Friday, May 3, 2013

Our Momma & Daughter Trip to Forks, WA (Canada, Seattle, Sacramento, Napa, San Jose & San Francisco)

Day 1
My husband dropped me off at the airport really early..I could tell at that point I packed too much…no turning back now.  I dropped off my luggage and headed to the gate. I boarded the plane and was so excited …”this is it my vacation has begun!” I flew from Savannah, GA to Atlanta, GA 45 min flight.  Then I had a gut feeling I was going to be dropped off at one end of the airport and have to run to the other end…boy was I right! I had 30 mins to catch my plane…and I thought I would have time to pick up a lunch on the way but I didn’t…thank goodness I packed 10 pounds of snacks for the plane ride!!  I was the last person on the plane and I was seated between the quiet guy and a Mr. know-it-all who shared some uncomfortable stories with me and on top of that he had his lap top case where my carryon goes, he said it wouldn’t fit under his seat and he could put my carryon in front of his seat..awe man I had all my fun to do’s in there (coloring books, magazines, DVD player..snacks…you name it I had it)…I said a little prayer to please move him or me…and my prayers were answered the flight attendant said “is anyone interested in moving” and my hand raised as quick as I could move it…I was place in the front aisle by the emergency door…I had a raft in front of me but it was so much better than before…I had a window seat.  This was a 7 hour flight to Seattle, WA.  The guy sitting next to me chatted for a little while but he decided to catch up on the Games of Thrones.  I read my magazines, read a few chapters of Twilight, watched Twilight and Breaking Dawn part 2 , took a nap and when I woke I saw the most beautiful site…snow top mountains…I started to smile.  I know I saw this when I was a kid but I don’t really remember it.I pulled out my Iphone and took a couple of pictures.  Then I saw the huge mountain top even with the plane…WOW! I tried to take a picture of it but it didn’t come out. I found out later that was Mount Rainier. The plane came in to land and I became even more excited..I am here! It is official!!!  I knew I had to head to baggage then I had to go to Enterprise rental car.  My bags were first off the plane to I strapped them together and headed to the rental car place.  The put me on a shuttle bus and brought me to another building.  The weather outside was cooler than Georgia and a bit windy.  It felt nice.  I strapped my bags together again and headed to the counter.  The lady asked me if I was from California and I replied “no mam”..she said, “I can tell now you must be from the south”…I think it was my handwriting that gave that away.  She got me all set up with my rental car. I was nervous on asking for the wrong thing because, I never rented a car before.  She told me to go down a hallway over a walkway down the elevator thru  another walkway and they will direct me to the car…reminder I am hauling enough luggage for a village.  I made it to the counter and a very nice guy asked me where I was going..I felt a little silly saying it but who cares…”I am going to Forks, WA on a Twilight tour with my mom”…he smiled and said I would get along with his mom.  We turned the corner and it was slim pickings..he said I don’t have any cars..I’ll give you an SUV.  We headed the other direction and he pointed out a Red Dodge Journey or a little Blue CRV..I shouted “RED”..”Just like Twilight”…he laughed..Red it is. We loaded my luggage in..I was so relieved to have a bigger vehicle. I set up the GPS, I put in my Twilight soundtrack, and my next stop was lunch with an old co-worker.  I headed right to her job and she was so excited to see me..she gives good hugs! She took me to get Sushi.  This was a place that has a conveyor belt rotating food around the room.  So we picked out a few items and I had a lemon grass lemonade..everything was so delicious! My friend and I caught up on old times.  She drove me around the was nice catching up with her.  My next stop was to get the groceries for our trip.  We planned out our meals ahead of time so all I had to do was pick them up.  I found a Wal-Mart which I am familiar with from back home…but I am guessing the area I went to wasn’t used to seeing someone like me..I got honked & whistled at 3 times just walking into the store..should I be flattered?? I wasn’t dressed provocative..I had on boots, leggings, skirt and a baggy button up blue jean shirt with a polka dot scarf. Who knows...I just be flattered. This was a pretty uncomfortable Wal-Mart…um maybe it wasn’t the best choice for me.  I tried to find most of the stuff on my list but it wasn’t really a wall stocked store.  I wanted to get us a small cactus just like Bella had from twilight..I found one but by the time I made it to the check out I had already hurt myself with it four times…I was picking out 20 pricklers and told the check out girl never mind…it wasn’t a good idea.  So I decided to drive to an actual grocery store but, I never heard of any of the stores that showed up on the GPS.  I turned the corner and I saw people that looked a little more like back home people and they had grocery bags so I gave it a try.  This was a nice store very clean. Kind of like a target and home goods mixed in one. I was able to get the rest of the items on my list and yes I looked for a I didn’t learn my lesson the first time. I didn’t find one.  I then headed to the Hotel (Embassy Suites) and checked in. I reorganized my luggage and decorated the room a little with twilight posters and a gift bag for both my mom & I.  I didn’t eat supper because, when I ate lunch was my normal supper time.  My mom’s flight was delayed so she didn’t get in until 1:00AM (4AM my time) I did get a little nap in.  Momma packed just about as much luggage as I did.  It was so nice seeing her. I got lots of momma hugs!! So Awesome!! We immediately went to sleep. 

