Togetherness in Full Tilt

I love my crazy family.

We have been together in hotel rooms for the past 4 nights and have had messed up schedules and are still going strong. We’ve had our woes of togetherness but are still in love and ready to keep on exploring.

Today we moseyed on home and stopped at places we wanted to see along the way. We enjoyed the journey and didn’t focus on the final destination.

Our first stop off the beaten highway was Santa Margarita. We wanted to see where the Pozo Saloon was located. The drive out here was gorgeous.


It was fun to drive down roads we’ve never been on before and to imagine what it would be like to live in a remote part of a town.

From here we continued on and stopped to tour the Firestone Walker Brewery. Again, this is a place we always want to visit, but we are typically focused on the destination and don’t want to stop and slow down. Today we slowed and enjoyed a tasty lunch and brewery tastings.



As we drove, we were invited to celebrate Chinese New Year with April’s family. We were then excited to be home, but weren’t done just being on the road, as we had one more curiosity to explore.

ML and her family were camping at the beach and we decided to stop in for a quick happy hour and to wrap up our vacation with friends. This happy hour did not include food nor drink – just an hour of togetherness walking and talking and watching the sunset.



I loved that my family rallied to stop at the beach one more time and to visit with friends! I am lucky!!

And finally, we hurried up to make it home in time to enjoy dinner with April. She had prepared dumpling fixins’ and we arrived in time to help with the assembly. We all had a blast!

And now, even I am tired and am so happy to be back in my own nest again with all my little chickens in their coops. We are fully baked! Time to rest.

Life is good, living it up every day, every way I can. Hope you’re doing the same. xoxo

Day 200: Happy Chinese New Year


Happy Chinese New Year! Over 1.3 billion people in China and millions of people around the world, including us, celebrated the first day of the Chinese New Year today. Gong Xi Fa Cai is a traditional Chinese New Year greeting that means “wishing you prosperity” in Mandarin. This is the year of the snake, and is meant for steady progress and attention to detail. Might be a challenge for me!

April and Steve arrived today with their girls and we wandered thru Amsterdam’s small Chinatown and then towards the Bijenkorf to catch the tale end of the dragon dance.




I can’t believe we’ve been living in Holland for 200 days already! I’m very happy to have our family friends with us for two weeks. They came with all kinds of goodies from home and with gifts and greetings from our friends and neighbors. Thank you Brenda for all the Valentine’s day candies. Thank you Val for the beautifully, handmade scarves and warm socks for the kids, and shirt for Christian. You all are so thoughtful! And thanks A&S for coming all this way to enjoy Europe with us! We’re so glad you’re here and are going to enjoy every (freezing cold) minute with you!

Happy Chinese New Year, friends!!