The New & Improved Dasek Family

The New & Improved Dasek Family
Clive Nicholas Dasek (2 days old)

The Dynamic Duo

The Dynamic Duo
Daddy Longlegs and Sassy Sunshine sketched by Stewball

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's the Hard-Knock Life for Us!

This morning:

7:30am – hit the snooze
7:35am – hit the snooze
7:40am – reset alarm for 8:00am
8:00am – hit the snooze
8:05am – turn off alarm
8:49am – suddenly wake up, check time, look outside to notice sunny San Diego isn’t sunny as usual. Roll back over and close eyes.
9:15am – sit up, lay back down. Quick dream about interviewing an overqualified candidate for a staff accounting job.
9:28am – Rachel sits up and says, “We should get up.” I agreed.
9:42am – Both our feet touch the ground. We’re up.

We’re staying with the Jacobs who are good friends of my pop's. They recently moved from Scottsdale to escape the heat, and I will say they made a wise choice. They have a nice size home about 50 miles north of San Diego. The house is very comfortable and in a gated community. The terrain is hilly much like Seattle with a back yard that overlooks their orchard. I counted 55 orange trees, 30 avocado trees, lemon and lime trees, and several apple trees. The abundance of fresh fruit is overwhelming! Rachel and I can’t help but pick fresh oranges and squeeze juice in the morning. I just washed my hands again hoping the orange pulp in my fingernails is gone for good – my fingers are sticking to the the commputr keyes causinng typOs...

Rach and I arrived in San Diego last Wednesday after leaving Milwaukee one week earlier. We took three days to get to Albuquerque, stopping in Des Moines and Denver before reaching our first destination. We stayed with the Philips who are a wonderful family I met on the Appalachian Trail in the White Mountains. When I first met them, they asked me about my thru-hike and I explained that Rachel and I were going to road trip from Maine to the southwest before heading north to Seattle. They told me about their home in Albuquerque and invited us to stay with them so we could catch Balloon Fiesta, the largest annual hot air balloon festival in the nation. We had a very enjoyable time with them and their two kids.

I was the entertainment for the evening at the Philips. It was Samuel, Sophia, Eva, and Bella (dog) versus me in some sort of game. I'm still not sure what we were playing, but I reigned victorious contrary to the picture.

We left Albuquerque on 10.12 and headed west. As we traveled along I-40, we saw signs for The Petrified National Forest but didn’t have intentions of checking it out. Rachel and I had one of those verbal exchanges like, "You want to stop?"
"I don't care, do you?"
"Um, it doesn't really matter."
"Yeah, I don't really care either."
"But when else are we going to ever see it?"
"Who knows. Are you saying you want to go?"
"No, not really."
"Uh, okay. I have to use the bathroom."

We ended up stopping for the bathroom and also decided to pay the $10 park fee. I will say it was cool. The park is about 25 miles long and we spent two hours driving through it snapping pictures of the odd land formations and eerie martian-like landscapes. The petrified forest was actually the least exciting portion. Once you have seen a petrified log, you've seen them all; although, the whole petrification process is quite interesting if you're into geology.

On we went stopping just outside of Phoenix for the evening. The next morning we left with the intentions of heading directly to the Jacobs' home, but as usual, we called an audible and checked out Joshua Tree National Park. Man, oh man, Joshua Tree is a very cool place to see. The inhospitable Mojave and Colorado deserts coupled with twisted rock formations make the landscape unparalleled to anything I've ever seen. I definitely suggest stopping there if you find the opportunity (avoid the 115+ degree heat of the summer, of course).

This leads me to San Diego which has been the Promise Land for us. I'm pretty critical of most cities, but San Diego is definitely an area I would consider retiring in. The proximity to the ocean, cities, mountains, and the weather are unparalleled. In addition, we saw Steely Dan on Saturday which left us with only positive vibes. All good things do come to end though - Rach and I leave tomorrow morning for San Francisco and we'll be back in Seattle by the 25th.

Us happy kids enjoying boogie boarding in Carlsbad

View from our seats at the Steely Dan concert on Oct.16th

This time after the trail has been awesome. Whenever Rachel and I look at our pictures, we can't help but be amazed at how much we've seen and done. I even get to celebrate my 28th b-day in San Fran! In the end, we won't be able to say 2009 was lacking much in the way of excitement and adventure.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Get Your Kicks Not on Route 66

Tomorrow morning, Rachel and I embark on our lengthy road trip back to Seattle. A one-way rental car, an iPod full of sermons and podcasts, and dried mango bites should helps get well on our way. Our first stop will be Des Moines, Iowa to visit Rachel's good friend from college. Then, we'll plan on spending several days in Albuquerque before heading to San Diego and San Francisco. Finally, we'll cruise the Pacific Coast Highway back up to Seattle. We originally thought about taking Old Route 66 for some of the way, but after viewing directions - or lack there of - it seemed painfully obvious to us that the interstate will be our route of choice.

You see, since we've been married four years ago we have never had the flexibility and opportunity to spend significant time with family. The unemployed lifestyle has afforded us much more time since we don't have to rush back home.

A quick brief on what's been happening since our time off the trail:

Jill (Rachel's mom), Rach and I road tripped from Millinocket, ME back to MI to hang out with her folks and Andy (Rach's older brother). We hit up Bar Harbor, ME and Niagara Falls on the ride back. We spent about a week in Northern MI and then headed to Grand Rapids to spend the weekend with friends. Enough of MI already, on to WI! We've been in Milwaukee since 9.21 and we've had plenty of time to catch up with all of my relatives and friends.

Rachel and I with Jill, Andy, Patsy Poo-poo, and Grandma Reba

Cribbage with my Grandma Krueger and Rach

I wish I had time to write a longer entry as there has been much to tell, but I haven't done well with finding time to post our happenings. I hope to find down time on our road trip to post pics of the southwest. Expect us back in Seattle around 10.22