My Mom's best friend, Connie, lives is Northern California so the day after the wedding we got together for some sightseeing. We headed up to Armstrong Redwoods. In the first picture you can see what happens when everyone lets Stephen lead the hikes. We weren't quite dressed for the haul I had envisioned. I dragged everyone up and away from the redwoods they were all hoping to see! Everyone was a good sport about it and still seemed to enjoy themselves.. after the necessary shoe and sock adjustments of course. Once we came down from the hills we got back to seeing the giant Redwoods everyone was interested in. I can hardly comprehend the height of those trees in person, much less capture their intensity in photos. I can capture a sign though. Colonel Armstrong, 308 ft tall, 14.6 ft in diameter, 1400 years old. Dang! After our hikes we had lunch at a diner in Guerneville and then stumbled across the Guerneville Bank Club, a super cool bakery, ice cream shop, art gallery, and more. Their pumpkin spice ice cream was the best ice cream I've had in my life. So amazing. I thought it was the neatest place ever.
We followed the Russian River (great name if you think about it..) down to the ocean where we found Goat Rock State Beach. I've since learned that there are actually prominent rub marks on some outcrops and are believed to be left by mammoths some 40,000 years ago. There are no mammoths there today but you can find Harbor Seals! They relax at the river delta which had been recently cut open to help aid the fish runs. Instead of satisfying my want to see Bodega where Hitchcock's The Birds was filmed I asked if we could just stay and watch the sunset at the beach. It was the right choice! It was a really pleasant way to wrap up our family trip and we were very gracious for Connie and Bob's hospitality. I enjoyed spending time with my family and I wouldn't have asked for anything more. We had great experiences full of great memories. Especially that ice cream. My goodness. Until next time, California. Thanks for having me.