17. visit the west (part two)

..finally time for part two of our wonderful west coast adventure!

On a side note, I am sorry for the weird formatting of my posts. It looks right when I am drafting the posts, and then things get all screwy when I publish it. I blame wordpress. Maybe someday I will figure out what I am doing wrong!

San Francisco

photo 4 (2)We were lucky to have a CG academy friend of Jim’s to stay with when we got to San Francisco. Unfortunately, he was working on a boat (although we did see him in San Diego before we left interestingly enough), but his girlfriend was there to host us a bit and help to guide us around the city. We decided we wanted to turn our morning run into a sight-seeing run (specifically to see the Mrs. Doubtfire house and the Painted Ladies– park where the opener to Full House was filmed). We estimated it would be around 6 miles, but we forgot to estimate 6 very hilly miles! It is incredible how hilly the city is– I can’t imagine anyone there who walks anywhere is out of shape!

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ooo, steiner street! (in the mrs. doubtfire voice)

Anyway, even though we were pooped by the end, it was still a really fun way to sight-see.

whatever happened to predictability? the milkman, the paperboy, evening tv?

whatever happened to predictability? the milkman, the paperboy, evening tv?

We then toured Chinatown, rode the obligatory trolley ride, and viewed Alcatraz from the harbor.

photo 3 (2)                                                                                   photo 1

 

photo 2 (4) photo 1 (4)

 

 

We wrapped up the day with some reading in a park, a very fancy italian dinner, and met up with Jim’s friends for a few drinks.

photo 3 (4) photo 4 (4)

More Driving & Crescent City

We left San Fran the next morning for another jaunt on the road. We decided to stop in Sonoma to check out wine country, but it was only 10:30 in the morning when we drive through and we weren’t really in the mood for any wine! We toured some of the little shops there instead.

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We drove through more beautiful, mountainous country and finally began to notice the huge trees along the road– we had made it to the Redwoods!

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a tree you can drive your car through. crazy!

we even saw our friend paul bunyan!

we even saw our friend paul bunyan!

Finally we made it to our next stay: Crescent City. We chose CC as another midpoint between San Fran & Portland. We knew we wanted to say somewhere by the Redwood Forest so we could hike in it, and chose it on a whim. The town wasn’t one of the nicest we saw along our trip, but it was unique in its own way. A highlight was a great sea lion viewing right by the place where we had dinner on the pier. I had never seen sea lions before or even really knew what they were, but they were absolutely hilarious! Quite gassy and smelly, but kind of like pigs of the sea. We stood there watching and laughing at them for quite a while.

... and we went back to see them again the next day.

… and we went back to see them again the next day.

After dinner, we relaxed in the hot tub at our hotel. We woke up nice and early the next morning and prepped ourselves for a trail run in the Redwoods! The lady at the desk of our hotel told us the trail we wanted to hike would take 2 hours– we only really had one to spare before we needed to get on the road to get to Portland that evening (and to not miss the complementary breakfast that ended at 10!). So, we decided to run it! Of course, we stopped to snap pictures along the way.

does this tree make my hips look small? :)

does this tree make my hips look small? 🙂

We ended up doing it in almost exactly an hour, and it was quite a majestic run. It did get pretty muddy at spots and our shoes were kind of trashed at the end, but it was worth it!

sweatayy

sweatayy

Portland

We made a quick stop in Eugene on our way to see The University of Oregon and grab coffee, but otherwise we powered through to Portland. In 2012, Jim lost a very close friend (also a pilot) in a heli accident, but he has remained close with his friend’s parents ever since. When we asked if we could stay with them, they were more than happy to host. I can tell how much he means to them and they to him, and it was awesome to get to know people who mean so much to him.

at multnomah falls

at multnomah falls with the Camerons

They had a great dinner awaiting us Friday night, and then Saturday we tried to avoid the rain and they showed us the beautiful waterfalls as well as a large dam. It was very beautiful!

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Their son works for Nike, so Mrs. Cameron took us shopping at the Nike store for a bit and we ended our jaunt at an awesome Peruvian tapas restaurant. We were flying out early the next day, so we didn’t stay out too late, but we did pay tribute to Thomas:

photo 5 (2)

Thomas’s friends and family do a lot to honor his memory, and one tradition is to have a toast at his grave which overlooks the city of Portland. They shared some stories of him and spent some time reminiscing.

We ended the evening with a few friends who came over to their house to say hi, but called it a bit early because we had such an early flight and would be losing 3 hrs en route.

We finally arrived back in TC at 9:30pm, and I had to teach that next morning. Needless to say, we were exhausted, but could not have asked for a better trip. I hope we get to re-visit some of the places we saw some day, but I am really grateful we decided to do this memorable, sometimes hectic journey.

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