the adventure never ends...
Our next stop was camping at Lake Mead near the Hoover Dam. The lake was beautiful and the campground quiet and surrounded with beautiful flowers. We drove to see the Hoover Dam and watch the sunset, which was incredible; the Dam is breathtaking and ignites fear with one glance. After seeing the dam we made dinner around the fire and played guitar and then hit the sack. The next morning we got up and headed to Panera Bread for some delicious breakfast and then we drove to Huntington Beach. The wind was cold and the water was freezing. We all were expecting Florida in California but it’s not what we discovered. We spent a few hours laying on the beach relaxing before we headed to La Mirada to stay with Stephen’s grandparents. They sent us to Inn and Out burger for dinner, everyone told us we had to have it, and it was surprisingly good especially for the cheap prices. Marilyn prepared delicious dessert for us and we sat around and ate and visited with them. Sunday morning we went to church with them at their small, elderly Presbyterian church. It was so good to be in church, to worship, and to learn. The pastor was a young passionate believer who gave a strong and convicting message about Exodus 20:1-3. He left us asking who do you worship the most? That is your god.
After church we drove to Venice beach and walked along the strip. There were tons of small shops and lots of people playing music, doing stunts or magic, all trying to make their living right from the streets. It was moving, and yet still disturbing. I had to take my conference call for Zambia that afternoon and then afterwards we drove to LA/Hollywood. We met a friend of my brothers and he showed us the ropes around downtown and took us to a delicious Mexican place and then Million Milkshakes for dessert. We were stuffed but everything was so good. We were disappointed with LA though, it was such a dirty and trashy city, not at all what you would expect. From there we went back to La Mirada and stayed another night with Stephen’s grandparents, again such a wonderful time! They asked lots of questions and got to know us and Marilyn was a nurse so we talked a lot about that which was so encouraging for me. Monday we left their house and went to Malibu beach where we ate at this delicious little beach café and then spent the afternoon on the beach. It was windy again and the water freezing but the sun kept us warm. We left Malibu and headed for Santa Barbara! We arrived Monday evening and had dinner with my sister and brother in law and then dessert and chatted for a few hours. Tuesday we did everything to get Rita ready to be sold: smog test, car wash, vacuum, removing all her stickers, etc. And then we walked around downtown and along the beach and through the farmers market, and had more delicious froyo. Then Kevin my brother in law taught Christoph and Claus how to surf which was awesome. They eventually got the hang of it and caught a couple of waves. After surfing we ate dinner and dessert together and then played card games and talked until late. Wednesday we were all bums except for taking a short hike up the mountain where you could see the peaks and look over the ocean and then we had dinner at Pizza Guru, which was awesome. After dinner we did a sunset hike through the beautiful California oaks and saw lots of flowers, birds, and a bobcat! Then Kevin introduced the boys to the X-files, which was perfect, and then we all went to bed.
Today we are off to San Francisco, driving on the one alongside the coast and stopping along the way. Change of plans that I decided to go with the boys and then Amtrak back to Santa Barbara. Today we saw the gross, huge, lazy elephant seals and watched the incredible sunset over the ocean. We are now in seaside and then headed towards San Francisco tomorrow!