California livin’: Redwoods, Wetsuits, & Culture Shock


The kind lady took the photo, and then said, “There’s a bathroom right over there.” Three-year-olds hide nothing.


“I can’t sleep. I’m just so excited about Granddaddy and Nana!”

That’s what Joshua said the night before my parents arrived. Caleb even woke up around 10:30pm, wandered out into the hallway, and asked, “Where are they?”

“Caleb, they aren’t arriving until later tomorrow. Go back to bed, and get some sleep.”

His little face fell, and then he headed back to bed, where he fell right back to sleep.

You might say this was a really big deal! Here is their visit, according to Granddaddy’s phone. Dad let me email myself all the pictures I wanted. Thanks, Dad!!  🙂


Alan took the boys wet suit shopping. Oh my goodness. Have you ever put on a wetsuit? Well, let me tell ya, it’s like putting on full body panty-hose–not an easy accomplishment for little boys! Caleb was having none of it, so we settled for a spring surfer suit.

He didn’t last in the water for as long as the rest of us, but it was thick enough to let him play for a little while. The boys keep calling it their “safety suit.” We finally had to explain that it isn’t exactly a safety suit, lest they develop some sort of false security in their suit. You never know what a little one might believe will make him invincible!!


Now this is Big Sur. Endless miles of land that look like this.

BigSurhills daninsideredwood

Believe it or not, Daniel was standing INSIDE of a redwood tree. yep.


the wetsuits in action–By the end of the day, Joshua was in up to his neck too. The suits really amazed me. The arms/legs are thinner than the body part. For the body part, you literally cannot even tell you’re getting wet. We can swim all year!

meandboysbeach meandDanwetsuits

Daniel was sort of a beach sensation, looking so adorable in his little bitty wet suit.

momdanredwoods montereyharbor redwoods sailboat smilingmonterey

“Mom, you’re so big. To be as deep as me, you need to go further out,” Joshua told me.

“No, thanks, Joshua. I do not actually want to swim WITH the seals and the sea lions–kind of freaks me out a little bit.”

tealwaters thebeachboys

This whole area also has a large homelessness problem. Granted, this is by FAR the most expensive place we’ve ever lived, and we lived in Washington, DC. What makes it so expensive? We’re not just talking real estate. These people hand taxes out like Halloween candy. Our renter’s insurance went up. Our car insurance went up for both vehicles. Our gas–oh my goodness the gasoline–the whole state voted itself a tax increase on gasoline.

Oh! Milk seems to have gone down a little, though! That’s a big deal with four children.

For a second I thought, “Ha ha, they won’t get us with that gasoline tax. Alan rides his bike to work, and I’m working at home.”

….Then I realized that that’s exactly what they’re trying to accomplish. Ugh. I did not stick it to the man. Haaaa!

Ya’ll. Not even kidding–I got a mail-out from a local politician that went on and on and on about all the taxes he supports. He supports more sales tax, more property tax, etc. etc.

You can’t make this stuff up. Now anywhere else, they might support the tax hikes, but they’d keep that on the down-low–not brag about it.

So if there is any culture shock, it’s that which is hitting my wallet.

Oh, also they charge you a quarter for plastic bags. But let me tell you. Once you move here, you totally get why they’re so serious about protecting the environment and the ocean. I’d be pretty ticked at anyone that messed this up too. I have no problem at all with the re-use- your- bag movement.

Now wait a minute. Where was I going with all that? I had a point. I said all this to tell a humorous quote from my parents.

Mom mentioned all the beggars–really there are so many–and she said, “One of them had a sign that said,’Not even going to lie. Need money for beer.”

Dad cut in, “So I gave him a dollar!”

heeeeheehhehe Well, we do all appreciate a little honesty.

otter close up

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