Monday, May 24, 2010

California Coast, Portland Oregon, and Seattle Washington

Well, we have returned from our vacation/adventure/road trip. We began our journey in San Diego, California. On Day 1, we met up with Tim's brother, Adam for a visit and ate some fantastic Mexican food. I had fish tacos and they were excellent. I love fresh fish. We then saw some seals and beautiful coastline in La Jolla. We then headed to San Diego for some shopping, sun, sights, and food. I don't really remember what we saw specifically. I have been to San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park on a previous trip to San Diego, so it wasn't like there was anything specific I wanted to see there.

We utilized our timeshare when we stayed in San Diego. It was a very beautiful place. Here are some pictures from the resort.

We did a lot of shopping while on our trip. It began with the outlet mall where Coach was having a 30% off sale so I picked up a few things. I bought lots of souvenirs along the way and some gifts for people. We bought Salt Water Taffy in San Francisco and Fortune Cookies at the Fortune Cookie Factory. And I found lots of jewlery that I loved and had to get. It got to the point that I had thought I might have to mail some things home because I was running out of room in my suitcase. But in the end we made it all fit without going over our airport weight limitations of 50pounds per bag.

We got to visit with our very good friend, Sabrina from College when we were in Southern California. We saw her one day for lunch and another day for breakfast. It was great to see her. It was like old times, like no time had passed at all since the last time we saw each other.

We also saw the Laguna Beach made famous by the MTV, Newport Beach made famous by the show the OC, Venice Beach, and Hollywood. Here are some pictures from those sights.

While at the resort in Southern California. We made sure to get some massages and spend a little time relaxing by the pool. It was oddly cool though. I didn't go in the pool, but got some sun instead. On Day 5 we got in the car and started drving north. We stopped in Santa Barbara which was a very hip town with lots of shopping and art studios. We also went to Pismo Beach which was a very small but cute town. The next day we went to Hearst Castle which is a very beuatiful place. The detail in the buildings and the views from the balcony was incredible. Here are some pics from Hearst Castle.

Then we headed onto Big Sur which I have to say is the most incredible part of the drive. The mountains were on one side and the ocean was on the other. It was breathtakingly beautiful. Then we went to Carmel which had about a million art galleries in town. We had an incredible dinner there. Here are some pics from there.

Then we headed on down the road to Santa Cruz which has a boardwalk on the beach with rides and games. We then went to San Francisco to see some sights. Tim has been to San Francisco before, but this was my first time there. We went to Pier 39 and Chinatown and Gharidelli Square. We had some fantastic seafood and chineese food. Here are some pics.

After a few days in San Francisco, we headed north to the redwood forest which was incredible. I have never seen such beautiful trees, animals, and beaches. Tim went in the water and he said it was freezing. I was not brave enough to go in the cold water. We hiked some in the forests. Here are some pictures.

After the Redwoods, we headed into to Oregon. We went directly to Portland to see some friends from College, Barb and Dan who are getting married this June. We had dinner with them and caught up. The next day we walked around downtown Portland which was extremely clean and had lunch in a restaurant that was on a very high floor, so we got to see the entire city. It was a beautiful clear day so we could see the top of Mount St. Helens. Here are some pics.

Then we headed to Seattle to see my Aunt Theresa and Uncle Russell and cousin Lauryn. We had a lot of fun visiting with them. We got to see some beautiful waterfalls and the weather was beautiful so you could see the mountains clearly from where they lived. We also went downtown and saw pikes market and the space needle. Even though we saw some things, we did not feel like we saw everything that we wanted to in Oregon and Washington. Basically we ran out of time, so we will be back in the future. Here are some pics from Seattle.

The kitty is Tigger who fell in love with Tim. All in all it was a great trip. We got to see great sites while visiting great friends and family. And the weather was really good. We only had one morning of rain in San Francisco. It wasn't as warm as I would have liked, but that is okay. 60's and 70's are acceptable. So, if you haven't ever driven the coast in California, you should definitely do it once in a lifetime.