Some Family time!

Trip Start Aug 21, 2009
Trip End Aug 20, 2010

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Where I stayed
703 Elizabeth Barcus Way

Flag of United States  , California
Monday, October 19, 2009

Flo: Hi there! So My Uncle Chris picked us up from our San Fran hostel at around 3pm and it took us about 5 hours to get to his house in Fortuna. My Aunty Reene and cousins Ian and Andrew were all at home, I hadn't seen them for about 2/3 years. We also met Harry (the crazy little dog that loved Simon - dont ask me why!) and Kit-Kit (Andrew's cat!). My Uncle brought us Sushi for dinner which was really yummy. In the evening we went out with Ian to meet up with his friend Drew, who's family own a cider factory - not alcholic cider, so just apple juice really, but the best apple juice I have ever tasted! Drew gave us a tour of the cider works which was really cool. After our tour, and some free cider/cookies, we all then went to the only bar in Fortuna called the Playroom, it looked like a barroom brawl would break out any minute and my vodka/orange came with about 5 shots of vodka and a splash of orange!!
The next day after a very good sleep in our massive bed we went to watch Ian play in a soccer match - they won!! In the afternoon we went back to the cider factory where they were celebrating their 100 year anniversary. There was a folk band playing (called Huckleberry Flint) and free hay rides around the orchards. We saw the biggest apples ever - like the size of my head!!! Drew and his family were so nice and friendly, it's not surprising their business is still running after 100 years!!

Simon: Next day we were taken 20 minutes south to Redwood National Park by Flo's uncle to see the enormous Redwood Trees that surround Fortuna. They are GIGANTIC!! They're the tallest trees in the world, and we saw one that was around 350ft tall (33 stories) and 40ft around! Another (even taller) tree had been blown over about 10 years ago and lay on the floor of the forest, so we climbed all over it! Flo's uncle also gave us a tour of the local area, like the lumber companies that still cut down the trees in the area, and also Ferndale, where they used to live.

We went to downtown Fortuna the next day, and it took us al of 5 minutes to see everything! It's quite a small town, but it's in such a lovely location. Their house overlooks the town and the valley beyond, with the ocean in the distance, and their street looks just like it's straight out of Desperate Housewives! We did go back to the cider factory to watch them make cider and for some more free samples (their Snickerdoodle cookies are AMAZING!)

The next couple of days we did pretty much nothing except walk the dog and sleep till midday!! It was pretty sweet to have a few days of relaxing and doing nothing after all of our manic days of traveling! Thursday we decided to tour the two larger towns to the north, Eureka & Arcata. Flo's uncle dropped us off in Eureka early, and we'd pretty much seen the whole town in around 1 hour! It's a nice quaint town on the ocean, but there wasn't much happening at all! Although there was an awesome antique book store which had really old childrens' books, like a first edition Wizard of Oz that was given to a little girl for Christmas in 1925 (it had a little note in the front that said "Merry Christmas Elsie Dec 1925"!) and lots of other old cool books that i wish i could have bought.

We got the bus to Arcata for the afternoon and spent the it walking around another small town! It was the largest of the 3 towns we'd seen so far, but most of the shops were located around the plaza area, which seemed to be where 100's of hippies slept, ate, danced, hung out. It had a nice atmosphere though, and the diner where we had lunch was delish (the sweet potato fries were to die for!) but there wasn't very much to do. We ended the day by walking up to the University where Flo's uncle works to get a ride home. on the way we stopped at a great little coffee shop called Muddy Waters, where you could get beer and homemade Mac'n'cheese, and you got a 50cent discount if you bought your own cup! If was full of students (being close to the college) and it was a really nice place to hang out for a while. As was the university, which isn't the largest in California, but the setting in the Redwood trees up in the hills was beautiful and the whole vibe was pretty chilled and relaxed. 

Flo: Friday & Saturday we had the house to ourselves, so we did more sleeping and lounging around in the garden sunbathing! It was so nice to have a week or so just hanging out, relaxing and not rushing around sightseeing, and it was great to see my uncle & auntie & cousins. Sunday night was our last night and we cooked them Lasagne and baked a carrot cake to say thanks for having us, and we said our goodbyes the next morning as Uncle Chris took us to the Bus depot.

Bye for now :) 

Flo & Simon xxx
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