Monthly Archives: May 2013

San Francisco Day 2: Muir Woods

We started off our second day in San Fran with a delicious breakfast! Dad and Will scouted out this hole-in-the wall diner the night before, and boy was it a gem! We thought our bellies would be full all day, but we ended up walking off more than just omelette calories.
We headed over the famous golden gate bridge on our way to Muir woods. Engineer-in-training, Will, gave us a lesson on suspension, tension, and compression on the national icon. I of course, sang the full house theme song 🙂

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Next we headed to Muir woods, the state park of the beautiful coastal redwoods. I personally found this whole park breath taking. These massive trees are over 350 feet tall. It is hard for me to even put 300 feet into perspective. Just imagine, the length of a football field…standing up on end. These pictures don’t even do it justice. These massive trees are 500-1200 years old. I think it is so cool knowing that these trees have been on this planet for so much history!

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I found it interesting that these massively tall trees only have a root system that reaches about 10-12 feet into the ground. Instead of reaching deep, the redwoods spread their roots wide and intertwine with other redwoods creating a network of roots along the forest floor. How cool!

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As you can imagine, these ancient redwood trees require a lot of water, 200-400 gallons a day! And to think, I have trouble drinking a full water bottle daily. The leaves are found at the tops of the trees only, and were created to be flat and absorb San Fran’s famous fog in order to nourish the tree tops. The closer to a water source, the larger the trees are. The area with the biggest trees was right along the stream and called cathedral grove, which was my favorite part. Signs asked visitors to stay quiet in this area to better observe nature. I loved listening to the birds, trickling of the creek, and rustling of the foliage. It is places like these were I feel closest to God: disconnecting from the hub bub of today’s busy world and reconnecting with and appreciating His beautiful creation.

We spent about 4 hours hiking up and down the hillsides admiring the stunning views. If you know my mom, you know when she power walks, she could probably give Usain Bolt a run for his money (Only on flat land that is). Mom was born and raised in Illinois, and by result, is a flat-land-lady. Mom lost the normal pep in her step as we climbed up hill after hill. Many breaks to catch our breath were always great photo ops!

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Getting back in the car, I think we were tuckered and ready for a nap, but with my experience with motion sickness yesterday, there was no way I could close my eyes with dad behind the wheel zipping through the twists and turns of pacific coast highway (PCH). We had to inform him that these signs, did NOT indicate snakes ahead.

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SLOW DOWN DAD!

After grabbing lunch we got a little lost when our planned route was closed for construction. We ended up at an old army fort with an amazing view of the golden gate bridge, the San Fransisco skyline, Alcatraz, and Angel island. Of course we took a lot of photos. While looking into the bay we noticed some large splashes right below. There was a whole school of dolphins! Not a bad detour if you ask me!

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After getting back on track we reached our intended destination: a Marine mammal rescue hospital. These workers and volunteers rescue and rehab sick mammals. We saw sea lions, elephant seals, and harbor seals as they fed and prepared them to be released back to their natural habitat.

We drove and hiked around the area checking out army gun emplacements that were built into the hills and could even see some wild harbor seals playing in the bay below.

Another great day of vacation! Tonight we pick up Shay, (my sister— check her out at CallMeShannon.com) from the airport. We are sure to sleep like babies tonight as we get ready for a full day tomorrow!
Take it easy:-)

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San Francisco: Day 1

WARNING: those with weak stomachs take caution when reading this post

So I told you that this vacation would be an adventure. Whitney family trips always get interesting, but I didn’t bargain for this quite so early in this trip.
We had an early flight, so wake up time was 4:00am and we were on the road by 4:30 (well most us us were…mom had to check and double check everything twice). Its easy to tell who the morning people in the family are….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ll give you a hint, its not these two.
The security line was super long, so we were one of the last groups to board our plane, which meant we all the dreaded middle seats between strangers. Like I said before, I like meeting new people so I don’t mind the middle seat as long as I don’t get stuck next to two big sweaty smelly passengers. Found a decent seat, and things were going great until I started to experience my first ever bout of motion sickness. Yeah I bet you can tell where this is going. Let me tell you that never before have I had issues with planes, cars, or even roller coasters. I guess there is a first time for everything. As I started to get uncomfortable, I checkes the seat pocket for one of those complimentary white bags…no luck. I also saw a long line for the bathroom, so even if I could manage to climb over the guy sitting next to me I knew I couldn’t make it to the bathroom. So embarrassed as can be, I politely asked the guy if he could please check his seat pocket for a bag, while apologizing for being a horrible flight buddy. …I’ll leave out the details on next part. To sum it up, it was utterly embarrassing 😦 but luckily the passengers on either side were very comforting and understanding. The woman shared her breath mints, and the man got me some water, towels, and assured me that I was the most graceful sick person he’d ever seen…I guess that’s a compliment. I spent the rest of the flight embarrassed and apologizing for my couple minutes of gross.
So I admit, this story might be a little to intimate…I mean you were just getting to know me, but hey, I’m all about honesty. No holding back for this girl.
The rest of our travel was much more pleasant despite a few wrong turns on the way to the hotel. Usually no big deal right? The GPS on our phone would “recalculate route”, but if you know our family, you would know we are a little behind the times. Don’t worry though, dads can read an old school map like a boss! After a few minuets on the side of the road followed by some carefully calculated u turns we made it.

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Safein San Francisco!

We then headed to China Town and had a delicious Chinese meal! Only disappointment, the restaurant we choose didn’t serve crab rangoons, our favorite! If you have never been to China Town, it is a crowded area full of shops selling Chinese foods, produce, nic knacks, and hanging meat. The whole street was full of different sights and smells.

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China town!

Next we headed to the trolley car museum. It was cool to see the mechanics behind the only trolley system still running in the US.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon walking Lombard street, and checking out the amazing views, architecture, shops, and of course the crooked street.

So I know this post is long, but we had a long day to share! Check Facebook later for more photos, and of course we’d love to share more details when we return!
Have a great day!

Hello!

Hello and welcome to my own little space on the internet! I am excited to enter into the blogging world. Bear with me as I learn and discover how this works. Between my engineering degree, and my total lack of spelling skills, it is safe to say I am a woman of numbers rather than words. But who’s to say I have to stick to just numbers? I am jumping into a brand new chapter of my life with so many exciting changes on my horizon, and I want to document and savor every moment and feeling along the way. So, please, join me in this journey, share with me, and learn with me!

So I have been thinking about starting this blog up for a while, those creative juices have been flowing and I don’t even know where to begin. So I guess I will start with a little bit about me: I am first a foremost a Christian girl. My faith is a constantly developing am excited to share my thoughts here as I grow and gain wisdom from others.

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I am a small blonde girl with a bubbly personality, but don’t let my appearance fool you. I am a total nerd with a computer engineering degree (go tigers!).

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I love being outdoors, playing sports (field hockey is my thing), running, fishing, camping, really anything that lets me get some fresh air. I have a great family and so many wonderful friends who I love spending time with. I think relationships are a huge part of life, and I love meeting new people.

Well I don’t want to spill all my secrets on my first post 🙂 Stay tuned over the next few months to hear about my exciting summer trips to San Fransisco, South Africa, and boating trips, my transition to my first full time job, a move to a brand new city, my very first apartment to myself, and one more secret…but I guess you will have to check back for that 😉

Thanks for reading

JulieBug