Big Trees and Wine

We left Ventura on Thursday afternoon after my mom and I had lunch with a bunch of her friends from high school and grammar school.   Here we are with Uncle Andy and his friend Chris.

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It was another lovely day and another pleasant drive.  We arrived in Exeter at our cousin Jim’s house just in time for dinner.  We seem to have a knack for that.

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We met his daughter Judy and her family at a local – you guessed it – Mexican restaurant and had a very nice dinner and chat.

Jim, who is 80 and soon to be 81, had to work on Friday.  He’s an entomologist and does pest control work for some of the local farmers.  So, Bill, my mom and I went to Sequoia National Park for the day and were WOWED by the big trees.

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It’s impossible to put into words how amazing these trees were.  It was difficult to take pictures because they didn’t fit in one shot.

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Bill got a few with the panoramic setting on his phone that turned out well.

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We went for a walk through a grove of sequoia’s at the visitor center.  Here we are by the roots of a fallen tree.

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Here I am inside a different fallen tree.

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After the walk through the big trees, we climbed the 350 steps to the top of Moro Rock.  We had seen the rock from the road on our way up to the park.

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Here we are climbing up to the top.

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When we made it to the top, the views were spectacular.  The mountain ranges in the background,

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and the valley in the foreground.

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We were even able to smile a little after the climb.

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After we descended back to terra firma, we saw the General Sherman tree, the largest tree by volume in the world, as well as the General Grant tree, America’s Christmas Tree.  We also drove through the tunnel log.

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It was a great day.

On Saturday, we went wine tasting in Paso Robles.  There are over 140 wineries in the area and there were grapes everywhere!  Here are Bill and Jim doing some tasting.

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While my mom and I waited.  It wasn’t bad since most of the wineries had gift shops attached.

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Saturday evening, Jim’s daughter Judy and her husband John had us over for dinner.  John grilled some amazing beef and we had a wonderful dinner with the family.

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Sunday, we went to breakfast with some friends of Jim’s at a great little restaurant, The Whistle Stop.  After breakfast we walked around Exeter looking at the murals that have been painted on many of the downtown buildings depicting Exeter’s history.  They were very well done and most of them had some hidden objects in them that we tried to find.

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Later in the afternoon, Jim took us to one of his growers’ farms and we picked some grapes and tangerines.  It was really fun and they tasted amazing.

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Sunday night we went to In and Out Burger, one of Jim’s favorites and had an early night since we had to get my mom to the airport in the morning.  Another amazing day!

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