Thursday, October 02, 2008

Home Sweet Home

After 180 days, we have arrived home... to many beautiful welcome home signs and, as we might have expected, toilet paper - both inside and out. This is our newly redecorated bedroom, courtesy of teenagers. Cute, huh? Steve likes it, if you can't tell from his face :)

So why are we just now getting home? Good question.

After crossing into Canada, Steve's parents met us in Manning Park and we enjoyed one last night of hanging out with our trail friends. The next day we drove into Vancouver and had a leisurely dinner at a Chinese food place across the street.

Dave and Patty were hurting for some tourism fun, so on Saturday we took a tour around the great city, stopping at such sights as the fish hatchery, the suspension bridge and riding a gondola to the top of Grouse Mountain where we watched a lumberjack show and saw the grizzly bear habitat. On suggestion from our tour guide, we ate at a wonderful Indian restaurant downtown - probably one of our best meals since being off the trail.

On Sunday, Dave and Patty dropped us off downtown and we began our departure home - via a 3 day cruise to LA. We decided we might as well travel home in style, and with a bit of relaxation, and what better way than a floating hotel/casino/restaurant all-in-one.

It was fun, but we also felt too lazy - hard to adjust from 25 miles a day down to just relaxing and eating.

Wednesday we came into port in Long Beach. Jesse was nice enough to pick us up and take us to the LB airport where we could rent a car for the remainder of the trip home. During our drive he told us that he ended up getting "the giardia," and it was pretty bad. But he was on his last day of medicine and feeling much better. Both Steve and I were very lucky to have never gotten sick, since we were getting pretty lazy with our water filtering toward the end.

We took our rental car, drove up to Ventura where we spent the afternoon with the grandparents, and made a surprise visit to Andy, Lisa and family. In the evening we had dinner with one of our dearest Westmont friends, Kelly, and her husband Jake, and then we headed up to Santa Barbara for one last night away.

Even though Steve's parents still weren't home, we stayed at their house, packed all our hiking stuff that was at their house in the car, waited for lunchtime so Steve could have his El Sitio (Mexican food) that he had been dreaming about, and then drove home.

It is very weird to be home. Good, but weird.