Wednesday, June 4, 2008
I'm glad for my trip out west to see all the sites I got to see. But I'm glad to be back home, and see my very flat town.
This trip, we ate at our share of chains, simply because sometimes that was the only thing available. We did find some gems along the way...
In and Out Burger - ok, so this is a chain. But it's one we don't have on the east coast. We saw quite a few of these around the Sacramento area. Popped into one for lunch on a Friday. The menu - simple. Burgers, Cheeseburgers, Double Cheeseburgers. Limited options. They were packed, and were turning over burgers at a pretty good clip. The parking lot was PACKED, so the "In and Out" part were a little tough going.
Eel River Brewery - This place is a local brewery in Fortuna, Ca. It was a little bit of a wait on a Sunday night, partly because a lot of locals visit this establishment, and partly because it's walking distance to at least 3 chain hotels. They have a huge selection of Seafood on the menu, nightly specials, traditional fare, and a whole line of beers! YUM! We each had a "California Blonde" beer. A pale ale. The seafood was fresh, lightly breaded, and plentiful. We could hardly walk out of there, we were so full. Luckily, our hotel was across the street.
Beacon Burgers - This little bitty dive (said affectionately), was in Crescent City, Ca. We looked on the GPS for a burger joint and this came up. We almost didn't find it, as it was a small shack tucked away near other larger restaurants, and near a marina. We got the "special" and then were asked if we wanted: fries, onion rings, "jo-jo's" or "jims". HUH? Jo-jo's or Jim's? One was potato wedges, and one was tator tots. We each got one of those.... The burger was big and juicy and messy. Everything we were looking for. The Jo-jo's and Jim's were delicious. One of the favorites of that leg of the trip. Will head back there again, if we ever get back to Crescent City.
Mo's - In Newport, Oregon we stopped for lunch at a place called Mo's. Looked promising from the outside. Appeared to be your local dive. Inside was a little unorganized, but the atmosphere was pretty cool. The food was fair (although fresh and local) and the service was a bit slow. The place was pretty full at lunch time with what appeared to be locals and tourists mixed. A semi-chain as they have about 6 or 7 locations along the OR coast. The best part was dessert - peanut butter pie, and triple leches cake. Both were scrumptious!
JJ's Fish House - in Poulsbo, WA. YUM! Best seafood we had out west. Perfect little local owned place. In an awesome little Scandanavian town that was picturesque. It looked like we walked into a villiage in Norway somewhere. The architecture, the shops, the whole experience. But back to the food. They had the best Fish and Chips of any restaruant we had tried, and the Fishwich was superb as well. Some else with us had the grilled Halibut and said that is was excellent. BIG thumbs up for JJ's Fish House.
One last thing... At the friend's house that we stayed at outside of Seattle (Shelton, WA to be more precise), our friend cooked breakfast for us each morning. Eggs one day. French toast another. But the icing on the cake were the pancakes. So, this sounds gross... But it's good! These folks put peanut butter on thier pancakes. Yes, you read that right. Peanut butter. Not instead of syrup, but in addition to. I was not going to try this, as it sounded downright un-appealing to me. But curiosity got the better of me, and so here I sit, blogging about peanut butter on pancakes topped with syrup. Yep - it was good. Pancake on the plate, thin layer of peanut butter, top it with syrup. Really adds great flavor and creaminess to the pancakes...
Well - sadly, I think the longest post for this trip so far has been about food.......
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
WOW! So glad we did... What we found here was simply amazing. Not nearly as cheesy as we first imagined it might be. Yes, it was a roadside attraction, but it was much more than that. This place had a stellar spot to view Sea Lions in their element. They've built a viewing platform with amazing views of the ocean, and back in the 60's, an elevator was put in to take you down to a cave where the Sea Lions spend most of thier time in the winter. It was a
Once again, the pictures don't do this area justice. You have to see it to believe it...
This world-famous scenic drive is a 31-mile portion of old Highway 101, which parallels Freeway 101 with its 51,222 acres of redwood groves. It is by far the most outstanding display of these giant trees in the entire 500 mile redwood belt and is accessible to all with convenient services provided along the way. The Avenue of the Giants is surrounded by Humboldt Redwoods State Park which has the largest remaining stand of virgin redwoods in the
Sometimes as you drove, the trees were RIGHT at the edge. You wonder if you can pass if another car was coming at the same time. There was no curb, just tree.
We stopped at a couple of the cheesy shops along the way, although most of them were closed for the day. Fun to see all of the things made out of redwood, though.
The Humboldt Redwood State Park was truly beautiful and a pleasant drive, on our way to Seattle. So glad we made time for it!
The 7th, 8th, and 9th night, we stayed at a friends house outside of Seattle, and the accommodations were supreme!
In short, I guess it's a crap shoot. We've stayed at GREAT Super 8's. And not so great Super 8's. All in the name of earning free nights...
The ONE downside that I wish I knew in advance: Luggage weight limits. Yes, the airlines have them. BUT! Did you know they are higher for First Class???? Yeah, neither did we! And we didn't find this out on the way out of town. We found this out while returning home after packing, and repacking, and repacking some more, to try to distribute the weight if the bags. Only to be told when we checked in that we had almost a 20 pound leeway. 20 pounds!!!! Sheesh! I could kept shopping, or packed more into the bigger bags.... I'll know for next time!
Will I travel first class all the time? Nope. Can't afford it. Will I splurge the next time I have to go cross-country again? You bet! Made all the difference in the world...
As an aside to this post: One of our friends we were meeting in CA flew coach. When we arrived at the airport, and met up with her, her first words to us were. "I AM NOT HAVING FUN YET!". Hmmm.... to tell her about this post, or not??? We'll see.... :)
Flying: First Class vs. Coach
Hotels including differences within the same chain
East Coast vs. West Coast
Food along the way as well as DIVES
There may be more, or there may be things mixed in together. Who knows what will be jumbled up in here.... After all, it is just RANDOM THOUGHTS...