Sunday, July 8, 2012

A successful week and another 471 miles!

The fourth of July was a success. I spent the afternoon swimming with my third cousins and picking wild blackberries in the driveway with Ariannah who is about to be nine.  I have now met her three whole times. 

 Later, I had a ball observing my favorite swine, Mr. Pigglesworth, in his "piggie pool" 
and said what's up to the prehistoric bird they call an emu being is goofy, bird-brained self. 

Much later, I went to celebrate the evening with more CouchSurfers in Roseville. I from this met another group of great people had a wonderful time with them.

The next day I slept in a bit, hung out and then went to a youth church group called "Epic Life" with my cousin Alisa and her close friend Laura. I enjoyed the people and the friendly, open vibe. (No, it wasn't stuffy and they didn't mention going to hell.) I was a bit in La La Land because I kind of felt like I should have been speaking on this exact topic. Maybe thats a little over confident of me. :/ While in the clouds I had a moment of sincere clarity. I can't wait to share my idea with someone when I get back to LA. Thanks Epic Life peeps for the amazing blessings you wished upon my travels, for your tremendous hearts and the rad T-shirt to remind me that *I* have an epic life!

The next morning I finally found the courage to pick up the phone and Skype my cousins in Sweden. (I had been putting it off for a few days because I was nervous.) We chatted for a bit then I passed the phone around to my cousins who are also related and maybe had never talked to each other before. The best part of this whole scenario was when my 91 year old great aunt Astrid got on the phone, as sharp as a tack and spoke Swedish as if she never skipped a day. I must admit; I shed a tear or two of happiness. I was so taken back by the greatness of what had just occurred. Aunt Astrid is the only one left out of all her siblings.

I finished packing my things then hit the road! I remembered northern California and Oregon being gorgeous but, I guess I forgot just HOW gorgeous it really is. California really is golden at this time of year with lush green pastures scattered across the horizon and snow capped mountain ranges in the very far distance. There were olive trees, tomatoes, sunflowers, apples, hay, many more crops I'm sure, trains, bees and honey.

That's the motto baby, YOLO!

By the time I made it to Shasta Lake I couldn't take it any longer! I HAD to stop! I wanted to jump in the lake and go swim SO bad on such a hot day but I ruled that out since I would be swimming alone, it was probably unsafe and I still had somewhere to be. Don't worry gigantic lake. I'll be back for you before you know it!

I moseyed my way through the Oregon forest at sunset and finally arrived 9 or 10 hours later at my destination!

Yay!!! My big brother Timmy who I hadn't seen in 15 or 16 years greeted me with the hugest hug! I then met his gorgeous lady Emily and my two nieces who were supposed to be sleeping, for the first time. They are everything I thought they would be via Facebook yet better!

Timmy and I spent the evening sharing 15 years of stories, wrestling, play fighting, hugging, laughing, being ridiculous and bonding. It was definitely worth the drive and the financial investment coming to visit! Now, to make sure it won't be another 14 years or two for that matter.

Stay tuned! More stories from Oregon coming up after the commercial break!

Driving through Yolo County

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