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.
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 :)