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One Year!

September 9, 2013

California – Saturday, August 31

It is impossible to believe that a year has gone by since I drove out of my driveway at 12:56pm last August 31 – doubly excited to begin my journey and to spend the Labor Day weekend with Tara and family while meeting my new little grandson, who almost shared his grandma’s birthday! The little guy was only one day old, and already had the power to affect my itinerary! I left on my journey with a great anticipation and flexibility (the only things cast in stone when I left were my flights to the US territories.) I remember wondering where I’d be on my next birthday, and I certainly didn’t think it would be California because my original plans had me there in mid-July. But here I am in California, unexpectedly spending my birthday weekend with both my brother and sister. Life is indeed good 🙂 It has been one of the most amazing years of my life.

Despite being my birthday weekend, there were several little things I had to deal with, and I absolutely had to go get an oil change. Luckily there was a Jiffy Lube close by, and Christy came with me so we could do some walking while they were changing the oil. Chris had been hoping to join me in New Mexico for some walking – since she has walked in the northeast, the southeast, and the northwest with me, she wanted to cover some miles in the southwest too. But there didn’t seem to be good flights and times to New Mexico for her, so she figured this was a better solution, especially with Monday off. We walked 2 1/2 miles while they were working on the van, and returned just after they finished. We went back to Erik’s house, where Christy and Keira then spent quite a long time making a decorating birthday cupcakes – they got very creative!! It was quite a production, and they ended up with lots of different animal heads, a toy soldier head, a surfer dude with spiky blond hair, and even Bob Marley with licorice dreadlocks! Keira loved helping her “Auntie Kiki” with all the frosting and decorations!

By this time, Pavla was back from her other barn (she keeps her riding horse there, and also looks after a couple of their retired racehorses) and we had a bite to eat for a late lunch, then Chris, Erik and I went down to the ocean beach near their house and walked 5 miles barefoot on the sand. Lots of people were out swimming, sunning and surfing on this last official summer weekend, and we paid attention to the tide. Part of our walk took us by high bluffs, and when the tide is all the way in, the water can come right up to the bluffs. But we knew we could always walk back along the road if necessary. There are houses perched right on the edge of some of those bluffs, and they look like that may topple into the sea with the least bit of crumbling from the bluff underneath. I don’t think I’d like living there, but I don’t know how fast (or slow) the bluff is eroding. We walked about as far as we could along the coast until we came to some rocks we couldn’t get around, and it was time to head back anyway. We enjoyed our walk back through the sand with a sinking sun, and the tide was noticeably higher, but we made it past the bluffs with the water just lapping at our ankles.

Then we went out and enjoyed a yummy birthday dinner at a nice restaurant nearby. Keira was getting sleepy, but she revived when we got back – she wasn’t going to miss out on the cupcakes after all the work that went into decorating them! It was a wonderful birthday, even though I didn’t want to turn 57 because 56 is going to be a tough act to follow!

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One Comment
  1. Aunt Phyl permalink

    What a joy to see recent photos of all the Nygaard clan – handsome people – good genes!!!

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