Posted by: livingaboardspellbound | July 8, 2013


Finally! A much needed vacation was taken. We took a flight out to California to see my family and an friend of Darryl’s from high school. The flight out was interesting as we flew over some great scenery and the weather was clear. Here are a couple in flight photos:
The Rocky Mountains

Grand Canyon

We landed in San Francisco and picked up a rental car and off we went. We drove thru rush hour traffic, not fun, and finally made it to my favorite Aunt and Uncle’s house about 3.5 hrs after landing. My Aunt Elsie and Uncle Lenny live in a small town called Suisun City just outside Fairfield. My mother and her friend Ted, who live in Southern California, drove up as well to meet us. It was a long first day and we spent the remainder of it visiting and resting.
The following day we took a short trip to the Jelly Belly Factory to see how they are made and try out all the different flavors.



The tour was really interesting and Darryl even volunteered to eat a vomit flavored jelly bean!! He said it tasted like leftover pizza, no thank you! That evening we went to my cousin Kay’s house for a cook out. It was wonderful to see my cousins Kay and David and their families, some of whom I had never met!
The next day we took a drive to Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve to see the beautiful and gigantic trees. Words and picture do not do any justice to the actual forrest. It is something you have to see for yourself. It was so green and lush, and it smelled heavenly. To think those trees have stood there for thousands of years is amazing! Mom, Ted, Darryl, and I spent the afternoon wandering the many trails they have there.



This last picture is of a tree that long ago fell and the root system exposed. The park is spectacular and has nice picnic areas to enjoy. We hadn’t brought any food so when we left we drove through a tiny town called “Stumptown” and ate lunch. The Pacific Coast Highway was our next destination, it has been on my bucket list for a while and we jumped at the chance to check it off the list. The drive there was beautiful as it ran along the banks of the Russian River. The roads were curvy and hilly, anyone who knows me will tell you those kind of roads are not my favorite! But still I enjoyed the drive and the scenery. The Russian River empties into the Pacific Ocean and when we came over bluff and the coastline revealed itself, it was breathtaking! Did I also mention it was cold!! Luckily we had dressed warmly, the views we took in cannot be described adequately. We stopped at a place called Goat Rocks Beach. Here a few pics:



While we were there we did get a glimpse of a seal frolicking about in the water, it was fantastic. The drive home was beautiful, weaving in and out of little coastal towns and scenic vistas, each just as amazing as the last.
Saturday was spent with my family at my cousin Kay’s for her grandsons first birthday. What a great time we had getting reacquainted with everyone. Darryl was having trouble remembering who belonged to who! The party theme was a superhero bash.



Sunday, we drove to Santa Rosa to visit a high school friend of Darryl’s whom he hadn’t seen in 28 years. We met at their home, and what a pretty home it was. The yard was beautifully landscaped with lavender abounding thru winding paths. He also had a lovely wine cellar filled with wine, as Lee is an avid collector. They took us to luch at a wonderful restaurant called Rivers End. It was on the PCH near where we had been the day before. The food was divine and the company even better. We enjoyed a great bottle of wine Lee brought, good conversation, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. On the drive home we stopped in a small town called Healdsburg. Fantastic little downtown area with lots of shopping, food, wine, and art. It was wonderful to meet both Lee and Sherry and all too fast our visit came to an end.

On monday we were planning a trip to “the city” San Francisco but my cousin Deanna’s husband Joe called and had an opening at his tattoo shop. Darryl had talked to him about a tattoo he wanted and since he had an opening we postponed the trip to the next day. Uncle Lenny and Darryl took off Monday morning. One of the things i wanted to get done while here was to apply for my California nursing license, so while Darryl was getting inked my mo m and I drove to Sacramento to get my license. While the process was painless it was not cheap but I was able to accomplish what I needed to do and now have a temporary license.
Here is a pic of Darryl’s tattoo

San Francisco here we come! we decided to just drive to Vallejo to take the ferry to the city instead of fighting traffic, and believe me the traffic is bad!! We arrived at Fisherman’s Wharf and man it was cold! About 58 degrees and a howling wind. We decided to take a bus tour around the city and here are a few pics we took:




One day is not enough to see everything so there will definitely be another trip there to enjoy everything else.
Our final day was spent packing and enjoying the last few hours with my family. There is never enough time for that.






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