Saturday, August 30, 2008

New Shoes

Phoebe got new shoes! Lace-up ones at that. Now that she has been walking everywhere for over a month, (i have almost forgotten that she used to crawl) we have entered the shoe-tying stage of life.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Strawberry Shortcake Plate

This plate is one that i had a little kid. I loooved Strawberry Shortcake as a child and saved my money to buy this plate. Now Phoebe can eat off it!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Salmon Creek Beach, CA

Today we went to Salmon Creek Beach, which is along the coast of Sonoma County here in California. Phoebe had a blast. She enjoyed walking around and playing in the sand. It was a great day for her to hang out with her Grampa and Gramma, aunts and uncles.

In & Out Burger

One of the greatest part of living on the west coast is In & Out Burger, arguably the best fast food burger restaurant in the world. I almost always order a double-double animal style with fries and a neapolitan milkshake.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Disc Golf at La Mirada Park

Yesterday Amos and I went disc golfing with one of my good friends and former roommate Nate Labate.

Our new apartment

So we are now in our new apartment in LA. Here are a couple pictures of our apartment and the complex.
Living room

Our kitchen

Kitchen and living room

View of courtyard from our door

Front of apartment complex

Apartment complex on right; our street view

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Barstow, CA

Barstow is located along Rt.15 and Rt.40 just outside of the Majave Desert. Barstow was originally founded by Barry "Bonehead" Barstow (I'm assuming that's what the founding father's name was) who was a man with great visions and dreams. "Bonehead" Barstow decided that he wanted to develop a city by taking all the best qualities of all the cities around the world - grass, flowers, water, trees, shrubbery, beauty - and throw them all out the window. Soon the city of Barstow came to be, and thus Barry "Bonehead" Barstow permanently etched his name in the annals of history, right below the founding father of Bakersfield. Seriously, though, whoever decided to settle in Barstow must have either been crazed out of their mind or just a total numbskull. The Majave Desert has more vegetation than Barstow. Anyway, it was probably 110 degrees, so we got out of there as quick as possible. Also, over 20,000 people live there, so I'm fairly certain the city doesn't contain the most mentally sound people. Honestly. Whoever would decide to live in Barstow has to have a few screws loose.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Painted Desert & Petrified Forest, AZ

NM/AZ Border

New Mexico and Arizona are two gorgeous states. Basically, from Albuquerque, NM to Kingman, AZ it is a unending panorama of beauty. I woke up in the Walmart parking lot in Gallup, NM to a beautiful morning and a short while later stopped at the NM/AZ border/Welcome Center to fill up water bottles and to take some pictures. As you can see, the scenery is breathtaking.

I knew it would hit me...

As I got all packed up and said goodbye to everyone in Harrisonburg I was aware of the fact that I was not emotionally present. I think there was too much going on with preparing to move that my heart got left a few days behind. People would ask me things like, "Are you sad about leaving?" I did not feel sad at the time, but I knew that the reality that I was leaving my home would eventually catch up with me sometime. Well, it hit me yesterday, August 6th, at about 3pm, shortly after leaving Hardesty. I think the vast, empty prairie of nothingness reminded me that I was truly away from home and that so much of what I held dear was left behind me, leaving me to feel very alone, small, and scared. I was slowly engulfed in a wave of deep sadness over leaving my home in Harrisonburg - a home I loved so dearly. I l welcomed the grief because it was good, felt wonderful, and was so cathartic. Some people avoid crying and feeling sad like the plague, but I love it. Within the sadness there is a deep joy that comes from having people and a place to love, and being loved in return. Oh, how I miss my home, but praise be to God that I have an eternal home in his warm, loving embrace!

Hardesty, OK

Prior to my departure, my wonderful boss Cheryl surprised me with a US atlas in which she had outlined a possible route for me to take across the country. Included in this route was her hometown, Hardesty, Oklahoma, on the panhandle of the state. After leaving Oklahoma City, Amos and I drove up to the panhandle and nearly drove through the town it was so small. The town is literally only half a mile long. Amos and I were looking for Big D's Cafe and missed it, and the next second we were outside the town. So we had to go back in and ask a local kid and he showed us where it was. Amos and I enjoyed a delicious meal at Big D's - the Big D's Cheeseburger and Prairie Chips. Anyway, thanks, Cheryl, for the wonderful suggestion of going through Hardesty. I can't believe you grew up there! It's seriously in the middle of absolutely nowhere!!

A couple miles outside of Hardesty. Nothing as far as the eye can see...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Oklahoma City, OK

Amos and I arrived in Oklahoma City last night about 9:30pm. We spent the night with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Eric and Anna. We had a great time catching up with them briefly last night. It was short, but sweet, and I will look forward to seeing them again soon. They are two fantastic people who love dearly. Now we are off to Arizona! More later.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

St. Louis, MO

So some cool news about this trip is that my brother Amos was able to meet me in St. Louis to join me the rest of the way. I've enjoyed spending today talking to him and look forward to the next few days we will be able to spend time together. Anyway, his flight to St. Louis was delayed, therefore I had some time to kill, and I killed it by visiting the St. Louis Arch. What a magnificent structure! The sheer size of the arch is incredible! It was my first time to see it in person and I was blown away. Too bad it's in such a crummy location. The weather was miserable. It was 100 degrees with 100% humidity. To top it off, my AC stopped working for about 20 minutes because of how humid it was. Let's just say that I almost wished I had skipped the arch just to stay cool.

Lexington, VA

Well, I ended up getting a very late start to my trip. I didn't leave Harrisonburg until 5pm, therefore it was dinner time as I passed through Lexington; and since I had not eaten anything since 6am, I decided I would stop for an eat to bite. It was a gorgeous day on which to begin my trip.