New Year's Eve Road Trip - Part 2

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IMG_0038.JPGAfter making a very painful attempt to watch I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, we tucked everything away, and curled in for bed.

The rain was relentless, drumming on the roof without pause. And it was cold. Not frostbite cold, but definitely cold enough that we all huddled together. And who was the star of the huddle? Thea. Seriously, that girl should come in every camping survival kit. She didn't care how much I tossed and turned, all she wanted was to sleep curled up, like a cat, in the crook of my stomach and she was like my own little furnace. At one point, I woke up to her shivering and I tucked her in under the blankets with me.Cute little monkey.

We all woke up a little achy but totally rested and no one had an accident. Awesome. Heck, I'll take smelling a little of wet dog over the possible alternatives.

The sun was just peeking through the heavy cloud cover, as we arose. It was pretty spectacular watching the scenery unfold through Stewie's sunroof. I took the girls for a walk and, we even got an on-leash pottie. Will wonders never cease?

With the car packed, the sun up and the family rested, it was time for more scenic driving. According to our map, we were quite a bit more than halfway to our destination. Our goal that day was to continue following the ocean until we reached San Francisco, and then head straight to the hotel, unpack and get us some of the crab that Leo has been pining for.

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The rain had lightened a bit and left behind a thick shroud of fog. Dreamy.

We were peckish, but decided to hold off on lunch when we reach this sign.

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Ooh, a drive through tree. I've heard of this. Relieved of five of our dollars we made our way to the tree.

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Hmm

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Yah, we don't fit. This sign appears to have employed some artistic license.

Still cool tree.

Off we go to find the girls a place to run off some of their pent up energy.

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The great thing about bad weather is that we get the beaches nearly to ourselves. The girls, they were happy.

Slowly, the lack of blood sugar started to sink in, and I began to become, let's say, a bit touchy. I was ready to find some food. We were hoping for a nice sit down meal, nothing that comes from a drive-through. We passed several perfectly acceptable little cities and I grew increasingly, er, touchy, but Leo assured me that those exits simply wouldn't do. When I had nearly reached the point where I was considering lobbing his arm off and consuming that, we saw a sign for a "business district" for a town we had not heard of before. It seemed as good a place to turn as any, and so we wound our way into the quaint little city of Mendocino.

This place was perfect. Exactly what we wanted.

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We sat down at a cute hotel restaurant, ordered some soup and sandwiches, and a touch of coffee, and felt renewed. On the way to the restaurant, I had even seen a little LYS. Everything was 20% off so Leo and the girls went for a walk while I went for a little spend. I was surprisingly restrained, all things considered.

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Still, we assumed, very much on scheduled, we headed off for the last leg of our trip.As we cruised down the 101, we looked forward to the point when we'd meet up with Route 1 and get to the really beautiful sights.

Now, Leo and I have driven every inch of the 101 and 1 from Mexico to San Francisco. We are well aware of the fact that much of 1 winds snakelike through canyons, yet we had still convinced ourselves that the 800 miles down the 101 were a good means of estimating our last 200 miles on Route 1. We had visions of arriving in San Francisco, even before our 3PM check-in time. Awesome.

We soon found ourselves creeping carefully around the hairpin turns and soggy roads. The car seemed to sway, just tempting the girls to expel their full tummies. The sights? Oh, gorgeous.

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But the sun soon began its decent, and those foggy and twisty roads proved quite the white knuckle slalom towards what I simply KNEW was certain death. With 100 miles left to go, minimal visibility and top speeds of 30 mph, it began to feel like we'd never get our crab before the restaurant closed shop for the evening.

The girls never made a peep, never had an accident and remained absolutely angelic the whole time.

We did stop to give them a break

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But they seemed as ready to get to the hotel as we.

Finally, at nearly 8PM, we rolled into the hotel parking lot and began unloading and setting up. The girls just seemed happy to be on terra firma again and Leo and I were happy to get a shower and change of clothes.

We even made it in time to get some dinner. Fried artichoke hearts for me, and Leo, well, he got crabs, no cream required for this affliction.

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YUM. And did you notice a certain hat making a cameo?

A little live music at Joe's and then we went back to walk the girls and go to bed. Ahhhh, what a day.

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Can you stand some more? Another installment soon.

New Year's Eve Road Trip - Part I

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IMG_0006.JPGIn the oh-so-wee hours of Friday morning, long before the sun was even thinking of rising, we packed our last few items into the car and headed towards the Oregon Coast. This would be Thea's first and Panda's longest road trip and we wondered how the two girls would fare. Both had been known to suffer from motion sickness and Thea still struggles with her house breaking. This could turn out to be a messy trip, indeed.

For the month preceding the trip, Leo and I plotted and schemed. We knew we wanted to spend New Year's Eve in San Francisco, and Leo had the week of Christmas, and the following Monday and Tuesday off. How best to use that time without breaking the bank? We decided to do a two day, scenic drive to San Francisco, 3 nights in the city and then the fastest drive home on Tuesday. For accommodations, while on the road, we'd rely on our ample supply of camping gear and our boxy little car, Stewie.

We arrived at the Oregon Dunes, just as the sun was rising, exactly as we had hoped.

 

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Of course, we let the girls out for a run.

