So the trip across the country has ended and I have spent the past week doing phase 2 of this World Walkabout, spending a week in Santa Clara. There should be a few videos still to upload of our trip across the country, look out for those. But this week I only have photos. Also the video quality will deteriorate from now on as I will be taking all the video by myself and also doing the editing. Thanks to Daniel and Charlie for filming and editing and doing the music!
I have mostly been tying up loose ends and doing errands such as Car registrations, visiting the DMV, car insurance, buying silk to wrap dead bodies in, University health insurance, exchanging foreign currency and sight seeing. You know the normal stuff.
We were fortunate to be able to stay with Baha'i friends Omead and Neda (and Kian) Ahdieh. Not sure what we would have done without their hospitality. Thank you so much!
It seems like the DMV is the same everywhere in the country, frustrating. There are long lines here in CA just like there are in North Carolina! However, an interesting thing happened during our visit this week. Imagine lining up at the DMV with hundreds of others for 30 mins, just to get your number. Then sitting for an hour waiting for your number to come up to some random counter, but when you get to the counter you run into someone from your 'church' community who actually knows you! Well this happened to us. We happened to get a counter with a friend from the Baha'i community who also new Ben! What are the chances. It was very good that we did, as when I explained that apart from picking up Ben's registration for his car, he was waiting to register the Crosstrek which i had just driven over for him. Our friend explained that I might have to sign some forms later when it's registration came through. I explained that I was on my way to Australia and that it would be very difficult for me to sign anything. She then gave us the papers I might need to sign so that I can sign them and give them to Ben ahead of time. If we hadn't had this discussion there might have been complications later on!
The weather here is great, at around 5pm the temp drops and cools off. The traffic however, is awful and the highway exits very tricky.
Last night (Thursday), we drove down to the Carmel/Monterey area. Friends of Lisa's Brother own a house down here and they invited the boys, Daniel, Charlie and friend Franklin (who just flew over from Raleigh) and then Ben and I, to stay at their house as they were going away for the week. This was so generous of them (letting a bunch of young guys stay at their house)!
The boys tooled around Carmel and took the "17 mile" scenic drive which you have to pay $10 to drive. The boys said that it wasn't worth the money as you can get the same views driving down to Lobos point for free! Daniel also got a parking ticket because he parked more than 18 inches from the Curb! He didn't even know that was a law! He has to pay $40!
So today, Friday, we drove down to Big Sur National Park. The road is two lane but fortunately not too much traffic (well at least it kept flowing). The scenery is spectacular! (see photos below). It is mostly cliffs but at one point we were able to get down to the beach and the boys went for a dip (freezing!) We stopped to have a late lunch at the "Gallery Cafe", which had a view over the ocean and we got to see a Whale feeding off the coast!
Tomorrow I will head back to Santa Clara to collect my stuff and then onto the airport. It will be a difficult day, saying goodbye to my boys and know that I am leaving all my friends....
By the time you read this the Saint Raphael teachers would have been back at school for their orientation and work days. Feels funny not doing the same (although I am not complaining). A shout out to Jill, Winnie, Coley, and Trish (Dingo's Angels). Take care of my man Jake! Shout out to Jake and Joe as well. Miss you all! Good luck this year. Also I am so grateful to Michelle for taking on all of the animals. The tanks all look great!