Just a little slice of paradise...

Trip Start Jun 04, 2011
Trip End Jun 18, 2011

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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Well...it's official. Send the dog, because we are moving to California!!! We've literally discovered paradise on Earth here...Kory may have a hard time getting me in the car to leave for San Fran on Thursday! But let's go back to the start of our day, shall we?

We started our day back in Brookings, OR, and our first thought was, Throw open those blinds and let's see this view! Needless to say, the oceanview from our room was breathtaking. We spent a good half hour watching people with puppies run up and down the beach, playing in the crashing waves. Which made us wonder...is Mavi a water dog? We'll have to find out this summer! But back to Brookings....what a lovely town! Set around a port, there are oceanviews from any spot in town. Wonderful! However, breakfast this morning? Not so wonderful. We wanted to grab something quick so we settled on McDonald's so we could eat and drive at the same time. We pulled into the drive-thru around 10:40, only to find out they had quit serving breakfast at 10:30. Huh?? Who wants to start eating greasy burgers and fries so early in the morning??? Americans...that's who! The best they could offer me was...bacon on a biscuit. Which was as bare-bones as it sounds...a crusty biscuit with 2 slices of bacon on it. So I ate the bacon and ditched the biscuit lol. Kory had oatmeal with fruit, but didn't get a spoon with it...pretty interesting to watch him eat without one! But it's Kory...of course he managed!

On the road to good ole California was next on the agenda, and it wasn't long before we had crossed the border and entered the majestic Red Woods. The sheer size of these things is almost impossible to comprehend until you are standing right next to one, looking like an ant in comparison. We came upon the Trees of Mystery and were told by Kory's friend Kyle it was worth a stop so we pulled in...and found a giant Paul Bunyon and a giant Babe in the parking lot. Pretty cool! There was a trail going up through the forest that was amazing...so many huge trees, some fallen giants, and tons of pretty wildflowers. The SkyTrail was a gondola that took you up (waaaaay up) to an observation deck that literally had you looking DOWN on these amazingly tall giants. Kory enjoyed it, while I...was...terrified!!!! At one point I actually had to put my head between my legs and take deep breaths (while squeezing the life out of Kory's poor hand)...just a little too high and unstable for this girl! But we made it to the top and enjoyed the spectacular view, and then Kory tranquilized me for the ride down to make it easier on his poor hand. Ha ha!

After the Trees of Mystery came a long winding trip through the Red Woods (with a quick stop in Eureka for lunch at Applebee's, mmmm!) until we reached the Avenue of Giants. To sum up the Avenue in one word would be INCREDIBLE! The road was twisting and turning, taking us uphill and downhill and all around, while the trees stretched up around us for what seemed like miles! We made stops along the way for pictures to try and demonstrate the enormous size of these monsters because they were just blowing us away. We even went through the infamous Drive Thru Tree (barely squeaked through!). Soon we were back on Highway #1, which proved to be the scariest drive yet - sharp twists and turns at max speeds of 10-15 mph took us up...and up...and UP. We made the mistake of looking over the side of the road, only to realize we were ridiculously high up...and worse, hardly a guardrail in sight! Geez Louise, Kory was white-knuckled to the steering wheel and sweating bullets while I was trying not to faint...or barf. Needless to say, we were more than happy to get back onto the coastal stretch of the highway and see the ocean again. That is one view we will never get sick of! We stopped at a view point to take pictures and relax for a moment after that stressful drive. Kory saw a California Condor fly by and got so excited! What a huuuuuge bird, wowzers! It was great to be back near the ocean, there was a breathtaking panoramic view around every corner and the sun even came out to shine for us! The drive along the coast to Mendocino was absolutely stunning. Soon we were in beautiful, amazing, spectacular Mendocino...paradise on Earth, indeed!!! Definitely our most favorite stop in the trip so far. As the sun was setting, we came upon our cottage (Cottages at Little River) and it turned out to be everything we had imagined and more. Hardwood floors, a full kitchenette, fresh ground coffee (with brown sugar - our fave - and individual creamers in fridge...yay, no CoffeeMate!), all the utensils and appliances we could need, a dining table with a fresh arrangement of flowers, suede couches and a flat screen and fireplace in the living room (plus 2 large windows with - you guessed it - ocean views!), 2 large fluffy bath robes, an immaculate bathroom and bedroom, and the finishing touch...our own personal hot tub on the deck off of our bedroom - perfection!!! We love love LOVE this little slice of paradise, it's going to be so hard to leave on Thursday. After unpacking our luggage and settling in, we decided to head into Mendocino to watch the sun set and find some supper. The sunset was absolutely gorgeous and we walked through Mendo to find a restaurant that tickled our fancy. Instead of a restaurant, we decided to hit up Harvest's Groceries to find something we could take back to our cottage and enjoy. Freschetta Pizza was the choice of the night (eating while typing...it's delicious stuff!) and we also picked up Coconut ice cream and some fresh fruit for breakfast. I was completely in awe of the amazing selection of organic products to be found here, and picked up a few face products I have been looking high-and-low for in Saskatoon - on sale even...score!

Now we're back in our cottage...our home away from home for the next 2 days...and we couldn't be happier. Feet up, TV on, enjoying a few slices of pizza as the wine chills...the hot tub awaits! Perfect ending to a perfect day in California...the first of many to come this week, I'm sure.

Tomorrow's agenda is: #1) find a store that sells water shoes, and #2) head to MacKerracher State Park to find the tidal pools! It's going to be an adventure for sure.... :)
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