Day 2
That was such an awesome bed!! We ate breakfast at the hotel…I got an omelet with tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach and egg whites…so good!! They only gave us 1 ticket and they let the other one of us eat for free..that was super nice!!  We had to be on the road by 8:30 am in order to make the early ferry from Edmonds to Kingston. We drove thru downtown Seattle and found where we needed to be with 15 mins to spare.  We got tickled seeing the security dogs sniffing the cars.  Lots of people with bicycles and almost everyone had a dog.  We knew this was going to be awesome!!  I was driving and it was my first time driving on a ferry boat.  Not too bad…I had to drive on to the left ramp and we have a pretty view.  We weren’t sure at first but seeing people leave their cars and go upstairs we decided to do the same.  We each got a DTB (delicious tasty beverage) and checked out the ferry.  I really nice guy offered to take out picture. We walked to the front of the ferry and were practically blown off the boat.  We walked to the facilities and this is when the “literature” collection know the brochure bins…well my mom & I went crazy collecting “literature” for our “Scrapbooks”. (note: my scrapbook has been premade for a few months and is 3 inches thick)  We got back in the car and headed to Port Gamble. Port Gamble is this cute little town full of picket fences and overlooks the water.  We went to the General store…so adorable! We found little chalk board picket fence book holders and post cards.  We found this sweet knitting and yarn store..that had a sweet little dog “Grace” warming up by the fire place curled up on her sheep fur bead.
So cute! Our next stop was port Townsend for lunch at a hole in the wall place called “Fat Smittys”…we took lots of pictures and we ordered a fat smitty to share. OH MY WORD! This was such an Awesome Hamburger!!! We decorated our dollar bill and added it to the wall of dollar bills.  The bill had 2 lolly pops so I put them in my purse(this has significance later).  We had a biker take our picture outside the restaurant..he made momma nervous…not me…I bet he golf’s on the side and love reading near a fireplace…lol.  We continued our Journey to Sequim, WA (the Lavender capital of the US- really it’s a ‘SMALL’ retirement community)…we drove thru the down town area and did a little shopping at the Lavender store and Doodlebugs Scrapbooks store..glad we stopped there we found some awesome scrapbooks goodies.   Our next stop was the funniest part of our trip..the Olympic Game Farm. 
We pulled up to a parking lot of peacocks.  We got our bread out , all 4 cameras ready and a camcorder. I am driving and my mom is in the front passenger seat.  We start to drive up a mountain overlooking the area.  We drive down hill and directly in front of us is a yak and he is not moving.  So I drive around and stop to let him stick his head in the window to my mom. My mom puts a piece of wheat bread on his tongue that he is sticking out and he eats it right up.  I pull up to a couple more and we feed them. They have light purple tongues and big bottom teeth shaped flat and no teeth on top. Their noses are very soft and they have sweet brown eyes with long black eyelashes.  Their breath is a pleasant rotten eggish smell…yeast like. Probably from the amount of bread they consume.  Now we have a new friend with its head in the window…a lama who is very excited over the bread bag he spotted in the car.  My mom said drive Ashley Drive!!
I drove but the Lama was running with us..jumping over the rails.  So I rolled the windows up. I had to stop because a car was in front of us.  The lama slowly walked in front of my rental car giving me the evil eye. He got to my window and pushed his bucked teeth against the window breathing so heavy it fogged the window and I can’t help but start thinking about the god father at this moment…we were tickled yet afraid.  He left our car for the one behind us.  We drove on this time to see the “waving bears”  but they didn’t was nap time. We did see a bear drink some water balancing so he didn’t fall in his was cute with his big ole butt in the air.  We saw a bunch of animals in large fences in yards (tigers, lions, wolfs, cougars)..we drove to the next part the Bulls, OX and deer. They told us to not stop..we were nervous driving this part so we were throwing the bread on the ground at the animals like we were in a Mardi Gras parade.  They were cute and the deer were sweet looking.  We got around the next turn and I saw two cars in front stop and let the buffalo come in the window so I decided to do this to my mom. We pulled up to a big buffalo that filled up the window of our rental car and stick his black pointy tongue on my mom’s arm to get the last half a piece of bread we had and he stuck his head in her lap…she just screamed “oh my god oh my god oh my god” like a billion times really fast…I almost pee’d myself here it was so funny!!!  We pulled out of the tour and I used my dollar store tripod on my camera to get a picture of us both in front of the sign. It took a few tries until I figured it out….My eye started to act up and it was really bothering me. We found a grocery on the way and I got some medicine and of course more food.  We then headed to our Cabin in Beaver Creek Washington…we had to drive through Port Angeles, WA and then around the most beautiful part of our trip Lake Crescent.  Momma & I fell in love with this part of our trip.  The mountain was on one side with small waterfalls and on the other was a lake like a sheet of glass that showed the reflection of the freshly snowy top mountains covered in enormous tall green trees..And just like Bella said…everything was covered in green moss..I have never seen this shade of green on trees on the ground.  Thank goodness they have turnoffs or we would have wreaked from us staring at the beautiful scenery.  We had to stop several times.  The ride goes really well with the Edwards Lullaby song. We passed our turn off…if was hard to find.  We took the turn and we were a little iffy because it didn’t look like we expected…but the more we drove down the street and we made it to the property…my mom and I were so taken back by its beauty! 

