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Day 5: Amazing Race

This morning’s clue said “Sunday is a special day reserved for going to church and spending time with family. Get dressed in your Sunday best and go to church. Shake the hand of member of the bishopric {clergy}.”

The funny part of this clue is I secretly packed a church outfit for the kids. We didn’t want them to know how long our trip was so we didn’t put it on their packing list… The problem is… I forgot their church clothes in the hotel room in Oceanside two days ago! Duh! I knew the kids would feel a little uncomfortable going into church wearing jeans and t-shirts {look at Bailey’s face!} but we decided the important thing was to go and even though John and I had our church clothes, we went for solidarity and everybody went to church in our AR shirts.

We certainly stood out, but everyone in the Tulare congregation was super friendly and curious about our little crew. The kids all shook hands with the bishop, introduced themselves and thanked him. After the church meeting we got a clue to then go to “the land of giants” where you could drive through a tree. Bailey very proudly exclaimed, “we’re going to the Sequoias!” I asked her how she knew that and she said “I don’t know!”


Even though we didn’t know how Bailey gathered her information we followed it and headed 2 hours to Sequoia National Park. It was beautiful! At the entrance of the the park, the kids got their challenge to find the General Sherman tree which is the largest tree in the world and walk around it.

The sequoias were amazing! So majestic and it was a beautiful day. We hiked to General Sherman and found the huge tree that is still growing in width but no longer in height. Bailey said, “It’s just like humans! They stop growing taller, but they can keep getting fatter!” ha ha ha.

We walked around the tree and gave the next envelope. It told us we were done for the day and would be getting our next clue in the morning. We decided to enjoy the park and we drove through a tree, saw deer, TONS of butterflies and caterpillars, and the best was seeing 3 bears! As in real bears that looked at us and we saw their incredibly thick fur and they were HUGE. Denver said, “it’s just like Goldilocks!”

The picture isn’t very clear and hopefully the “real” camera captured them better, but here is the picture taken with Mr. John’s phone.

We also went to a museum and learned a lot about the park. We probably would have stayed and gone to more sights at the park, but our fuel was a concern. Natural gas stations are not as common as regular gas stations and though we filled up at the last station possible in Exeter, we were getting to half tank and worrying about getting back. When you run out of gas in a natural gas car, your only option is to be towed. The return trip ended up being much better on the fuel tank as we didn’t need the gas pedal for the entire way down the mountain and we made it back to our hotel room with fuel to spare. Thank goodness!

Big day tomorrow and tonight I am actually going to bed early… For real this time!

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Oh. My. Gosh. I just devoured all five days and can only say, You. Are. The. Best. Parents. Ever.

    Adopt me!!!!

  2. I loved that you still went to church even though the clothes were an issue! If you had come to my church you would have all been big hit and it would have made an interesting Sunday for everyone…I'm sure that church felt the same! Although you probably were "over" explaning the situation! (when did you discover that you left the clothes??)

    I have always wanted to go to Sequoia National Park – it looks beautiful and your "bear" picture kind of looks like those Sasquatch pictures you see on tv………

    Can't wait for tomorrow! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi Liz Wow! I was reading about your 5 day amazing race, I missed your posts! I am sure it was so fun and enjoyable especially with the family. Best wishes and Blessings xo

  4. I have been following your trip. If I had known you were going to be going through my town I would have met you with a flat of apricots as this was my day off. I am glad you enjoyed the park and I hope you climbed Moro Rock. I have been enjoying your blogs for months now and this was a great idea for a vacation. You have seen so much in a short time.

  5. Liz – you and John are so awesome! And thank you so much for sharing with us! How fun to follow along! Your kids will treasure these moments forever!!!

  6. I am finally home from a mini vacation from guess…my Mom's in Tulare and The Sequoias HAHA. I cannot believe I was there on Sunday as you were. Went to Crystal Caves. I am enjoying all these posts from you. I appreciate how close your family is and how much fun you guys have. You set a wonderful example for your kids. ♥ Okay, on to read the rest….

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