Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Rest of the Road Trip

Road Trip 2009: Days 13-18

So, I'm giving up on re-capping the rest of my trip for 2 reasons:
1. It's time to move on, because it has been taking me way too long to finish up (as I'm writing this, it is October and not really August like the post date says)
2. I accidentally deleted all of the pictures from the rest of my trip. I'm pretty annoyed at myself for doing that, so I have no photos to share.

The rest of my trip was great, and we'll leave it at that.

And now, onto our regular blogging...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Return to Lake Crescent

Road Trip 2009: Day 12
Fort Stevens State Park, OR to Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park, WA
(with quick stops in Astoria, OR and Forks, WA)

Miles driven today=229
Total miles driven=1547

We had a fairly long day of driving, with just a couple of stops. We went to the top of Astoria Column to get a gorgeous panoramic view of the area.
Astoria Column

View from Astoria Column

Crossed the Astoria bridge over to Washington State and continued driving until we reached Forks. I already visited the town during my road trip last year, but wanted to stop by and buy a couple of stickers for souvenirs. And while I was there, why not take a photo with the other Forks welcome sign? Last year, I took a photo with the sign you see when you enter the town from the north, and this year, I took one with the sign you see when you enter from the south. The chamber of commerce was busy with fans visiting the area, and the atmosphere of the town was quite different from last year. Twilight-mania has definitely spread since the movie came out.

Crossing Astoria Bridge

With Forks sign

After a quick lunch, we continued on our way to our campsite, the Fairholme campground along Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park. It's the same place Alicia and I stayed at last year. I really loved it and wanted to visit again, so it was nice that we were able to fit it into the schedule. We spent the rest of the day swimming in the lake and relaxing, which was lovely.

Relaxing by the lake

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fish, beer, ice cream, then a beautiful sunset to end the day

Road Trip 2009: Day 11
Newport, OR to Fort Stevens State Park, OR
(with stops in Pacific City and Tillamook)

Miles driven today=153
Total miles driven=1318

We started out the morning with breakfast at a cute cafe in Nye Beach, then a visit to the Oregon Coast Aquarium to hang out with the fish and other animals. My favorite was, of course, the cuttlefish. I had the chance to see some day-old cuttlefish babies, which was awesome! Here was one of the older babies they had on exhibit:
Baby cuttlefish

Then made a 3-car caravan (I know, not very earth-friendly, but it was great having Mesha hang out with us for the day!) up the coast to Pacific City, where we had lunch and tasted some beer at the Pelican Pub & Brewery.
4th brewery stop

Lunch had to be followed with ice cream, so we traveled further up the coast to visit the Tillamook creamery. I had 3 scoops of deliciousness!
Mmm, Tillamook Ice Cream

After parting ways with Mesha (she unfortunately had to go back home), we made it to Fort Stevens State Park, at the northwest tip of Oregon. We set up camp and made it down to the beach in time to enjoy the sun setting behind the Peter Iredale shipwreck. It was a great way to end another road-trippin' day.
Peter Iredale shipwreck

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hello Newport!

Road Trip 2009: Day 10
Bullards Beach State Park, OR to Newport, OR

Miles driven today=126
Total miles driven=1165

Another day of driving up the Oregon Coast! We woke up and set off early so we could site see a bit before making it to Newport by lunch time. We stopped at the Sea Lion Caves, since Ann had never seen stellar sea lions before. Unfortunately, the sea lions only hang out in the caves during the winter months, so the only glimpse we got of them were on a faraway rock through a telescope. We also visited the Haceta Head lighthouse and took a little tour of the building before meeting up with Mesha at the Rogue Brewery in Newport for lunch. I can't believe I've been to Newport several times now, and it's always fun visiting Mesha and hanging out in the cute town.

After lunch, the three of us spent the afternoon walking around a bit and had a blast digging for mole crabs on the shore. We definitely had a fun time being marine bio dorks. Ann taught us the proper digging technique-- since it was my first experience doing such a thing, it took a few tries before I got it down and caught some. She also taught us how to sex the crabs, which was pretty cool.

We went to dinner at Local Oceans, which was delicious. Mmm, crab cakes and fish tacos. Nothing like fresh, local and sustainable seafood!

