November 17, 2009

California Here We Come!!

Our California adventure started on Thursday morning at 2:45 AM (Eastern Time). Jay and I had tried to get in bed early to get some sleep, but the World Series was on – making it difficult for me, impossible for him.

We had packed the night before so we just had to gather up our last minute things, unplug everything, turn the air down, and wait for my parents to pick us up. I threw together some snacks at the last minute, no rhyme or reason, just whatever I came across. I worried that the bag of tortilla chips would get crushed in the luggage, but decided it was better to risk it and take them than to leave them at home and be sure of their staleness when we got back to them.

When we arrived at the check-in counter, they hadn’t opened yet. I had read that arriving at the airport 2 hours early ensured getting through the checkpoints in plenty of time, but my family all convinced me that our airport was small enough that 1 hour would do. Thankfully I hadn’t pressed the issue or else they would have been upset with me when we arrived and had to wait for the counter to open.

Next stop was the TSA checkpoint, where I was pulled aside. The agent held up my red backpack. “Do you typically carry a pocket knife?”


“Do you have anything in your bag that could hurt me?”

“No ma’am.”

And then the search began. Apparently I had a teeny, tiny pocket knife in my bag – so small that I hadn’t even noticed it as I was packing around it. “Do you have a vehicle here?”

“No ma’am.”

“Do you have checked luggage that you would like to put this in? Or someone not flying that we could give it to?”

I looked over and saw my mom wave really big. “See that woman waving? Give it to her.”

Needless to say I was stressed for the remainder of the morning. It didn’t help matters when I called my parents to say thanks. “There is no way you didn’t know that was in there,” my dad said when he answered the phone.

Right cause I’m stupid enough to think I could sneak it by them? I resented the implication so I hung up on him. A few minutes later my mom called “Your dad thinks you hung up on him.”

“Um…that’s cause I did.” I’m the picture of maturity I know.

Our tiny little plane from Knoxville took us to the Atlanta Airport. While we waited for our connecting flight, Jay found a seat near a wall outlet and plugged in his computer to check his emails. I cracked open my first book of the trip and immersed myself into the world of Thomas of Hunter. (For you Ted Dekker fans – I was reading Green. My review will follow shortly after I get my vacation typed up.)

Jay was hoping for a window seat on the flight to Sacramento, and was only momentarily disappointed. The gentleman in our row gladly traded the aisle seat for the window, so Jay got to see the Rocky Mountains as we flew over them. Unfortunately, the camera was overhead and too difficult to get to – that’s about the only thing Jay didn’t get a picture of on this trip!!

Once we landed, Jay had a business matter to take care of, so I handled checking in at the car rental counter. I gave the lady my last name, and spelled it for her. She looked at me annoyed and said “No, I need your last name.” So I just looked at her, smiled, and repeated myself.

I’ll tell you that our last name does rhyme with a common first name, but before meeting my husband I had never heard this name before – first or last. That was just the first of several commentary pieces from Rental Car Lady.

When I asked to be added as a drive to the car she replied “Sorry, you have to be 25.” I pulled out my license to show her that I’m closer to 30 than I’d care to admit. “Wow, this doesn’t look like you!”

Thanks for pointing out that in my DL pic my hair is done, I’m wearing makeup, and a nice top. I swear it’s the best driver’s license photo ever. In real life that day, not so much. I had on baggy pants (didn’t want to fool with a belt through security), a comfy top, my hair in a pony tail, and not a stitch of makeup.

So much for being able to pull off the natural look.

We finally got our keys and were on our way – 4 ½ hours later, we arrive in Kings Canyon/Sequioa National Park area (they border one another) and are greeted by signs that inform us 1 hour delays are possible due to construction. During the week, they were closing the road both directions for 20 minutes at a time.

Since we were the only car on the road, the lady holding the “STOP” sign came over for a chat. She provided us with a map of the area and told us the “can’t miss” highlights of the park. Not to offend you West Coasters, but Jay and I both thought that Californias would be hateful, or at least abrupt. We were pleasantly surprised that she was so helpful. When the road was clear, we thanked her and headed on to the lodge for the night – but I was convinced she was just nice because she was bored out of her mind holding the sign.

We checked into the lodge and headed to our room, since it was already dark we just unpacked the car and settled in for the night. I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit that I went to bed and fell fast asleep at 7 PM local time. It was 10 back home after all. However the next morning I would be regretting my early bedtime…

I really don't mean to drag it out like this - I just want to record everything I can remember about the trip and you guys are just my victims lucky readers.  I hope to be able to put a couple days into one, if not sit back and prepare yourselves for 7 more blogs about California!  Don't worry, I'll break them up to include my Wednesday sisterhood post...and a full race report about my half this weekend! 

The first day was picture light, but rest assured all you photography fans out there - there are plenty of pictures to come!


  1. Looks like a ton of fun!!! I can't wait to hear more about it!!!

  2. You started things off with a bang with that pocket knife! I have to say I'm now really curious about your last name and I'm anxious to see more pictures!

  3. I just recently came across your blog, love the title :)

    And I do have to say, we Northern Californians are a completely different breed than those further south :) Not to say they're not nice, but the culture's a wee bit different! I hope you had a great trip, I love it here and love it when other people love it too.

  4. I can't wait to hear and see more. It sounds like a fabulous vacation!

  5. Sounds like an adventure. Can't wait to hear and see more.

  6. Sounds like so much fun! Can't wait to hear more!!!!

  7. That rental car lady sounds like a major you know what!


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