Friday, February 27, 2009

Phoenix, AZ

I have always loved the Saguaro cactus. Their size and strength is remarkable. In route back to Missouri, we went to a wedding in Phoenix. One of Jesse's best friends growing up was getting hitched. Congratulations Mark!

Chelsie's Uncle Sam and Aunt Nancy have a very nice home in Carefree, Arizona. We stayed with them for a night. Jesse and Uncle Sam spent a good amount of time discussing, sketching, and brainstorming over many of Sam's inventions. It was truly a good time.
A windblown and dusty church off the freeway somewhere in New Mexico.

This is the

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Joshua Tree National Park

We camped a night in Joshua Tree National Park.In search for some of the old mining camps we drove down these scenic dirt roads
We stopped at a cactus garden which is tended by the park.

One of the most unique things about the Joshua Tree area was the small town on the furthest east entrance of the park called 29 Palms. This small town's trade mark was "An Oasis of Murals" This is just what it was. We acquired town guide pamphlet which led us gave us a tour of the masterpieces. Each mural, painted on the side of a business or public building, describes a portion of the small town's history. Each was uniquely designed and painted by artists from across the US.

You can see more of the murals on the town's website:
Enjoy, just as we did.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park

While relaxing in the beautiful California weather and sunshine we were blessed with some tickets to the zoo and wild animal park. Both were lots of fun and very impressive. We saw a bunch of animals and really enjoyed our time.

The koalas were very sleepy animals but adorable.
Yes we were able to visit Timon and Pumbaa (from the Lion King). Timon is a meerkat.
San Diego Zoo has a very nice, popular, Panda exhibit which is famous. They were alot of fun to watch. I can't imagine bamboo being delectable, but he seems to enjoy it enough.
We really enjoyed the small bird aviary. (click on the photo to enlarge)

There were a slew of photographers. Some were very serious about what they were doing.A few good days at the zoo and wildlife park.

Balboa Park

Here is somewhere we would have liked to spend more time at. Balboa park is a collection of gorgeous parks and and world renown museums. We strolled through the park at sunset.


George and Marian's Pad

This couple was such a blessing and a spiritual encouragement. These are David's parents or Chelsie's great uncle and aunt. We stayed with them four days. They were so fun, definitely energetic, and did everything possible to make us comfortable. We wish we could have stayed longer.

As we drove we saw hundreds of citrus groves in the California valley west of the Sierra Nevadas. Jesse had been dying to pick some citrus. George had an orange and a tangerine tree that he tended in the back yard. MMM so tasty.

One morning we squeezed fresh orange juice for breakfast. It was as the best and the freshest OJ one can get.

Funny Faces!

Thank you George and Marian. You are a blessing to many.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

San Diego Harbor

We enjoyed walking around San Diego Harbor. George and Marian, Chelsie's great aunt and uncle, took us out to a wonderful restaurant which overlooked the harbor. Carnival cruise ships docked in the harbor waiting to be restocked and leave. We kicked around the idea of taking a 4 day trip to Mexico ($158 ea.). The prices of a last minute package are very tempting a honestly unbeatable. We were a day late on this option. Check it out if you ever have a chance to go on a whim.
There are still pirates.
A tall ship which you can board. This is one of many which are included in the maritime museum.

There is a naval base in the harbor and you can watch the battleships and aircraft carriers come and go. We had a great view from the restaurant.
We got a chance to run into Paul and Robin. Some of Chelsie's cousins. Paul is a kite board instructor and a magazine editor for kite boarding magazine. Robin works at a college library in the area. We ate at an excellent bakery with them.The harbor is a very fun and scenic place to hike in the evening.

(Click on the pictures to enlarge them)

Rancho Santa Margarita, California

San Diego, California could be made synonymous with sunshine. We were amazed at the continual amount of UV that these guys get. We decided that we loved southern California. We stayed with David, a cousin on Chelsie's side. It was a first class stay which included signature caramel lattes every morning. David is a true coffee connoisseur.We hiked a number of scenic trails in the area.

After a seaside lunch and a eclectic local bistro, we hiked along the coastline and studied interesting sea creatures in tidal pools.

One of many sea urchins.

The mussels were numerous and very hard to pull off the rocks.
Thanks David for all you have done for us. We thoroughly enjoyed the stay.