The weather would be the best we'd see that day, overcast and a bit chilly, but not more than a mist of precipitation.

As we continued to work our way down the coast of Oregon, we found many lovely little spots to stop and take in the scenery.

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And whenever we could, we stopped to let the girls run around.

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As we crossed the border to California, we entered the first of several Redwood forests. Redwoods, if you aren't aware, are rather large trees, overall. This sign seemed redundant to us

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But who could ignore it?

Guess what we found at the end of the short trail?

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A big tree! No kidding.

As the sun set, we found ourselves in Eureka, California, which, incidentally, doesn't look anything like it does on that TV show. Much like my last road trip with Julia, we were between several redwood forests and we had to carefully weigh the benefits of making more time versus the disappointment of missing the beautiful sights. With Julia, though, our problem was that there were no open motels when we were ready to quit. With Leo, it's that none of the stops were just right.

Finally, after much poo-pooing we found a place that was just right. A sweet little RV campground with several festively decorated cabins.

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We rented an RV spot, and I took the girls for a walk while Leo struggled through torrential rain and pitch blackness to get the car set up for the evening. Thea has never pottied on a leash before and despite much coaxing and encouraging, she wasn't in a mind to start that night. For Leo's part, he was doing his best to avoid getting everything we owned soaked while attempting to set up the car for the night. Normally, in an Element, you can lay each front and back seat flat to produce two long single beds. We had an air mattress to lay over it and a doggy bed to put on the side. However, having over packed and with too much rain to leave much outside, only the back seats could lie flat, which meant Leo had to place the air mattress over much of our stuff. A little unlevel, but better than sleeping sitting up.

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With a passable sleeping arrangement in order, we threw in two wet dogs and a few blankets, and were in business. Yah, try to contain your envy. As we dug out some snacks and put a DVD into the laptop, something happened and we heard a hiss.

I think you know what's coming. We popped a hole in the air mattress. Thea's crate, in it's broken down mode, had some sharp little points, which, having done their business with the mattress, were now digging into our legs. This was an unexpected turn of events. We figured we would simply have to face the long night ahead, until we remembered that Leo is always prepared. Queue the MacGyver theme music.

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A few snips to a vinyl glove, some super glue and a minute's wait and we had a perfect fix.

As long as Thea managed to hold her bladder for the night, we just might get a half decent sleep.

Find out if we did, in the next installment.

Hello 2008

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Have you all missed me? Well, you probably haven't quite noticed I was gone, but I have been. Last Friday, in the wee hours of the morning, we packed up the car, the dogs and plenty of provisions, and headed out for a road trip.

ROAD TRIP!

I decided it would be a bad idea to announce, for all the world to see, that our house would be vacated for 5 whole days. I would have loved to have blogged along the way, but wiser heads prevailed.

When I have the energy, I'll upload our photos and regale you with some stories. But, for now, I'm too tired to put it all together into something coherent. Until then, I'm sending warm new year's wishes to all of you. Here's hoping yours was even half as spectacular as ours.

Bigger, longer and unchomped

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Some of you might remember a certain little beast doing quite a job on my old niddy noddy. The poor thing was cut down savagely in the prime of its life. I probably could have sanded it down, refinished it and put it back to use, and, who knows, maybe I will someday, but it certainly hasn't happened yet and I don't see myself doing it anytime soon, so I've been using my leg as a niddy noddy since then, or just winding right off the bobbin, onto the ball winder.

But between you, me and the lamppost, I'd been wanting a longer niddy noddy. The short one is fine for what I can spin off a spindle, but off the wheel, I knew I wasn't getting an accurate yardage count because I'd have to wrap the yarn around the noddy so very many times, that it would bulge out substantially.
Plus, these Kromski niddy noddies are really a pretty good price.


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And what's that pretty skein up there, you ask?
Why, it's some more of the fiber from my Almost Solid Sampler pack. I grabbed three shades in two fibers,
BFL in Hosta
Corriedale in Delphinium
and
Corriedale in Juniper Berry


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The camera doesn't show the blues very accurately. The middle bobbin is like a dusty indigo color while the outer bobbins are a little less saturated but similar in hue to what you see.

I got about 130 yards of all three colors combined and then another 20 or so yards of just the two outer bobbins combined and maybe 3-4 yards of just the green yarn. You can see the streak of very green color in the finished skein.

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Embiggening the photo should allow you to see the individual colors of the skein a little better.

Also

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That is all.

Beautiful Christmas Day

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Christmas day, we slept in late, then donned our winter wear for another trip to Mt Hood National Forest.

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Thea spent the whole ride there, looking out the back window. Whenever we'd stop, both girls would cry with excitement, hoping we'd be getting out and into the snow.

But our first stop wasn't for hiking, it was to put chains on the tires.

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Leo insisted he needed no help, so we stayed snuggly warm in the car while he worked his butt off.

We found a trail we hadn't been to before and began our hike. Leo and the girls went bounding off the trail for a little run and all found themselves hip deep in snow.

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Panda didn't seem to mind.

But Thea and Leo had a bit more struggle with it.

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Nope, he's not kneeling, he's nearly standing upright.

I don't think these other pictures need captions, except to say we had a most wonderful time.

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See lots more pictures here. Hope your Christmas was just as lovely.

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