July 4th this year started bright and early in the morning for us. We were helping to serve at the church pancake breakfast in Santa Maria! Before we left for the activity, I sent a quick text message to Rachel to find out where she and Joey were (they were coming to visit and were planning on leaving Mesa, very early in the morning.) I was surprised when Katie sent a message back and said, "I'm at home!". Wait, how did Katie get that text?? Did I sent it to the right person? Did my phone have a weird glitch? So, I sent Katie a text back, asking if I had really sent her a text. Her reply..."apparently". Oh, my! So, then I asked Katie to call me, and as soon as I said hello, it hit me!! Rachel was at Katie's house. They got me good!! Rachel and Joey were smart and drove Tuesday evening to Katie's house. They had spent the night there! They were going to the pancake breakfast and then head to our house, four hours north.
We enjoyed our pancake breakfast and program. It was fun and great to see many old friends. We came home for lunch and soon Rachel and Joey were there! It was so great to see them!!
It was such a beautiful day. We headed to the Bob Jones Bike Trail.
Man, is Evan ever fast!! Can you tell we are having a hard time keeping up!!
This is the San Luis Creek which flows along the path. It was so pretty that day!!
There are great trees for climbing!!
We decided not to fight the crowds at the beach or pier and head up to middle school on the hill to watch the fireworks. Here is our vantage point.
Isn't the sail on this boat pretty.
Rachel is all bundled up for the cold!!
Evan, me, Mike and Rachel. We just enjoyed chatting and nibbling snacks waiting for the fireworks!!
The next day we headed up to La Cuesta Encantada otherwise known as Hearst Castle. W. R Hearst was the famous publisher who built this the huge home on property in San Simeon. We took the Grand tour. This place is amazing and is now consider a museum with lots of ancient art work on the walls.
This is the dining room.
Hearst actually considered this a ranch not a castle. He was very informal and the condiments would be on the table in their original containers. It looked rather odd around all the art work.
They are doing things a little different now at the castle. After your tour you can just wander around the gardens until your heart is content. I wish I would have know that before I got tickets. I would have planned a little better. I was expecting to complete the tour in time to head back down the mountain for a picnic lunch. We wandered in the gardens though for quite a while taking in all the beauty we could until hunger gave in. Here is some of the beautiful scenery and flowers.
|This is the indoor pool.|
|The front of one of the cottages.|
|This is the view of the ocean from the castle. It was simply stunning!!|
We also had fun going to the Great American Melodrama and just playing games at home. Wii tennis was especially a blast with four people!! When Joey and Rachel headed home to the desert on Saturday we followed halfway and went to the Los Angeles temple where Katie and Brad met with us. It was great being in the Temple with some of our children. It reminded us that families can be forever!!