friend, Jen, who drove down to Monterey from Sacramento to meet us. The two women had a good time catching up, and seemed to pick up where they left off about 5 years ago at school back in Michigan. We hope to visit her up where she lives very soon.
And I can't forget to mention a very important person involved in this trip: Tracy Uyematsu, the daughter of a lady Julie works with. Tracy watched Loretta while we were gone. I knew our pup was in good hands when she showed up wearing a stocking hat with cat ears. She also broke out some Japanese anime Christmas songs on her laptop, which was a mind-bending experience. I was thankful that at least Loretta wouldn't be bored...
Here are some photos of our trip: