Monday, December 30, 2013

101 Road Trip to Canada

Animal Safari Park
Winston, Oregon  

Sea Lion Caves 
Florence, Oregon 

Hall Of The Mosses
Washington (HOH Rainforest)

Hood Canal, Washington

Victoria, B.C. 

In September Scott and I took a 10 day road trip to Vancouver, B.C. in Canada. We started in Long Beach, CA. First, we drove up to Visalia and stayed with his parents then drove up to San Francisco to see a 49ers football game. We were lucky enough to find a hotel outside of the city since The America's Cup was in town. We tried lobster sandwiches from the Fisherman's Warf, which were really good. The next day we drove to the Chandelier drive through tree in Northern California then we continued on our drive into Oregon and stayed the night in Winston. The following day we went to the Wild Animal Safari Park. The Safari was a really great experience. When you drive up to the front gate the place looks like you're in the middle of no where. The Safari park was huge and had different areas where the animals just roam free and sometimes even come up to your car. We came close to lots of animals and even had to wait for them to get out of the road so we could keep on driving. They had close encounters where you can meet the animals and get out of the car, but we saved that for next time.

That Afternoon we drove to Florence, Oregon which was on the coast so we could see the Sea Lion Caves. The sea lions weren't in the caves and wouldn't be back until November, but it was still a beautiful place to see. We took an elevator down 200 ft. of cliff and walked around the cave for a half an hour. There are look out points that give you a really beautiful view of the coastline. That day it was raining lightly so we didn't stay for very long. After the Sea Lion Caves we drove to Portland, Oregon and stayed at the Ace Hotel for a night. The restaurant attached to the hotel had a nice squid ink pasta appetizer that was exceptional. The next day we ate breakfast at Kenny and Zukes (Delicious), right on the corner near the Ace.  I can't wait to go back to Portland they have a lot of good restaurants that I want to go back and try. I never expected Portland to be so cool.

We arrived to Port Angeles around 3pm and were debating on whether to see a hot spring or not. Good thing we didn't try because it was about an hour drive into the mountains and the road was being constructed until 2014 anyway. So unless we wanted to hike from Sol Duc Falls 13 miles into the backcountry we were out of luck until next time. The next day we drove to Sol Duc Falls, through Forks Washington to the Hoh Rainforest where we saw Hall of the Mosses and the Great Spruce Tree. After that we drove to La Push to see the beach (The Twilight Beach) and then back to Port Angeles. The next morning we woke up early and caught a Ferry to Victoria Canada. In Victoria we walked around the old city. We went to a shopping mall and they called the  restrooms washrooms which was really funny to me. After that we drove to the Castle and then took a Ferry to Vancouver. The Ferry ride to Vancouver was much better than the Ferry ride over from Port Angeles to Victoria. This Ferry looked like the Carnival cruise line. There was an arcade, a cafeteria, several different work spaces, tables, and gift shops. It was really nice and the view of all the little islands with cabin like houses made you wonder how simple some peoples lives can be. I wonder if the people on those islands take boats to work, they must (that would be so nice).

In Vancouver we arrived around dinner time checked into our hotel and then walked down the st. to a tapas bar called La Bodega. It was incredibly delicious. We tried rabbit, cold soup, ceviche, meatballs, hot soup and wine. It really really was good. I wish I could find something like that in LA. The next day we woke up walked to a little bicycle coffee shop and had pastries and cappacinos. Then, we went to the World of Science museum which was really interesting. The museum was right on the water surrounded by beautiful condos and big buildings.

On our ride home back into the U.S. we were on a mission to get to Bend, Oregon to stay the night and enjoy that small town the following morning after a tour of Deschutes Brewery. It's actually a funny story we had no idea what kind of land we would have to cross to get to Bend. We were approaching our last highway and about 130 more miles to get to our destination in the pouring rain when we started up into the gateway to the mountains. Christmas trees as tall as sky scrapers lined the highway and we couldn't see another car anywhere around us. All I kept thinking is what are we doing? We are about to climb this mountain and approach dangerous curvy roads in the pitch black of night with terrorizing trees that can fall upon our little Budget rental Chevy Cruise. I don't think so. There was even lightning. So we turned around 20 minutes later because we just didn't feel comfortable to drive on roads we were unfamiliar with in that kind of weather. So we headed back towards Portland and stayed the night at a Sheraton hotel by the airport.

On our final treck home we woke up early and headed for Avenue of the Giants. Avenue of the giants is so absolutely beautiful for about 50 miles on the original highway 101 all you can see are trees as tall as hundreds and hundreds of feet. We drove all day and all night until we finally made it back home. That was the longest stretch of the car ride, but it was all worth it.

I think I would have to say that my favorite part of the road trip was how small the towns along the coast of Oregon were. How you could look out the window and for miles and all you see are gorgeous green trees. I love the little espresso shacks that you drive up to and they whip up a cup of hot java for you to go. Some espresso huts even advertised espresso with melted candy bars inside. The elk that we saw in Crescent City were so beautiful. Going on road trips are so much fun and it makes you realize the places that you would like to go and spend more time in that you just miss along the way if you were to take a plane.


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