Friday, June 27, 2014

Three weeks in. Two weeks left

We have been on the road for three weeks today. It was been one of the most memorable trips I have been on. We have seen some of the most amazing parts of the country and had some great time with family that does not live back in Omaha. I find my self thinking back to the beginning of this trip like it was a different trip.
The way we set up this vacation it is like 5 smaller trips. We did the Kansas and Colorado trip first. Then the Utah trip. Followed by the time spent with Chelsea's family and San fransisco. Now we are in the part of the trip that is Northern California and into Oregon. This is the area of the country I have no experience in, which I am exsited about. After Portland will be(in my mind) the last leg of the trip.

We have been away from internet, cell phones for the last couple of days. Which is why we could not put up a blog post. So to get you up to date, we last talked about arriving in San Francisco. 

We had one more day in the Bay Area. That morning we work up early and hiked from our hotel to pier 33. We boarded a boat that holds about 100 people. It set off right on time and we were on our way to Alcatraz Island. As we arrived we had a park ranger give a short history and safety speech. We then headed up the hill to catch a short movie (10 min) about the history of the Island.

We headed up to the main building. They have a great audio tour. Of all the audio tours I have done, this was by far the best. The tour was at your pace and had commentary from former prisoners, guard and some of the gaurds family that lived on the Island as a child. I had no idea that the family's of the Gards and warden lived on the Island. The woman who grew up there mentioned that they didn't even lock their doors. Considering the building just 30 yards away held 200 of the countries worst criminals, I found this very interesting.

The audio tour covered the main building which had all of the cells, recreation yard, cafeteria, warden's office and others. The. Audio tour covered all the rooms, escape attempts and famous prisoners.

After we finished the audio tour we explored the other buildings on the Island. We then headed back to the main land. 

We then headed to the fishermans warf for some clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. Really great stuff.

Then we took the cable car back to the hotel. This was a nessasary experience that I really enjoyed. 

We took a quick nap and headed back out for in n out burger on the warf. 

The next day we woke up early to head to Yosemite. The drive was beautiful. We hit our campsite around 4. We met a couple camping next to us and stated talking and ended up spending the rest of the night with them, playing cards and star gazing. Camping people are normally the nicest people. 

It rained all night and when we got up chelsea was not feeling well so I went on a couple hikes by my self.
The first one was very short, just around a few lakes.  The second one was a heck of a climb. It was only two miles but it was a climb of over a thousand feet, topping out over 10600ft above sea level. But worth it to be at the tree line and to be in snow in June. I took a ton of photos and we drove back to the camp. Along the way I took more photos of the sights.

We made spaghetti and called it an early night.  And it was a cold one. But we had 3 blankets and a big sleeping bag. 

This morning we left camp around 7 and hit the road for lassen volcanic national park. We have two nights there. 
The drive has been good. We got to stop by costco for more food. Also grabed some In-N-Out for lunch.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Movin On

Hello All,
This morning 6/23, we woke up and packed up our things.  We enjoyed our five day visit with our family in Santa Maria, but it was time to move onto the next adventure.  Aunt Debbie made us some amazing pancakes and then we said our goodbyes.  We hit the road to our next destination- San Francisco!

We decided to take the long, but more scenic way up to San Francisco.  We took highway 1 which lead us along Big Sur.  If you do not know, this highway it hugging the coast 90% of the time.  This was just what we wanted.  There were several small mountain climbs and declines, but nothing compared to what we have done already.  Winding roads made Brad's driving experience more enjoyable.  We enjoyed the beautiful view so much!  We even saw some sea lions!  It was definitely worth the extra drive time.

We made it to San Francisco right at rush hour :(  It did not take us to long to get to the hotel, but it was definitely stressful.  Lots of traffic and in an unfamiliar city is not fun.  We made it to the hotel around 6:00.  We dumped our stuff in the hotel room and then started walking to the warf.

We walked around for quite a bit, taking in the sites.  We then decided to have dinner at the Pier Market.  The weather was beautiful, so we sat outside.  I had salmon and Brad had swordfish.  For those of you that know me really well, you know how I feel about fish, but it was great!  I really did enjoy it!

We sat at dinner and enjoyed the evening bay breeze and then walked towards Ghirardelli Square.  We bought some ice cream and ate it on the the pier over looking the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.  It was a beautiful site while eating delicious treats.

We walked back to the hotel and got ready for a good night's sleep.  We have a big day tomorrow and we are excited for our next adventure!


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Santa Maria (Continued)

We are currently still in Santa Maria with our family.  We have been enjoying our stay SO much.

On Thursday, my Uncle took us to the San Luis Obispo farmers market.  We enjoyed AMAZING bbq at FireStone.  Brad and I split a pulled pork sandwich and a tri-tip sandwich.  They were so yummy.  We also had some great beers.  We then walked around the farmer's market and did a little shopping.  We went into a wonderful little boutique that was full of 50's dresses.  I could not help but try on tons of them.  I ended up buying two, wishing I was rich and could have bought an all new wardrobe :)  We had a great time walking through the market and took a trip down Bubble Gum Alley.  Fun, Fun Night!
Yesterday 6/20 was my 24th birthday and it was great!  I woke up and came downstairs to a decorated house!  My aunt is so funny!  She decorated the night before, before she went to bed.  I loved it.  My Grandma and I went out and bought everyone doughnuts and breakfast burritos.  They were so amazingly delicious.  We split up everything and ate too  much.  Brad and I then headed to Pismo Beach.  We walked along the ocean for most of the afternoon.  It was so beautiful out and I could not have asked for a better way to spend my birthday afternoon.  We then walked through the shops at Pismo and walked through the car show that was there as well.  We then stopped into Pismo Brewing Company to enjoy some beers.  We were still so full from breakfast, that we could not even think about having lunch.  We headed back to Tim and Debbie's house.  Everyone came home and hung out for a bit.  The kids had an activity to got to, so the adults had some pizza.  Brad and I ended the great day by taking a few beers out to the hot tub and relaxed.  It was a pretty wonderful day!

Today 6/21 was another fun day.  We spent the day with Uncle Tim in Slovang.  It is a really neat Danish town with amazing shops and restaurants.  We ate, shopped, and had so much fun.  We left Slovang and headed to Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company.  Their beer was truly amazing.  Some of the best beers we have had.  We tried all of their beers and enjoyed great company and conversation. We came home and Tim and Debbie made us tri-tip for dinner.  We ended the night by going to the movies.

Needless to say, we have been enjoying our time here so much!

<3 Chelsea