Kiddle Family - November 2012

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Summer Holidays - Week 2

Okay, here's some more. Prepare yourself, it's another long posting. It's amazing how many places and things we did each day! ...

Day 7
We leave Bandon Oregon and we're headed for Patrick's Point in the Redwoods.
First stop of the day is at the "Trees of Mystery". Just one of those road-side attractions. This one kind of reminded us of the Enchanted Forest in the Okanagan that we sometimes stop at. Lots of cool trees, the kids loved the sky ride and we had a laugh when we walked down the mountain and all the signs say it's for "advanced hikers" and here we were taking our 5 year old and most of us were wearing sandals. I will admit, it was pretty steep in places.
Lots of weird bugs!

While driving through Klamath, California, we noticed that there was an exceptional amount of people on one of the bridges we had to cross. We were going pretty slow, so we rolled down our window and asked some of the people what they were looking at. Turns out there was a large whale that was in the river there.

Camp was at the Patrick's Point State campground. We had a nice site, but I think it's meant more for tents than tent trailers. We couldn't park in our site, we had to park our trailer on the side of the road. The site though was very big and was quite secluded.

In the evening, we walked down to Agate Beach from our site. Very rocky, though it's supposed to be one of the best locations for finding agates. I almost lost my sandals when the waves came up and they ended up getting covered in some nasty green foam. Matthew wasn't very happy at the beach. I think he was afraid the waves would get us and trap us down there or something.
Beautiful sunset just a short distance from our campsite.

Day 8
Stopped at the visitor's center in the area. Saw lots of elk.
Next stop was Fern Canyon. What can I say about this place. It was amazing! One of my favorite places we visited. The entire walk through the canyon was along planks of wood that criss-cross across the creek. The canyon walls were covered entirely with ferns. It was beautiful. Loved it in there!

We stopped at Gold Bluffs Beach for a picnic

We went for a short walk through Lady Bird Johnson Grove

We spent more time down at Agate Beach and found quite a few small agates.

Day 9
We packed up camp and headed for the Avenue of the Giants.
We stopped at the Loleta Cheese Factory. It's not worth the stop and not what they advertise it to be. We then stopped in Ferndale cause we see lot of advertisements for it. Not worth the stop either, though we did buy some ice cream.
We then stopped in a little town and saw this cool house/mansion.....

We stopped at a few places in the redwoods and did a couple geocaches.

Our new campsite was in the Humboldt State Campground. This was a nice campground, except all the site areas are on the wrong side of the trailer, which is annoying. But, it was clean, quiet and they have great ranger programs. We attended a "campfire" and it was all good until I learned that the redwoods have TICKS! Now, if you've never heard, I've developed a bit of a tick phobia last year, when we picked up 2 on a holiday... and Elora's had been attached to her head for several days before we found it. Ugh! So, hearing that the redwoods have ticks made me a little paranoid to go geocaching in the bushes and long grass.

Day 10
Sunday. We decided to attend church at the nearest building, which was only a 5 minute drive from camp. It was very interesting. First off, it's the first time I've seen a building that was surrounded by rusty chainlinked fences and barb wire in places. Made us wonder what kind of neighborhood this was. This building was very small. No chapel. First time I've seen that too. Sacrament was held in one of those triple, multipurpose rooms. We learned that it's a small branch who usually has only 20 people on a good day. No youth at all. 1 family with primary aged children. Crazy. Such a difference from our ward back home.

We decided we'd walk down to the local swimming hole on Eel River. Wow. What a great location. It was practically like being in a lake. The water was clear, cool and practically still. We could have spent all day there.

We then went for some walks/hikes. We spent some time in Founders Grove and Rockefeller Forest.This fallen tree was ridiculously tall. It was taller than the Niagra Falls.

Day 11
A long day of driving. On our way to Half Moon Bay. We made 2 stops.
First stop was at the Jelly Belly Factory. My kids were so excited to go here. The tour was good. They gave out a few samples. We bought a lot. Everyone pretty well bought a whole pound each! But, it was nice to be able to pick only your favorite flavors
Abigail sampling the "puke" flavored jellybean.
Emily was not a fan of the "rotten egg" flavored jellybean. Ha ha. Why would you ever try it??

Our second stop of the day was at the LDS Oakland Temple. You can see my previous blog posting for pictures of it. I will say again though, that it was by far one of the prettiest temples with the most amazing views. Simply amazing and one of our favorites!

