Hey readers! Over the next week or two, I'm going to be recapping each day of our Northern California Vacation. I took lots of pictures and took notes for myself so I could remember everything. I hope you enjoy reading about what we did each day, or at least looking at pictures!
Our day started dark and early at 3:00am. My wonderful mother picked us up and hauled our asses to the Baltimore Airport. I thought we arrived with plenty of time to spare, but the line for security was really long. My anxiety came on full force. Fortunately, the line moved quickly. But my anxiety did not leave me. When traveling, my mind just jumps to the next stressor. I'm loads of fun to fly with...
I am proud to tell you I did a 4.5 hour flight AND a 1.5 hour flight with NO ATIVAN! (I did not want to be in an Ativan haze for the rest of the day since I was going to have to do 4.5 hours of driving and a short hike.) This was my first time flying without drugs. On the first flight I watched La La Land (I didn't like it) and the beginning of Sex and the City 2. I planned to finish SATC on the second flight, but it was just one of those little dinky planes so no movies!
Flight #1: Movies and Flight Tracker on the back of each seat.
Susan, I waved to you when we flew over Colorado. Did you see me!?
We had a layover in Salt Lake City. As we descended, we could see the Great Salt Lake!
We landed in tiny Medford, Oregon around Noon PST and easily picked up our rental car. Well, there was one blip. The attendant told us it was parked in space 68 but that space was empty! We walked up and down the rows of cars hitting the unlock button on our key chain. In a few seconds, we found our Toyota Rav 4 in spot 89... which LOOKED like 68 upside down! I guess the people that dropped it off looked at the number upside down when recording it!
Before hitting the road, we stopped at a gas station for water and snacks. I got Cinnabon because it was vacation and that's what I wanted.
When Paul and I travel, it always amazes us how other states are allowed to sell wine and beer in gas stations and super markets. It is so different in PA where we have really strict liquor laws. Only just recently did PA start selling wine and beer in select grocery stores. They get around the law by having the alcohol in a totally different section of the store with a totally different register.
Finally, we headed south. The first hour was boring, but then we hit the REDWOODS! The redwoods basically started just north of the California border. The road criss crossed many times over the Smith River, which was also gorgeous.
Oh, funny story. When we entered California, we were met with an agriculture checkpoint. I wasn't sure what it was, so I stopped at the guard and rolled down the window. Here's what the conversation went like:
Guard: Good afternoon. Do you have any produce with you?
Me: I'm eating this banana. (I sheepishly hold it up for him to see.)
Guard: That's okay. (He chuckled.)
Most of the 3 hour drive was very beautiful. When we got to Crescent City, suddenly there was the PACIFIC OCEAN! Even though it was chilly and windy, we had to stop and dip our feet in the water.
Due to there being a ton of construction, it was still an hour before we were at our one and only activity for the day- hiking Fern Canyon at Prairie Creek State Park. By this point, I was getting so hungry that my stomach was eating itself. But there was nowhere to eat- we were in the middle of nowhere! It was really interesting to see the rinky dink NorCal towns.
Driving into Prairie Creek State Park was crazy. It was a winding, hilly, dusty road through ferns and redwoods. The dust covered the ferns so it looked like a ghost forest. (Our Rav was covered in dust as well by the time we were out of the forest!) We drove by Gold Bluffs Beach (gorgeous!) and finally got to the Fern Canyon trail head.
I'll now let the pictures speak for themselves...
After our short hike through Fern Gully (that's what Paul called it), we headed toward our hotel in Arcata, which was only 35 minutes away. Down the road, we grabbed a sandwich and pretzels at a questionable looking gas station. I didn't care, I was about to collapse from hunger!
I was so excited to collapse into my bed at the hotel. Day One lasted a total of 20 hours and was sure to be one of the most tiring days of vacation. But we made it through!
I'll recap Day 2 on Saturday because tomorrow is FRIDAY FIVE!
Do you like Cinnabon?
What did you think of La La Land?
Do they sell wine and beer in gas stations where you live?