Mmm crab cakes

Dinner at Local Oceans

Friday, August 14, 2009

Into Oregon

Road Trip 2009: Day 9
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, CA to Bullards Beach State Park, OR

Miles driven today=113
Total miles driven=1039

Morning walk along the river. It is so calm and peaceful...

Then crossed the border to the Oregon Coast...
Oregon Coast

Stopped in Bandon, OR for some sweets at the Bandon Bakery, then set up camp at Bullards Beach State Park. There was a lighthouse within the park, so we decided to go for a walk and check it out. We didn't know exactly how far away the lighthouse was, so set off on the walk in flip flops. We walked. And walked. And walked. And finally found it, the Coquille Lighthouse
Coquille Lighthouse

Turns out, it was a roundtrip trek of 5.2 miles. Mileage-wise, it wasn't bad at all. But walking that distance in flip flops was quite the killer on our feet!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shores of the Pacific to the shores of the Smith

Road Trip 2009: Day 8
Patrick's Point State Park, CA to Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, CA

Miles driven today=66
Total miles driven=926

Pretty view

The fog cleared up and the sun came out and we spent our morning tidepooling down at the rocky shore. It turned out to be a gorgeous day, and we appreciated being lucky enough to have such a clear view of the coastline. It was a drastic difference from the eerily foggy afternoon before, when we couldn't even see the water breaking at the beach.

After our explorations, we made the short drive up to our last California destination, Jed Smith State Park. The park is pretty spectacular, with campsites sprinkled under towering old growth redwoods along the Smith River. We set up camp under the beautiful trees...
I heart my tent

Then spent the rest of the day relaxing and soaking in the sunshine down at the river...
Hanging out by the river

Ann reading about watersheds

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The day in pictures

Road Trip 2009: Day 7
MacKerricher State Park, CA to Patrick's Point State Park, CA

Miles driven today=172
Total miles driven=860

Started out our morning visiting Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, CA:
Sea glass at Glass Beach

Then headed further up the coast. Stopped for a picture with the pretty scenery:
Somewhere on the North Coast

Drove through Avenue of the Giants, we stopped to dip our feet in the Eel River:
Dipping feet in Eel River

And checked out some amazing trees:
Avenue of the Giants

Made another stop for beers at Lost Coast Brewery (which brews one of our favorite beers, the Raspberry Brown) in Eureka, CA:
Taster tray at Lost Coast Brewery

Then settled down at our campsite at Patrick's Point State Park. It was a foggy afternoon:
The fog enveloping the trees

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hittin' the road again

Road Trip 2009: Day 6
San Francisco, CA to MacKerricher State Park, CA

Miles driven today=182
Total miles driven=688

The first day of our drive up the coast! Ann miraculously fit her whole life into her car again and was ready to make the trek up to grad school in Washington:
Ann, all packed up

It was foggy, the road was very windy, but it was a beautiful drive up Highway 1 along the remote coast.
Somewhere along the coast

We stopped by Fort Ross State Park, then had some tasters at North Coast Brewing Co.
Tasters at North Coast Brewing Co.

Then settled down at our campsite at MacKerricher State Park.
Making my s'more

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Strikes Again

Road Trip 2009: Day 5
Hanging out in San Francisco, CA:
Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park

Miles driven today=17
Total miles driven=506
# times I got lost=1
How long it would have taken me to get where I was going had I not gotten lost= 2 minutes
How long it took me to get there because I got lost=1 hour

I was going to visit the de Young Museum today. Come to find out, the main museum is closed on Mondays. I then decided to visit the Exploratorium instead. But oh wait, it's closed on Mondays too! Damn the man. I've always had bad luck with places being closed on Mondays.

So I just spent my day meandering through Golden Gate Park...
Considered going to the Academy again, but decided to save that for another San Francisco trip...
Visited the tower at the de Young Museum which had a great view...

View from de Young tower

Sunday, August 09, 2009

End of the Weekend

Hanging out in the backyard & enjoying the sunshine
Road Trip 2009: Day 4
Hanging out in San Francisco, CA:
Crissy Field & The Presidio
Enjoyed the sunshine in the backyard
Errands for the camping trip

Miles driven today=0
Total miles driven=489

After a whirlwind tour of San Francisco over the past couple of days, we took it slowly today. After breakfast, our intention was to walk the Golden Gate Bridge a little. Although it was another sunny day out, the bridge itself was covered in fog. So instead, we visited The Presidio and Crissy Field area for the morning. We then spent the afternoon sitting in the backyard and soaking up the beautiful weather before dropping Alicia off at the airport.