The lady (Michelle) met us right away and talked to us about the property and the cabin. She was so friendly and nice.  We were starting to unpack the car and Michelle’s husband came to make sure our clock was set to the right time..that was so nice!  We got settled in.  Our Cabin is so adorable.  It is 20 steps away from the Sol Duc river (so that is all you hear flowing river..ahhhhh) Our cabin has a fire place, porch with chairs, bbq, comfy chairs, little kitchen with everything you need but the food (a green house with fresh spices), huge bathroom and bathtub, sweet bed, reading material, horses, chickens and lots of nature.  We decided before it got dark to go explore Forks, WA.  We drove over 3 green bridges and immediately we saw the Welcome to Forks sign.  We jumped out the car and took a picture with my tripod.  We drove into the town and it was just as we read from Stephanie Meyers Twilight Saga.  We drove and found the Cullen Hospital Parking Sign, The Forks High School, The Police Station, The designated Cullen house and designated Swan house.  We found the chamber of commerce and took pictures of the Bella trucks – across the street is the Fork airport where we saw a huge herd of Elk…AWESOME!!  We drove to the Thriftway grocery and got some “Vitamin R” beer just like Charlie.  We headed back to the cabin to do our first cookout.  I marinated some steaks, made a cheddar potato bake, made portabella & bell pepper shish kabobs, and I lastly made the buffalo chicken dip for the week.  We pigged out and washed it down with our Charlie Beer.  Momma had the Twilight movie playing in the cabin so we could check out what we visited and what we were going to visit.  After dinner…momma and I curled up in the best bed ever and had an awesome night of sleep!

Day 3
On this day we cooked a Delicious Sugar free dish…(Sugar Free Angel Food sliced up and dipped in an egg wash and fried – like French toast – we put a bunch of fresh sliced up strawberries..OMG was this good! Momma also brought the Duncan Doughnuts Ginger Bread Coffee ~WOW! Like a cookie)..We got ready and explored the campsite.  There is a beautiful vibrant Green moss covered bridge over the Sol Duc river.  This view was just breathtaking!! 

We hopped in the car and headed to Forks, WA.  Our first stop was Leppell’s to stock up on some serious Twilight memorabilia…Oh my word was this place AWESOME!!! We stocked up on some scrapbook supplies and trinkets while also taking a picture with the life size Edward..while checking out the store pet “Katie” greeted us and the sales girl was so nice…after we checked out she visited with us for a bit and then she invited us to the back of the store to an actual prop from the Twilight movie (THE PROM SCENE) – the awning Edward & Bella take their prom picture under “Monte Carlo”…and they also had replica bench seats from the Breaking Dawn Part 1 wedding scene..this place was too much!!! What a way to start the day off with!!  We then headed to a couple of stores to pick up some souvenirs of Forks and Twilight… We came across a store called “Alice’s Closet – they have Bella’s Wedding Dress and Prom Dress in the front window…so cool!!


Our next stop was LaPush…we turned up the New moon soundtrack while driving towards LaPush beach and it was a lot closer than we thought…out of nowhere “Jacob Blacks House Pops up” with his motorcycle out front…we continue to drive and Boom..the LaPush Welcome sign (photo op)…we drove a little more and to the right the (Treaty Line…no Vampires allowed)  a few miles more we arrived at LaPush beach where decided to have a picnic on the beach (Delicious sandwiches my momma made that morning, smoked gouda cheese, crackers and grapes with a DTB – Diet Coke) 

We had a project in mind which is to collect thing from nature to layer in a jar as a souvenir…so we collected some rocks, sand & drift wood.  We took out picture in from of a giant tree root (I read it is called the “Jacob” tree)…the view was just gorgeous!! It was a little cool but we didn’t mind..we bundled up! I have to give a shout out to my girl Valerie for the Cupcake Blanket she gave me this past really came in handy on this trip..kept me cozy on the plane and a sweet spot for picnicking!  We got back in the car and headed towards the HOH rainforest (HOH sounds like “Ho”..not actual letters H.O.H)  I was really glad I drove because I would have gotten car sick on this part of the drive…we drove down hill around a mountain and river… 


