Monday, July 30, 2007

The Redwoods, an Aquarium, and a Requiem for a Car

I like going places on my birthday. It makes me forget that it's my birthday. Birthdays were fun when I was turning 24, not so much now.

This was our second trip to the North Coast in a month. We were up there for Memorial Day, checking out my in-laws soon-to-be new digs. This, however, was an old fashioned Road Trip. To check out an album I created, look here or here.

We managed to fit a lot into three days (6/28-7/2/07). We visited the Avenue of the Giants, who's heyday has passed, but was still fun. Kevin loves these types of places, because they have "nostalgic" tourist attractions, such as the Shrine Drive Thru Tree. As you can see, he had some fun!

Impy drives through it's first tree

We visited several other spots along the way such as the Chimney Tree, the One Log House and the Immortal Tree. I would go back again, someday, to spend more time in some of these places, just so I can appreciate them a little more.

We stopped in Scotia, one of the last lumber company owned towns in the Pacific Northwest. Their museum was quite interesting.

We stopped in Fortuna, and had lunch at Eel River Brewing. Mmm, mmm, good. I had a crab salad sandwich and cheesy garlic fries. I will have that again. We also did tasters of the beer and I have a new favorite - Hazelnut Porter. Brought home a liter of that stuff. It's dark and full of body and tasty as all out. That will definitely be a stop on the trip to visit the in-laws. Did I mention they're organic! The tree hugger in me loves that part.

Eel River Brewing

We went to Ferndale, which needs a power wash. It's still nice in respect to the fact that's it's an historical landmark, but it has a little bit of a neglected look about it. I bought my first souvenir yarn of the trip here at Foggy Bottom. The stash flash took place here. A small haul, but well worth the stop. Also, the Gingerbread Mansion is located here, and it is beautiful.

Since it was getting a little late in the day, we headed towards Crescent City, where we were staying for the next two nights. The drive through the Redwoods is so nice towards the end of the day. We even saw Roosevelt Elk!

Roosevelt Elk

The next day, we went to the lighthouse, which was open this time. I got my lighthouse passport stamped and found out that the Postal Service had issued that week first class stamps based on Pacific Lighthouses, and St. George's Reef was representing California. We were able to see that lighthouse from the Battery Point light, and I managed to get a picture of it with the telephoto lens. We went to the post office, where I was able to get a first day cancellation! Yes, I am a geek.

St. George Light

Next stop was A Perfect Yarn, which will be my Mother-In-Law's LYS when she moves. I picked up more souvenir yarns here, both sock yarns, but they are from local dyers! Squee! That was my birthday present for myself. It was in the stash flash mentioned earlier.

We also stopped by the Redwoods National Park office so I could get my National Park Passport stamped. Yes, geekness is my friend. I wanted to get an idea of where we might drive on Sunday on the way home. Next stop - Trees of Mystery in Klamath!

There are so many cool things here - there is a beautiful nature walk, tons of carved sculptures and something called the Sky Trail. These gondolas take you up onto a ridge - the view is beautiful - but you're floating above fern groves and through the tops of the Redwoods. It is so awesome! And when you're done, there's a Native American Museum with some truly wonderful artifacts. OMG - I could spend the whole day there. And we got pictures with Paul Bunyan and Babe. It is so Route 66!

In desperate need of food, we left and headed back to Crescent City. After having a late lunch, we were at a loss for what to do with the rest of our evening. We headed out to an Indian casino that offered free breakfast to those staying at the Curly Redwood Lodge. OMG - the smoke - the smell. A never cleaned ashtray smells better than this place. I could fee the lung cancer gaining hold. I'll pay for breakfast, thank you. If I felt like this, I can't imagine what Kevin's pristine lungs felt like. Yuck.

We decided to see a movie - Die Hard 4! It was fun! I like Bruce Willis in these movies. I especially like his catch phrase - which wasn't used in it's entirety but quite effectively! We had popcorn and soda and it was lovely. The place reminded me a little of the Edwards Cinema at Westminster Mall, but that's a 20+ year old memory.

So, Sunday, we head home. We were able to see another tree with a hole - the Tour Thru Tree. They have emu's. I hate emu's. The sound they make reminds me of veloceraptors from Jurassic Park. Shudder. We stopped at the Loleta Cheese Factory, in Loleta, and picked up some very tasty, very reasonably priced cheese. This will be a stop again in the future. We did a few other things too, stopped for dinner, and arrived home while the sun was still up!

On the 9th, we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, album here. We haven't been in there since out first vacation together in 1992! That was fun too.

We saw otters
Cute little otther

We love otters.

And jellies....

and some more jellies...

and some fishies.....
One big tank

I love going to the aquarium! Hopefully it won't be another 15 years before we go back. And just because it's cool and I learned how to do it, here's some video.

Then - bad things happened.

On July 12th, as Kevin was coming home from work, a guy made an unsafe lane change in front of him. Kevin didn't have time to break completely, and hit Mr. "I didn't even see you" Highlander. State Farm decided to DNR it - a busted radiator and A/C compressor. Yes - the cosmetics were the issue. Impy still wanted to go on - it started just fine, could even be driven. Granted, parts would have to be salvaged - if found - since some things just aren't made anymore for a 1993 Subaru Impreza. Valiant to the very end, off it goes to the salvage yard with a full tank of gas and 268,192 miles on the original engine, tran-y, paint and interior. Though it was literally a pain in the ass to sit in, the term aching back seems trite, we will miss you. Your 38 miles per gallon will be a mark that your replacement will find hard to match. Your head and leg room were of comfort. Your 0 to 60 was amazing. Your 95 mph on highway 5 will be missed. The fact we could cook an egg on your dashboard won't be missed. Or your bucket seats - did I mention the aching back?

What I will remember is when we drove to Roseville to pick up Fen.

Kev and baby Fen

Or the trips we took to Idaho Falls t0 visit the family
Kev & Ty
Kevin and our youngest nephew, Tyson.

The last day trip we had with Fen and Heidi, before Fen was diagnosed with Cancer.
Kev & Fen
Kev & Fen at Briones.

Or spending time with friends in Solvang.
Kev, Tami, Chris & Autumn
Kev, Tammi, Chris and his daughter Autumn enjoying ice cream on a hot summer day.

But, most of all, the trips we took with you all over this state. All the time I spent driving to Mom's. All the time I spent knitting, or stitching, or sleeping. Or the time simply spent with Kevin just being.

Goodbye, old friend. You were a good car.

Look what I did!

1 comment:

Tami DeTruth said...

Oh, Crap! I forgot your birthday. I am most embarrassed. But I do wish you a very happy (although belated) birthday and fine and fabulous year to come.

with much love,