One more day in SF, then I hit the road again.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

I Heart Farmers Markets

Road Trip 2009: Day 3
Hanging out in San Francisco, CA:
Ferry Building Saturday farmers market
A little shopping in Union Square
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Dinner at Fish in Sausalito

Ferry building farmers market
Miles driven today=0
Total miles driven=489

Today was another sunny and beautiful day in the city. Before leaving on the trip, I checked the weather and they predicted it would be in the high 50s/low 60s here. Just shows that you should never trust the weatherman, because we have been getting blue skies and warm sunshine instead. I've heard that San Francisco summers are usually cold and foggy, but I've been lucky enough to be experiencing the exception.

Today was also another long day on our feet! We started out the morning down at the Ferry Building to check out its Saturday farmers market. I love wandering through farmers markets, and this one was a feast for the eyes, nose, and taste buds. Just look at these peppers!:
Beautiful peppers

After the market, we walked up to Union Square for a little shopping. I bought a new pair of Merrell shoes, which I've been meaning to do. They're a new and improved version of my current pair, and I'm so excited about the purchase. We then spent the rest of our afternoon a the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. SFMOMA currently has two exhibitions that we were interested in--the Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams collection, & the Richard Avedon Photographs collection. They were both great and worth the visit.

Ended the day over in Sausalito to have dinner at Fish, a sustainable seafood restaurant on the waterfront. Why yes, my clam chowder, corn bread, crab sandwich and fish taco were very yummy, thank for asking. The view during dinner...
The view during dinner

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Best Place Ever

Looking down
Road Trip 2009: Day 2
Hanging out in San Francisco, CA:
California Academy of Sciences
Aquarium of the Bay
Dinner at Park Chalet

Miles driven today=23
Total miles driven=489
# times we got a little lost= 2
# minutes it took us to go about 1 mile on Embarcadero= 50 (ugh, stupid traffic)

I'm in love. The California Academy of Sciences rocks my nerdy world!!! Not only is the building itself amazing (it's the world's largest LEED platinum building), but the exhibits are wonderful too. We spent 5 hours at the Academy, and it was definitely not enough time. If we didn't have a time constraint, I could have easily spent my whole day there. Since we had another commitment in the afternoon, I wasn't able to roam around and enjoy the museum at the slower place that I would have liked. But 5 hours did give me enough time to take in its beauty and fall in love. Guess I will have to return sometime in the future...
The Academy

We also visited the cute little Aquarium of the Bay, then went to dinner over by Ocean Beach. Here's a sunset pic after dinner:
Sunset pic

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Goodbye Yellow

Goodbye yellow scenery!
Road Trip 2009: Day 1
Long Beach, CA to Monterey, CA
Visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey, CA to San Francisco, CA

Alicia, Driving
Miles driven today=466
Total miles driven=466
# of bathroom stops= 3 (Alicia pees a lot)
# of detours= 1 (wine tasting at the Blackstone tasting room)

Road trip 2009 has started! I picked up Alicia early in the morning, who will be joining me to visit Ann for the San Francisco portion of the trip, and said goodbye to the LA traffic and dull yellow scenery. We hopped on the road and headed towards Monterey, for a little visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium before getting to San Francisco. There were wineries along the way, so we ended up stopping for a little wine tasting...

Road trip detour: wine tasting

It was a beautiful and sunny day in Monterey, and we enjoyed walking around and checking out the Aquarium's new exhibit, "The Secret Life of Seahoreses." It was great, but my favorite thing there were the baby cuttlefish. Over 40 of those adorable little guys floating around and flashing their colors and patterns--oh, they were so cute.

We made it to San Francisco early in the evening, then went out for a couple of beers and dinner with Ann and some of her friends. A perfect way to end the first day of my vacation!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

It's Like They Know I'm Going on a Road Trip

Gas prices are slowly creeping up again. Damn the man! Why does it have to be just in time for my road trip? Between lunch and dinnertime today, the gas station I drive by went up 4 cents and tipped above three dollars. Well, at least it's not $4.00 per gallon like last year and I'm thankful for that.

I'm officially done with work and Alicia & I hit the road early tomorrow morning.

Tune in for updates from the trip!