“You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose!”

April 22, 2010

Caldwells out.  Out of California, that is.  We are becoming modern-day gypsies.  Only 4 weeks in the golden state and we are being shipped out to Colorado.  The job we were so excited about in Monterey, unfortunately, has not been awarded to Joe’s company as of yet.  Therefore, he was offered another temporary gig in Florence, Colorado.  Florence is a teeny tiny little town in Southern Colorado…so small in fact, that there are not even hotels there.  So we will be staying in Colorado Springs for a few weeks, then we’ll be receiving an apartment (courtesy of Joe’s company) in Canon City.  The job will be for 4-8 weeks, or until a longer-term possibilty lands in our anxiously awaiting laps. 


We are sad to leave California!  We’ve really enjoyed it so far.  During the week we are stuck in Victorville (which I quickly learned that natives not-so-fondly nicknamed “Victimville”), but we have definitely made the most of our weekends and traveled to some great spots.  This state has a lot to offer for people like us who LOVE to experience and see new things, especially in the outdoors.  A recap of Caldwell Californian adventures:


Our first weekend here, we decided to try out Death Valley National Park.  Sure, we thought of Vegas and Hollywood and other flashy locales, but we love the outdoors and thought camping in a place called “Death Valley” just had to be done!  I have personally never spent much time in a desert area before, so I was completely enamored with all of the interesting rock formations, colors, and mountains!  It was just so interesting and different from anything else I’ve ever seen.  We set up camp and immediately began hiking up to the Salt Flats.  Miles and miles of salt with a backdrop of gorgeous snow-covered mountains.  Very strange, but very intriguing!  Next we tried a small hike and circle drive called “Artist’s Way” which was really beautiful because the wildflowers are in bloom this time of year.  After another hike through the aptly named “Desolate Canyon” we were tired and ready for dinner and wine by the campfire!  We made friends with the campers next to us, and they suggested several hikes for us the following day.  We spent a verrrry chilly night in our tent (who knew the desert could drop so drastically  to 30 degrees at night and then LEAP to 85 degrees during the day!?!)  We got up early and had a big breakfast, then headed out to the sand dunes – which were incredible!  Certainly the coolest part of our trip…it was so strange and unique!  It felt like something straight out of Star Wars.  We spent the rest of the day hiking in Marble Canyon – polished marble; smooth and cold and swirling with magnificent colors.  We had a great trip!  I highly recommend to anyone in California!


Our second weekend we decided to stay a little closer to “home”.  We ventured into LA to take a day trip to the Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach.  We’ve both been to LA before, but neither of us have been to these spots.  Santa Monica was busy and bustling and looked familiar since I have seen in it so many movies.  We’d heard that Venice beach was a crazy little LA spot – full of hippies and hipsters and great for people-watching.  So we walked along the water (hellllooooo Pacific Ocean – I’ve missed ya!) until we reached Venice.  It was definitely fun for people-watching!  All sorts gather to this spot where vendors line up ocean-side to sell jewelry, art, food, and let’s face it…drugs.  It actually reminded me alot of the outdoor bazaars in Argentina that would happen in the San Telmo district.  Though we did see some full-on hippies, it was mostly a punk rock sort of scene – which definitely seems to fit my idea of LA better.  We had a fun afternoon eating ice cream, checking out the extremities, and taking pictures, naturally.  That night we headed up to the Long Beach area to meet Joe’s aunt and uncle, Gary and Marci.  Though I’ve only been around them a handful of times, I totally fell in love with them the first time we met!  They are sweet and hilarious and love to travel!  I sort of see a little of Joe and I in them.  We had a wonderful time catching up and eating DEElicious food!


Our last weekend trip for California was difficult to plan…there were still sooo many things we wanted to see!  Yosemite, Joshua Tree, San Francisco…but I know that Joe and I will make our way to all of those places and more eventually…after all – it is us!  We decided upon wine country.  There are several options in California…but we picked Temecula after getting the opinions of many Californians.  We thought it would be incredibly fun and romantic to bike through the vineyards, stopping along the way for lunch and leisurely wine tastings.  We rented 2 road bikes and were off!  Temecula is gorgeous, with breathtaking vineyards, rolling hills, and amazing flowers.  It felt like we had landed (however briefly) in Tuscany for a weekend!  We stopped and had a nice lunch and some great wine samples and moved along up the GIGANTINORMOUS hill to the next location of winery bliss.  By our 3rd stop, we were regretting our not-so-romantic bike excursion idea.  We were tipsy, sweaty, tired…and enormously entertained by all of it!  It is incredibly difficult to ride a bike after several glasses of wine, especially when you must ride full-speed down a 12-mile hill on 2 teeny tires with traffic wizzing past you.  Every now and then I would hear Joe yell “I might die!!!!”  It was absolutely hilarious, but not something I would recommend.  In any case, we had fun. 


Now we are back to packing up our things, jumping on yet another plane and hitting up yet another state.  I am grateful that if we have to go to Colorado, at least it is in the summer…as we all know how grumpy I get about cold weather!  🙂  And also, most importantly…we will only be about 2.5 hours from my little sis, Becky, so I am SUPER thrilled about that!  We are the best of friends and I am so looking forward to being near her again.  Though we are disappointed to be leaving California earlier than planned, we’ve just gotta roll with it and know that we’ll find fabulous things to do in Colorado as well.  So wish us luck as we embark yet again!  Below:  a slideshow of the above-mentioned Californian weekend trips!  Enjoy!





3 Responses to ““You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose!””

  1. Marci said

    Katie, I am so blown away by your beautiful blog. The more I see of what you do, feel, think, write, and love, the closer I get to you. Amazing blog!!! So happy you are sharing with me (and Gary).
    Happy trails, dear heart. Love to you and Joe.


  2. Marci said

    P.S. I simply ADORE the picture of you and Joe on the top of your blog page. How romantic! OMG. Takes my breath away.


    • Thank you! And thank you always for the kind words! A photographer friend of mine in Hawaii took that picture and a whole bunch of others for us as a going away gift. She’s fabulous! 🙂 Thanks for reading!


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