Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Traveling Oregon and California in our VW Bus ... 2016

After years of wanting to visit Oregon, we were finally able to make it happen. My husband and I decided there's no better way to experience the beauty of our country, than traveling and camping in our VW Bus.

NOTE: I started this post a year ago! Pathetic. 

Day 1: Murrieta, CA to Sacramento, CA

Nothing to say about this leg of our trip except it took 9 hours (the Bus moves at her own pace). It was 104 degrees and the bus doesn't have an air conditioner. 

Day 2: Sacramento, CA to Bend, OR

Once we hit Mt. Shasta, the scenery became beautiful. We took a detour to Crater Lake. It was breathtaking with its deep blue water, snow capped mountains and fresh air. Our only regret, we should have stayed overnight and did some hiking. From Crater Lake to Bend ... nothing but miles and miles of pine trees. The air smelled fantastic!

Day 3: Bend, OR
Bend was everything we dreamed it to be. The Deshutes River runs through town. Bike trails, running trails and breweries oh my! Bryan and I fell in love with Bend. The people were so friendly. Bend has everything an outdoorsy person could ever want. We stayed at Tumalo State Park Campground. So green and clean. The smile never left our faces.

Our Bus met its twin! It wasn't hard to find the owner of the other Bus....his shirt kinda gave it away. 

Day 4: Bend, OR to Sisters, OR

On our way to Sisters, I insisted we stop at the Fun Farm. I found the Fun Farm on America's Roadside Attractions website. It's an eclectic antique shop that looked very interesting. I thought maybe I could find that perfect unique gift, but instead all we found was a man in the parking lot that told us it had closed down, but we could take photos of the "Farm." It was interesting, yet a "scary movie" feeling took over pretty fast. We thought for sure we were going to fall down a trap door to our deaths... Later I read that it had been closed down due to a drug bust. My husband said I lost the rights to picking out places to visit. I did, however, manage to capture some great photos.



Sisters, OR is a quaint little town. We were able to walk from our campground to downtown within minutes. We found an outside area with a food trucks, craft beer and live music. I
t was hard to leave. We met some interesting people and had a wonderful time. Deer roamed the town and our campground.


Day 5: Sisters, OR to Yachats, OR
We headed for the coast to Doug and Dee Dee's new home in Yachats. The drive was amazing. I got sick of hearing myself say, "It's so beautiful." 

The Oregon Coast did not disappoint. Doug and Dee Dee's new home was amazing. Yachats is a town comprised of 700 laid back, friendly people. Doug and Dee Dee's new home, located on coastal highway 101, directly across the street from the ocean was lovely. We immediately saw whales from their kitchen window. It was good to see old friends. They were wonderful hosts. 

Day 6 & 7: Yachats, OR
During our stay, we took several walks into town and enjoyed some pretty amazing seafood. We enjoyed the town's "La De Da 4th of July Parade" and several pieces of pie!

Day 8: Yachats, OR to Brookings, OR
We headed south down the coast. We camped at Harris Beach State Park. We were thrilled to find out we had the best campsite in the entire campground (Site #24). Look at that view. 

Day 9: Brookings, OR to Humboldt Redwood Campground, CA
We were sad to leave Oregon, but excited to see the Redwoods! Or first stop of the day was in Klamath, CA at the "Trees of Mystery." It was here that my husband met his twin. 

We took the scenic route, Avenue of the Giants until we came to our next stop, "Burlington Campground." If you've never been to the Redwoods, you must put it on your bucket list. I fell in love. The trees were magical. They swayed all night and made spooky noises. 

Day 10: Avenue of the Giants to Bodega Bay Dunes, CA
Ever see the movie, "The Birds?" Well, they shot that movie in Bodega. I found the church that was shot during a panic scene and pretended birds were attacking me. I thought it was a little strange when people were looking at me through the church window. Surely, I can't be the first person to do this?! Turns out, I had the wrong church.

Day 11: Bodega Bay, Ca to Reality, Hometown, USA....boo
Heading home from a great vacation is depressing. We drove through some beautiful wine country and saw San Fransisco through the car window. The Grapevine (I-5) was on fire as we drove through it. It was 100 degrees and our eyes were burning. Mother Nature, please send California some rain....

We put 2,300 miles on our 39 year old VW Bus in 11 days without breaking down. Miracles happen everyday. Even though we were basically living out of a vehicle for two weeks, it was one of the best vacations I've ever taken. Thank you Oregon, we feel in love with you...

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Women's March ... What it Teaches Our Children

My best friend, Melissa, in Washington DC, showing her appreciation for being raised by her Dad, the right way.
"Hundreds of thousands of women filled the streets of major American cities to lead an unprecedented wave of international protests against President Donald Trump, mocking and denouncing the new U.S. leader the day after his inauguration.
Women activists, outraged by Trump's campaign rhetoric and behavior they found to be especially misogynistic, spearheaded scores of marches in the United States and sympathy rallies around the world on Saturday.
Organizers said they drew nearly 5 million protesters in all, far surpassing crowd expectations." - By Scott Malone and Ginger Gibson, Reuters

This morning, my husband and I had a long talk with my son, Jack, explaining to him why there were so many women marching and anti-Trump protests throughout the world yesterday. Lately, all Jack has heard is my husband and I screaming at the TV. A child can not learn from that. I want my son to see me outraged by what's happening to our country, outrage is an honest response, but peace is better. So, we calmly sat down to pancakes and a discussion. 

Teaching Jack, historically, is important, but teaching Jack to value all lives, to treat women with respect and equality, to be compassionate and that there is a damn hole in the ozone layer, is of upmost importance to our family. 

I remember, back in the 80s, when my mom would come home enraged that she couldn't go to dinner with her male co-workers at the Detroit Athletic Club, because she was a woman and women were not allowed. I remember when my mom came home from work, puzzled and angry, because she was treated differently in the workplace. I remember watching my mom graduate from the University of Michigan, as a single parent, the first person to ever go to college in our family. All those memories and experiences shaped me to become who I am today. I am a woman. I am educated. I am compassionate. I don't have a single cell in my body that is racist. I am a good person.

I am saddened that our country took a step backwards, way back, electing a person who demoralizes women and spews hatred and separation. I am proud of all those who are standing up for what they believe in.

It is my hope, one day, when Jack is a grown man, that he'll remember the outrage his mother and step-dad had when Donald Trump became president. That he will be treating his wife with dignity and respect and his co-workers and neighbors with equality. That, if he has to, that he too will be holding a sign, like Aunt Melissa's that reads, "My mom taught me right from wrong." 

Keep on peaceful protesting!
Jen, Bryan and Jack