May 31, 2012

Finally. Six Cottens.

We stayed near Monterey last night, then this morning drove into San Francisco.

After doing several loops through the arrivals/pick up area, ...

...getting told to move on by 3 different policemen, making a guy in a red sports car wet his pants when we parked next to him (when I say "next to", I really mean "next to".  As in 3 inches apart.), and having the entire crew keeping a watch on the bridge heights, we picked up Angi.  It was so good to drive up and see her standing on the sidewalk waiting for us!

As we pulled out heading north, Angi mentioned that she would love to get some good sourdough bread while we were in the city that's famous for it.  I pulled out my trusty little guide book for restaurants given to us by the DeLauras and found something that looked good.  Fortunately, it was only a couple of miles from where we were at the time.  Smack dab in the middle of San Francisco.  Unfortunately, we are still in a 38 foot RV that is 12 1/2 feet tall.  Fortunately, nothing deters Tim.  He will drive this rig pretty much anywhere.  Unfortunately, the passengers bite their nails as they sit and look out the windows.  You would not believe some of the streets he took us down.

And parking?  Yeah.  A problem.  We can't fit in any designated parking garages.  So, we just park on the side of a hill (you can't tell how steep this is), squeezed in between 2 motorcycles in the front and a car in the rear.  By pulling in as tight as we could to the motorcycles, we were able to get away with only taking up 2 full parking spaces.  Thus, only 2 parking meters.  Thus, only $7 to park for one hour!  It was kind of funny how many people stopped to gawk as we were parking and getting out.  One guy even asked where we were from (he must've missed the license plates in the front AND back) and tried to help us park.  Tried, as in he stood between the motorcycles and held on to them.  I think he thought Tim was going to run right over them ( a legitimate concern for an onlooker) and he would stand there and save them.  Pretty funny.  By the way, who keeps $7 in quarters handy?

First time to all be together again in over a month.  Feels so good to this mother's soul.

This is the restaurant we chose:
 As soon as we sat down, they brought fresh sourdough to our table.  Angi was delighted.  It was so good!

We can highly recommend Sam's Grill.  Abe had "The best scallops I've ever eaten."

After lunch, we headed back up the hill to the RV.  Our hour was up and we were hoping we hadn't been towed.  Or ticketed.  Hit Starbucks on the way...of course.
Then, back to the 101 to the Golden Gate Bridge.  None of us had ever seen it, so we just chalked up another first! :)

First time to see Alcatraz, too.

Somewhere east of SanFran, we pulled over at a roadside produce stand.  That was on my wish list.

We have seen fresh cherries advertised at so many places.  It was so nice to be able to stop and load up on them.  They were perfect.  Same price for Bing and Rainier.

 Headed out with $30 worth of produce.  Everything from fruit, to onions, to salsa making stuff.

Now we are headed on east into Yosemite.  It is so good to be together again.  We are thoroughly enjoying our family; our trip; and of course....our RV!

Happy trails!

Increasing faith, and building hope.

Thirty years ago, Tim had a close relationship with this family.

Twenty-eight years ago, all contact with this family was broken.

And now, thanks to prayer, faith, hope, and an amazing God that works in our hearts, Tim was able to re-connect with the Johnsons.  And I was able to meet the family that I had heard so much about for so many years.

Alan and Linda Johnson; Tim.

Out of a family of 7, (4 girls and 3 boys)  we got to see/meet all the girls and their families.
Ferlin and Donna Beth, Natalie, Tanner, Lacey.

Elliot and Sherry Kirk, Summer, and Skyler.  What an amazing miracle Sherry's life is, and what an example of God making beauty from ashes.

Steve and Lois Bullard and their 4 kids:  Sterling, Stetson, Jessica, and Shaelyn.

David and Brenda Bullard with their 2 kids:  Wyatt and Miranda.

Alan with his 4 girls: Donna Beth, Sherry, Lois, Brenda.

We had such a lovely day.  Wonderful visiting and catching up, yummy food, gorgeous weather, lots of laughing, and lots of this:

Tim and Sherri; Ferlin and Donna Beth.

Donna Beth and me.  I so enjoyed meeting her and getting to spend time together.

Our time at the Johnsons was good;  it brought closure and healing for more than one person.  We are looking forward to keeping in touch.  

God is good....all the time.  He is bigger than any problem we might have, any hurt, any wound.  His mercies are new every morning, He brings joy from tragedy, and He makes beauty out of ashes.  All of this brings hope.  

The Pacific Coast Highway

We chose to drive on the PCH from SLO to Monterey.  It has amazing views!

And amazing curves.  Especially in a 38 foot RV.  Many times, we were straddling the double yellow line in the middle.  Our Blue Ridge Parkway has nothing on the PCH as far as curves go. Some pretty good inclines too.

So many signs like this.  I think we averaged 30 mph for 4 hours.

Multiple hairpin turns.

On your right is a cliff wall.  On your left, a sheer drop off to the rocks and water.  A quote from Abe a this point:  "I wonder what would happen if you just gunned it and went straight right here?"

We stopped at a vista point (in VA it would be a scenic overlook) to take some pics.

There were 4 stumps just sitting there waiting for us to stand on them.  Perfect.

We are yoga naturals.


Abe acting like he's going to throw Bear out over the edge.

We were trying to throw a rock into the water.  It looked so easy!  It's just right down there!  But Abe was the only one who could get the rock to land in the water.  Throwing it was a bit scary.  We were standing right on the edge.  Abe and Marci felt the need to hold onto me as I threw.  I failed.

Marci failed.

 Abe made it.  Twice.

We stopped here so the kids could go down to the beach and put their feet in the water.  See the 3 little dots?  That's the kids.

Yes, that's Abe running away from the cold water.

Up on the rock.  Bear too.

Coming into Monterey Bay.

We had the windows open as we rolled through Cannery Row.  This old guy hollered out, "Welcome to Monterey!"

Going to dinner.
 It was chilly!  And breezy!

 Dinner was delicious!  We can highly recommend it.  Next, we walked a couple of blocks away for dessert.  All the Cottens agree that Lindt is better than Ghirardelli.  No offense, you Ghirardelli lovers.  You just don't know any better yet.

And then of course, a little latte to go with the chocolate.

My beautiful girls.  Notice who is taller here!

Love my kids!