It’s incredible to believe, but we’ve been married an entire year! The last twelve months have flown by in rapid succession. We married 8/8/08, moved to So Cal, got pregnant, finished seminary, moved back to Nor Cal, and now we’re awaiting the arrival of our little girl and anticipating our move to Cambodia. God has blessed us amazingly as we’ve grown in our knowledge and love of each other. We are far from perfect, and many more years of sanctification are ahead, but despite two sinners trying to figure out this whole “marriage thing”, God’s all-sufficient grace has faithfully enveloped us, and we are so grateful that we were married one year ago!
For our anniversary getaway, Nate surprised me by booking a place for us in Fort Bragg through Hospitality Homes International, the same organization that we used for our honeymoon. The concept behind this ministry is to provide accommodations, at a minimal cost, to pastors, missionaries etc. Our experiences so far have been phenomenal, and we highly recommend them to anyone in ministry. Our hosts for this visit were Rich and Ilene. Within minutes, we discovered that Ilene and I knew each other from The King’s Academy in Sunnyvale. She had been the school librarian for many years and I had attended King’s with her son, Mark. It was such a fun, ironic, providential reunion! Rich and Ilene had built a lovely guest cottage, for the purpose of blessing others with their hospitality. And it was a blessing, indeed! We had our own kitchen, bathroom, sitting area/bedroom, complete with views of the beautiful redwood trees and the ocean in the distance. They further gifted us with a delicious meal upon our arrival (after 6 hours of trying to flee the Bay Area traffic).
We arrived in Fort Bragg on Saturday, August 8th and returned home Wednesday, August 12th–a nice, long anniversary stay. We spent most of our time in Fort Bragg, though we ventured up and down the coast a bit, including the quaint town of Mendocino. We enjoyed the beauty of MacKerricher State Park, with the many sea lions, lovely coastline and…fearless squirrels. In fact, we noticed that most of the wildlife were uncharacteristically bold, which was a little disconcerting, especially with the lunging squirrels. Our next post will contain squirrels exclusively, so stay tuned.
Some other highlights of the trip included Point Cabrillo Lighthouse and the Skunk Train trip. We stayed at the lighthouse for nearly 2 hours, watching the changing landscape as the sunset advanced across the ocean. We also took the opportunity to pull out the tripod and take the official anniversary photo shoot. We had fun experimenting with different poses, much to the amusement of the several observers. We also thoroughly enjoyed the Skunk Train. Through the generous anniversary gifts of various individuals, we were able to enjoy this somewhat out-of-our-budget adventure. It featured a scenic train ride through the majestic redwoods, a delicious BBQ dinner, and “free” entertainment from a jolly banjo player. It was a wonderful experience and we are grateful to those who made it possible. Some other special memories from the trip included eating handmade ice cream at Cowlick’s and a “pregnancy massage” at a local spa, as an anniversary treat from my wonderful husband.
On a recommendation from Rich and Ilene, we took highway 128 home instead of 20, and stopped by Hendy Woods State Park. This park is known for its ancient redwood forests. It was amazing to see these groves of magnificent trees–some still standing, and some having fallen years ago, with their incredible root systems exposed. We only stayed an hour or so, but it was a great detour on our way home. It took approximately six hours to drive back again, and after crossing over the Golden Gate, we stopped to pay the mandatory toll. We were shocked when the toll booth attendant informed us that the person ahead of us had just paid our $6 toll. Wow! What a blessing! It was the perfect ending to our anniversary adventure.