Our 20th Anniversary trip

Renee and I at the Golden Gate Bridge on our 20th Anniversary
Renee and I at the Golden Gate Bridge on our 20th Anniversary
Last week, we took a driving tour of the California coast for our 20th anniversary. Accompanying us for the trip was our son Jesse and my mother Betty. We left Apple Valley on Monday morning and headed for Cambria/San Simeon. We stopped in Bakersfield for lunch at Mimi’s Cafe and then continued to follow CA 58 all the way to it’s end in Santa Margarita. We hopped onto US 101 until CA 41 and got on Highway 1 along the coast in Morro Bay. We arrived in San Simeon, CA and checked into the Best Western just before sunset. We ordered some pizza from Woody’s in Cambria after enjoying the sunset along the shore.

The next morning, we loaded up and headed to Piedras Blancas Lighthouse which is managed by the BLM and was celebrating its 135th year of existence. The BLM was offering free tours of the grounds surrounding the lighthouse. The weather was magnificent and we enjoyed seeing the flowers, wildlife and historical buildings at Piedras Blancas. After this, we drove Highway 1 north. We stopped for lunch in Big Sur and enjoyed a beautiful view of the coast. We drove through Carmel and toured 17 Mile Drive. We continued up the coast crossing the Golden Gate Bridge at night to stay overnight in San Rafael.

The next morning, we doubled back to take photos of the Golden Gate Bridge before returning to Highway 1 and continuing our trip north along the California coast. We stopped for lunch in Fort Bragg, CA and rejoined US 101 in Leggett, CA. We found a hotel in Arcata, CA for the night. Renee and I got our own room and let Jesse and mom share a room for our anniversary. We took Jesse to dinner with us to 6 Rivers Brewery in McKinleyville since mom wanted to stay in the room. We enjoyed some local cuisine before returning to our room for the night while Jesse hit the hotel spa.

The next morning after loading up, we headed for Redwoods National Park farther up the coast. We toured the Lady Bird Johnson Memorial Grove and then stopped at Big Tree State Park. We continued up the coast until Crescent City, CA and then cut inland to Grants Pass, OR. We took Interstate 5 south until we stopped for dinner in Medford, OR at Red Lobster. It turned out that our waitress Denise had been born in Apple Valley. That night we drove as far as Redding, CA before stopping.

Jesse wanted to tour a cavern during our trip so he picked Black Chasm Cavern in Volcano, CA as our next destination. We arrived and had our own private tour of the cavern with our guide David. We had a great time and mom decided to rest in the car. Next we headed to Yosemite National Park in hopes of getting some great sunset photographs. As we entered the park from the north, the weather turned bad and it started to rain. Temperatures started to drop and then the fog set in. At times, we couldn’t see past the hood of the car. We kept driving and exited out the south side of the park without ever seeing the grand vistas Yosemite is known for. We made it to Fresno before stopping for the night.

The final day of our trip included a brief stop in Bakersfield, CA so mom could visit with an old co-worker and then we headed for home. In all, we spent 6 days on the road and traveled over 1,800 miles. We saw sunsets over the ocean, towering redwood trees and amazing underground formations. It was a great trip that we will all remember for years to come.

Weekend Update

Friday night, Jesse drove us to dinner and then went to a movie night at his youth group while Renee and I went grocery shopping. Saturday was a wet and dreary day spent switching between coverage of the mudslides in LA and the blizzard in DC where my brother is working. When I went to check the mail during a break in the rain, the street was like driving on a freshly frosted cake. Our yard was a series of 1-2 inch puddles. That evening we watched a DVD before calling it a night.

Sunday began quietly with clear blue skies. After reading the paper and little of a Star Wars novel, I decided to check the fluids in Jesse’s truck and run it a little. I discovered that it was leaking antifreeze and we were off to Autozone to obtain a replacement for the leaking part. We were able to fix that without much trouble and then I resumed reading the novel until the Super Bowl began. I thought the ads this year were not so good, but was pleased that the Saints won. I didn’t like when Drew Brees left San Diego, but was glad to see him and the long-suffering Saints and city of New Orleans get their celebration. We finished the evening watching Undercover Boss which was ok, but won’t last long.

Another month done and a busy one ahead

Well, we have put another month in the history books. January has ended and we now enter one of the busier months on the Zeliff calendar to include two birthdays and three anniversaries. In February, Renee and I both celebrate our birthdays and our parents wedding anniversaries are celebrated along with our 20th. This will be my mom’s first wedding anniversary since dad passed away so we are hoping she will come out and be with us on that day. They were married for 45 years and her sorrow needs comforting when that day arrives.

This past weekend was not too busy. Friday night, Jesse drove us around as we got the oil changed in my truck and then went to Best Buy to exchange a defective DVD. Afterward, he went through the drive-thru at Golden Chopstix. It’s a good thing he has long arms, because he stopped a good ways away from the window. When we arrived home, I forced myself to use only chopsticks which was pretty comical to watch I am sure. I did get the hang of it, but my hand was a little sore by the end of the meal. Saturday we did a little housecleaning and Sunday I enjoyed seeing the Lakers beat the hated Celtics. That evening, we had a our friend Martial over to watch WWE Royal Rumble. It was great to spend some time with him and watch the PPV.

We pray that you and your family are well and please know that we are available should you need someone to pray with or just talk to.