Being in California reminded me of hiking.  I was never much of a hiker until my college roommate and I decided to go to New Zealand our senior year of college and hike/kayak our way through the country in 3 weeks.  Not long after, I ended up in Loma Linda for medical school and just about every last classmate of mine was into hiking and/or camping.  Many good trips ensued.  As Eric and I drove west on I-10, I passed three of my "summits": San Jacinto, San Gorgonio, San Bernardino.  It was great to relive the memories, because try as I might I couldn't bring up any bad recollections of how uncomfortable I was during any of those hikes (even though I'm sure there were many such moments).  Moving to Michigan and starting residency was not so good for my hiking hobby.  Moving to Kenya might have been (Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya are impressive multi-day treks) but not with a toddler in tow.  Maybe some day.

I have had the chance to do a few hikes upon our return to the States, though.  Eric and I hiked Lookout Mountain in Phoenix before Christmas (I use the term hike loosely, since it took all of 20 minutes to get to the top).   
 There was the 12th annual Christmas family hike up Camelback.
 And then in California, we were up on the way to Big Bear killing some time and took a "family hike" up a nature trail by Angelus Oaks for all of 10 minutes.  Our first family hike. :)
May the years ahead bring many more such moments.


California Road Trip

We just finished a one week road trip to southern California.  It was a lot of fun, but after 1100 miles and multiple nights of sleeping in the same room, we'll all need some time (and sleep) to recover!  It was just another week where we were reminded how blessed we are to know such wonderful people. 
The first thing I remembered after crossing the state line is how expensive gas is in California.  Fortunately this was an above average price by about $1.40 (this gas station was up in the mountains and the only gas for a long stretch), and even more fortunately we did not have to fill up here!

We spent a night visiting Rachel's med school roommate, Becky (Doherty) Leenheer and her family, and headed to Loma Linda the next day to see some friends and tour the new buildings.  A lot has changed--it looks really nice!  And I was reminded how much I enjoyed being at that school...  Then it was up to the mountains to visit Rachel's mentor from med school, Cherry Brandstater.  We stopped for a brief hike in the woods on the way.

Then it was west to Burbank where we stayed with Rachel's aunt and uncle for a few nights.  We got to speak at a chapel service for about 50 kiddos.  It was fun and we got some awesome thank you cards out of it (stay tuned for a future post).  We also got to see Carlan (our teammate working at LA County) and Eric's friend Sarah Parker, from college.

 Thursday we headed down to the OC area for dinner, but killed some time at a fun playground on the way.
 And then Friday, we got a wonderful surprise--Rachel's best friend from med school, Kim (Arledge) Page, was able to fly down to her parents' place in Fallbrook and hang out for a day with us.  Maggie and Wilson reacquainted themselves (they last met when they were about 4 and 6 mo old) and seemed to enjoy each others' company.

 We fed the ducks at a pond by Kim's parents' home.

 And then, finally, it was up to Rancho Cucamonga to visit some friends of Eric's from residency:  Hobie and Tonna Lee, and Jeff Kim.
They cooked us a tremendous Korean feast.  Awesome!  Ben especially enjoyed the miso soup.  Thanks, all, for helping to make our trip a success.


Happy Wedding

Many congratulations to Rachel's brother Eric and his new wife, Haidee!  We are especially excited that they chose to get married in a time and place where we were already located. :)

The happy couple
I did all the flowers for the wedding with some help from my wonderful relatives.
  Maggie and Mommy
 My mom made the angel food cake for them to cut
 A big piece to eat...

 Maggie loves her new aunt Haidee!