Once we arrived we bundled up and started for the “Hall of Mosses” trail..this wasn’t a bad trail at all…there is a small bridge over a river and slight inclines up the mountain…once we got more in the wooded area…WOW! Huge trees wider than a SUV…bright and vibrant Greens…moss we have never seen before and it was cool.  Walking further into the trail we got to one point and it felt like you were on the set of a Tim Burton movie set…it didn’t look real…the trees had this neon green color and the branches swirled over your head..I could have spent a day just examining all of its beauty..I picked up some moss for our jars.  After our trail we got back in the car and headed back up the mountain toward Ruby Beach..but to your right a heard of Elk just having lunch..they were so nice they would look at the camera and don’t see that too much with wild animals lately.  We got to the end of the street and saw Ruby Beach..OH MY WORD..this place is so freaking beautiful…how do people not wreak their cars looking at the Mountains, sea, trees…in the south we don’t see views like this except on Pinterest or Television.   We parked the car and walked down a little trail to the beach…I’m not sure what you call it but it is like skyscraper rocks out in the water with trees on top (best way to explain it with my vocabulary)…the washed up trees were blocking a path to the beach so we have to climb over the trees and through baseball size pebbles..we made it to the beach and this is where the “LaPush” Beach scene from twilight was filmed…we walked down the beach and took some great pictures…a bunch of clams washed up and I wanted to take them home, but I remember the shell incident from my Honeymoon (I thought the critter would climb out..but he didn’t’ he died and SMELLED so bad..I felt horrible- I had to throw him away and I bought a clean shiny shell as his replica to take home) anyhoo…we got some rocks for our jar and the climbed back over the trees to the car…we stopped at the picnic table for the Giants….I have never seen such a tall picnic table and poor momma had to crawl up the table to overlook the view… We headed back to our Cabin – for Dinner we had homemade Grilled hamburgers with Avocados, couscous and stuffed portabella mushrooms. (I premade our breakfast for the next morning (Ashley’s Skillet – bacon, sausage, hamburger, scrambled eggs, sundried tomatoes, garlic potatoes, spinach, blue cheese and cheddar cheese) – We packed our little bag for our next day to Canada.

We watched New Moon this night.

Day 4
The next morning..we woke up extra early and drove to Port Angeles (again thru the amazingly beautiful scenes & a girl with a tail) we parked the car and walked to the Ferry…the customs wasn’t too bad. We got on the boat and realized we forgot our breakfast in the car (but it was a good thing because you can’t bring potatoes to Canada).  We got a couple of breakfast sandwiches from the galley and some DTB – Diet Coke. We sat at a cute little table overlooking  exceptional view of the United States…the mountains had snowy tops and the trees just accessorized them so well!  After we ate..we moved down to some benches where momma read the map of Victoria Canada and the top sightseeing picks…while I tried to hold down my breakfast..I don’t do well on boats. We arrived in Canada and I thought we would get inspected all over and haggled, but customs was not bad at all…(and despite the rumors of the people Canadian customs peeps being mean to Americans..they were extremely nice to us..probably because we are so adorable had have cute country accents…j/k)  We took a couple of pictures of the area, we headed to some fountains and walked all over the downtown area…I read online about a place called Red Fish Blue we ate there for lunch (SCRUMPTIOUS!! Deliciousness!!) We got the fish and chips – and we were a little worried it wouldn’t be enough food for us so we each had 2 helpings (note to others..1 order would have been more than enough!) but we ate it all anyways..the Cod fish was so light with a buttery fried crispy coating and delicious potato wedges that had a buttery garlic good!!  We walked to their China Town and I bought a Sushi making kit (I already used it and it came out AWESOME!) We then walked up hill (oh did I mention that is all we did in Canada is walk up hill…we never went downhill..not sure what was up with that!)  I talked my mom into walking to a park called “Beacon Hill” – ok I should have seen the obviousness there “HILL”…we get there and walk up the rocks in a big hill – we couldn’t stop laughing..we ran into an old couple taking a nap in the hill…the an urban fella who set up camp in between two trees over the path people walk..he seemed like a good planner…so we had to walk up the hill around him…We thought of heading back but I kept going further (I read this was a really pretty place)..I am glad we did..we came to a pond full of ducks and a topless weirdo man who was sunbathing on a bench in peach shorts (that kind of took away from the beauty- but funny) there was an Old age home across from this park so it kind of explains some of the weirdness to us… We came across a beautiful peacock and tons of flowers…we then headed back to the ferry (walking up hill)…we were really tired from our walks…Customs wasn’t bad in fact they even had conversations with us about nothing…momma & I tried to take a little nap on the ferry…when we got back to Port Angeles…

we went to a book store the Odyssey Book shop and a little store called the Variety store..momma said this store reminded her of the store she went to as a little girls (I remember them too when I would visit my Grandparents in Pineville, LA).  We went to the Grocery for Ziploc’s and we decided to get a coffee drink, but the Starbucks was closed so we went to the Bella Rosa and got DTB (Delicious Tasty Beverages) and Yummy Cookies!! We then headed back to our Cabin in Beaver Creek.. we had a cookout on the grill – I found a recipe on Pinterest – crescent rolls around a hot dog…the idea was good and maybe it would have worked better over an open flame…but I dropped my weenie in the grill (30 second rule) just added flavor..and Smores!!  I don’t know if we were just super tired but we laughed so hard this night..everything just seemed so funny!! We watched Eclipse as we cuddled up to the fire and smores!