Day 12
San Francisco. First stop was Fisherman's Wharf. We went for an hour long boat tour that took us under the golden gate bridge and around Alcatraz. It wasn't a bad price. $65 for the entire family.

First time buying Fish 'n Chips. That's right. First time.
It was good. We bought it from a little place right on the pier.

We then walked from Fisherman's Wharf to China town. San Francisco has such a huge china town and it's ridiculously busy. We spent way too long walking up and down the streets and walking through all the shops. All of us had pretty sore, tired feet by the end. Phew!

Day 13
The plan was originally to spend the day at the Exploratorium, but sometimes you come across something better. After finding parking, we came across a park that was filled with carnival rides and games and a whole lot of people. We asked what was going on and found that it was a once a year thing that the Parks & Rec. group put on for the public. Everything (except food) was free!! And they had some impressive activities. The crafts alone were great.

We finally went over to the Exploratorium (it was free that day and was ridiculously busy!). We spent the last hour there. The Exploratorium looked like it would be a really cool place to spend the entire day... it's probably better to pay the admission and have less of a crowd around.

Just outside the Exploratorium is this structure. Very cool place.

Day 14
On the road again. This time we're driving a new route for us.... along the Bug Sur. Good views of the ocean and an incredibly slow, windy road!!
Quick window shots while driving

Here we stopped at the Julia Pfeiffer Burns park. What can I say about this place?? It was absolutely BREATH-TAKING!! There was a waterfall that empties into the ocean. Hard to believe that not that long ago, there was a house with this view (house is gone now and the land is donated as a park for visitors to enjoy). The beach is off-limits in this location.
Looks like something out of a movie or book, doesn't it. Simply beautiful!

Sand Dollar Beach was our next stop. Nope, we didn't find any sand dollars, though the kids had fun playing in the sand.

Jade Cove. When we were at Agate Beach in the Redwoods, we met a guy from California that said we should stop at Jade Cove. He says he frequents there to find jade and that it's quite beautiful. This stop was one I was unsure of. The pathway down was questionable and looked a little dangerous, especially when we're all wearing sandals. You even had to hold onto rope to help you get down one particularly steep, slippery part. Tide was up, so there wasn't much jade to be seen unfortunately.
But, we did notice this little guy playing in water close to us. This was the first time that we've ever seen a sea otter in the wild. Very cool. He was very active and kept clapping his fins together.

This last stop of the day, I'm not sure where exactly we were along the Big Sur, but we found a beach that had a lot of visitors, so we decided to stop. At first, we spotted these cute sealions. The typical kind we've seen elsewhere....But then we came around the corner, further along the pathway and we see this scene.... and we thought "wow! Those guys are huge!" and we see a sign that talked about "e-seals". What the heck are e-seals?? Finally we learn that they're Elephant Seals. They've got the funny "gonzo" type of noses. First time we've ever seen elephant seals and they were interesting to watch.
Camp for the night was at Flying Flags RV campground in Buellton. It was NOT a good site. The campground itself looked like it would be nice.... until I saw our site, which just might have been the worst campsite they had!! You might think the site looks decent from the picture, but you have to understand that every site had nice green grass... except ours and maybe a couple others. Then I was grumpy. I hate it when we have one of the worst sites.
It was also getting very late. We were hungry (we didn't eat dinner until after 9pm)....
This might have been one of the only times I was truly cranky on our whole trip. Yes, I was cranky. I admit it. Looking back at this trip and previous ones.... it seems I typically get really cranky over campsites, on days when it's been a long day of driving. It's not much to ask... to have a nice site? Is it? Anyways, it was only for one night (thankfully). I suppose I should be thankful that we were not one over and camping directly beside the family with the crying baby.
We most likely will not return to this campground.

Day 15
We left Buellton and headed to LA. We stopped at the LA Temple for a break (see previous temple posting for pictures).
Traffic was RIDICULOUS! It took us almost an hour to drive the couple blocks from the temple to the freeway and even then it took forever to get to San Diego.
We set up camp at Santee Lakes in San Diego. This just might be one of our favorite campgrounds. Spacious campsites, a pool, clean campground. Only down side is the fact that there are A LOT of little ants!!

You've made it through. I'm half way done blogging our holidays.
Are you up for more??

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