Tuesday, September 3, 2013

From Sea to Shining Sea

This post comes a but late, but with three children and myself heading back to school in August, the fall season is always a hectic one.
 This summer was a traveling summer. It began in the fall of 1997, in Mill Valley, California, at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. We met and became good friends with an awesome family who had a little boy. Well this June, that little boy graduated from high school. To celebrate, we jumped in the van and drove half way across the continent to see them. While there, we tip toed into the Atlantic ocean and obtained a sampling of the sand and water therein.

After a wonderful visit, followed by a trip up to our nations capital to see my cousin, the Smithsonian and the sights of the city, we headed home for a two week reprieve, before heading out again. This time we pointed the van Westward and drove to the other shore of our nation. While there, I deposited my family in the capable hands of Mickey Mouse and his friends, while I attended the 2013 SigGraph convention. While visiting the left coast, we took the time to dip our toes in the Pacific ocean.

Incidentally, we brought along the bottle of Atlantic water, and...

Before you start screaming warnings of Pacific Rim type creatures and cross contamination, note that the Atlantic water was left in the van, under the boiling New Mexico sun for two weeks before we poured our Atlantic water into the mighty Pacific. We are pretty sure that any East coast microbes that might have interbred with the Pacific microbes were wiped out. But, if you happen to live out on the western edge of the continental United States, and as you sun bathe on the mod riddled beaches near Huntington, if by chance you happen to notice a two hundred foot long moth gliding overhead, or any of a variety of gargantuan beasts set on annihilating the population of earth, contact me post haste and I will delete this post and deny any knowledge of anything. It was the kids idea anyway.

But I digress. We did keep a bottle of water and sand from each ocean as a keep sake. Some time soon, we will turn them into a shadow box for the living room. I thinks that this summer ranks up there as one of the most amazing that our family has ever taken. We drove through: Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. Then we traveled back through those states and on through New Mexico, Arizona, California and back again to our humble abode. We toured the Parthenon – in Nashville, Tennessee. At the Smithsonian, we saw the Wright brothers plane and the Space Shuttle. We stopped in front of the White House, walked past the Washington monument, up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and  stood where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech. We watched Navy Hornets take off and walked right underneath the Enola Gay, The Concord, The Spirit of Saint Louis  The Apollo space craft. We walked through Space Lab! I stood an arms distance from the Star Spangled Banner and saw George Washington's coat. Dorothy's red slippers were there as was Tony Hawks first skateboard. I met many of the giants of the animation industry at SigGraph and spent five days (evenings for me) in Disneyland.

We logged over 7,000 miles in the car in just under two months and had a wonderful time as a family. And that is just the stuff we did when we weren't at home. Nathan at a peanut butter cookie, Kerri made Minion cupcakes, we began homeschooling the girls, I built a door, from scratch, the kids all learned how to shoot and the girls learned how to drive! Nathan already knew. We painted, mowed, fixed (and broke) sold things, bought things, and did a ton off amazing stuff.

We didn't make it to Yellowstone or Yosemite. We missed Disney World and Mount Rushmore. Chicago and Massachusetts eluded us this summer. In the end, there are more things that we wanted to do that we didn't get done, but there is always next year, or the next, or the next.

What a fun summer.

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