Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Going Home

 Childhood memories are powerful. 
 Even though we moved from Mount Shasta when I was 4 years old, I have very distinct memories. Part of that is due to the fact that my Grandma lived in a neighboring town until Shaggy was born.  We spent quite a bit of time in the area until I was well into adulthood. 
While our two older kidnicks have visited the area a couple times, it had never been for more than a night or so and Sugar Plum Fairy had been an infant the last time...it was high time to go back.  Travelling from Central California to Northern California always amazes me in the vast length of this state. 
Without stopping, it would take 7 hours from our home to Mt. Shasta and there is another 5-6 hours SOUTH of us before the border. 
So much of the state is agriculture and it is fun to see how the crops vary...sunflowers and rice are two crops evident that we don't grow here

Whenever I see a sign for Willows, I always think of my birthday and my Dad. 
When we lived in Lake County, it seemed that there was ALWAYS a meeting he had to attend in Willows....on my birthday. 
As a little girl, I would wake up on my birthday and there would be a huge sign hanging, wishing me happy birthday from my Daddy.
 Another strong and vivid childhood memory.

We planned a visit in Redding to see a very special man. 
Bob and Allie became dear fronds with my parents when they all lived in Mount Shasta in the 1960's. 
We had not seen Bob since Allie passed away and I was not going to miss this opportunity. 
He is more than just a friend...he is family.
On the drive., we played a couple games that had us hooping and hollering. 
20 Questions is a game we have had for eons and it never fails to amaze us that it usually comes up with the correct answer. 
The second game was one that Shaggy taught us.
The alphabet movie game.  Each player  has to name a movie title that begins with the letter "A"...if a player can not think of one, he/she passes and is out for the remainder of that letter round.  It is hilarious when you have the perfect title and are patiently waiting your turn to scream it out and someone else beats you to the punch.  It is also interesting how AFTER a certain letter is done, how many perfect movie titles pop into your brain.
As we passed over Lake Shasta, it became apparent that the drought in California is widespread.  I remembered seeing the water up to the treeline on many occasions....not so this year. 
 We passed the boat ramp that I remember using with my grandparents and parents.

 The new bridge being built is causing some traffic congestion, but did not hinder us following the truck my daughter wants.

 And traffic congesting in this neck of the woods is so very different than it is elsewhere.

 There has always been a spot on the freeway that makes me feel like I have arrived home. 
It is right near Castle Crags
The trees, the smell, the sense of well being just takes me back...every time. 

 When we arrived in Mt. Shasta, we decided to have dinner before settling into our home away from home. 
We were having such a great day, we did not want to push our luck when the kids got hungry.
Mike and Tony's was always my parents' favorite spot.

  As we walked in, I was immediately taken back...again. 
It looks the same...it felt the same. 
 Even with different owners, it felt right.

  My aunt, who lives in my Grandma's old house favors the other Italian Restaurant in town and we had plans to take them there.
 We would plan our own little family taste test.
After dinner, I hopped in the co-pilot seat and direct Shaggy to my old house and my Dad's office.  They look very much the same. 
It is nice that even after all these years, some things remain unchanged.
 Growing up in the Forest Service, when I did, was a blessing. 
 It really was a big family...that part has changed, but our house still looks like our house.
 (Except the fence...there was none when we lived there)

Once we arrived at our rental, the girls raced upstairs to see their room...
Seriously cute. 
 The zip-line, trampoline, slide, tight rope and swings made this place utter perfection for our youngest. 
 The owners of the home are super kind, helpful and we could not have asked for anything more.  I'll share more of the home later, but if you are interested in staying in this area, I can not recommend it highly enough.

The gardens are lovely with veggies and herbs and trees. 

 This patio area was so perfect for a glass of wine in the evening or a cup of coffee in the morning.  There is wisteria wired above the table to make a beautiful arbor.

 BUT, I was in heaven when I discovered these. 
I felt as though I was indeed being welcomed home.

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