welcome signs

This is a rewind post. Back to our drive from Minnesota to California at the end of January. We've been here for about six weeks now. Still at my sister's for now, so we're not really settled yet. But it's good to be home. I miss Minnesota though. The friends we made, our quiet little town (strange now that I miss it... I was in such culture shock for a while when we moved there, but it really grew on me). The beautiful sunrise over the snow in the morning. The slower pace.

We'll get into our own place soon, and will have our routines and such in place again. For now we're living as nomads... staying with one sister for the most part, taking little trips to visit others.

This weekend we're in Monterey. Joe was asked to fill in at a tattoo shop here, and the kids and I tagged along for a visit with my sister Kelly and her family while he worked. Joe and I lived here for about a year, before children. It's so beautiful, with the ocean and the sand dunes. Later today we'll go to Santa Cruz to visit Joe's sister and her family. Santa Cruz is always a fun place to visit because it's where we met and went to college. We love Santa Cruz. Again, the ocean. And the food we love, the culture of the area.

On Friday, Michelle and I took our kids to Tahoe, to ski/snowboard/play in the snow. It was gorgeous. A beautiful, bright, sunny day in the Sierras.

I love California. I love that where we live, we can drive just a couple of hours and be in the snow, or at the ocean or in the redwoods. I love that our family is here, and our friends that have become family. It's good to be home.

These pictures were from our drive west. Joe drove his truck, loaded down with essentials for the next few months, until we go back for the rest of our stuff which is in a storage unit in Minnesota. I drove the Odyssey. We each had a couple of kids. Judah stayed with me, but the rest shuffled around. When they were apart, they asked to call the other, just to see what they were doing. My car has the dvd player, and both Brooklyn and Zeke thought it would be fun to have a Shrek marathon, but they were with me at different times. So for two days in a row I listened to Shrek, Donkey and Fiona for the length of three movies each day. The other two days were full of games, talks, music and sleep (them, not me). Our kids are great travelers. We really want to do a year of homeschooling on the road in an rv sometime, journeying throughout the US. We figure Joe can be a guest artist at tattoo shops along the way. Maybe I'll be an accomplished artist and can sell my wares as we go. Someday. Now seems like a good time, since we're not tied down to a house. But maybe when the little ones are a little older. Although if we had an rv I'd jump at the chance to do it now. I love road trips and think it would be a great way to learn and teach more about our country.

So this is me driving. Not sure what day or what state. Still snow on the ground.

I was so excited to get on interstate 80! Knowing that it goes all the way to San Francisco Bay, right through our home town just made it so real that we were going home.

Depending on where you are, you may or may not get why I was excited for this next one. It had been below zero for a few weeks in Minnesota before we left. I was hoping that the day we loaded our stuff into the storage unit, it would be at least 20 degrees... but it never got up to zero that day either. As we drove west, it got warmer and warmer. One day we stopped for lunch at a fast food place and it felt so warm, I thought it would be great to eat outside... until I went to sit down and saw that the bench was covered in ice! I took this picture when we got back in the car. 35 degrees was like being in the tropics compared to where we'd been!

And this sign pretty much speaks for itself. Except that if you have a wealth of these near you, you should really appreciate it. Because some people have to drive 20 miles to get to one. And they are not located at the base of every exit along interstate 80 when you're in the middle of Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada. So when this sign was in sight, it was a happy thing.

Here's another luxury you may take for granted if you live where Baskin Robbins' abound. This is my favorite favorite treat, and the guy at the place I frequent knows my order. But they don't have Basin Robbins in Minnesota. I told this to the guy who knows my order (because that was one of those important searches I did online before moving). I asked him to move there too and open one, in the name of good customer service. He said he'd see me when I come to visit.

And last, but certainly not least, these signs greeted us when we finally arrived at my sister's house. There were at least four of these throughout the house.

It is good to be home.

Labels: family, Minnesota