Approximately this time last year, we were in glorious snow-filled, heavily forested Montecito Sequoia, Kings Canyon National Forest, CA. You see, being that we are pretty conservative with what we spend (we pretty much don't use credit cards for anything), we only took "vacations" back home for the holidays, or took a couple trips out to San Diego for a long weekend, but that was the extent. No Disney World, Bahamas, Hawaii, etc. Josh and I haven't even taken a trip anywhere alone, for crying out loud! LOL But anyway, we were content with not ever going to any of those places. We are more nature/outdoorsy type of people, and do not like crowds!
Anyway, back on track to Sequoia! One day in August of 2009 I was just pondering the prices of going to Sequoia, because Ethan had a major (and I do mean major) obsession with tress, but specifically Sequoias. By the way, Evan has followed in his brother's footsteps, and has an obsession for trees too! But back to Sequoias...they are the biggest tree in the world (not to be mistaken for the Giant Redwood, which is the tallest). Since we homeschool, I thought that it would be a great opportunity to visit the Sequoias, and have a very fun fieldtrip and life experience! I looked online and found an awesome deal for a mini family vacation to a resort called Montecito Sequoia. Since I booked at a down time (early/mid-December is slow there), we got a cabin at the resort for 5 days and 4 nights, with ALL meals and activities included...for about $500! Yes, that's correct, ALL meals plus a room, and the meals were out of this world! It was actually too much food! We had the best family vacation ever, and what would be the last before Ethan passed away. When I say God ordained, I mean that from the heart. God knew that Ethan's time was nearing a close here on earth. God knew that we needed that last family vacation. He provided a way! There's simply no way we would have been able to afford a vacation of that caliber had the resort rates not been so reasonable. Oh, and the homeschooling...well that afforded us the time to actually go during an off peak time! God orchestrated everything so beautifully! And check this out...God provided record snow fall! It was a ton of fun playing in mounds and mounds of snow, and watching it fall so beautifully from the heavens. We had a quiet reprieve from technology too. Our cells phones didn't work up there, there was no T.V., and the internet was down part of the time.
The boys had a blast! Ethan, being the very cautious boy he was, surprised us by his sudden burst of bravery and rough and toughness! He would take his sled and FLY down the large hill of snow! He would do this over and over again! And of course, Evan had a blast too doing what his big brother did. :o)
We also visited a grove of Sequoias that were accessible in the winter months. Among them was the General Grant. AMAZING! The Sequoia is also my favorite tree too. So majestic, breathtaking...
This post is LONG overdue, as I meant to post about our vacation a long time ago. But now is better than never, and I hope you all enjoy the pictures. When I reflect back to Sequoia, it is a very good memory that I have of my family, and in particular of my Ethan. When I think about those large Sequoias, I wonder how anyone could think there isn't a God who made all of these spectacular things. Trust me, go see the Sequoias and you will be amazed...stunned...at their massiveness and know what I mean about God making such wonderful things for us to enjoy. And to think that Ethan is enjoying things up in heaven that are way more amazing than Sequoias!