Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Vacation Part 2: California Redwoods and San Francisco

So one of my favorite parts of our summer 2 week vacation was our time at the Redwoods in Northern California.

I've been to Redwoods a few times before and thought they were really cool, but for some reason this trip they were just awesome. Maybe it's because we actually stopped to explore more of the groves this time.


This particular grove was where they filmed "Return of the Jedi", specifically the scooter chase scene.

I learned, while walking through this magnificant grove, that my dear husband is not really all that savvy on Star Wars lore. He admitted to me that he had never seen a Star Wars movie until the Phantom Menace came out *Gasp, shock!!!*

I couldn't believe my ears.

And then he also admitted to me that he really didn't know or see the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek.

My mouth dropped to the floor.

I embarrassingly admit that I grew up in a family full of science fiction fanatics (mom!) and I was therefore indoctrinated in the knowledge of both Star Wars and Star Trek. But I kind of thought most people knew about those shows?

Will, Will, Will.

Ewoks or not, this place was awesomely beautiful.

It really puts into perspective how big these trees really are when you have people in the photo to compare...

My little munchkin and I...

After thinking that nothing could possibly top the beauty of the Ewok Forest (ehem, planet of Endor), we found another grove that did indeed top it.

Since the boys were sort of acting up, we just pulled over so that I could get out and go take a few pictures. However, once I stepped into this magical dreamworld, I found myself walking deeper and deeper into the grove with my jaw dragging on the ground because I was just in complete awe.

It was by far...

For my upcoming album, there is a forest photo that I have in my head that I want for the CD artwork and we've been to countless places looking for this "perfect shot". This little Redwood grove was it. Definitely it. I think we are going to try to come back here in September with my dad and his nice camera equipment to steal the shot.

This place effected me so much that I found myself daydreaming about it on other parts of our trip. Will would say to me "You're thinking of that Redwood Grove, aren't you?". Guilty as charged. I just couldn't get over how pretty it was. It almost felt spiritual, reverent, mystical.

This is the name of the grove so that I wouldn't forget it:

After stopping at the magical grove, we stopped at the Redwoods Visitor Center and had a picnic lunch.

Taylor found fascination with the Bluejay birds who were all standing by waiting for a bite of our lunch.

I think it was safe to say that both boys were in need of some serious car napping.

But we couldn't leave the Redwoods without first going through a drive-thru tree!

We finally finished the Redwoods and made our way out to the California coastline...

We found a camp spot that evening at...

The next morning we hit the beach.

After packing up camp, and after the boys had completely tired themselves out...

I woke up later to find that we were nearing San Francisco and just in time for me to get the camera out and snap some shots of us going over the Bay Bridge.

And just so you know, it costs $6 to go over the Bay Bridge and if you don't have cash or check, they will snap a photo of your license plate and mail you a fee card plus a $25 penalty. Just so you know.

A couple of years ago, Will and I came to San Francisco and we visited this incredible architectural wonder called the...

It is almost like a fairytale place. I definitely wanted to be sure that we got to go see it again while we were passing through San Fran.

But since we were trying to cross the state of CA that day, we needed to get going...

So we drove some more and finally started seeing more...

I was a little obsessed with the palm trees since we don't have ones like those in the Northwest, and the ones that we do have were transplanted here.

Eventually that evening we ended up in Motel 6 just outside of Modesto.

Next post: Yosemite, Reno, and Will's 100 mile race!


James and Elizabeth said...

WOW. I'm speechless. I've been to the Redwoods once or twice before but it's been a long time. Now I REALLY WANT TO GO AGAIN. What a great family vacation. You guys sure know how to do a family vacation.

Carolyn said...

Can't wait to go take that photo for you in the Redwoods.

I almost missed this blog post.....until I realized your last post was Part 3!