Blog Archive

Friday, October 29, 2010

The last leg of Oregon and the Redwoods of California

For the last stretch of the Oregon coastline, we stayed at Honeyman State Park near Florence.  There were also some sand dunes nearby that ran roughly 30 miles along the coast.  We didn't  check them out but we did explore the forest a bit.


If you've never been to Oregon before, prepare yourself for the shear beauty.  It's like a rainforest there!  

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Every inch of the forest is covered in moss and lichen.  Many of the trees reminded me of "swamp thing".  Walking along the trails, you can smell the decay of leaves and feel the dampness from the continuous rainfall.  This state park in particular was full things to explore.


There were lots of mushrooms

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and the biggest slugs we have ever seen!  This guy was about 7 inches long and just about the grossest thing I've ever seen.  When Scott first spotted them, he thought they were just "a big green turd".


In the picture, you can see the trail of slime this guy leaves behind.  Eeewwww!

7 inches!!

After our fun in the forest, it was time to pack up and hit the road.... again.  

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We went over more bridges on our way to California and this one was screaming to get it's picture taken.  I love the color and the architecture was so beautiful.

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Finally, we reached the border.  We made it!!  Not much longer and we'll be able to settle in the trailer and unpack all of our things... for good!  It hasn't been easy living on the road, packing and unpacking our things only for one days stay.  I'm itchin' to clean this thing too!  With all the in and out, site seeing, and general "on the go" lifestyle, the trailer has been neglected.

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We headed to the Redwoods, something neither of us have seen before.  It's such a beautiful and majestic place.  I felt like I was so small among all these giants... like I was Frodo from the movie "Lord of the Rings" and these were the talking trees. 

the redwood forest

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This was the base of a tree that had fallen down.  These trees are  HUGE!

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We hiked around a bit and Maria was such a good little explorer.  She even spotted a tiny frog hopping on the trail.

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This is looking up the base of a redwood.  Compare it to the first picture on this post and you can see how much taller these trees are.  This one was a lot bigger around too.

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the redwood forest

the redwood forest

We came across this tree trunk that was big enough for Maria to stand inside.


A truly remarkable place that any family should visit at least once. 


We drove Hwy 101 all the way to San Fransisco where we had another fantastic stay.


More soon!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Portland and the Oregon coastline

Seattle was fun, but I was itchin' to get to Oregon.  Being there once before, I knew it was going to be gorgeous, green, and of course rainy.  But that was okay, we were able to work around it and we weren't going to let it spoil our fun.

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There are so many cool bridges there too. In order to utilize them as much as possible, I'd want to live on the north end of town, because downtown as well as the markets are on the south end... and of course, because going over bridges is fun fun fun!!!

the picture says it all

Once we were settled in at our island oasis campground (which meant even more bridge crossing) we decided to hit the city.  Our first destination was the Saturday market under one of the bridges.  I believe it's a place where artists can set up for free and sell their goods.  I'll definitely be setting up here to sell my jewelry once we move here for good.

We saw "Portland's living room" which is a big park in the middle of downtown.  When we arrived, there were crowds of people there and most of them were dressed up like zombies with fake blood and scary faces.  Come to find out, there was a reenactment of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" right there in the park.  Too many people though so I wasn't able to get a picture.  I guess all those t-shirts we saw that said "keep Portland weird" were starting to make sense. :)

We did a little indoor shopping and then headed over to the Pearl District to Deschutes Brewery.

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Scott and I had a beer and shared a pizza while the girls had homemade mac & cheese.  It was a friendly atmosphere in a super neat neighborhood.  We walked through China Town and a few other districts as well and it all solidified our decision to move here permanently.

i'm in love...

Oh!  The leaves here were really pretty too!  It's been nice to catch autumn all over again.

We took a drive around town to see the different neighborhoods and Scott made a point to check out the Burnside Bridge Skate Park.  It was dark out and in a bit of a spooky neighborhood, so he stayed in the car.  Supposedly that's where the "pros" skate.  Whatever :)

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The next morning, Scott hooked up the trailer in the pouring rain so that we could get back on the road to cruise the coast line.
We were stalled for about an hour due to a traffic accident just ahead of us where someone was air lifted off.  If we wouldn't have stopped to get gas, that could've been us.  Scary.

Once we hit Lincoln City, we got our first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean.

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Maria was in heaven.

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It was windy and cold so we didn't stay out long before heading into the trailer to make lunch.

The seagulls here are much beefier than Lake Superior seagulls.  Must be all that seafood.

beefy birds

We crossed many more bridges

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until we came to sea lion cave.  We weren't going to stop but were so happy we did.  There were really sea lions at sea lion cave!!  I wasn't able to get a picture because they were pretty far away, but we could still see and hear them.  It was pretty neat.

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We're still on the coast and heading towards Redwood State Park in California.  There's so much more shoreline to be seen and more pictures to be taken.

The laundry is done and hopefully the trailer is all packed up by the time I get back. But not before a quick pit stop at Starbucks on my way back through town.

More soon!!

Seattle!!

Seattle has one of the best farmer's markets ever... and we had the chance to check it out!

