Saturday, August 20, 2011

Northern California - Wino's & Beach Bumz

The Happy Campers have been "camped" in northern california for over a week now, and there's been so much activity it's hard to even know what to report on!  But, in true fashion, we'll try to share the fun stuff with plenty of pictures!

Since Amy decided that she needed to clean Aunt Cath's house today, I figured I'd throw a quick blog together.  (btw: for those of you that know anything about Amy, you'll get a kick out of this.  She cleaned 98 square feet last week, and I swear it took her just as long to clean that as it did our 2400 square foot house...I'm not joking!!!)

Redwood National Forest:
Amy was really looking forward to seeing the ol' Redwoods since setting out on this adventure and we're very happy that we took the time to do so!  These trees are simply massive....and they just have this wonderful majestic energy to them.  To look up and know that you are gazing at some of the tallest trees in the world, some of which connect us to the days of dinosaurs, is nothing short of incredible!  We also took a long and windy road to hike through Fern Canyon - along the way we even got to go "off-roading" with the Jeep and drive through a creek...woot woot!  And to top off our stay, we were in a campground on the Klamath River where a grey whale took up residence by swimming up the river with her calf and hasn’t wanted to head back out to the ocean.  Here are some pics to represent:

Amy shows off how big these trees are!
We had to pay our $5 and drive
through the giant redwood!

Look closely - I'm on the left, Amy's on the right
of Paul Bunyan's boots

Elk, just grazing in front of these cabins! 

Yes, that's Amy in the tree again.  It's HUGE!

When you look up, it's truly mind-boggling how big they are!

Do I need to caption this one?  I'm guessing
it's a boy tree.

Fern Canyon - such a pretty hike along the creek
Little Miss Jeep takes the creek!

The grey whale in the river - her calf went back out to sea,
but she's still hanging around in the river.  Coast Guard has
been trying to get her back out, but she's not budging yet!

The kids:
My cousin lives here in Norcal and has two little girls, Brittney and Amber.  I've only met them a couple of times, but Brittney couldn't wait to see "cousin Tracy" and proceeded to want to spend every minute with me the entire day! I'd cross my legs, Brittney would uncross them and sit on my lap - it was very cute, and made Oma (grandma) just a little jealous since Brittney claimed to "love me the best"!   LOL!!  And we heard that Brittney cried the entire way home...."I want cousin Tracy"!!  Oh yeah, I know how to work 'em all up, then send 'em home crying!!  But it was a fun day with the slip 'n' slide, hide and seek, and everyone's personal favorite - watching "cousin Tracy" trying to touch her toes while jumping on a trampoline!  Oh my word...this is downright embarrassing.  (I am barely giving consent to post this - so enjoy a good laugh!!!)

Video - Tracy touching toes:

Cousin Tracy, Brittney and Amber swing in the hammock!

Oh how I love me some good California wine!  I've been itching to get back to Napa and it didn't disappoint.  It was great to hit some of my old mainstays - Goosecross, Frog's Leap, etc.  Also found a new winery called Conn Creek where we met some very hospitable "wine lushes" (yes, this is legitimately what the employees call themselves!)  We got there around closing time, so they let us have some fun.  Despite Amy not drinking wine, she managed to get a couple of "nips" into a wine glass for her drinking pleasure!

First stop - Goosecross!
Lunch at V. Suttui

Wouldn't you love to have this in your basement??

Amy doesn't drink wine, but she takes a
cute picture at the winery!

Imagine that - Amy behind the bar with a guy on her! LOL!

Lovin' the Frog's Leap Red Flight!
Andrea (aka Wine Lush!) enjoys
a tasting with me at Conn Creek!

Black Stallion - beautiful winery!

Almost ready to be harvested!  We'll be drinking that soon!

The Beach!!  So many great memories of Capitola beach, Margaritaville, the colorful beach homes - what's not to love!  We hade a great day taking in the sun and then taking in some cocktails and then catching a band on the beach that night.  California summers - you just can't beat 'em!  And our drinks were so colorful - they even came with little plastic giraffe's which Amy named Sunkist and Lightning - I think she may have been a little buzzed!!  But the most amazing thing was THE BIRDS!  OMG, we have never seen anything like this in our lives!  There were literally thousands of birds flying over the water not far from shore.  It was truly spectacular.  Definitely watch the video, it's amazing!!!

There's Sunkist and Lightning!

I always loved these colorful beach houses!

The Birds - my lord, The Birds.  You MUST watch the video
to get the full effect!

Shoreline Park:
We took a beautiful walk around the Bay, and found a lake that offered kayaking and paddleboarding!  We've always wanted to try both, so we figured, hey, why not?!  At least if we fall in, it won't be 60 degree ocean water!  To our surprise, we weren't half bad.  I only took one minor spill, but I was trying to shove off the shore, so luckily there wasn't much of a splash since the water was only a foot deep.  We got some good video, so be sure to check it out!  And we highly recommend giving paddleboarding a try - it was fun, and a great arm workout!

Tracy - slow and steady!
Watch video:

Amy - nice matching outfit with the provided life vest!
Watch the video:

There's been so much more, but these are the highlights for now.  Next up is a yummy meal at La Fondue with Aunt Cath and Dave, pride festival in San Jose, Alcatraz and Pier 39 in San Fran, Carmel's beautiful 17 mile drive, more beach time in Monterey, SugarLand concert, and the much anticipated Michael Jackson flash mob that I plan to be a part of on 8/28.  Amy practically wets her pants everytime she sees me practice my moves!!  But being in a flash mob was on my "must do" list for this trip - so I can't let the opportunity pass me by!  Yes, there will be video, and I encourage laughter!

Until the next exit...

Amy & Tracy

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