So many things to gush about...far too many to include here.
My mom and I had a wonderful trip up the northern California coast. I was wowed by the numbers and diversity of the wildflowers at the Point Reyes National Seashore, and amused to walk right by a lone harbor seal on empty Limantour Beach. The drive along Highway 1 between Bodega Bay and Mendocino was stunning for its wide array of beautiful landscapes, and riding the Skunk Train back into the old logging camps amid the redwood forest was a real treat. Delicious to savor the cool weather as we browsed the shops of Eureka and of picturesque Mendocino. Can't forget the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, and a short but sweet visit to Humboldt Redwoods state park and the amazing drive along Avenue of the Giants. Nor can I leave out driving the craziest inclines/declines upon the convoluted road to Shelter Cove and the Lost Coast, where I was blessed to get sand from a black sand beach, rugged and wild.
Sacramento tried to teach me to never visit in summer again by pouring on the heat with three 100+ degree days in a row, one of which broke a record set in the 1880s. My mom and I escaped to beautiful Lake Tahoe for one of those days, and it was a delight to still see snow up on the mountains, while my dad and I got out to see "Edge of Tomorrow" in a nice cool movie theater and then have dinner on another.
So I am immensely grateful for air conditioning, in homes and in cars, or I would not have taken three of my brother's kids to BounceU, or enjoyed much of anything at my parents place or my brother and sister-in-law's home after we got back from the coast! Also grateful for smooth travel back home, a garden that grew like crazy in my absence, and a very happy reunion with Shado. Now I just have to survive a two-day workweek!