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It's called Pike Place Market and it is AMAZING!  Coming from a fairly small city with a not-so-good farmers market, to something this massive and gorgeous was incredible.  We both couldn't believe the size of this place and what it had to offer.

rows and rows of fresh fruit

fresh produce

vegetables

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HUGE, beautiful bouquets of flowers...

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for only $10!!

large colorful bouquets...

There was a fresh fish market where the employees threw fish around like it was a football.

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and an abundance of fresh seafood.  yum!!

pike place market...

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There were also local crafts people selling their handmade goods and an array of delicious places to eat.  It was hard not to buy something from every place we went.  We ate the best cheddar, onion, and pepper roll ever!  They're made fresh right at the window and served warm.  To die for!  We bought a loaf of fresh crusty bread to satisfy the little ones for the way home on the Lite Rail.  That was a fun, new experience for all of us as well.

We went to the first Starbucks as well.  It looks quite a bit different from the ones you see around.  No seating either. 

The market pretty much took up our whole day and by the end, we decided to forgo the space needle and visit the aquarium instead. 

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The girls had a blast!  They got to touch all sorts of tide pool critters and also got to see otters, sea lions, octopus, and a colorful variety of fish.

After Seattle we headed down to Portland... our destination after this year long excursion is over.

We had lots of fun there too!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Touching base from my phone

due to a slow internet connection in portland... i was unable to update you about our stay in seattle.  we are doing well and are currently at a state park on oregons coast with no internet.  ism hoping to make it to a coffee shop tomorrow morning to fill you in on all the details while our laundry is being washed at the laundromat. until then... sweet dreams from the coast.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hospitality in Bozeman and a layover in Coeur d'Alene

Hello again!!  Sorry about the long periods in between posts.  I'm not able to blog until we get to our destination with free Internet service.  

I guess that means we've arrived. :)

Well, after our beautiful stay in the Black Hills we headed further west to Bozeman, Montana to stay with our friends Scott & Amanda.  I suppose we didn't technically stay with them, but we did stay in our home outside of their home.  The two day stay was a wonderful break from all the traveling and their hospitality couldn't have been better.  They cooked us dinner, let us do laundry, we used their shower, and we even hooked up our trailer to their water and electricity.  Now that's 5 ✭ service!

The first morning we went for a small city tour and stopped at the park before going out for lunch at La Parilla.  Maria had a grand ole' time playing "chuck it" with Kitch (their springer spaniel).

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By the end, Maria perfected her swing (for a 3 yr old) and wore out Kitch in the process.  Poor thing was so pooped out she would take the ball and run away!

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While and Maria her new canine friend played, Ginger was having fun on the swings and taught herself how to climb up the stairs and slide down the corkscrew slide. She couldn't keep the smile from her face or from mine :)

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it don't mean a thing if she ain't got that swing...

That evening we had a wonderful dinner at Montana Ale Works and did a bit of shopping the next morning.  Upon our return, Scott greeted us at his home where we said our final goodbyes.  Maria was sad to leave the puppy and we were sad to leave our friends.

goodbyes are hard

But no worries!  We had our next destination already in the making.  We were hoping to reach Coeur d'Alene, Idaho before nightfall so we could see the beautiful terrain, but it didn't happen due to a later than anticipated start.  We made our camping debut in a Walmart parking lot just outside of town.  We awoke the next morning to fog!  Oh Darn it!

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Fortunately it broke a bit for us to take a tour of the city, but not before I treated the family to THE MOST DELICIOUS breakfast ever!  I found out about The Garnet Cafe on my phone (thank goodness I have some Internet at my fingertips) and immediately loved the sound of their meals.  The girls had pancakes, Scott had an omelet, and I had green eggs & ham.  Yes... that IS correct.  Eggs topped with pesto and Parmesan, a grilled slice of ham, deliciously grilled Yukon potatoes, and crunchy rosemary toast.  That alone made me realize that I could reside in this quaint town and eat breakfast here at least once a week.

Well, that and the beautiful scenery which reminded me of Duluth... only cuter!

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My daydreaming in Coeur d'Alene quickly came to a close as we headed back to Walmart to pick up the trailer.  Westward bound on I-90 and a few hours later we stopped at a rest stop because Scott was worried he didn't tie the fridge shut. Having a spilled pint of half & half on the floor would NOT have made me a happy camper.

The fridge wasn't tied, but luckily no messes were made.  Whew!

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It was a great excuse to get out of the car, stretch our legs, walk around, and of course... let the kids wrestle.

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To my surprise, Ginger loved Maria tackling her to the ground and sported a smile each of the several times it was done.  Their playful act was so cute and I'm glad I had my camera with me.

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All good things must come to an end, and we had to get back in the truck.  We had roughly 100 miles to go until we reached Seattle, Washington.  The last hour of the drive was magnificent!!  It was sunny with blue skies and the mountains were so pretty.

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We rolled into town around 4:30 to pick up the twin Airstream mattress'.  We found a KOA campground about 10 minutes south of Seattle, ate dinner and got the kids in bed.

Tomorrow we'll be heading into town to check out all the sites including the space needle and Pike Place Market.  Super excited!!

I'll also be meeting up with an online friend over coffee at the original Starbucks.  Can't wait!!

Hope to share our Seattle excursion with you all tomorrow night!!

TaTa for now!