Napa Valley & Redwood Nat’l Park August 4, 2014

Roseville to Portland Map

Wow I’m really behind on chronicling our journey!

On August 4th rested and refreshed we said “see ya later” to our sweet friends, the Warringtons, and continued on our Alaska journey.  Our first, and might I say, most important stop was Sterling Vineyard in Napa Valley.  Not only was it a beautiful vineyard but the wine was delicious as well.  Napa Valley Sign Cole Napa Valley Sign

I really wanted those giant grapes!

I really wanted those giant grapes!

The beautiful view from Sterling Vineyard.

The beautiful view from Sterling Vineyard.

View from Sterling

View from Sterling

There were just rows and rows and rows, it was so cool to see.

There were just rows and rows and rows, it was so cool to see.

Yum!

Yum!

View from Sterling

View from Sterling

Giant barrels of wine.  Yum!

Giant barrels of wine. Yum!

In Lift at SterlingAfter the vineyard we head toward the Redwood National Park.  Right outside the park there is the Chandelier Tree in Leggett, CA.  You can read more about it here but it is 315 ft tall, 21 ft in diameter, and approximately 2,400 years old!  It was pretty neat to see the cars drive through.  We were iffy on driving through with the roof bag but after we saw an suv make it through safely we decided to do it.  Cole drove while I took pics.

Chandler drive-thru tree in Leggett, CA

Chandelier drive-thru tree in Leggett, CA

Driving the Altima through the Chandler Tree

Driving the Altima through the Chandelier Tree

After our little tree excursion we headed on to the Redwood National Park. Fortunately we got to see a few giant trees before it got dark.

That was a huge tree!

That was a huge tree!

I feel so tiny!

I feel so tiny!

When I say giant I mean giant!  It got dark not long after this but I know the rest of the drive would have been amazing.  Cole loved driving it because it was curvy but it was terrifying to me because it was so dark and I was so afraid a bear or something was going to jump out in front of the car.  We arrived in Portland around 2:00 am as was our fashion for this trip.  On to Seattle next time!

 

Roseville, CA Aug 1 – 3, 2014

Cole and I were both really excited to get to Roseville and to see our friends Courtney, Steven, & Kailer.  They moved from Arkansas to California last July so it had been a long time.  We had a great time with them catching up and just relaxing. It was so nice to eat at a table that wasn’t in a restaurant and sleep in a comfortable bed.  Courtney and I had a girls afternoon one day and got pedicures which was fun.  Cole and I both loved playing with Kailer although she really loved Cole more than me.  Whenever my name was mentioned she would say “Bridgett & Cole!” It was very cute.  It’s funny, this was one of my favorite parts of our trip but yet I have very little to write about since it was a very low key few days.  Sometimes those are the best.  Good times with good friends really sums it up.

The picture she had made for me and then had all of my AR friends sign it.  It says "Distance means so little when someone means so much".

The picture she had made for me and then had all of my AR friends sign it. It says “Distance means so little when someone means so much”.

Me & Courtney with the picture she had made for me

Me & Courtney with the picture she had made for me

Steven, Courtney, & Kailer

Steven, Courtney, & Kailer

Courtney, Kailer, & Me

Courtney, Kailer, & Me

Cole & Kailer

Cole & Kailer

San Francisco July 31, 2014

Map from LA to San Francisco

Map from LA to San Francisco


I was so excited to see San Francisco, its one of those places I’ve always heard was amazing.  I reserved us a cool renovated hotel downtown so we’d be right near the action and we could explore the city a little.  In the end Cole and I weren’t mesmerized by it like I expected us to be.  We were only there for under 24 hours and we probably didn’t get to really see the great parts, but in our mind it will always be kind of tarnished.

When we arrived I was disappointed to discover that our hotel was not in fact in the middle of it all.  There was a fifty’s type restaurant next to us and a seedy looking bar across the street.  Since we wanted beer we picked the seedy place.  It ended up being ok place but nothing special.  The next day we had plans of exploring Pier 39 and going on an Alcatraz tour.  To my surprise all of the tour tickets were sold out so we did the next best thing, the Bay Area cruise.  Through some calculating and discussion with the front desk we determined it was cheaper to leave our car at the hotel (where we had already paid $40 for a night of parking) and ride the bus to the pier since parking is also very expensive there.

You know how you see in movies where the bus driver is really mean?  Well I’m pretty sure they based that character stereo type after our bus driver.   We are waiting in line to board the bus and there is a woman in a wheel chair yelling at the bus driver that he needs to pull closer to the curb because she needs to use the lift.  During the time the bus driver is not acknowledging her at all. There was a sign that said handicap people board first so I’m hesitant to go in front of her but she was yelling that she couldn’t get on so I went ahead.  Cole gets on first and then it is my turn.  I politely tell the bus driver that I think that woman down there is trying to get his attention.  He whips his head around and barks at me that I need to pay my fair, mind my own business and he would mind his and then he barked that I needed to get behind the line.  I was floored!  I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped and I was seriously close to tears lol.  I moved behind the line and shut my mouth.  After everyone boarded the bus driver told the woman that there wasn’t any room and she’d just have to wait for the next bus!  I felt so bad since we boarded before her!  I mean she was no angel because she was acting kinda nutty but still!  We ended up getting off the bus two stops earlier than we needed to because we were so uncomfortable…we took a cab back to the hotel later lol.

