Sunday, August 31, 2008

Before Leaving Vegas --- the lost photos

Before heading out from Vegas, we toured the Freemount area with J&N and the Stewart clan parental units ... so if you can't picture it, here's the proof

A few more photos

Pirating the local snails near San Francisco
Our little fender bender
FDNY at the YNP? They really do like fighting fire

Last few shots of Fern Canyon

Again with Heather taking the wildlife photos - this guy was out on the beach and was about 10 feet away, and didn't seem to care about us.

One guess on why they call it Fern Canyon

Picture us from the California Coast to Fern Canyon

Roadside family portrait
Guess who's learned to climb
A new camping friend
again with the climbing - this was a bit scary as it was about 200 feet down to the water on the other side of those rocks

Welcome to the Cally Coast

Heather's peace out from the West Coast, and we're not talking Compton
Can we write this trip off as a homeschool lesson?
If the batteries in the back-up camera hadn't died, I would be able to show you a picture of Heather taking this photo, from about 20 yards away after she had crawled across some tough rocks, trying to get the shot before the tide flooded her foothold.
The first official toe in the Pacific Ocean - sweatshirt needed.


OLYMPIA, Wash. --- Brendan's Isle traveled to Washington State's capital city for Harbor Fest today, walking the boardwalk to see the tall ships, picking through the farmers market and some vendor booths to pick up a few new items for the closet. Heather found a few new headscarves and a hat for Liam at a vintage clothing store, then a shirt and skirt for fair, and I found a great new hooded, poet shirt as well.

We had a great day out with Heather's Cousin Joey and Sarah and got to see an amazing new band - The Blackberry Bushes String Band - who were the featured local entertainment. The have a self-named website with some great links to their music.

Tomorrow, we head down south to my Cousin Sherrie and Jimmy's house for a few days, a bit of camping around Mount St. Helen and Mount Rainer, then hopefully picking up the new improved VUE and heading east on I-90 toward Maryland's Renaissance Festival, the Beleck House, Meaghan and Eddie, The Rogues and the rest of our family.

We'll try to keep everyone posted along the last few days of this journey, but that depends greatly on how well AT&T decided to keep us hooked up.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A home for a while

LACEY, Wash. --- Brendan's Isle made a landing this a.m., at the home of Cousin Joey and Sarah where we will be residing until our transpo is up and running again. 

It was really sad today as I began removing everything from the VUE so it can be repaired, when I realized just how dirty our car has gotten over the past 7,500 miles or so. There are muddy shoe prints on top of layers of dust on top of chocolate milk and Goldfish crumbs, but in an effort to clean things up, we managed to spill an entire bottle of laundry soap in the back. Needless to say, its going to be an adventure to clean it out when we arrive back home.

Realizing our destination to Cousin Sharon's wedding might have to change since its not likely that the repairs will be able to be completed in time for us to make the run back to Alabama, we have started plotting a more northernly route home, with the plans to spend a longer amount of time with Mamma Bell at Thanksgiving, rather than a 3 -4 day turn around if we got back in time for the wedding. We'll see what the body repairmen say about our near future plans tomorrow.

Moxy the dog and Liam are getting along smashingly well, and Joey and Sarah are taking us to a farmers market this afternoon, so stay tuned for Seattle based adventures and don't forget the photos at the picasaweb address from a few posts ago. I'll be adding more to that this p.m.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


HWY 101, Ore. --- Brendan's Isle voyaged into the Brewed Awakening Coffee Shop this evening for a bite of food and some brews before heading up to Coos Bay for the night.

The Oregon and California coasts have been absolutely amazing, but we have to pull a long day of driving tomorrow so we can reach Lacey, Wash., by tomorrow night, so we can drop our car off to be repaired on Monday.

Last night we camped at Patrick's Point Park in California and then hiked through Wedding Rock, Mussle Rock and then on up the road to Fern Canyon - by far one of the most amazing journeys we have gone on during this trip.

We'll have photos downloaded in a couple of days, so everyone can enjoy the sights. Hopefully, though we are looking forward to staying with Joey and Sarah for a few days, we are hoping for a quick turn around on the car so we can get back on our way to Alabama in time for Cousin Sharon's wedding.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Heading Northbound ... and a little extra news

DEL RIO, Calif. --- A call of coffee, toilets and free wi-fi beckoned us off of Hwy 101, shortly after leaving our coastal California dream land for the land of big Redwoods, so I thought to take time and give the update. 

There are two rules in this modern age of blogging across America's campgrounds - never pass up a shower because you never know when you'll get your next. The second, is never pass up wi-fi.

The California coast has been a dream, and other than the deplorable commercialization of the Redwoods, they have been magnificent. We are going to be stopping for the night somewhere shortly after Eureka, then on through the Redwood Forest into Oregon tomorrow, then hopefully at cousin Joey's the next day.

As for the other thing, there is another baby on board this amazing journey of ours who should be joining us mid-April! We're thinking Chava Tzion or Hamish Yohannan, but then again, we've got a few months to dream upon it. 

PS --- Kayaks make good baby gifts.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Surfs up in Californ-I-A

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. --- Since our last log-in at Twentynine Palms, we traveled through and camped in Sequoia National Park and Yosemite. From Twentynine Palms, we left with temperatures soaring to 108, then two days later we woke up at Yosemite's Glacier Point to temperatures below freezing. It was great on every point through the national parks - great to see trees again, and both parks feel incredibly like home to me. Heather also got see her first brown bear up close and personal as it stuck its head out of the bushes as we were driving by.

Our problems began as we were exiting Yosemite when another tourist side-swiped our car. We have got to get some major repairs done but are trying to postpone the repairs until we get to Washington State so we can have a place to stay while the repairs are being done.

At any rate, we arrived at San Francisco and there was no room in the inn. State parks were filled up, and the rates at the KOA and some hotels were far beyond what we were up for paying, so we camped in the car at a state park, got up extra early and headed for the beach. We spent about three hours crawling over the rocks and frigid waters, taking pictures of crabs, pelicans and a group of harbor seals, for which Heather got within about 20 feet of them taking some great photos.

So we've meet and ate with Heather's cousin Brian, coffee is loaded, and as soon as the pictures get finished uploading, we will be on our way up the California coast.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Packing ... again

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --- We are packing again tonight to hit the road tomorrow, and bid a sad farewell to Courtney and Brian. For those of you who know, you know ... for those that don't, she is all I would ever hope for my own children to become. Not that she's not my own.

Tomorrow, we head out early for Big Bear Lake, then on to Sequoia National Forest, Yosemite National Park, and San Francisco to see Heather's cousin Brian. Then, we go onto Paradise, Calif., if we can get in touch with our friend Warring, or we'll be heading up the west coast road for Seattle.

More to come from the road.

Horses and carrots

Amazing artistic find

We found an amazing stained glass artist in Yucca Valley, who uses old glass plates as the centerpiece on all of his stained glass windows

Swap Meet

Finding treasures at Grandpa's Courtyard, Sky Village Market Place, Yucca Valley, Calif.
Heather and Liam tag along with Brian, Courtney and Ayden.

Farmer's Market

Best new buds
Picking out dinner

Ready the pirates

Figuring out a cutlass belt
Suiting up for piracy
a portrait by courtney

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Hard Rocking at the Hard Rock

Party in the fountain!
How can this much beauty come from one family (Man, I wish I were a Stewart)
Rockstar posers
You need a cool off

The Royal Court

The King and Queen of Las Vegas