Monterey 

Navigating the streets of Monterey was a challenge.  I’m conditioned to assume the ocean is found to the east and I navigate from there.  Doesn’t work so well on this coast.

Monterey was a relaxed coastal town and staying there two nights gave the kids a nice break from the car.  We spent almost an entire day at the aquarium and also discovered the Dennis the Menace playground and Cannery Row. 

         

Yosemite

Yosemite made me understand the word breathtaking.  The passes in and out of the valley were an unnerving ride but so worth it.  We kept our hikes simple, due to the number of short legs in the family, but we saw some beautiful places. Yosemite Falls and the peaks around the valley were incredible but Mariposa Grove stood out even amid all that beauty.  

   

               

San Francisco

The strange thing about flying to San Francisco was that every time we checked the time, it was 9:45 again.  I understand the concept of time zones, but I had never experienced it so directly as during our flight.  

That meant that despite traveling all day, we had time for a few adventures our first afternoon.  The boys were very eager to see a cable car (Thank you, Mable the Cable Car for this obsession) so what better way to start our visit than a cable car ride to the cable car museum?  

This morning, we were up early.  Still dark, seriously it isn’t morning yet, birds are still sleeping early. Once the sun was up, the kids and I checked out Pier 39 – sea lions, foggy Alcatraz views and all.  Next up was Golden Gate Park (from which we could not see the Golden Gate Bridge, preserving Jemmie’s belief that it is indeed made of golden jewels), California Academy of Sciences (Leona took an epic nap right in the middle of the very loud earthquake exhibit) and a swim in the hotel pool.

This is a whirlwind tour of California and we leave San Francisco tomorrow without seeing more than a tiny bit of it. I can’t wait to see what’s next but this is a beautiful city and I’m sorry not to have more time here.

            

  

California, here we come!

 One of the many cool things about this sabbatical is the chance to take a real family vacation.  We are lucky enough to take lots of regular road trips on the east coast to visit family and we look forward to all of them.  But this year, we are embarking of the Sitkoff California road trip of 2015.  We started out with the kids’ first flight – Boston to San Diego.  They were fantastic, although they think that airports could be use fewer lines.  

Today by the numbers:

Number of people who commented that we certainly have our hands full: 7

Number of free Jet Blue snacks consumed by our family: 13

Number of bags, checked and carry on, that it took to get us out the door: 11

Number of airport people movers that Jeremiah got on the wrong way: 1 

Number of miles from home, right now: 3105