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Thread: West coast travel

  1. #11
    FORTfruity applesauce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Ahhh, Powell's. Solvang, Modonna Inn. All wonderful places. We do the drive between S.Cal and N. Cal a few times every year. We also do the coast drive from SF to Oregon on occasion (we usually take I-5 but opt to take the coast when we have time). Some places north of San Francisco would be driving through the Redwoods (AMAZING!), Mendocino/Fort Bragg has lots of cute inns (although some have child restrictions). Once up in Oregon, there are several cute little towns and lighthouses along the coast. Florence and Newport come to mind. I think the Sea Lion Caves are just north of Florence. If you golf, you must stop at Bandon Dunes.

    Up in Washington (this might be a bit off track) is Poulsbo/Bainbridge Island just outside of Seattle. Beautiful.

    Overall, it is a beautiful drive. I hope you have lots of fun!

  2. #12
    MIA, RIP, or Busy...
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Well my fellow FORTers, I'm sorry to say...I'm back. Literally.

    What a phenominal vacation! I highly recommend someone repeating this trip over a week...much to see and be inspired by. The coastal views are amazing. Two catches though...1) if you are a shopper, you can't finish in time and 2) no kids because given the 2000+ miles you will cover, the "are we there yet?s may set a record. We did it without kids or shopping. Also recommended is renting a convertible which we did, even with full heat and coats on because the views were amazing and the winding roads were fun! Also, a laptop with a Verizon wireless card and a GPS system comes in very handy because you can book hotels at the last minute from your car and never get lost.

    I'll hit some high points (we saw so much, its hard to remember everything):

    Tijuana-walked over the border with beer in hand...no checking our status. Tijuana must love Americans! Had some ritas and vamoosed back to San Diego for a visit with friends. Visited Black's Beach ...didn't realize it was a nudist beach and climbed the steep cliff. Then we trecked to Marina Del Ray and stayed in a beach front hotel in Venice Beach.

    Took a 2 hour stroll down Venice Beach to the Santa Monica Pier and back and we were then off to the next stop (of course, we made frequent stops along the entire way in various towns for a quick beer, photo op's and gawking at the beauty)....went through San Luis Obispo, stopped at the Madonna Inn for a peek, but drove on to Morro Bay for the ocean view hotel with a warm fireplace there and a gorgeous sunrise the next day to watch the sea otters/lions play around.

    We drove from there to the San Francisco area with stops in Carmel/Monterrey...got there in time for a sunset along the Golden Gate bridge. Stayed at the Acqua Hotel in Marin....wow! Had dinner in Sausalito.

    We drove up to Mendicino/Fort Bragg the next day and accidentally passed right through Big Sur (we never actually saw a sign that said "stop here" and then before we realized it, we said "oh, was that it?" ) and we also waved at the Hearst Castle (too early in the morning, but got a picture just the same)...Mendocino was very quaint, but Fort Bragg is where decided the line of demographics change in California because it was the first "industrial" sites we saw along the coast. Saw Glass Beach, picked up some worn glass for the kids and scooted on up to Gerberville for wine and cheese and a Subway sandwich made by the "happiest man on earth" (*sarcasm intended) the night before Thanksgiving.

    The next morning, we drove through the Avenue of the Giants (the redwoods)....amazing! We drove through a tree, drove on top of a log, stood by a 17' wide fallen tree that was measured at over 300' tall (a 30 story building)...basically, these are some big a$$ trees!

    Stopped at a few lighthouse spots along the Oregon coast and the fog and rain set in...had turkey dinner at Paradise Cafe in a small town in Oregon and it was here, we decided to divert to I-5 because we could no longer see anything given the weather. Made it to Portland and our Thanksgiving was 2calzones from a Shell gas station in front of a fire in the hotel watching American Pie 2 drinking some wine.

    The next day, we sprinted through Washington...still raining. We made it to Vancouver BC and over lunch, we decided...hmm, still rainy/cold...let's go to Whistler! This is the cherry on the ice cream sundae of our trip...it was decorated for the holidays, we woke up to snow and the ski village. We rearranged our hotel room because we decided the bed in front of the fireplace blocked the view. Wonder what the maid thought the next day.

    Then we went to our final destination....Victoria. We stayed at the Delta, meandered through the downtown/wharf area, hit Chinatown. Went into Oak Bay, saw the castle and the Parliament house...post card quality stuff! The ferry views are wonderful!

    One cool thing...we met some bikers from England that began their journey in Anchorage Alaska...they were going down the entire coast of North America and into Central America...a 13 month trip by bicycle and they planned to make it to Puerto Vallarta by Christmas. What a challenge! I was in awe.

    Thanks again everyone for the tips and recommendations. We accomplished so much, but definitely developed a "go back and see again" list. Our motto for the trip was "sand to sea/snow in 7 days" or "from surfboards to skis in 7 days".

    Happy holidays everyone.
    Last edited by Igotalife; 11-29-2005 at 10:54 AM.
    A Bachelor fan til it dies a slow death and oddly enough, A Rock of Love fan...finest hair extensions from Europe and all. ;-)

  3. #13
    Who Dat lildago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Wow, sounds like an awesome trip! Thanks for sharing!
    Getting lost will help you find yourself.

  4. #14
    Thanks so much for your report. I'd love to do that, and as soon as our son stops getting car-sick at the city limits, I intend to! Glad you liked my home-town, it is pretty here!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    American Idol Factory
    I'm so jealous!!! I went to high school and jr high in Morro Bay/Los Osos...It's so beautiful there We actually had our senior prom at the Madonna Inn, very cool! (well it WAS way back then).

    A road trip sounds like so much fun, I'll have to plan something like that one day.
    They serenaded the newest champs in this city of champs, and taunted Kobe Bryant and his Lakers, who drowned in a green-and-white wave for 48 minutes.

  6. #16
    FORTfruity applesauce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Glad you enjoyed your trip!

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