Monday, January 12, 2015

How Beautiful Upon the Mountains: 50 Things I Am Going to Miss About California (#35-#34)

I am not even back in my university classes, yet, and already my weeks are filling up! Yikes. I enjoy writing on my blog, daily, but I am seeing my windows of opportunity close because of other things. I suppose I’ll go back to keeping a tablet on me so I can write whenever I find myself waiting in the car or spinning my wheels somewhere without my school books at hand. Not to mention, the days are slipping by leading up to our move. I know it is going to be here before I know it…as if being sprung upon me. I seriously need to re-due my schedule and work in some packing (and sorting) time…perhaps on the weekends. My school deadlines will impact things, greatly, so we’ll see what they look like, soon. Now, without further ado:

In celebration of our move from California to Texas, I am listing 50 things I am going to miss about this state. So far, I covered:
50. Earthquakes
49. Traffic

48. The freeways
47. The crazy expensive cost of living

46. The Oakland A’s
45. The Sacramento River Cats
44. The Stockton Ports

43. Disney’s California Adventure Park
42. Hiking to the Summit of Mt. Diablo

41. San Diego, CA
40. Los Angeles, CA
39. Long Beach, CA

38. The Redwood Trees
37. The Beautiful Drive Along Highway 1
36. Big Sur/ Carmel

Which brings me to the next TWO:

35. Boating on the Sacramento River, Lake Berryessa, Lake Clementine, and Folsom Lake
When I was a child my parents used to take us to Walt Disney World property (Orlando, Florida) where they would rent a pontoon boat and we would go out on the lake for the day to get some fresh air and sunshine. My mom would pack a cooler with lunch and drinks and we would either eat on the boat or find a beach area for a picnic.

In 2004, hubs bought a Larson, cruiser (I believe). It is a cute, family boat and was/is perfect for us. Being we lived near the Sacramento River, it only took about two minutes to get to the launch. We would spend whole days out there just drinking up the sun. Most of the time we would stop at Sandy Beach, Rio Vista and let the kiddos play in the sand and swim. Depending on the time of year, it was not unlikely to see a sea lion or two basking on the giant buoys. We lived near the Sacramento River for eleven years and boated on it for eight.

Before the Larson, however we used to go out on Folsom lake with hubs’ brother, on their tiny family boat (from when they were children). Our kids could go tubing, lounge around in the vessel, or frolic in the water. It was not unusual to return home completely exhausted and maybe even covered in sand or silt. Lake Berryessa and Lake Clementine were only visited on rare occasions. Lake Clementine is very small and only a limited amount of people can have access to it at any given time. Further, everyone has to move in a clockwise direction. There is also camping spots available along the lake, if memory serves me well.

These times spent on the boat made for some great, lasting memories.

34. Wine Country
It is no secret to those who know me (even moderately well) that I love wine tasting at the local (and not so local) wineries. Generally, when hubs’ friends invite us to Hollister for a dirt bike riding four day weekend, I and a few others sneak away to the wineries.

Our area is full of them. They are scattered throughout Lodi, Fairfield, and Napa…to name a few. The only problem for me is, I cannot afford the pricier wines. So, though I can “taste” them all I want, I rarely get to buy. (Sidebar: I, personally, like to rinse my glass from time to time so I do not mix any of the delicate flavors, at all. At one tasting, in Virginia however, I was advised not to do that because it “waters down” the next wine sample. A month or two ago, in California though, I was asked by a tasting room staff member if I wanted to rinse out my glass. So I am guessing it just depends on the preference of the taster. Similar to “cleansing the palate”, maybe?

We had the pleasure of attending a wedding at a winery a couple years ago. The outside venue was picturesque. The ceremony area was closed in and shaded. The reception space was open, delicately decorated, and whimsical. Inside the building was a large banquet room complete with fire place. For this particular wedding, the room was fairly empty with the exception of some tall bar tables and delicious hors d'oeuvres.

There are still a boatload of wineries I have not visited, yet!

7 How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him who brings good news,
who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
who publishes salvation,
who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
8The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice;
together they sing for joy;
for eye to eye they see
the return of the LORD to Zion.
9 Break forth together into singing,
you waste places of Jerusalem,
for the LORD has comforted his people;
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The LORD has bared his holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.
(Isaiah 52: 7-10. ESV.)
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