A couple of weeks ago (just before Christmas), we drove all the way from San Diego to Southern Washington to visit our good friends who were having their first baby. We didn't get a hotel or anything on the way up, so it was about 28 hours of nonstop sleepless road. We did take a gander at the Redwood Forest along the way. That place is enchanting, like something out of a storybook. Nate found a four-leaf clover. That means we'll win the lottery or something, right? I suppose we should start buying tickets if we want a chance at collecting our winnings.
We stopped in Eureka, California because Nate wanted to see if the people were all geniuses like on the TV show. They weren't. But I did have my first Philly Cheese Steak and it was damn good. I'm going to have to head to Philadelphia and try the real thing one of these days.
Some Boy does not like beanies. It's a good thing we don't live in a cold region. He'd freeze his little ears off.
Nate was inspired by the dozens of deer/moose/elk heads hanging everywhere we went. He's made it his mission to get a carcass for his office wall. I personally think that men's fascination with antlers is a form of over-compensating for something, but what do I know? My general rule about hunting is the same one I yelled at my step-brother when he maimed an innocent chipmunk back in our teenage years: “I don't care what you shoot, but you better be fully prepared to eat it.” Apparently, chipmunk isn't very tasty.
Being in Washington in the winter was wonderful (look, alliteration!). Nate and I both lived in Washington as kids, so the dreary, damp fog of this season feels rather homey to us. We walked around a lake in the freezing cold and looked at lights. Washingtonians go ALL out for the holidays. We ate the best pancakes in the world at Nate's favorite breakfast spot. Fred Meyer got a few visits from us as did Bob's, the local outdoor shop.
I wanted to see Mount Saint Helens, but it was fogged in so we went to Ape Cave instead. Totally unprepared, we walked about half a mile into the hollowed out lava tube with just the light of our cell phones to guide us. Pretty cool, especially since Some Boy slept the whole time on Nate's chest.
Since the baby was late and our friends were tied up in the hospital longer than expected, we didn't head up to my old stomping grounds around Seattle. We've seen Pike's Place and the Space Needle enough times, although a visit to Bainbridge Island's Winslow Way is always worth the ferry trip over. We also skipped Big Sur, Hearst Castle and Santa Barbara along the California coast. On our way back down, however, we did go by Tillamook for a tour of the cheese factory and stopped off at Oregon's beautiful Cannon Beach. We had lunch on the way in Astoria, a cute town that reminds me of where I grew up.
My dad lives in California in the bay area, so we stopped off there to visit him on the way home. We also went by Crockett to see the old C&H factory. They don't allow tours, but the old 1950's-era town is an interesting sight. The Warehouse Cafe in Port Costa is also a fun stop for travelers looking for an unconventional destination. It's a biker bar/antique shop with a giant stuffed polar bear, an old lady bartender who cusses like a sailor, and a walk-in refrigerator with over 300 beers around the world. If you happen to drink too many beers and can't schlep it back to town (it's quite a drive through the scenic hills), the aforementioned foul-mouthed beer doler-outer will happily hand over the keys to a brothel-turned-hostel across the street for about fifty bucks. Now that we're responsible parents and all, we usually opt for a Marriott instead.
You're probably waiting for me to get to the baby pictures, huh? At just under six pounds, Carson was the tiniest and most popular sight we saw the entire trip. And at almost two weeks late…he was DEFINITELY the most highly-anticipated!