Day 5
We had no idea that we were such Nature Buffs..we knew we were big shoppers!  I asked momma if she thought it might be ok to put off shopping to go see waterfalls..she was all for we decided to see the Marymere Falls near Lake Crescent..we got in the car and headed towards the falls..when I realized we were right next to a Sheep Farm and I wanted to see what it looked like…so we went down a really pretty green tree road and came upon a house and in the back we saw 3 sheep…didn’t seem like a big farm (their web site said 100’s of sheep) I said do you want me to know on the door & momma says no way! I drove down the road to make a U-turn and this area reminded me of a place in Georgia called “TigerRidge”…you can Google that one! As we pass the house again we saw a fella that could pass for what “we envision” a serial killer would look like..momma “says floor it Ashley” (I would have knocked on the door -he has my email address – he just never responded) I bet I look like that too first thing in the we talked about how this place would really be the perfect place for Serial Killers to hide in.  Very secluded.  We drive and to the left are some Alpaca…they too were friendly and smiled at the Camera..such nice wild animals!!
We arrived to Marymere Falls trail…we layered up with our gear and headed into the woods…this reminded us of the Hall of Mosses a bit…we arrived to a bridge over a river and the another bridge that was a log cut in half (nicely done)…we climbed up some stairs and several time we had to stop to catch our breath..this was new to us but it was very fun…we made it to the lower level to the Waterfall..very pretty!! We climbed up to the second level and ran into a school trip the guide for them to a minute to chat with us..she was really nice!! We finally got to go downhill at this point…I really enjoyed the hike!!  We made it back to the car and headed to “Hurricane Ridge” according to the GPS…now I am driving…I hate driving on sharp curves and mountains in Virginia…this was worse!! I am driving on a one lane road (1 tiny road that keeps getting narrow) for both ways of traffic and it has little turn offs if a car Is coming, but there is a drop off “Off the Mountain”…5 miles later I am white knuckle and freaked out! Of course an oncoming car comes and I don’t know if he saw me say “What do I do” or he was just being nice..but he went on the outside “Bless his heart”!! We finally made it to the top but I had to stop for a deer to walk slowly in front of the car.
This area was full of deer and they didn’t car you were there..and it didn’t bother them that you took pictures of them…these animals here are so friendly!!  We geared up and headed to the sign for directions…(my momma read the sign as saying 18 miles and I read it as 8 miles TRAIL)…either one..that was too much for us…we can do a mile maybe 2 at the most for our delicate figures) so we headed back to car and I talked her into driving down hill…I was green by the end of the ride and we had to switch..but directly in front of us were 40 deer…it amazed us that they didn’t care we were there…so weird.  We found another way to see the Hurricane Ridge, so we drove to Port Angeles to get to it..we drove as far as we could only to find out it was closed…THANK GOODNESS we didn’t hike..that would have stinked to walk miles only to see it was closed!! So we went Shopping!! We checked out the Goodwill and found some cool treasures…we found some movie locations in the town…we went to a yarn store called “Cabled Fiber Studio” momma got some local yarn and one really neat place was a bead store called “Udjat Bead & Belly Dancing” where we met a very eclectic lady with an amazing and creative talent!! She was making beaded flowers…so awesome!! We bought some African recycled bottle beads and copper beads to make momma & daughter necklaces. When we walked out the store low and behold..the girl with the tail again…not sure what that  is about..but I like more than one purse (to each it’s own) We crossed the street to eat the “Bella Italia” (where Edward & Bella had their first impromptu date)… We decided to each order a meal and eat half and switch..because t all looked so good!! One of the meals was the must have “Mushroom Ravioli” and the other was Gamberi (shrimp, garlic, lemon, capers, white wine, olive oil over pasta) – to die for so good! My only complaint was the bread…now I’ll admit I’m a healthy girl…they brought out a little plate with 3 (three) tiny pieces of bread for 2 (two) healthy ladies…seriously!!! So we each get a piece and a half of this tiny bread and a CUP of olive oil and spices dipping sauce…but thank goodness the food came out fast..I might have dipped the plate in the olive oil to eat it..haha  We weren’t the only Twilight fans on tour..there were 4 other tables of people there touring the Forks, Twilight areas..this made us not feel like such dorks.  After our Delicious dinner we walked to another book store “Port Books and News”(one cannot have enough books to take home in their luggage knowing they only have about a pound of room available)…The salesman was very friendly and helpful..we walked out of their stocked up on some good reading.  We then stopped at the Dairy Queen to get Blizzards for the ride!!! Yeah Buddy!!  We headed back to the cabin to “PACK” the dreaded word…this is where we realized our luggage is in the rabbit family…it keeps multiplying and we didn’t buy that much!!  After 2 hours of packing and repacking..we each took turns writing in the Cabin Journal of our trip. I got in trouble because I was supposed to bring the Breaking Dawn Part 2 movie and I forgot it…oops

Day 6
The next morning momma cooked all the eggs, grits (for you northern peeps – Grits are Awesome and you are missing out)..and bacon…and we ate it all!!! We drove over to the office and left the Cabin owners (Michelle) a note saying goodbye…we said goodbye to the mossy bridge, we said goodbye to the chickens and we got in the car to go I was teary..we didn’t want to leave…momma said we can cancel the rest of the trip and stay was hard..but we decided to go on.  (WE ARE COMING BACK!)  This was the most beautiful, most peaceful and most friendly place I think we have ever been!! As we drove around Lake Crescent we said our goodbyes to it tranquility and its dazzling sparkle.  We arrive to the ferry and watched part of the Breaking Dawn Part 2 on my phone (to redeem myself lol) We headed to Seattle to do some sightseeing. 

