Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Carmel to Anaheim Day 7, 8, & 9

Carmel is beautiful!
If you have never been there, you need to pack up and go!
We had such a nice day, even though we
 didn't run into Clint Eastwood.
We stayed in this very lovely hotel.
They serve a continental breakfast,
with the best french toast I have ever had in my life.

I hate to admit that we didn't buy anything in Carmel.
The shops were a tad out of our price range. (Darn it!)
But we did enjoy window shopping.

I love the cozy little spots in this town.

We took a short trip to Monterey. 
I wanted to see Cannery Row.

The only picture I took was of these seals at Fisherman's Wharf.
How many seals do you see?
I am seeing ten now, but I think there were a lot more than that.
Tricky little guys.

We drove around Pebble Beach. 
It is a 17 mile drive.
I don't know why, but I didn't take a single picture.
That night we stayed in San Simeon.
The town is made up of many hotels and a few convenience stores. 
Oops, I forgot the Denny's where we ate dinner
with all the other tourists in town.
I believe we all had Hearst Castle tours scheduled
for the following morning.

I love to tour mansions and imagine
what my life would be like as an heiress.


The view is amazing.

On our way south we stopped in two beautiful cities:
San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.
I really wanted to see Santa Barbara
because it is the home of one of my favorite fictional characters-
Kinsey Millhone.

We're on our way to Rob's favorite place on Earth. . .


For years we have wanted to stay at Disney's California Adventure.
We had a beautiful view of Downtown Disney.
So exciting!

It was a wonderful trip!
Thank you for joining me as I reminisced over this past week.
I would recommend sharing an enjoyable experience. 
It's therapeutic when you have the winter doldrums.

Monday, February 27, 2012

On our way to Carmel-Day 6

I have been pretty busy with school projects lately,
so I haven't had any time to blog.
I really want to share the last few days of our trip with you.
So, here goes.
 The beaches in this area are so interesting
 with rocks sticking out of the water everywhere. 
 It was a drizzly day and the paths down to the beach
were very slick
and in my opinion way too treacherous!
As you can see from the footprints in the sand...
Not many people wanted to brave the path down to the beach.
I wish I had a picture of Rob trying to climb back up the slick path.
He was sliding all over the place.
I was so glad I was a wimp and stayed on the road.
But I was safe,so I could just stand there and laugh at Rob.

Yay!  We're almost in San Francisco!

This was one of the most beautiful days
I have ever spent in San Francisco.
Sunshine and flying kites.
Isn't that peaceful?

I can't go to San Francisco without having
clam chowder in a bread bowl.
We also ate a grilled cheese sandwich from Boudin.
It was the best grilled cheese ever!
We enjoyed San Francisco for a few hours
 and then we were back on the road.

We weren't planning on stopping at the boardwalk in Santa Cruz,
but we were so glad we did.

 We had a wonderfully full day. 
We arrived at our hotel in Carmel pretty late. 
Thankfully we had most of the next day
set aside for enjoying Carmel.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Seaside to Heceta Head Lighthouse-Day 4

Since we have been to Seaside before,  we just spent a few hours going through the shops in town.
We also enjoyed walking along the boardwalk
that was outside our hotel room. 
I love Seaside. 
Some vacation guides we read complained it was too "touristy".
That's okay by me. 
I love buying salt water taffy in hundreds of flavors!

We backtracked just a bit and visited the town of Astoria.
They have some cute downtown shops and restaurants.

Our next stop was in Cannon Beach.
It is a beautiful town!
I wish I could have spent all day here-or several days.

But...we had a lot more to see today.

We are always in the mood for delicious ice cream.
So, we couldn't pass by the Tillamook Cheese Factory.
You would not believe how many people were at this place.
The parking lot looked like we were going into an amusement park.
The cheese samples were delicious and
I would give some big bucks for some of that icecream right now.

We were headed to Yachats to spend the night at
Heceta Head Lighthouse.
I bet you can never guess what we found when we got there.
Yup, our room key was in an envelope taped to the door!
We actually called ahead and told them we would be late.
{We were learning, and it only took us two close calls.}
Rob has wanted to stay here for years.
We stayed in the light keepers room.

