A West Coast Trip For June
The original plan for my 55th birthday was to go scuba diving in the South Pacific which meant a trip for a month or so to allow for the big time change, likely stopping to visit David’s sister in Australia. But it was a brutal winter of cacooning which didn’t help with getting in shape and work drowned me in the spring – leaving us not really up to such an ambitious trip. This meant we could revive the West Coast trip we postponed last summer when we got buried in renovations for our new condo.
I figured I could squeeze a little business in to start our West Coast trip by attending the eHealth Conference in Vancouver at the beginning of June and mix this with pleasure by visiting my son Nick at SFU. This would allow us a little time to get on west coast time.
The first hop on our West Coast trip will be by train to Seattle. It will be a return trip for me, having visited when Nick was much younger. One night will mean a rushed tourist visit as we will leave early the next day by train for Portland. The top thing to do in Portland was a trip up the Columbia Gorge, so we will stay close to the airport so that we can pick up a car early in the morning in search of waterfalls on our West Coast trip.
With only the morning for the Columbia Gorge, we will head out to Hwy 101 and meander down the coast. The first night stop will be in Yachats in Oregon and the second night stop will be in Eureka.
From there on our West Coast trip, we will finish the trip (and the Redwood Forest) and head for a few days stop in Napa. While it will not be harvest time, we are sure that we will enjoy winery hopping just the same. From Napa we head to San Fran for a few days – another return visit for me. Don’t have our “must see” list done yet but a cable car ride or two hanging off the door will make this list (along with Giardelli chocolate).
The short hop to Carmel will take us to our next West Coast trip stop for 5 days. The Monterrey aquarium came highly recommended and we won’t miss a trip to Big Sur. This will be a re-charge stop (except for the walk up and down to the beach).
From Carmel we head to Santa Barbara on our West Coast trip – preferring to stop before braving the traffic in the LA area. Having debated what part of LA to stay in, we finally decided to stay on the water and booked a place in Santa Monica. We figure we can use public transit for many side trips or walk the local areas (including Venice Beach).
We head from there to Newport Beach on this West Coast trip to explore Orange County and the Laguna Beach area before setting out on a ferry for 2 nights on Catalina Island.
The final California stop on the West Coast trip will be San Diego, although we are staying outside in the Coronado area. Having stayed there in the past, it will offer a nice resort atmosphere with proximity to both San Diego and La Jolla. It is yet undecided if we will venture to Tijuana. Having taken the train to Tijuana on one drunken work boondoggle, I am not sure I need to revisit that trip.
We will head out from there to Las Vegas to meet up with my best friend. His daughter is in a national dance competition for 10 days and we are there to rescue him for a bit. David has booked all kinds of surprises for our visit – you will have to check in to see what he has in store. The return trip was delayed by a few days so we could experience 4th of July in Vegas – gotta be a big show!
Everything is booked for our West Coast trip although most hotel reservations are refundable, so we can shuffle our plans a little as we go. We are in the final week countdown on the “to do” list. If I can keep work at bay for just one more week, we will head off with visions of sand beaches dancing in our heads.
It will be a great adventure to travel down the west coast along the PCH for our West Coast Trip! Pics and commentary will be posted. Soon come …. L