Wow! I can't believe it has been so long since our last Blog. Time sure does fly when you are having fun, and we are having a blast!
We left Anaheim/Laguna Beach area yesterday a bit sad having to say goodbye to so many wonderful friends (both old and new), yet excited to see what lies ahead. Our nine days in the area were amazing and I am truly blessed to have met a lot of James' college friends, as well as reconnecting with my dear friend, Dawn. I was shocked how much I loved that part of California and as always, awed at what God put before us both in scenery and situations. It was a time of growth and celebration for sure.
We are now in Ojai, California, which is just north of Ventura. Again, California sure is one beautiful state! Ojai is considered "horse country" and it is inland, so no ocean, but plenty of mountains. Roy and Norma Bennett live here and are friends of James from his Seminary days at RTS in Orlando. Wonderful people with two amazing daughters. I'm sure some photos will be appearing on Facebook later that involve a Huka, but rest assured, no illegal activity was involved. I was so incredibly intrigued by the entire thing that I had to try it myself and sure enough, it was simply flavored tobacco...no whacky weed. Hahaha!
Tomorrow we will be attending Roy's church where he has been the Senior Pastor for 10 years and we are very much looking forward to worshiping with them. After that, dinner with the congregation and more visiting.
Monday morning we head to Sequoia National Park! I'm so excited to see this wonderful park. I have heard so many things about it and can hardly believe I will be there soon. This will be a time of much needed relaxation and reflection. Visiting people and meeting new friends can be exhausting so we plan on getting back in the groove of the laid back life we grew accustomed too early on in the trip. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade the past 2 weeks for anything, but the thought of being with James and Peanut, reconnecting, reading, rejuvenating and rejoicing in it all is very appealing to me right now.
I have to admit that the past couple of days have brought feelings of being home sick, but I knew this would happen. I am not sure if it has been the time away (six weeks today) or being around great friends that make me miss our great friends and family back home, but it has been strong and I do miss so very much all of our family and friends back in Florida. You all know who you are and it means the world to me to speak with you on the phone or read your comments on Facebook or the Blog. Thank you for that.
Peanut is doing wonderfully. He enjoyed our trip today to Santa Barbara and then down to Malibu. He is a fantastic travel dog. However, he did get himself into a bit of trouble yesterday at the Bennett house. We were all sitting around chatting with a plate of wonderfully home grown tomatoes and basil with cheese on a platter sitting on a coffee table when Peanut decided that no one was looking and jumped up onto the platter! I was mortified!! I couldn't believe he did it. Paw prints in the balsamic drippings and peanut with a look of "What??" when I gasped in horror at him. Thankfully, Roy grabbed him before any food could be devoured. Just one paw in the platter...the other three on the table. Geeze Louise! You would think we starve this dog! Everyone thought it was hysterical...well, everyone except sweet Norma who is not a fan of animals, to which she admitted to me right before Peanut plowed the platter. It figures.
By the way, Malibu is amazing. Stunning. Beautiful. Sigh...I could have stayed there all day. We ate at a Subway there...eating outside under the California sun when who walks by, but Billy Bob Thornton. I can't SWEAR it was him, but I'm a big fan, so I'm pretty sure it was. Was really hoping to run into Sting, but apparently he didn't get the memo.
OK...that's enough for now. Off to have dinner with the Bennett's and enjoy another fabulous evening under the stars canopying the mountains. Yes, life is good. God is great. We love you all! Blessings to everyone.