We parked the car under a Target and walked to Pike Place…when we got in the building it was so crowded and loud…after the days of peacefulness it was a bit much for me…momma really loved it..she was so excited to show me the fish and when we got there the dead fish and pieces of fish made me queasy..I felt bad that it grossed me out when my mom thought it was so cool. We went to another fish market and they guys seem to put on a show and shouting things (I couldn’t understand what they were saying)…they have pretty flower bouquets and we bought some t-shirts and a dingdong to share later.  It started to drizzle so we walked back t the car.  We pulled out the GPS and drove around a little..we drove to the space needle (I know I swiped my card for the parking but it apparently didn’t go thru and I got a parking ticket L)  The Spaceneedle was neat…we looked at the sites and we got a Starbuck Hot Chocolate and momma got a Chi Tea Latte.  We walked downtown a bit and found a big fountain and lobster statue.  We got back in the car and went to our hotel when we checked in we started to notice a bit of a difference (now we are staying at a very nice Double Tree) the guests seem to have unique choices of hair colors and styles that coordinate with the outfits like “Kool-Aid Blue and Tang Orange” and some have on costumes and swords..when we checked in momma asked if there was a convention going on and well you guessed it a Comic Con like event was being held (He did not mention the event was being held in OUR hotel) as we dropped off all the luggage (we filled a bell cart and carried bags) we had to look at the ground to keep from laughing out loud (just something we were not used to seeing) I am sure they laugh at us for going on a Twilight Tour..anyhoo…we then returned the rental car..I really liked the Dodge Journey…that was a cool car!! We took a shuttle back to our room and we had a picnic in our room of all the leftover food. 

Day 7
We got up really early for the Amtrak…we asked for a cab and the bellman got us a town car b/c a taxi wouldn’t hold our luggage (Oh My) the driver was really cool! When we got downtown he started to do his own little tour and we got nervous we needed to be at the Amtrak really soon…we arrived there and I found a couple of Harry Potter luggage carts to help us out…momma didn’t know there was a weight limit on our luggage and we looked at each other & said We are in trouble!  Each piece of luggage we knew had to be 20-30 lbs over the limit and the lady would say (take out 3 lbs..take out 1 lb) I don’t think she had her glasses on or something…so we had an extra carry on which made us over the limit but no one said anything…we were a little lost at the train station but we eventually found our stateroom….we had a room where the chairs fold into a bed and a bunk bed folds down.  We got all our luggage stowed and realize it would be a couple of hours till lunch so thank goodness I packed, cheese, crackers, hummus and sugar free angel food cake – we found this so funny “would you like some delicious cheese” and momma found some ice and apple juice in the upstairs area…the train was moving along and we went to the dining cart for lunch at the “Coast Starlight” (we both had a cheeseburger, chips, a crisp dill pickle and a refreshing Diet Pepsi).  We explored the carts a little bit..our cart had a guy with the entire Kilt outfit…we hung out in our room and watched the moving “Holiday”…the train made a couple of stops in Oregon and we got out at one of the stops that the Waterfall baseball scene was filmed for twilight and the bridge Charlie and Bella drove over) that was pretty cool!  We put in for our dinner reservation.  The tables were set with white table cloths and little flower buds in tiny vases… it looked like an old time movie set. A lot of people on the train enjoyed the relaxing ride rather than the rush of the airport. It was time for our dinner and we sat across from the man in the Kilt.  He was one of the guys that knows everything and has been there and done it and his was the best ever…yeah one of those guys…we had rolls with butter, steak, potato and a light salad with refreshing Diet Pepsi.  The view was spectacular!! We were riding trough the snowy top mountains, cloud banks, waterfalls and a heard of Elk with huge racks..AMAZING!!! Best part of the Train ride. We went back to our cart and finished the movie. We got ready for bed since we had to get up at 4:45 AM…our room was really hot so we kept our door open. We had one more stop so we got out and enjoyed the fresh cool air.  We went back to bed..I had trouble sleeping so it was a little rough for me. Momma slept good.

