Highlights from our Drive to Canada

For those of you who may not know, we live in Arizona, a state full of cacti and all the many types of animals that live inside the cacti. But we are in Canada presently which begs the question: how did we get here?

I’m so glad you asked! We drove. In our minivan with our three kids through California, Oregon and Washington. It’s kind of like a road trip.

But instead of loud music, there are often periods of extreme quietness if a miracle has happened and all three of our children are asleep at the same time.

And…instead of being able to drive with the windows down with abandon, you have the little people in the back yelling (well, they’re not being rude…it’s just a minivan and the windows are down so they have to yell to be heard) “Daddy! Can you roll the windows up?! It’s cold!” And then you look back there and their hair is all blowing like crazy and you realize that it is actually much windier in the back than it is in the front.

And then there’s the 10-month-old who isn’t afraid to let you know how he’s feeling inside by crying for our whole drive through the Redwoods.

So, it’s more like a road trip–toddler style. And that is okay with us. Because we are a family. And we love each other.

So, here are some highlights from our trip. Sorry, we didn’t get any pictures of the baby crying throughout the entire Redwood forest. We must have been thinking about something else…

1.  Huntington Library!

It’s really only at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens where you get to walk through a Chinese garden, a cloud forest, and see a Gutenburg Bible all in the same day.

There were also squirrels here…that’s why this little guy is smiling.

In addition to Cloud Forests and squirrels, they also have the coolest children’s garden that I have ever seen. Seriously. It’s got miniature doors and miniature trees and tunnels and all of these neat outdoor exhibits. I think this is my favorite part.

2.  Hanging out with David in San Fran!

It is always so great to hang out with David and this time around, we got to meet his brother too. We had a good time. And so did Onesimus.

See how it looks like he’s holding something under the table?

There it is! He found his foot! Remember when your feet were your favorite toy?

3.  Stopping at the wheat field (or whatever it was) and taking neat pictures


You know, we just pulled over because someone who can’t talk yet was crying…again…we won’t say who. But look how God blessed us! We got to see wheat! Wild wheat! Just growing! We tried to eat some because the disciples rubbed the grains of wheat together and what not…but it didn’t work out that well for me. Maybe I interpreted that part wrong. Or…maybe it wasn’t wheat…

4.  Seeing Elks…or Elki..or a herd of elk…you get the idea.

Now, something really exciting happened when we pulled over and saw these elk. There they all were, just eating grass and what have you and I’m taking pictures and I think to myself, “Look at those antlers. They must be boy elk. I bet there are girl elk somewhere around here too!’

So, there I am…intuituve observer surveying the surrounding landscape out in the wild with the wild elk and I see something! Could it be? Yes! I take a picture! Because I have spotted the female elk! Here is that picture!

Now, here is a picture of what Google comes up with for female elk:


But…really…they were far away. Can you see my confusion? The guy with the tripod next me heard me calling back to Matt, “Honey! Look FEMALE ELK!” I didn’t see him taking any pictures, though.

Here’s Matt saying, “Cameron! Those are horses!”

5.  Seeing our friends from CanIL 2009 in Oregon

This is the Schones’ family! We learned so much from them two years ago when we came and were blessed to be able to see them again on our way to CanIL this time!

6.  Eating in Portland

The Place: Portland, OR

The Food: Toro Bravo

The Result: Deliciousness!

So delicious, in fact, that we took pictures of the food.

This might not look very good…but everything we ordered was so fresh and diverse and good! This was our favorite place to eat on the way up…and not just because they had a framed picture of Ferdinand the Bull in the bathroom.

That was pretty much it! So, now you know how to plan your trip from Arizona to Canada.We can’t guarantee the wheat and the elk, but feel free to go and try!

By the way, if you’ve ever made this drive and have good suggestions for it, we would love to hear them!




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