On our dresser was a flashlight with a note.
The note suggested walking to the lighthouse after dark.
It was very adventurous.
 Personally, I would have been more comfortable
with something a little more high powered. 
There were times I was concerned we might walk off the trail
and go tumbling into the ocean below!
(I imagine that hardly ever happens)
The room was tiny but cozy.
You could lay on the bed and look right out to the lighthouse.
Our bathroom was private, but it was down the hall.

It had the cutest little claw foot tub.
And you could see the lighthouse from that little window.

I think Rob and I both hit our heads on that low ceiling. 
{Maybe more than once.  But you didn't hear that from me.}

The Keepers House is a bed and breakfast.
The breakfast is a seven course meal.
It is delicious!
All of the guests eat together at a large table in the dining room.
I think there were 12 of us.
The breakfast takes at least an hour,
so the guests can really get to know eachother.
We ate with such a nice mix of people from all across the country.

To see more pictures of this beautiful place, go here.

The sea lion caves were just down 101 a bit,
but we chose not to pay money to look at sea lions,
so we continued on to Florence. 
We had been to Florence the evening before for dinner. 
 The stores had been closed but there were
a few restaurants and bars open. 
We had spotted a silver tea set in one of the store windows.
So, I was really excited to go shopping in this cute little town.

Rob bought the tea set for me for our anniversary.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Florence to Timber Cove Inn-Day 5

After spending some time shopping in Florence,
we had to hit the road.
We had 300 miles to drive to get to Ferndale.
Soon after arriving in California you see
Paul Bunyan and his ox Babe.
We took a picture with Paul, went through the gift shop,
but we didn't pay to see the Trees of Mystery.

I wanted to stay in Ferndale because it looks like a
"dollhouse" town.

We stayed in the Victoria Inn.
The window above the flag was our room.

The Inn had a nice restaurant where we had dinner and breakfast.
We did a little shopping and then we were off.

We traveled through the "Avenue of the Giants".

Isn't this an awesome tree?

Of course, you can't travel through this part of the country 
without driving through the Chandeleir Tree.

From this view it looked like it would be a very tight squeeze.
Should we flip the side mirrors in?

No problem!
Check out that trailor behind us.
They didn't attemp it. 
However, we did watch a suburban drive through.
That was a snug fit!

That night, we stayed at The Timber Cove Inn.
When we got to the Inn, it was so foggy
you could barely see the ocean.

While we were eating our dinner, the fog cleared and it was beautiful.

We had a very nice dinner. 
After we ate, we had a nice walk around the inn.
The property was beautiful, 
with walking trails and
fire pits with conversational seating.

It was the third night
 we got to sleep with the sound of the ocean outside our room.
You can't beat that!

Forks to Seaside-Day 3

Did you know that the Twilight movies weren't filmed in Forks?
I'm not sure what you would see on this tour.
Maybe places mentioned in the book?

After leaving Forks, we only had an hour drive to the Hoh National Rain Forest.
I have lived in the pacific northwest for most of my life, and I had never seen the rain forest in Washington.

It is amazing!

This little creek was crystal clear.
It was such a beautiful day.
No rain! 
There are so many different shades of green...
and everything is Mossy!

After we left the Ho Rain Forest, we continued down the coast. 
We stopped at several beaches along the way.

The beach names in Washington are so original and creative. 
I think the name of this beach was...Beach 1.
Don't you love that name?
 We hit this beach right at low tide.
Rob had a ball touching the star fish!
We couldn't pry them off the rocks. 
A little girl, who was there with her family,
got one off and it attached itself to her hand!
They had a really difficult time getting it to off of her. 

That would have freaked me out!

The starfish were so colorful.
The sea anemone were sticky and really fun to touch.

Washington was beautiful, and so lush and green.

I wish I had taken more pictures of the places
we visited throughout the day.
We were able to "run" through several little beach towns. 
I wanted to go to Oceanshores, but we ran out of time.

We were staying in Seaside, Oregon for the night.
Since we had so much to see and do that day, we arrived at our hotel late.
And, can you believe, the hotel office was closed up tight?
Sheesh!  You'd think we would learn.

