25th Anniversary Trip

This will be our final entry in our blog to you guys.  We’ve felt so undeserving to get to take this trip together.  As you kids know, Dad and I have had some real ups and downs throughout these 25 years…and God has so faithfully taken us through them. He’s given us strength when ours was gone.  Given us love when ours was gone. Given us perseverance when ours was gone.  Given us provision when ours was gone. Given us faith and peace when ours was running very low….

We’re so grateful to God for this chance to come away together and celebrate what He’s done in these 25 years!  And we’re so thankful for this opportunity to see more of what He’s created….beauty that’s amazed us, and familiar things that have helped us realized that this country, no matter where you go, has certain foundations that seem to be everywhere…nice people, people of faith, coffee shops, and chain stores and restaurants :-).

We can’t wait to get to see you after we arrive home tomorrow night!  We love you more than you could know…and though we’ve enjoyed being away….we’re even happier to come home!

As we stand beside the ocean tide,

may God help our love always be as constant

as these never-ending waves that pour beneath our feet.

 Your love flows softly upon my heart,

just as the foam comes softly upon the sand,

and just as there will never be a morning

without the ocean’s flow,

so there will never be a day

without my love for you.

 Our love will change

but it will be as dependable as the tide.

As these waters nourish the earth and sustain life, 

may my devotion and commitment

nourish and sustain you

as we continue through the ebb and flow of the journey ahead.

 And may our God’s mercy and grace be the deep mystery

from which every tomorrow comes to shore….


Above all, love each other deeply,

because love covers over a multitude of sin….

I Peter 4:8


San Francisco

We saved two days to visit the sites in San Francisco…and not being “city people” at heart, we compressed our visit into one day and enjoyed gliding over the surface of this city.

We started at the Ferry Building, which is a bright array of sites and smells for foodies from all over.  We shared tastes of this and that and realized for about the 100th time during this trip that we have very undeveloped palates…and are quite happy this way! 

We progressed to Chinatown, and after circling the area several times, decided to venture into the depths of this fascinating area on foot!  How fun to wander amongst the unusual sites and sounds…. and among these people who at first glance seem tiny and sweet, but also seem to store within them a mysterious and hard edge…

This was our favorite area of the day, and we purposely traveled away from the more touristy streets onto streets where we were the only caucasions within sight.  The shops were the most fun, and the meats, fruits and vegetables in bins along the sidewalk were often very interesting!

After soaking a bit in this other-worldly culture, we drove to Grace Cathedral. 

 Jim and I love to visit the old, great churches we find in other cities.  We found Grace Cathedral to be one of the least spiritually moving ones that we’ve seen, but were quite moved by the Interfaith AIDS Chapel.

This city is a city of clear diversity in beliefs…much different from traditional heartland values…but this chapel displays a portion of the handmade quilt that honors those who have lost love ones to this disease…and their thoughts were so heartfelt that tears came to our hearts and eyes…

Fisherman’s Wharf came next…and we wandered what essentially seemed like Cedar Point-without-the-numerous rides.  

We shared tastes of mini doughnuts that were hot and sugary, and ended by sharing a mini sourdough cheese pizza from Boudin’s, a well known sour dough bread factory.  Yum!  Ryan, you would have liked this one!

Off we drove as the air was chilling, the winds picking up, and the sun was setting.  We ended our visit to this famous city at its most famous site:  the Golden Gate Bridge.  Jim navigated us expertly to a little park that seemed known only to the locals.  Finally we were free from the pressing crowds of tourists and found ourselves at what seemed like the clearest view of the bridge that could exist!

Dad and I decided that our final picture of our San Francisco visit ought to be us together here!

Goodbye Monterey . . .


We checked out of our hotel this morning ….headed off to our big adventure!  Whale watching!

I was very thankful for meds from my dear doctor that stabilize my inner ear, for Dad and I love boats ( though we don’t have many chances to be on one!).  But with my occasional vertigo, I’d been leery of trying the lengthy whale tours available in Monterey.

Can I just say…God bless the trans-scop patch!  It helped me so much on the flight out and again made this fun morning with our giant aquatic friends possible!  Thanks SO MUCH for your prayers!

So off we went, bright and early, to board the Sea Wolf II  – a tour with a Marine biologist and naturalist onboard to fill us all in on what we would see.

We can show you more pics in person of the other creatures we saw, but we were excited that we DID get to see whales!  Humpbacks!  No breaching, but whales none-the-less, just meandering around the edge of the great underwater canyon that lies almost 2 miles below the surface of parts of Monterey Bay.

Dolphins, sunfish, seals and sea lions completed the day…..UNTIL…..yes!……the Oceanic Research team a bit farther out radioed the Sea Wolf to let us know that they had a Blue Whale in their vicinity.  So off we went in chase…

Our naturalist explained that the Blue whales would be much harder to see, for they’re more low key, don’t reveal much of their bodies, stay underwater much longer, and swim faster……so no one knew if we’d actually get to view the largest animal on the face of the earth….an endangered specie that few get to ever witness.

But there was the larger blow!  Yes!  He’d come up right next to our boat!!  Much longer and only showing a skinny portion of his back… but WITH us!!  What a behemoth!

