Heading south ... had to add 3 hours of extra driving onto our first day to beat out a NorCal snow storm. Made for a very, very long day but we were so glad to get miss out on the potential delays of getting stuck.
Mabel asleep under her book :)
I got to be at the beach four times during our nine days there -- it wasn't always super warm, but we had one really fabulously warm beach day.
Sunset at Morro Bay with the kids --
Day trip to Santa Barbara to meet up with my friend Julie & her hubby who'd driven up from LA to visit with us for the day. One of my most favorite people -- pen pals since high school summer camp and became great friends during the few years we both lived in LA before I joined Peace Corps. She (a previous missionary to Guatemala) was my inspiration for moving to Guatemala. It was such a joy to see her and wish her well as they anticipate the arrival of their first child in April.
Atascadero has a small zoo which we were able to take Luke to while my Mom watched Mabel.
Luke's favorite parts? Drinking from the lion drinking fountain and playing with the hanging chains for the walk-thru bird aviary. He's three :)
Christmas Day family photos -- almost all together, just missing Jeannie & Talon.
Post-Christmas family gathering -- hurray, the whole clan is together for the first time in nearly six years!!
One final trip to the beach ... to check out the elephant seals who winter on a beach not far from my parents. They are pretty crazy!
On the road home ... some pretty moments and also some not so great driving conditions. The roads had a bit more snow/ice than we'd hoped which kept us very much on our toes, but we made it safely home to a balmy 3 degree night in Moscow.
Luke & Jason at Multnomah Falls ... the wind chill was something fierce and I decided to stay in the car :)