West Coastin’. Days 1-3.


On a fittingly rainy Seattle morning in June, my boyfriend Michael and I packed the three suitcases we’d been living out of the past two weeks and headed south to our new place in Ocean Beach, CA.  San Diego here we come!  Having both grown up in Seattle – – he in Seattle proper, me on “the Eastside” or suburbs east of Seattle, we were desperate for more sunshine.  So, it was goodbye to our family, friends, jobs, and our favorite neighborhood pubs and restaurants.  All of which we were equally sad to leave.

The Seattle Waterfront

Some 2,000 miles and four states later we made it to the sun, and our new city.  Here are my gems from our ten day adventure.

Our first night’s stop in Klamath Falls, OR was realization #1* that we had definitely left home.  When a “bar divided” is Oregon vs. OSU, it makes a Husky start to miss the purple and crimson rivalry.  After a night at a local motel, complete with the perplexing arrival of a huge Japanese tourist bus transporting a few dozen people into town (motel was at the corner of middle of and nowhere), we were off to visit friends in Lake Tahoe.

*Author’s note:  By “realization” I mean an “oh sh**” moment when I grasp that we actually left home and were moving to California. This happened about 347 times during this trip.  

But first, a beer stop and a little gambling in Reno, NV.  I’d never been to Reno before; can’t say I’m making plans to go back.  My only relation to this city was from the movie “Sister Act,” which I shamelessly watched too many times as a kid.  “The place where dreams go to die,” as quoted from Plato or Socrates or Sellers.. one of those.  This was the place I lost $40, but walked away with a 40.  I’ll call that a wash.

Reno, NV

My winnings. Heineken 40-ouncer.

Tahoe.  It’s all it’s cracked up to be.  A cute little resort town, complete with cute little everythings.  From bars to gift shops to coffee places to lake-front restaurants.  Skiing and snowboarding in the Winter; hiking, rock climbing, and lake sports in the Summer.  You name it, they got it.  Even gnarly mosquitos.  And of course a bar where everybody knows your name.  Well, our friends’ names anyway.

Tahoe City, CA
Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe

With the Tahoe kids, minus Miss Emily.

We stayed the night at the lovely Chez Christian & Emily and Michael got his ass beat on the in-house rope climb.  Yup, I said in-house rope climb, and yes, Michael got his ass beat.  In case you didn’t get it the first time.  Here’s Matty doing it backward style.  Hands above feet is for wusses.

Photo courtesy of Emily D.
Our friend Chris looking out at his backyard, Squaw Valley Ski Resort.

What do you get with two Conways, a Bell, and me in California?  Big trouble in little Timber Cove!  The ever-generous Tom and Mary got us a night at the Timber Cove Inn, northwest of Napa and Sonoma wine country.  And of course they joined us, which was an even BETTER present.  Before heading to the Inn, we met up with these two bundles of fun in Santa Rosa, CA and did some local wine tasting.  Here’s where the gorgeous scenic driving started.

At the D’Argenzio Winery. Santa Rosa, CA.
Trying to catch up to the Challenger through the beautiful woods along the Russian River.
View off of the Coast Highway/Highway 1
Coast Highway

The Challenger
View from our room at the Timber Cove Inn
Timber Cove Inn
Sunset dinner

A sunset dinner and falling asleep to the sounds of the ocean ended day three.  Life on the road seemed to agree with us.  Good tunes, great weather, gorgeous scenery, food & beer stops as often as we wanted.  What more do you need in life?  The first three days of the trip would be hard to top.  But we were only part way through.