From Newberg, Oregon to Paso Robles, California

I never expected to see some of the places I’ve seen these last couple of days. Has it only been a couple of days? The vistas along Highway 101 truly inspire. The rugged coast of Oregon gave way to the giant trees of Northern California. Our breath was suspended around nearly every turn. The batteries in my camera kept running out. Wish I was a better photographer!

Then we met Highway 1 and it almost stopped us in our tracks. If you ever choose to go that way, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful vistas and quaint little seaside towns, but be warned: take Dramamine or load up on ginger PRIOR to your trip. And bathrooms are few and far between.

Back on the 101, we stopped for the night in Healdsburg, California, in a lovely hotel that resembled a Tuscan villa. The next morning, after a pitstop at a French bakery, we headed to San Francisco, across the Golden Gate bridge to the marina. Once again, awe-inspiring views awaited. A regatta was underway in the bay. Yes, the America’s Cup! The sailboats were vividly colored and beautiful. Foreign voices sounded in the crowds around us, which is probably not all that unusual for San Francisco. Driving through the city will not soon be forgotten and not just because of the crazy traffic. All the places I’ve only seen on film danced before my eyes. I would love to return here and spend several days exploring.

After leaving San Francisco, we passed through San Jose and headed back to Highway 1 and Monterey Bay, which led us to Carmel-by-the-Sea. One of the loveliest places on earth. Very dog-friendly as well. A little shopping, a little walking on the beach, and we headed to wine country.

We passed through America’s salad bowl, Salinas, California, an expansive valley surrounded by mountains. It was interesting to see how these farmers grow in raised rows with ample irrigation. I noticed cole crops, artichokes, garlic, onions, and abundant lettuces being harvested by migrant workers.

The flat valley crops graduated to grapevines in the hills as we drew near our day’s destination: Paso Robles. Here, we spent a very comfortable night snug in the hillside vineyards.

Day seven of our journey awaits as we head out this morning for Bakersfield, California, then on to Flagstaff. Thanks so much for stopping by. May your day be richly blessed!

Louisville to Seattle to Newberg, Oregon

Three thirty in the morning is early. But I had a six a.m. flight. It’s not so busy at Louisville International Airport at four thirty in the morning. My journey would begin on a United Airlines Embraer Jet. Yeah, the dinky one. Chicago, here I come!

Got lost in O’Hare, looking for Alaska Airlines. Made the flight, with only minutes to spare. At least I didn’t have to sit around and wait.

Very smooth flight on an Alaska Airlines 737. Window seat! When I see the snowcapped mountains far below us, I know we’re close. We begin our descent to Seattle. Arrived in Seattle at ten thirty Pacific Time.  When I changed airlines in Chicago, apparently my luggage did not. No luggage.

Seattle is beautiful. Blue skies and pleasantly cool at 68 degrees. I need my suitcase! Alyssa meets me at the airport and we lunch at WildFin while meanwhile back in Louisville, my son wrangles with the airlines via telephone. He’s good at that. Alyssa and I have a full day planned that includes a pedicure and dinner with my Seattle cousins.

Leaving my cousins’ home in Eastwood, our view of Mt. Rainier is glorious and so is the extraordinarily large moon! Love Seattle when it’s like this. We pick up Gusto the wonder dog and proceed to our pet-friendly hotel room.

Good news! My suitcase has arrived in Seattle via United Airlines. I don’t want to wait for them to deliver, so we swing by the airport and pick it up. Happy, happy, happy! After being awake for nearly twenty-four hours, I’m finally going to sleep.

Day Two: Snoqualmie Falls Our last day in Seattle is bittersweet. After a wonderful breakfast with Alyssa’s mom, Lynn, and

nephew, Jayden, we take off for Snoqualmie Falls. From there, we return to downtown Seattle and on to Golden Gardens Park. I don’t think I’ve ever sat on a beach and looked at mountains. I like it.

After dinner, we say goodbye to Alyssa’s family and leave Seattle. Arrive in Newberg, Oregon at two a.m., well past my bedtime!

Hope you enjoy the pictures. We’ll be sightseeing in the Newberg & Portland area of Oregon over the next couple of days. The adventure continues!

From the Bluegrass to the Pacific (There and Back Again)

Today, I’m flying to Seattle for a short visit with friends and family. I was born in Seattle and some of my mother’s family still live there. My son married a Seattle girl and that was a double blessing, because I’ve had an excuse to return to the region and visit one of the most beautiful areas in the continental U.S.

My son and his wife are relocating to Kentucky, thus the reason for this trip. I get to make the journey, too. We plan to take full advantage of this opportunity to see places we’ve never seen. And we’ll be looking for dog-friendly places, since Gusto will be with us. As you can see, he’s happy to be included.

After we leave Seattle, we’ll head to Oregon, where we’ll stay a couple of days then head down the Pacific Coast, hoping to visit some new places we’ve never seen. I plan to post pictures and thoughts here and on Facebook, documenting this trip so my friends and family can see these places with us. Not like being there, I know. But hopefully it won’t be as bad as sitting through a long slide show of vacay pics with the neighbors. After all, if it’s boring, you can leave. I’ll try not to be boring and in any case, it’ll be short. Usually.

So thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll drop back in during this series of blogposts. You can follow this blog or friend me on Facebook or like my Facebook author page to keep up with what I hope will be an interesting trip. In any case, I’d love to hear from you regarding your favorite Western or Midwestern stops, especially if you know of any dog-friendly places along the way.