We toured the Redwoods in California, unfortunately, our kids weren't as impressed as we were. I remember them from when I was a child and, apparently, I made them sound more impressive than my kids thought they really were. Now, the beaches, that is what impresses them!! I have a feeling that we are going to visit every beach that we pass!!!! When we left the Redwoods we made it as far down as Petaluma and stayed the night at a KOA there. We awoke to sunshine, which we hadn't seen in 5 weeks!! We were quite excited and energized! We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge (the kids were in awe of that) and through San Francisco to Santa Cruz. We were going to just stay overnight and spend one day at the beach but we loved it so much that we ended up staying three days. We decided that we could definitely live there if it weren't so expensive. It was only 60 degrees but our kids boogie boarded for three hours!! I think the locals thought they were OUT there! We took a day trip back up to San Francisco and walked through China Town and took a ride in the cable car. The boys bought swords and Calista bought a Kimono. They could have spent much more time there! We also spent an evening, in downtown Santa Cruz, looking at the shops. They have lots of homeless people and some very eccentric people; our favorite was a man dressed a little like a clown, all pink, who walked about 6" every 10 seconds with a cheesy grin on his face. The kids were a little creeped out but he made us laugh. The kids also gave some of their pizza to two local, YOUNG homeless boys who inhaled it. It felt good to help someone but makes a person very sad.
It was hard to leave Santa Cruz but we were also ready to get even warmer weather so we continued south to Santa Barbara. We decided to take Highway 1 down, very scary in spots and extremely curvy but we made it and it was definitely an incredibly beautiful trip down. Several miles before we hit Santa Barbara there was an area on Hwy. 1 where the elephant seals hang out on the beach and you can walk right up to them but you are on a little embankement so it is safe. It was really neat to see them that close. My aunt's twin sister Barbara, and her family live here (we are still in Santa Barbara) so we had dinner with them last night and breakfast with Barbara this morning. This is another place we could probably live but talk about EXPENSIVE!! Median house price here is around $800,000!! We spent the day at the beach today, a little warmer here at around 68 degrees. The kids boogie boarded for another 2-3 hours and then we walked up and down State St. looking at the shops. Lots of import stores, my favorite!!! We will pull out of here around 9:00 tomorrow morning and will get into Palm Springs around 12:30 or so. We will be parked there for about three weeks visiting with Martin's sister, Jenette, and helping them out a little with their remodel project. It is a few degrees warmer yet there so I am getting happier by the day!!