Day 8
We woke up early and hot ready and packed to find out the train was running late..awe man we could have slept in 30 mins…oh well…we arrived at Sacramento and had to walk 500 miles to our luggage…I found a couple of HP luggage carts to help us out..after we piled on of mountain of luggage we found a daring taxi driver that helped us get to the rental car place…this is where I get used! So momma waits with the taxi driver while I go get the rental car (I maybe had 2 hours of sleep and I am not awake) I know I got a rental car rate of $14 per day..the sales girls said she can upgrade me to a larger vehicle for $8 I said yeah! I signed the receipt but I was so tired I didn’t read it right away…We headed downtown and found a shipping place…bought a box and shipped some luggage back home.  We then parked I started to think..I checked my account and she took out $700 for a 3 day trip that was supposed to cost $14 per do the math! I called the rental car and they were charging me $80 per day…-that is a freaking car payment!! We decided to go back and trade the car but first we had to eat. We ate breakfast at the Fox and Hound..cute little find..we went back to the car rental place and traded the larger car in for a smaller car..and the girl you did it to me gave me an attitude!!! Seriously I will NEVER rent from BUDGET rental cal again!!! I got used but I stuck it back to the man!! “Bazinga”..we drove back downtown and saw the Capital building, went to a bead store and knitting store. This area looked really clean, sunny and pretty.  We drove to nearby neighborhood and found a scrapbook store..but they didn’t have too much California scrapbook supplies.  We then headed to Fairfield & Sacramento, CA…Momma showed me where we used to live..where she used to shop, where she got my first pair of walking shoes…we went by the California State prison to see where Charles Manson resides… We then drove to the Jelly Belly Factory and we forgot it was Easter weekend…so Everyone and their grandmothers grandmother was there (I’ll bet you didn’t think you would ever see “baby shoes, Prison, Charles Manson and Jelly Belly” in a  sentence – well check that off your bucket list you have seen it…lol). So we are back on the road and headed to Napa Valley.  We see cows standing what looks like at an angle on the hills..silly…we get to a shopping area and head to a Trader guessed it more food.  We found some delicious sushi, lemon curd, sour dough bread, and lots and lots of Rude Snotty people.  I have never met such mean and rude people in one place in my life! I literally had a lady ride her buggy on my heels and I pulled over any bowed to her...”please go around me princess” I even uttered those words “well I never”… after we selected our treats and momma got another bag…we headed to the Napa Railway Inn..what a cute place!!! It’s old box cars turned into hotel rooms and are much larger than one would expect!! Momma & I walked down the block to see what looked good for supper…we needed to get some Diet Coke so we hopped in the car and found a familiar store “Wal-mart” the people were nice in the Wal-mart but the people everywhere else in Napa were really snooty! We drove around looking for a place to eat and at this point I could have eaten the car floor mats I was so hungry…we stopped at this place Oventi Restaurant & Bakery..OH MY GOSH..DELICIOUS!!! We each got a pasta dish and a delicious salad and we tried our best not to eat so fast and to enjoy each bite because it was so amazing!!!! We did not have room for dessert unfortunately… We headed back to the Hotel and decided to repack so we could leave most of our luggage and only use a smaller suitcase…after that we decided to finish our jar project (we layered the different things from nature we it came out really neat.  We then watched spooky ghost hunters on TV. that kind of freaked me out about of box car.

Day 9
We woke up in the morning and walked to the end of the Railway to the Yountville Coffee Caboose..where we got Ham and Cheese crepes with a tangy mustard sauce and Cappuccinos that had heart shaped froth on top…awe…The crepes were delicious!!  We packed the car up and headed to the Beringer Winery.  We passed a bunch of winery it was like a wine hoppers dream.  We arrived at Beringer for a Wine Tour…Oh my how Lovely and pretty was this place.  They brought us in a mountain where they store the wine and we tasted a red wine straight from a barrel…it was strong but very tasty.

It was cool in the mountain and our guide Scott had a dry sense of humor.  Outside the mountain a zydeco band was setting up to play some familiar music to us southern gals…we then walked to some grape vines and then to a tasting room…we tried a white, red and dessert..then each with a bread stick, cheese and a white chocolate apricot to see how food changes the was really cool.  We had 3 other girls on our tour that were Nurses from up north..they were cute.  After our tasting we walked around the area and then we headed to San Jose, CA to see the Winchester mansion.  We stopped at a Goodwill in Napa and found some sweet treasures…On the way we say the San Francisco bridges and we got in a little bit of traffic – perfect opportunity for some Trader Joes Sushi (California Rolls how appropriate) and YUM!  We arrived at the mansion and we were on one of the last tours…our tour guide Steve or if you don’t like his jokes “Michael”…there were people from all over the place in our tour..the house was like a maze I know I would have gotten lost in it…I loved all the windows and stained glass…Fleur De Lis Everywhere and I love all the Victorian stuff..the house was crazy..up down and all around little stairs and big stairs, door that go nowhere and 13 was a big number…if you are ever close to it you have to go see it..very cool!! After our tour we picked up some post cards because we were not allowed to take pictures (they are filming a movie in it right now – copyright reasons) We hoped in the car and found a Goodwill..Momma & I racked up!! Oh good let’s make more luggage!!  We drove for a bit and started to get hungry so we decided to try an In & out was good – reminded me of McDonalds.  We arrived to San Francisco and checked in our Hilton Hotel – this was a pretty hotel it had the beautiful crystal chandeliers hanging in the lobby that just dressed it up so nice. We had a milkshake & watched Snow white and the Huntsman that night.