All rushed to that side of the boat… and as we tipped precariously toward our giant friend, he slid silently by… and disappeared mysteriously again, just as he’d arrived.

After four hours of searching, we arrived back at port, ate a bit of fried calamari to celebrate our sea venture… and tired and humble, started off north to Half Moon Bay.

Thank you Father for creating this beautiful area….we’ve been beyond blessed to get to explore it and share it a bit…. a gift so undeserved….

Seaside Adventures

What a day of touring we had!  We started off late in the morning, after a wonderful night’s sleep, headed toward 17 Mile Drive.  We’d heard good (the views)…and we’d heard bad (you have to pay to drive on these privileged roads)…but either way we were determined to see what could be seen!

We started off after paying our $9.25 touring fee with the gatemaster and right away were immersed in one beautiful view after another.  The sun was the brightest of the day and the sea so inspiring!

The coastal drive held one turn-off after another, each one containing picture perfect views of the magnificent and mighty sea.  

About half way through our drive…when even such views begin to become the norm…we’d pulled into one viewing area to see what there was to see….drove around to each corner….and JUST as we were about to pull away we gasped, realizing that that sand below in THIS corner was FULL of sea lions!

They filled the area like a basket of wriggling puppies, squirming about, gnawing at each other, galumphing back into the water, and undulating one heave at a time closer and closer to their buddies…

As one after another turned to look at us, we were pulled within their puppy-like gazes….wanting to just load these oversized babies into our palms and carry them home forever!  

Giant Faith faces and the happiest part of my day!

On we ventured, with Dad stopping at points to shoot.  It’s so fun to see him fully in his element!  

He climbs out fearlessly to points I’d never try, perches precariously, and begins to set up his tripod…utterly oblivious to fences that suggest safe viewing and the milling crowds there.  May I just say that the better part of my days are spent patiently waiting and watching, when he is in this mode….sometimes for far longer than you can imagine.  And I do this gladly!  It’s such a joy to watch my husband get to be fully who he is!  Due to the sense of oneness that we have….somehow I feel a part of it all, even when he is the one out there.  He so generously asks me for feedback and my opinion, and patiently sets-up “shot ideas” that I get, making me feel a part it all!  He’s such a dear…

We exited at the south end of the drive, just after Pebble Beach, after only doing half of the 17 miles, so that we’d be near Carmel.  Katey, we shot some “behind the scenes” pictures at the club there, since it’s “world class”.  We even got pictures of the “Bev Cart” and their prices so you can show them to Brian!

Carmel! What a quaint town!  Little hobbit-like dwellings fill the area . . .

Our favorite stop was at the Carmel Mission, a functioning church to this day!  Beautiful!  

This mission is even more stunning than the lovely missions of San Antonio that we got to see when we went out for our Jenni’s very special AF bootcamp graduation.  My heart was captured by this place and the people visiting.  We have many pictures that we won’t post here, but it was the best part of Carmel for me…

After Carmel, and shopping in their little shops….where you don’t buy anything for it’s too expensive!!…we decided to “test the limits” a bit of the fire evacuations around Big Sur, and drive as far south as we’d be permitted.

We saw dramatic cliff-side views of the ocean, with huge, gargantuan waves below that were awesome from above, and almost frightening ( to me 🙂 in their size from below, when we climbed down near them.

At one stop, we descended the many steps into a crescent cove and we’re swallowed up by increasingly alien-like sounds…almost like a space shuttled taking off.  It was the TRUE roar of the ocean. I felt like we were being held in a vortex, as the deafening noise would rise and fall rhythmically.

Eventually I grew use to the sound and the power of this place, and began to wander around.  The textures and “sea garbage” and dune habitat were amazing here!

 Dad was quite taken with shooting the pounding surf and we were both amazed by how blue the color of the waves are at some of these stops….how “Pacific” the waves look at times…

We hiked around down the sand, seeking out the little coves in that area. I stayed near the cliff side at certain points, for signs above had explained that huge, rogue waves could come in and sweep away deeper on shore than you’d imagine..and I believed them! 

BTW…Dad DeCamp, we each thought we might have seen Clint too… 🙂 alas… no pictures…

Off we meandered home… exhausted and eating supper VERY late, after our nearly 12 hour adventure…


Briny, rolling fog, chilly, like deep cold autumn…..

Briny, bright…blindingly brilliant, still cool….

Monterey is beautiful in both its little moods that we’ve already been witness to…

Our animal-lover-hearts were immediately taken with the hulking, chubby sea lions perched upside down on pointy rocks.  How can THAT be comfortable?  Thank goodness for their layers of cushioning!

Dad and I enjoyed an evening at Cannery Row…very Niagara Falls…we were expecting a Ripley’s Believe-it-or-Not at any turn.

What we did get, though, reminded us of our more oceanic locale…giant snails making their way toward our burgers!  Hmmm…I don’t think of them as meat lovers…and you’d think they’d want to stay away from the SALTY fries…but for some reason, three of them began to inch toward our meal.  One edged his way to the very tip of the frond……. and hung there precariously over my food, constantly wiggling his little antennae!  

Slimy cuteness…a thing we’ve never seen before 🙂

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