On Monday we drove up to Redding, California, where my husband’s parents and older brother (and family) live. John always refers to it as the “real” northern California because it is six hours north of the Bay Area (ie San Francisco, and even farther south – down to Monterey and Big Sur), which is often referred to as northern California. On the way, we were met with the most amazing views of the sun I have ever seen just outside of Redding. I hope you will excuse the plethora of pictures because I can’t choose which is the best (and these are the best of about 80 I took….) There have been forest fires to the east of Redding, in the Cascade Range where Mt. Lassen is, so the sky is full of smoke. This is what it did to the sun:
In some photos where I managed to capture the mountains, but not the interstate, out of a bug-splattered windshield traveling at a high rate of speed, it looks like the alien surface of a distant planet to me. Wow.
On the way to Redding we stopped in Roseville outside of Sacramento to have lunch with my mom’s Aunt Dolores and her daughter Deidre. It was at the always-delicious Olive Garden, another place on our list of restaurants to visit 🙂
Once we made it in to Redding, we had dinner at John’s brother’s house – Tri-tip and – wait for it – corn on the cob!!! Yummy 🙂 It was his birthday, so we also had ice cream and German Chocolate Cake. The kids enjoyed playing with their cousins, and Greer was ruling over the two older ones with a little dinosaur head on a stick. We got up the next morning and drove into the Trinity Alps, the range between Redding and the Pacific Ocean, where Eureka lies on the coast. John grew up in a tiny mining/logging (as in, they have a mill) community named Weaverville about halfway between Redding and Eureka and high up in the mountains. It’s a beautiful area with a darling downtown. His grandparents still live there, as does one of his dad’s sisters, so John’s dad went with us all to Weaverville on Tuesday to visit everyone. I took a few pictures on the way up the mountain, then some with the Great Grandparents; I went crazy with the camera during our walk through town 🙂