Monday, August 11, 2008

Is it really over...?

27 – 29 July 2008 – These last few days of our trip were rather uneventful, and some were long. We stayed with family just outside of Washington, DC on the 28th, but continued on to NJ by the 29th. All in all, we were on the road from NJ to NJ again in 46 days, just under 7 weeks. Our country is big, and its beautiful. Hopefully my kids and theirs will get to experience the magnificence as I have, but considering the current trend (from Leopold and Muir to now) I don't have particularly high hopes. At least I have the pictures.... so check them out!

26 July 2008 – After a short night at a rest stop, we began the day early at the Grand Canyon. A stunning vista, we drove along the South rim of the entire canyon and the one adjacent to it. Following the Canyon(s), we continued East and found that we could make it to Petrified Forest National Park... before Sunset! Truly, if our day at the Grand Canyon wasn't spectacular enough, this park made it so and then some. Just don't take any of the petrified wood!

25 July 2008 – Today marks the start of the last leg of our trip. We spent much of the week hanging out with beach bums/locals til today, Friday, but now we've got to head East. And as open and willing I am to like San Diego, I really can't get past how dry the climate is; that and it's an entire city built around supporting the naval construction docks – sorry Joe, San Francisco is still better in my eyes (except the waves do get better here). Enjoying the great weather and the beach, we stayed until the afternoon and then left toward our first stop on the way back.. East – the Grand Canyon!

23 – 24, July 2008 – We moved on Wednesday from our motel to Sweetwater County Park; a gi-normous comic convention in the area made almost all lodging prices skyrocket into the weekend. We spent the enf of the week exploring Balboa Park thoroughly, specifically visiting the Air & Space museum. A phenomenal Star Trek exhibit was on display but it cost a pretty penny; of course, I claimed military discount so I didn't feel so bad seeing it. Chris only got the student discount. It certainly gave me a better appreciation for Star Trek and space. When not at the park, we spent the rest of our time in Ocean Beach, either checking out the farmers market on Weds., or walking along the seawall on Thurs.

21- 22, July 2008 – After leaving Oceanside, we got into San Diego rather early and checked into a nice (somewhat cheap) motel just outside the main part of the City. Once here, we visited Balboa Park and stumbled into the Rose and Cactus gardens. I'm still astounded as to how dry San Diego is, especially for such a popular and growing city. The following day we made our way to the Park again, and found some awesome, cheap sushi place just on the Eastern edge of Ocean Beach, Ca, one of the most relaxed, laid-back sections of the San Diego area.

19 - 20, July 2008 – We continued on and with our tent still wet, rather than plan to camp or stay in a motel, we got in touch with friends of Chris's family. We arrived in Oceanside, Ca, a quiet military town between LA and San Diego and were invited to stay for a few days; needless to say, WE DID. The beaches are amazing, and by this point the water is now really warm (wetsuits in San Fran, none here!) and the waves decent. Unfortunately, I couldn't a board around here, so no surf for me...

18 July 2008 – Today, Friday, we left San Francisco, but only after visiting the beach-side cafe we stopped at on our first day here. After a relaxing morning and afternoon we embarked to the South, continuing along the coastal road with more and more stunning views of the Pacific coast. We planned on camping partway, but found the cooler leaked in the car (again) and our tent got SOAKED, so we stayed in a rather affordable motel (compared to San Fran!) in San Luis Obispo, Ca.

15-17, July 2008 – Exploring San Francisco this week was a monumental excursion, primarily by foot and metro. San Francisco's metro transit is expedient and comprehensive. We walked around downtown Oakland, Golden Gate Park, and the Presidio, Castro, and Mission districts. And the FOOD! We ate a variety of great Far and Middle Eastern foods, typically in the evenings. Suprisingly, we managed to eat relatively cheaply for being in a downtown area.