We ended 2012 with thanks that it was over. Many good things came our way, like our daughter and son-in-law moving back to Seattle, and the engagement of our son to his lovely Jackie, but we still miss our lovely Buddy Milo (our golden we were honored to have in our lives for over 14 years).
But 2013 offers many new beginnings. We are embracing our good fortune at having a healthy family, and we have so many reasons to smile.
We had a quiet but delightful holiday with daughter and hubby, but right after Christmas we made our annual trek to Indio CA, only this time without Milo. That made us think we should perhaps take a little more time, avoid the mountain passes and hit the coast. We hadn't had a vacation since June of 2011, so it was time.
First up- pack the car- um...not as easy as one might think with our granddog Lulu trying to stow away.
We loaded the car and set out with good driving conditions, stopping to see hubby's mom for a short visit. First nights stop- Lincoln City OR. We really only saw it at night, but the beach views were grand.
On our way out of town we managed a shot of Spanish Head
We saw everything from goofy art
to being attacked by dinosaurs
after our escape we continued our trek south on 101. Taking our time and stopping (sometimes turning around abruptly) to spy some interesting 'stuff', like this poor sunken boat
and this museum (which was closed), where I decided if you plunked a boat that size on my property I would totally move in.
and of course, our trip wouldn't be complete without the stop to say hi to Babe
We drove from Lincoln City to Eureka in one day- now not to disparage Eureka, but I was very disappointed in that town- although we did manage to find a nice little wine tasting shop in the old town.
The shop owner gave us a recommendation to a fabulous place called Gabriels where we had an absolutely superb meal.
The next day we continued our journey down the coast, through the Avenue of the Giants, which was spectacular. Those trees are so majestic. We are so lucky they have been preserved.
and of course, there's the obligatory drive 'thru tree', which I might add was a bit scary even in our little car- I can't imagine getting your car stuck in there.
I had to get a shot looking straight up- amazing old stump
Then we headed to Healdsburg where we had a fab lunch at a Yucatan restaurant called Mateo- another great reco.
We were making such good time we opted to hit Monterey a day early and spend two nights there relaxing.
So over the Golden Gate Bridge we went in super light traffic
and into our hotel in Monterey just as the sun went down.
The next day we hit every tourist trap we could find. First we breakfasted at Santa Lucia, a germanish restaurant, where we enjoyed the morning sun, good food and a quirky atmosphere.
Cannery Row (which was disappointing with all its tourist crap), and Fisherman's Wharf with all its restaurants and crowds. I must say, the history of Cannery Row is both interesting and tragic. I think I must do a refresh and read about it again.
One of my fave things to do is head out to 17 Mile Drive, however doing it on a Sunday in between Christmas and New Years might not have been the best timing. There were lots of cars on the road, and bicycles too, and many tour busses.
But we marched on- and the sights were fab.
I must say there we did lots of fun things, and saw some great stuff, but for me one of the best things was the changing of scenery. From tall firs in WA, to shore pines in OR, to rounded hills spotted with dark oak trees in northern CA, to the wonderful windswept Cypress trees to the artificial (yet lovely) palm trees of southern CA. I thoroughly enjoyed our drive south. Here's to many more of these back and forth journeys.
And here's to a spectacular 2013, filled with renewed hope for this lovely planet we live on, and a renewed faith in the human race, as well as the setting of new goals which we endeavor to complete with a smile and matching attitude.
Wishing you all the best in 2013.