Why would you want to go there?

Hey lovely readers! Thanks for hanging in there while I had a bit of a meltdown. I’m getting better now so I’ll get back to telling you about my holiday in California. 🙂

Several times when we first arrived in the States (starting with the border patrol) we were asked where we were travelling to. Every time when we responded that we would be heading up to Redding we were asked ‘What’s in Redding?’ or ‘Why would you want to go there?’. Apparently Redding doesn’t have a great reputation in California and isn’t known for it’s steady stream of tourists. 🤔

After our busy few days in San Francisco and the skydiving adventure and wine tasting in Napa we drove north. This part of our visit was a little less hectic in terms of visiting tourist attractions but we fitted plenty in all the same.

On two of our five full days in Redding we visited Bethel Church. On the Wednesday we went to classes with our daughter and on Sunday to the church service. I love listening to or watching Bethel worship on YouTube so it was great to experience it in person. It was every bit as professional as I expected it to be but it was also more homely. I felt totally comfortable there like I could just fit right in. Often when I’ve been to larger churches in the past it has felt more like attending a performance. I didn’t get that there and that was refreshing. Both days the main speaker was Kris Valloton who just happens to be my favourite Bethel speaker to listen to. I enjoy his sense of humour and down to earth way of communicating. He had the same sermon title on both days (although the message was slightly different): ‘Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who am I and what’s my call?’ It was the perfect topic for me right now. I guess identity and calling have been a big part of where I’m at on my journey. Maybe I’ll say more about that in another post at some point?

Sundial bridge in Redding in weather that looks like home

We visited a couple of beautiful spots while staying in Redding. One day we drove to Shasta Dam and to Whiskeytown Lake. We had a bit of a walk over the dam and scrambled down the small embankment to the lake. It was another one of those clear, sunny days that brings out the allure of creation in the most stunning way. There were a couple of days while we were in Northern California where the sky was a little grey but thankfully one of them was the day we were in classes and the other brightened up as the day went on so that was okay.

Shasta Dam
Views on either side of the dam
Whiskeytown Lake
I was impressed by the size of the pine cones

One of the most random highlights of our trip was getting to experience stores that we don’t find in the UK. When I was teaching (particularly in Primary 1) I spent a lot of time looking for ideas for fun and interactive activities to do with the children on Pinterest. (Every teacher should have Pinterest boards! 😂) Often the ideas that I pinned involved ‘picking up’ this or that from your local Dollar Tree or Target. Obviously I had to make do with whatever I could find in Poundland or Tesco. Well I got to see these and many other US stores. We loved the fact that in Win Co you can find so many items in large canisters that you can dispense into bags so you can buy just what you need. We were entertained by the huge cereal bags that were the size of large bags of dog food or something comparable (in fact the size of many items was pretty impressive!) My hubby had fun looking round stores to see if they had guns for sale. I was gobsmacked to see machetes hanging up in Walmart for anyone to lift while bicycle locks were in a secured glass cabinet. I really don’t get that! We explored a mall and managed to get a few items to add to our daughter’s slightly depleted student wardrobe which she appreciated.

While staying in Redding we also met several of our daughter’s friends and enjoyed a meal with some of them. We were able to make use of the hot tub at the Airbnb we stayed at which was pretty cool and my hubby started talking about how we could rearrange our garden to fit one in – as if it will actually happen! 😝

On the Saturday we drove to the town/city of Eureka and visited Sequoia Park. The name Sequoia is meaningful to our family so it was fun to go there and see the redwoods even though we didn’t have time to go to Sequoia National Park. The downside of that particular trip was that hubby hardly spoke to me all the way there or back. Maybe he was just nervous of my driving – understandable I guess 😂. Anyway he’s talking to me again now so that’s okay.

Under the redwoods

I think that’s pretty much covered all the highlights of our trip to California so I guess you have boring posts about life in Scotland to look forward to for a while now. Sorry! 😝

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