CA - IN - CA - Nov 27 - Dec 17

It's been a bit too long since the last update. The holidays are a busy time...even if you are traveling in an RV!

Before we departed for Evansville on Thanksgiving day, we had a special home cooked CA diner in Bakersfield - Grilled Tritip with our family friends Fred and Bonnie. The kids enjoyed playing legos and being able to spread-out on a living room floor and we enjoyed getting to know them.

We headed into LA early Wednesday morning to take in a few sites. Our favorite was the Griffith Observatory with its demonstration of how to make a comet at home and the Tesla Coil.

We had a 6am flight so we stayed in a hotel for the night. Because the kids are so accustomed to sleeping three abreast, we chuckled that night when we looked over and noticed that they had climbed into their queen bed in the same positions they sleep in the RV.

We were all excited to see family back in Indiana as we boarded our flight from LAX.

Back in Evansville just in time for Thanksgiving dinner and a great week seeing friends and family. 

We continue to see breathtaking sites around the country but an Indiana sunrise duck hunt with a great friend is hard to beat. 

And no Thanksgiving in Evansville is complete without a trip to the Shrine Circus!

We returned to Bakersfield after a week of memories and visits with family and friends. It felt good to be around loved ones and the warmth it brings.

Speaking of warmth, we headed back to CA just before the a cold/snow front hit Indiana:) 

But when we landed, the news stations were abuzz with the fact Bakersfield was facing their first potential snow fall since 1995!  We somehow felt responsible. At least the alert laid out ALL the facts:

We keep tabs on places we've been to see how their weather evolves.  One of our favorites was Canmore, AB. We are very thankful we chose September to visit Canmore.

We enjoyed a couple laid back days in Bakersfield. We visited Buck Owens Crystal Palace to see a famous car that allegedly was made for Elvis, but at some point won by Owens in a poker game in Vegas. According to the placard, "he cheated."  Owens did many great things for the city of Bakersfield and the country music industry, but had he been alive in this era, we suspect he would have been a frequent site on the tabloids!

The best thing about Bakersfield were the people. We enjoyed getting to know John, who had taken care of our cat London while we were away. He and his kitten Sky will be what the kids likely remember from that week.

It was time to head back to LA for a week we had been anticipating since our departure in August - Disney!  We stayed in an RV park only a couple miles from the park. We spent three days at Disneyland and California Adventureland and one day at Universal Studios. Magical of course!

In our 4 days, we went on almost every ride at every park and a number of shows.  We couldn't come up with perfect consensus but here would be our best attempt at a family ranking of the more popular rides:

Radiator Springs Racers
Indiana Jones
Toy Story 4D
Transformers 3D
Pirates of the Caribbean
Tram/King Kong 3D
It's a Small World
Peter Pan
Tower of Terror
Space Mountain
Star Tours
Splash Mountain
Jurassic Park 
Soarin' over CA
California Screaming
Jungle Cruise

As for shows:
Animal Actors (because JAK was the guest actor on stage. Ask him about his co-star Logan, the dog from Man of Steel)
Water World
World of Color
Christmas Parade

Next up - San Diego!  

Before Oma and Grandpa Kolb arrived for a visit it was time to decorate Big Country for the season:

We are staying at campground on Mission Bay.

We heard about an event at a local church where they hauled in "real" snow for kids to sled on so we went to check it out

We celebrated Oma's birthday!

Had some laughs:

Went to mass at the very first of the California Missions

And took in the sites at the beach/boardwalk in Mission Bay

And then it was time for another big event - San Diego Zoo!

We've been to a number of zoos on our trip, but this is the only place we'll see a Tasmanian Devil (we found out they are not found in any other North American zoos)

And we had a flash back to Disney when we saw the sign "your wait from this point will be 30-45 minutes to see the baby Panda"  Thankfully it was a Monday and we didn't need a Fast pass:)

And once again, somehow JAK managed to get picked from the audience to be a guest for the animal show.  The videos from this show, the show at the Sparks museum in Calgary, and the Animal show at Universal will be cherished family moments that will bring laughs for a lifetime.

And this was our favorite light exhibit because it reminded us

We've had many good CA meals, but we had yet to make our own "CA meal" so we checked that off the list. It was a mix of CA recipes and what we had on hand. We call it: 
Sassy Tritip Carne with Bakersfield pre-frost OJ

2lbs CA Tritip
3Tbps canola oil
1 cup freshly squeezed OJ
1 large handful of cilantro diced
1/2 lime squeezed
4 garlic cloves diced
1 jalapeƱo diced
4 green onions diced 
sea salt from Netarts bay and fresh pepper

Directions:  Marinate in mixture for 4 hours, grill on high heat, slice thin and use fresh tortilla to make burrito with lettuce and fresh salsa.

Along with regular school, Katie also received a little CA environment lesson one day from John when he was explaining why we couldn't see the mountains.  She wanted to write it down so she wouldn't forget:

We have one more major attraction to visit - Sea World!  We are headed there tomorrow. From there, we are off to see family in Case Grande AZ for Christmas.  God bless and good tidings to all!!!!