Day 10
We woke up and headed to downtown San Francisco.  We got an awesome parking space and headed straight to the street car. We thought we knew where we were going but we didn’t hear our stop so we rode the street car all the way to the end and had to walk back a few blocks and catch another one. We got off at the right stop and passed a lot of high dollar shopping spots and arrived in China Town.  We went to the Far East Café for Dim Sum (we got Shrimp dumplings, egg rolls and hot green tea – now I am not a tea drinker and I drank 2 cups of it one without sugar and one with and I have to say I think it tasted what I would imagine laundry water to taste like so I would say green tea is not for me.  We went in a bead store and the lady asked if we were from England..with our southern belle accents..I can see why it sounds similar (I always wanted to sound like Harry Potter)..I spent too much in this store but how often am in China Town in SF…we went to a couple of more shops..momma bought a Mahjong set. 

We rode the trolley down a couple of blocks, we didn’t know we were that close to the end.  I didn’t care for all the drunks, homeless people and drug dealing we saw…that made it a little uncomfortable (New Orleans and New York..didn’t compare to SF on the riff raff we really made the town seem dirty).  We walked to Ghirardelli Square and it started to pour on us on our walk..but we were prepared (rain coats and umbrellas)  We went and had Ice Cream Sundaes (I didn’t care I was was worth the pain!) It was so good!! I got the Cable Car (Chocolate, Chocolate Chip and Rocky Road Ice Cream with marshmallow cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream with a Ghirardelli square on top…momma got a Midnight Reverie – 3 scoops chocolate ice-cream, dark hot fudge, dark chocolate chips, whipped cream and a dark Ghirardelli square (I had to help her finish it)…we walked to the beach and saw the Golden gate bridge..we walked to the Warf and decided to eat again at the Fisherman’s Warf…we had a beautiful view of the Warf…the waiters were dressed in fancy blue suits and we had 4 waiters wait on us (fancy)  I shared a loaf of sour dough bread (then they brought us another loaf but no wait 2 more loafs were brought to us…have you tried the bread!) We laughed so hard!  We each had fish, veggies and pasta alfredo (I was so full and I just kept on eating and laughing)…  After lunch or was it a the meal in between lunch and dinner? Or was that a snack…HAHA 

We walked on to some shopping and then to pier 39 to see the seals (we could have spent the whole day there) we found some more shops and got some good shirts for the guys.  We walked to the bread store “Boudin Sourdough” it smelled so good! I got 2 bunny shaped breads and momma got a loaf of sour dough. 
We then unloaded our treasure in our car and headed to the Alcatraz meet point.  I’m glad we got there early because I got in trouble from the Ice Cream (it was worth it).  We boarded a Ferry and I got us a DTB and a Pretzel…momma started laughing “more to eat”…the Night tour took us around the island so we got to see more.  We exited the ferry and hiked up the hill that was rough even for the skinny girls on the boat (oh I meant us lol)…we all had to catch our breath while the tour guide Art told us about prisoner escape stories…we hiked up the other hill and Art told us another story while we caught our breath.  We then put on a headset (in you language ‘they didn’t’ have redneck’ lol) It was an old guard telling us stores about the prisoners and the prison…he would tell you where to walk and you could see what he was talking about.  We made it outside and it was cool seeing San Francisco at night..very pretty and glittery. The birds were quite eerie on the Island it reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “The Birds”…after the headphone tour we learned how to “Rob a Bank” they gave us a quiz and only 5 of the people in the tour including my mom &me passed…we are qualified on how to rob a bank..too funny! Then we went to the “slamming of the doors” this was eerie as well!  It would be all quiet and all the cell doors would close and slam and it would eerie!  We headed back to the ferry through the screaming birds…and we got in the car and headed back to the hotel.  We did our last bit of packing and it was a sad night…this was our last night together.

Day 11

We packed the car up one more time and drove to the airport…the flights were all messed up and TSA separated my mom & me & I didn’t know if I would get one last hug from her…I started to cry in the TSA line.  I lost her in the airport and I finally got her on the cell phone she was already at the gate..I ran as fast as I could to her gate with my suitcase carryon..I couldn’t find her in the sea of people…she finally stood up and I found my momma.  We talked about our trip and I showed her how to email pictures from her phone.  Now it was her boarding time…I stood in line with her.  When they started boarding her group I started to cry like a 2 year old… momma told me to stop, but I didn’t care.  I hate saying goodbye to her..I love her so much and we have such a close bond it apparently isn’t very common…my momma is my best friend and the best mom you could ever have! We had such a blast on this trip!!  It took me a good hour to calm down.  I flew to Las Vegas and I was supposed to have a 2 hour layover that turned into 4 hours…the plane ride wasn’t too bad coming back (I had a window seat) the guy next to me let me sleep before he ran his mouth the last 2 hours – talk about nasty breath..ewewww!!. We got in really late.  My husband got to the airport and picked me up with my dog Hampton!  He was hungry and wanted a sit down restaurant after 1:00AM…surprisingly we found a place and we shared a pizza at 2AM.  He drove me home and we slept the next day away J   This was such an Amazing and Awesome trip!! I could not have planned it any better or have gone with anyone but my Momma!  I will never forget the amazing time I had!!

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