The bay was very pretty although a little hazy.  The tour was neat because there was a narrator on the whole time telling about the sights and Alcatraz.  If we ever go back (doubtful) I definitely want to tour Alcatraz, it is so interesting.

Bay Bridge

Bay Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge

We couldn't even see the top for the fog and haziness.

We couldn’t even see the top for the fog and haziness.

Taken while going under the bridge.

Taken while going under the bridge.

The US flag with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

The US flag with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

Sign posted at Alcatraz

Sign posted at Alcatraz

A lot of sail boats out that day.

A lot of sail boats out that day.

"Welcome Home" written on a building to welcome the troops home during WWII.

“Welcome Home” written on a building to welcome the troops home during WWII.

After we finally retrieved our car we headed to Roseville to see the Warringtons!

LA July 29 – 30, 2014

LA Map

Map from San Deigo to LA

Cole hasn’t seen Clayton in a couple years so we were very excited to get to LA to spend some time with him.  We had a great time there with Clayton but Cole and I both think one visit to LA was enough for us!

We stayed in this very kitschy motel called The Safari Inn in downtown Burbank. It’s been in several tv shows and movies including CSI & Armageddon.  I loved the view we had there with the mountains in the back and the sign in the front.

Safari Inn

Safari Inn

The first morning we were there Clayton took us out to breakfast.  Within 10 minutes of sitting there we saw our first celebrity!  We were sitting in the restaurant and Gabriel Iglesias and his “crew” came in.  Immediately the staff seated him in the very back facing the wall so no one bothered him so Cole wasn’t able to snap a picture even though he tried lol.  The next day Clayton took us to a taco truck and we were sitting there eating our tacos and Adam Arkin sat down at our table with his son.  Cole was cracking me up because he’s trying to do these slight head gestures and eye movements trying to get my attention to show me.  So funny!

Gabriel Iglesias

Gabriel Iglesias

Adam Arkin

Adam Arkin

The first day there we went to Universal Studios and had the luckiest time.  We stood in line for about 30 minutes to get on the Jurassic Park ride and that was the only ride we waited for.  The next ride was Transformers, the wait was about 30 minutes but as soon as we walked up one of the employees said hey it’s your lucky day and he took us and about 10 other people through to the front of the line!  Something went wrong with the ride and we ended up sitting on it for about five minutes.  When we got off the ride they apologized and gave us a front of the line pass for another ride.  Then we went to the Simpsons ride and were discussing if we wanted to wait for it or not and then an employee came up to us and handed us more front of the line passes and took us to the front of the line for that ride.  I wanted to ride the minion ride and the guys didn’t so I was waiting in line and I was talking to the staff to see if they had a “single rider” line and they said they didn’t.  The guy said to just go with him and he took me to the front of the line!  It was really the best amusement park day ever!

Universal

A giant minion statue!

A giant minion statue!

Clayton & Cole at Universal

Clayton & Cole at Universal

Later that night we went to the Storey Tavern where Clayton works.  It was a neat little Irish pub and they had amazing food.  I had a mac n cheese burger, it was a fat kid’s dream!

Mac N Cheese Burger at the Storey Tavern

Mac N Cheese Burger at the Storey Tavern

The next day Clayton had an audition so Cole and I were on our own.  We decided to go to Hollywood Blvd to walk around and to take a Hollywood stars tour.  Let me just say now…DO NOT waste your money!  If we had a better tour guide it would have been at least a little entertaining but mostly it was just looking at big houses that were probably just random people’s, not stars’ houses.  This restaurant called The Rusty Mullet was the most interesting thing I saw the whole time.

The best thing I saw on the Hollywood stars tour.

The best thing I saw on the Hollywood stars tour.

We walked around the Chinese Theater and looked at all the Hollywood stars.  Almost immediately I found the best star out there…Slash!  So cool 🙂

Slash's Star!

Slash’s Star!

We also went into the mall that is by the theater and stumbled across a candy store called Sweet.  They have a “Chocolate Lab” where they make custom chocolate bars for you while you wait.  It was really neat and our chocolate turned out delicious.

Chocolate Lab Menu

Chocolate Lab Menu

Chocolate Lab at Work

Chocolate Lab at Work

Cole Candy - dark chocolate, peanut butter filling, M&Ms, & coffee beans

Cole Candy – dark chocolate, peanut butter filling, M&Ms, & coffee beans

Bridgett Bar - dark chocolate, milk chocolate filling, pretzels, sunflower seeds, and cookie dough

Bridgett Bar – dark chocolate, milk chocolate filling, pretzels, sunflower seeds, and cookie dough

The Bridgett Bar & The Cole Candy - Yum!

The Bridgett Bar & The Cole Candy – Yum!

They also had all these fascinating pieces of art that were made out of candy.  My favorite ones were of the characters of Orange Is the New Black.  They were so cool!

piper

Jelly Bean Red

Jelly Bean Red

Jelly Bean Crazy Eyes & Pensatucky

Jelly Bean Crazy Eyes & Pensatucky

LA was fun and it was great to spend time with Clayton but when our time was over there we were both ready to head to San Francisco.  Stay tuned for more of our trip!