Friday, October 27, 2017

California Dreamin'

We got home late Wednesday evening after spending nearly two weeks on the west coast, and then somehow I'd scheduled a full day and evening of activity for Thursday, which meant grocery shopping and errands Friday morning so here it is Friday afternoon and I've just now finished uploading photos from two cameras onto the computer.  Hi! Come on in and see my vacation pictures!

While I'd never say that in real life, this is blog life so Hi! Come on in and see my vacation pictures!

Hubs and I are determined to see a little bit of the northwestern part of the US while my daughter and her family are living there, and decided this visit we'd drive up the Northern California Coast, follow the shoreline all the way up through Oregon, and then cut over to Tacoma for a few days with our grandson. Hey, when you're in the neighborhood, right?

Not being too familiar with the geography, the distances one can reasonably travel in a day on the coastal roads, or the best places to stop for a night, I began reading and asking questions on the Trip Advisor travel boards. Everyone there was so nice and made me feel less anxious about the fires and our chosen route. We jumped on the coastal road early and had no plans to veer into Napa this time around, so no smoke or fire issues at all on our trek north.

Pinterest was also a great resource and in fact was starting to overwhelm me when I happened upon a fantastic blog called California Through My Lens. Y'all I feel like I need to send this blogger a case of beer or a dozen roses because he had the most wonderful, easy to read, helpful posts on the exact trip we were taking.

His relaxed way of traveling fit with our own relaxed way of traveling and we followed an itinerary very much like the one he followed when he went up the coast and into Oregon. He listed mileage and the hours it took to drive those miles, his favorite stops and some he thought you could skip if you didn't have an endless amount of vacation time, he shared great places to eat that we'd likely never have run across on our own, and best of all he suggested we bring shoes that could get wet (more on that later). Thanks Josh!!

I'm going to post old-school style here with a day by day recap because I've got a lot of pictures and they need to go somewhere. Don't worry... I have a lot of words to balance it out.

Day 1. Which was really Day 2 because Day 1 was a full day of travel from South Carolina to Atlanta to San Francisco. We picked up our rental car and no we didn't opt for a convertible because it's the Pacific Northwest in October and a convertible seemed crazy
even for us. Also, we almost always rent from Hertz, but their prices were double that of Alamo so we went with Alamo and had a great customer experience from start to finish. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott close to the airport and got on the road bright and early Day 2.

Day 2. San Francisco to Mendocino. Also this post may actually be Day 2 hour one only, because it's already so long and we haven't even gotten on the road yet. Buckle up...

We decided not to spend any time in San Francisco this trip, we've both been to the city and while we'd love to go back and linger there we opted to get on the road early and start making our way north instead. We did stop at the Golden Gate Bridge, because you've got to cross it to get out of town, and also because the sun was shining and we both had that wonderful anything is possible feeling a road trip stirs up in your soul. Road trips are my favorite.

Can you tell it was breezy? We had absolutely gorgeous weather the first five days of our trip, but you will see my hair acting a little crazy in some of our pictures. I just couldn't worry about it so decided might as well embrace it. Also can I just tell you that after 33+ years of marriage hubs has not lost hope that he can improve my sense of direction? He still insists on telling me routes and showing me maps and pointing out where the sun is in the sky until it makes my head spin. We're going north, right? Or 'up' as I like to say. That's basically all I need to know. I was happy I'd ordered honest to goodness laminated maps, the kind you can fold and unfold and hold in your hand and that allow you to see the big picture.

Seeing the big picture helps, on road trips and life in general.

The first stop we made after crossing the bridge was at the Muir Overlook. We almost missed it thanks to a detour, but initially we ignored the detour because we weren't sure it was for us. Turns out it was but if we hadn't driven up the road to check we would have missed this amazing little corner of the world.

Stunning! I will use that word many times in describing both the California and the Oregon Coastlines because it fits.

There are some old base stations here that were set up following the attack on Pearl Harbor to allow soldiers to watch for potential attacks on the San Francisco harbor. They're no longer in use of course, but interesting to see and think about.

The views here are incredible and it was the perfect start to a trip filled with the beauty of creation at every turn.

Okay, next post-Day 2 for real.


  1. Can't wait for the next installment!! Thanks for taking us along through your words and photos, Joyce!

  2. What a fun, fun time and how neat that you found a blog to help you in making your plans. I look forward to reading more. Happy weekend!

  3. What beautiful views! I'm looking forward to seeing your posts. I am thinking a Northern California trip for our spring break vacation. That travel blog will be a great resource too! have a wonderful weekend!

  4. How exciting, sounds like a great adventure. Looking forward to seeing more of your photos.

  5. Golden Gate Bridge in impressive indeed.

  6. Looking forward to hearing the rest of the journey.

  7. Thanks so much for the shout out and the kind words about the site, I am so glad it was helpful with planning your adventure!