After an invigorating drive down the California coast, we were able to get an amazing breakfast Monday morning at First Awakenings. My cousin Sue and her husband Chris own this gem of a restaurant in Salinas and it did not disappoint. Since it was the Monday after Easter and a pretty rainy, drizzly day, the restaurant was pretty slow. This was quite wonderful for us because we were able to visit with both of them for a while. It sure was awesome to be able to reconnect with family. Sue is my Uncle Ron's daughter. She and her sister Debbie are the only cousins I have on my Dad's side of the family.
The restaurant is so charming, situated in downtown Salinas, the home of John Steinbeck. It is a very quiet farming community really close to the Pacific ocean. This is what I ate for breakfast, and it was delicious.
We headed up the coast after breakfast and stopped at a beach along the way. It was overcast and a little cold, but the kids were in heaven. They got so absorbed in playing that the time we spent there was but a moment. It was interesting to see their little personalities and how they chose to spend their time. When we were at Cape Cod a few years ago, Zach stood in front of the waves and "conducted" them, while Raef busily built something in sand. Nothing much has changed after all these years. Raef found something to build while Zach stood in front of the waves.
Eli is also a builder, I guess. This is what he did the entire time we were there and he just loved it. He made a canal system and then he wanted water. I gave him a cup, but he soon realized it was not easy to fill a cup from an incoming wave. It was near impossible. But Eli made a discovery: when you dig down in the sand there will be a pool of water. Way to go, kid!
A lady found this washed up on the shore. Isn't that fantastic? Harry and Julia just loved it.
We soon were on our way to San Francisco. We got there at the perfect time, right after lunch. We dropped Rinar off at the hotel and then I hit the road. I wanted to get through Sacramento before rush hour, and I did. After a brief stop in Reno to pick up some frozen elk meat, we made it all the way to Winnemucca and then stayed in a little hotel off of the freeway. The drive was uneventful, thank goodness. On Tuesday, April 1 we pulled into Salt Lake City and were ready to start our new life in a new place.