We left home a week earlier, and since this is the first trip to Baja that I haven't chronicled along the way I thought I should go backwards and catch us up. If I don't write stuff down I forget it. My memory is indeed that bad. I shudder to think what it might be like in a couple more decades.
Very important details like my husband making ridiculous poses for my phone camera while we welcome daylight on our first day of the journey south,
or what long days in the car look like,
or what the road conditions were like most of the way down, might be lost forever.
We had winter roads like this all the way through Saskatchewan, Alberta, Montana, Idaho, and Utah. By Los Vegas we finally said goodbye to winter! It wasn't much fun and because sleeping in our trailer was out of the question we spent a few nights in hotels.
Part way through Utah we thought we lost our transmission and ended up at a garage. Fortunately we didn't need to be towed. We were worried that our trip was over and that our two long days in the car would be rewarded with a big credit card bill, and two more days driving home. Fortunately it ended up being something more minor and we were back on the road in only a few hours. While our van was being diagnosed we drug our travel weary, depressed selves to a nearby mall to find some lunch. We had planned on finding a Chick Fil A that day since we had never been to one, and had been looking forward to it (it's the little things sometimes that keep you going). Our plans all changed when we thought we'd be heading home. It was an ironic encouragement to walk into the food court and be surprised to see a Chick Fil A. Such a little thing, but a reminder that God knows those little things and cares. We ordered our meal, cutting corners where we could, and mumbled something about it being our first time eating there because we were taking a bit of time to look at the menu board. Somehow it came out that we were from Canada and were in town because our car was broke down. We must have been a pathetic sight because the manager came and gave us our money back and said they wanted to buy our meal. We didn't expect that in a million years. It was only thirty dollars but it was such an encouragement at a time when we were really feeling really discouraged. This restaurants reputation of being super friendly, having great service, and going the extra mile to care about their customers is certainly true.
After our meal we got the good news that our car repair would only cost a few hundred dollars (rather than thousands) and we could continue the journey south.
Our first stretch of snow free road was in Nevada.
I snapped this picture because it was the first bit of blue sky we saw...day three. We replaced snow with a fierce gusty wind.
We usually do a shorter day by day three but because we broke down in Utah we lost quite a few hours. By the time we got to LA California we were majorly burnt out. It didn't help that we arrived to So. Cal. traffic in the dark, during rush hour, and in drizzling rain. It was kind of intense...and my poor hubby had been driving in "intense" mode the whole way down. We usually enjoy the big American divided highways but this time there was no cruising along...it was white knuckle most of the way.
The kids were ecstatic to finally be out of the van, and to see green grass, palm trees, and play outside. We spent a couple nights at an RV park in Anaheim.
We needed a day just to recover, and then we hit California Adventures the day after that.
We had an amazing day. So much fun. Elijah was a little hard to read the whole day. I think he was enjoying himself...in a totally awestruck, slightly confused, nearly overwhelmed sort of way.
The next day (a Sunday) we decided to go find Mars Hill Huntington Beach. It was super refreshing to gather with the Jesus' people even 2000 miles away. It felt like home away from home.
The music was awesome.
During our time in LA we also had lunch and a nice visit with a friend we went to college with that we haven't seen in about 18 years. Thankyou for the home cooked meal Gretchen! It meant a lot to these fast food weary travelers.
(Cece doing land parachuting. "see ya later suckers!")
We spent a couple more days at an RV park in Oceanside CA. We usually rush our way down to Baja but because we had our trailer with us this time we wanted to enjoy vacationing in CA. a little longer.
We found some cheap ways to entertain ourselves. Not that it takes much for these prairie kids.
Next Stop Baja!