Hidden Pages

Erin & I love to travel. Sometimes work has me traveling to new places, and sometimes it's totally for fun and memory-making. Stay tuned, as this will be the place where we post up our memories as they're made!

Amsterdam!

I just got back from a trip with two of my favorite people on earth; Josh Glover and Juddy Arnold. The three of us were inseperable for about 20 years, and this past month marked one year since I'd seen Juddy, and more than that other than a very brief hug over Christmas for Josh. While I love how my life is turning out, I miss these two fellas immensely. It wasn't a mission trip or anything, but it was hugely important to me. 

The destination wasn't actually that important. Mainly, we wanted a place that offered direct flights (Juddy lives in NC and Josh in TN, whereas I'm in CA), and a place that was great to walk. We also wanted Europe. Our choices ended up being Amsterdam, London, and Copenhagen. Juddy and I got away last year to Amsterdam. Josh couldn't make it. The year before, Josh and I got away to London and Juddy couldn't make it. I'm sure Copenhagen is cool, but Amsterdam was a better place to be than London, at least for our purposes of just walking, pubbing, and reconnecting. (Hopefully I don't have to say that we didn't partake in other things that Amsterdam is known for...)

So Amsterdam it was, again. I love this city. My first trip there was with Erin a few years ago, and we fell in love. I also now know many Dutch people, mainly from being a student at Bethel, and adore them all. Their country was founded not by a monarchy, but by entrepreneurs who knew that freedom and small government was the way for overall prosperity. With Juddy especially being politically minded, Amsterdam was the best choice yet again.

While there, we were sure to hit all the big museums, including the Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank House. I'm sure the latter needs no introduction, but the Rijksmuseum is a huge mammoth of a museum on par with the Louvre in Paris, as well as anything that I've ever seen in Italy or elsewhere. Additionally, since Holland had an incomparable Golden Age, they have a huge amount of artists to showcase. Unlike the Louvre, they only display artists from their own country. So the museum is full of Rembrandts, Vermeers, Van Goghs and more. Unfortunately, they don't allow cameras, as flashing lights can hurt the paintings. 

The Anne Frank House was a huge eye-opener. I'm definitely one who is compassionate towards those who have been persecuted throughout history (which is only magnified by the fact that I'm 1/8th Cherokee). But this took the cake. Being there where that little girl wrote of the horrors of persecution, right where she wrote, wracked me big time. It was good. 

We were invited by a dear dear friend of mine, Jaap Berg, to visit a church about 45 minutes outside of Amsterdam by train, in Ede (pronounced Ay-dah). Jaap has accompanied me on many of my crazy drives throughout northern Cali that you may have read about. He's a brilliant and extremely wise young man. With him being just 21 years old and yet someone that I would let speak into my life, he makes me feel both young and old at the same time.

I ended up speaking in the church service, with Jaap translating my hillbilly English into Dutch, and must say that God showed up in a huge way. Though I didn't understand most of the Dutch being spoken, the presence of Yahweh transcends all language.  It was a huge honor.

After 7 or 8 days, it was time to come home. I missed my family dearly the entire time. But now that I'm back, I want to be there again. I miss my brothers. But I would also want to take Erin and Elias. It gives me peace to know that God has so much more of Europe for our family.

Dutch people rock. They have passion AND precision. They are lovers and yet planners. Their country, as well as their capital, convey this.

We also had a day in Brussels, Belgium, which is the heart of the European Union. We could have stayed there longer, but really only wanted to be back in Amsterdam. The main square, Grand Place, is medieval and very jaw-dropping. But in the end, we all preferred Amsterdam hand-over-fist and hopped back on the high-speed train.

Norway!

The last half of March 2012 was "Mission Trip Time" at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. Erin and I went in "whole hog", taking Elias with us. The flight from San Francisco to Oslo was painfully long for the little guy, but we got there and really had a great time. 

 

Been there - Locarno, Switzerland - Lake Maggiore

Luke Peniston is a good good buddy of mine. His wife Emily and Erin, my wife, were both staff at the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) base that we were to be students at in Davos, Switzerland. Our wives, as staff, had to be there for staff training two weeks before we actually had to be anywhere. So we snowboarded a ton, which was the time period that I snapped my collar bone off of my shoulder, and also made use of the roads a good bit. 

One weekend, we decided to go down to Locarno, Switzerland. Locarno is in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland, Ticino. It sits on Lago Maggiore (Lake Major, or HUGE LAKE, in Italian), which reaches well into Italy. We had a great time, and here are some pics that we took. Obviously, it was very hazy when we were there. So you'll want to CLICK THIS LINK to see more of what Locarno is all about if you're considering a trip there. I have to say, the Italian part of Switzerland may be the most amazing place I've ever been, as the people are Italian for all intents and purposes, but they are protected and run by the Swiss government, which really knows what it's doing, especially compared to other governments in the region, Italy being one of them.

We were there January 29 and 30th, 2008. Erin was pregnant with Elias, but we had no idea.

 


  

Huge Loop of NorCal

Tomorrow morning (THIS morning, to be exact), I head out with 2 buddies (Jaap from Holland and Shay from Oregon) for another epic drive in NorCal. We leave Redding at 8am and drive 299 through Weaverville to Eureka for our first peeks of the Pacific. Then we drive the entire coast on a 2 lane road through some Redwood forests, also using many of the test roads that we use in the Porsche magazine. It's going to be great!

San Francisco & Northern California - NOW!

Well, Erin, Elias & I have been here in Northern California for a few days. This place is the real deal... at least for us. We love it so much.

As you might have read on my Automotive Journalism page, we are here because I'm writing another article for Excellence Magazine that is in regards to a road test that is to be done on these roads here in NorCal.

We flew into San Fran and drove north thirty miles or so to San Rafael to stay in the Four Points Sheraton there. That line of hotels is a great one that I really suggest. For the price of a Hampton Inn, you can stay in a place just as nice but with some attitude and grooviness to it. I really like it, and stay in them whenever I can. The one in Zurich though is the best I've ever stayed in. Very posh and modern. Leagues above a Hampton Inn.

Anyway, we stayed there one night and then made the drive in our rental Camry to Redding, which took about 3 hours or so. We got to drive past Napa and all that (Sonoma, etc), which is always special feeling, even though we didn't go up the valley this time. With a 20 month old, it's hard not to just go the quickest route. Once getting into the Redding area, we checked in at the Gaia Hotel in Anderson. This place is so nice. Very earthy and green and all that. Something must be in the water they're giving us, because yesterday I decided to go for a 2.5mile run and then lift weights. If you know me, then you know that the water truly needs investigating. Call 911.

Last night, we went to Bethel Church, which is the reason that we drove up here in the first place from San Fran. You can read about that on my Love>Hate page. We'll go back for the early service tomorrow and then head back down to San Rafael and have dinner with some guys from the magazine article. You'll hear about how special it is to have dinner (2nd time) with Datsun great Peter Brock on my Car Life page, and how insane it is to get to know ------ -------------, a very recent American LeMans racer, eventually on my Automotive Journalism page. 

I want to live here. I love the people. I love the nature. I love it all.