San Francisco Day 7:Headed Home

Waking up today was a little bitter sweet. As much as I love sleeping in my own bed,  I was not ready to leave the majestic views of Yosemite. The world is still turning, and life back in the Lou is still going on with out us. It is time to head back to our jobs, daily routines, and to do lists. Although I will miss the excitement of experiencing new things on vacation, I don’t think I will miss sharing a hotel room and bathroom with the whole family.
We made one more stop to see the Giant Sequoia grove before heading back to the airport. I wrote about the ancient red wood trees in Muir woods earlier on the trip; well the Sequoia’s put the red woods to shame. These guys are huge! They are a closely related tree, but the redwoods are taller, and skinner compared to the Sequoia. This grove had about 5 giant sequoia mixed in amongst the ponderosa pines. Its hard to imagine how old these giants are!

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Before leaving this morning, I looked up this best route from the sequoia grove to the airport on my tablet. I acted as navigator on the way back, and Google maps showed a nice short cut that seemed like a straight shot that would avoid some serious mountain winding of the main highway. What Google maps failed to mention, was this road was a butt pucker-er! Imagine sitting in the back seat of a car facing downward on a very steep hill. Now imagine the road being barely wide enough for two cars. Now imagine the road swerving and winding…with no guard rail and a gazillion foot drop just a few inches to your right. Oh and don’t forget to picture mom in the front seat slamming her imaginary passenger seat brakes, white knuckled, and leaning so hard left she’s practically in Dads lap. Yeah, thanks Google maps.

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Once we reached the bottom of terror hill and joined the main road, we could smell burning rubber from the breaks (this is not an exaggeration… Don’t tell the rental company though, I’m sure we owe them new break pads). I burst out laughing when mom said her feet were sweaty from bracing her self in.

I am proud to announce we are safely back in St. Louis with no air sickness issues. The Whitneys back and more tired and sore than we were 7 days ago, but we are also more cultured, wiser, and closer to one another than we were 7 days ago.

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I really hope you enjoyed hearing about our vacation as much as I enjoyed documenting it! It is really encouraging seeing the number of views grow, as I treasure this experience and would love to share with many.
I want to give a HUGE shout out to Mom and Dad who have made our family vacations a priority for our family as we learn about our nation and spend time together as a family. Thank you for saving for these opportunities and all the hard work and planning you did to make this trip a success! Thank you for packing snacks, and Band-Aids, and driving the car, and carrying my pack. Thank you for doing all those things we don’t think about, yet seem to be engraved on your loving hearts.

I hope you all will check back as I post more about my journey this summer as I travel to South Africa, and begin my life in a new city!

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