They did leave a key for us, so we didn't have to sleep on the beach.

This was the ocean view from our room.
I don't know if there is anything more peaceful than falling asleep to the sounds of the ocean.

Not a bad way to end day three of our trip.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pacific Coast Highway-Day 1 & 2

For years Rob and I had been dreaming of a Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip. 
This last June we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. 
What a great occasion for our dream trip. 
  It was difficult deciding how much time we would need to travel 2,200 miles.
We are "those people" who swerve off the road every time we spot a cute little shop.
Antique shops, junk shops, coffee shops, curiosity shops, etc. The list goes on and on.
We also wanted to be able to stop at all the scenic stops along the way.
(Ever wonder about the World's Largest Skillet?  We had to see it!)
We knew we needed to give ourselves plenty of time.
We decided to do the trip in nine days. 
This seems like plenty of time.  Doesn't it?
Hmmm, I guess it depends on if you want to actually have time to sit down and eat.
If I were to take this trip again, I would love to have at least two weeks.
{Should I start buying Lottery tickets now?}

Today I'll share with you the first leg of our trip.
From Idaho, we had around a 600 mile drive
 to get to the beginning of highway 101. 
We were headed to Leavenworth Washington
for our first night's stay.
(I think it was out of our way, but I really wanted to go there.)
The first unplanned stop of our trip was in Pendleton Oregon. 
It was one of those
"Oh I've always wanted to go to the Pendleton woolen mills!" 
So, we swerved off the road and took a tour of the factory. 
We bought a wool blanket from their "bargain room". 
It has a little flaw with one of the fringes
which is basically unnoticeable. 
What a bargain!
I don't even know how many times we have driven past Pendleton and we have never stopped. 
It had some very interesting little shops.  If you are into western wear, this is the town for you.
This was one of the prettiest shops-very surprising for a western shop.   
It's called Hamley. 
Stop there and look around if you have a chance. 
It had sculptures, beautiful woodwork, brick walls, and tin ceilings. 
We resisted buying a custom made saddle for $5000!
Pendleton has an old underground city. 
We would have liked to take a tour, but we had places to go, and things to see.

We spent our first night in Leavenworth Washington. 
In my opionion, this is one of the cutest towns in the Northwest. 
I didn't take very many pictures, because it was so difficult to capture the beauty of this town. 
A bavarian village in the North Cascades. 
So beautiful! 
Some of shops closed early, which made me feel bad that I had spent so much time in Pendleton.
Early signs that it was going to be difficult to see everything I wanted to see.

On the second day of our trip we were headed to Cape Flattery,
the most northwest point in the continental United States.

Our first unplanned stop for the day was 11 miles out of town in Cashmere, Washington. 
Well, who could pass up a tour of the Aplets and Cotlets factory?
It's a very short tour because the factory is very small. 
We did get lots of good samples, and we couldn't resist buying candy for the road.
We spent a few hours in Seattle before taking the ferry to Port Angeles.
While we were in Seattle, we had to go to Beechers
and try Oprah's favorite Mac and Cheese. 
If you ever plan on trying it, be prepared to stand in line.
It was a very long wait.

We also bought some fantastic fresh fruit at Pike Place Market.

When we finally arrived in Cape Flattery it was getting close to dusk, and it was breathtaking! 
It's a 3/4 mile hike to get to the cape. It's a really nice trail with bridges and cedar boardwalks.  
It's easy to enjoy the views and take pictures, because
along the trail there are really nice cedar observation perches.

At the end of the trail, there is a beautiful view of the Cape Flattery Lighthouse.

It was getting dark and there were warnings on the trail about wild animals after dark.
I don't do well with wild animals, so we made really good time on the 3/4 mile hike back to our car!

We had an hour drive still to get to our hotel in
Forks, Washington.
We arrived at our hotel at 11:05 p.m.
The town was dark. 
It appeared the entire town had shut down for the night-
including our hotel!

Well, we learned something that night. 
Hotels in small towns don't have 24 hour reception. 
Fortunately, we found a number to call and we were in our hotel room by midnight.

The end of another great day.