4gslivingthedream

Adventures of Steve, Patti, Sami and Ozzie


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Santa Rosa, CA and wine tasting!!

We pulled into Santa Rosa on Friday.  Santa Rosa sits at the North Western gateway to the Sonoma and Napa valleys of California famed wine country.  We are about an hour north of San Francisco.  In 1906, they had a large earthquake here that destroyed a lot of their commercial buildings.  There have been a few small earthquakes south of here in the last week, nothing in this area or that we have felt anyways.

The weather has been absolutely beautiful, in the 80’s in the afternoon and cooling down overnight to the 50’s!  We are staying in an RV Park that is attached to the Sonoma Fairgrounds.  This weekend they have some big gem faire going on.  We drove around a bit to check out the area.  Very nice town, you can’t help but notice all the snoopy characters that are all over.  Charles Shulz moved here in 1969 and stayed until he passed away in 2000. They have a museum and research center here in town as well dedicated to him.

Today we checked off one thing on our bucket list – visit a vineyard and do some wine tasting.  Now we like our wine just as much as the next person, but we are just as much a fan of the less expensive kind and typically won’t spend more than $10 on a bottle of wine for a special occasion.  We are by no means experts or connoisseurs and to tell you the truth, we were a little nervous that we would appear totally stupid and not know a thing about what we were doing, but Patti had seen the movie Sideways a few years ago, and remembered to to swirl the glass and look for the legs,  to smell the wine and lastly to taste..not gulp. Ha! Ha!   Still it was a little intimidating, but a lot of fun!!!

We visited the Martin Ray Winery.  There were so many wineries to choose from, but this one was free and since it was our first time, we thought it was the best route to go. We tried about 6 different wines, mostly red and a few whites.  One of the Cabs was $75 a bottle, we thought the $20 bottle tasted just as good.  We wanted to take pictures from inside the tasting room, but it felt a little to touristy to do that.  The grounds outside were beautiful.

Behind Steve is the wine tasting room.  Very nice with people who knew their stuff.  Oh yeah! Go Pack!

Ahh, look at those grapes.  Still can’t believe that they are all hand picked to make the wine…

Olive trees lined the road to the vinyard.

A lot of barrels stacked inside the building…aging.

Well after all that free wine tasting, we couldn’t go home empty handed.  Didn’t spend $75 a bottle by any means, but brought home a Cab and Gewurztraminer Patti liked.

Nice stretch of weather ahead, may stay here for awhile or move south, haven’t deciede yet.  We’ll figure it out over a nice glass of wine!

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Hello California

We left Brookings Oregon and drove to California.  It was nice to have a change of scenery and see all the Redwoods.  We had hoped to camp in the same place where Patti’s family did back in 1976, however we exceeded the length limit to get into the park.  Plus we knew that there was some nasty weather coming and even winter weather advisories for the higher elevations, so we kept on going.

This was our first California Beach we saw.

This was outside of the Trees of Mystery attraction in the Redwoods.  You can take a ride in these  skyrails that take you way up high through the redwoods.   Up as high as 742 ft.  No thank you, but thought this was worth pulling in to take this picture.

We drove into Eureka, it was a pretty decent sized town and again, lots of backpackers and sadly homeless people.  We stayed 2 nights at a campground by their fairgrounds.  It was cheap and had a lot of people who lived there full time in their trailers.  People were nice but it was apparent that our neighbors were running a business out of their trailer, and it wasn’t the legal kind either.

Starting to see more palm trees!

After we left Eureka, we drove just a short way to Loleta.  Dry camped for 2 nights at a casino, it was on top of a big hill and we had ocean views to the west and to the south, we could see the california valley below.  It was nice and relaxing but 2 days of that was enough.  The weather was going to be cool for the next 3 days and rain, so we headed south again.

Our neighbors at the casino.

Fog in the valley below.

We left the casino and drove to Ukiah, CA.  The day started out good, but we drove into a lot of rain and it was cold.  We only planned to stay one night, but the weather didn’t get any better.  So we are going on our 4th night here.  Finally today the sun is out and it should hit 70!  We haven’t had the windows open in days, so it’s nice to get some fresh air.  We are just getting into wine country and you can see the vineyards from the highway.  There are a lot of places to do some wine tasting around here.  We will do that while we are here or when we get into Santa Rosa.

Bad weather up ahead on our way to Ukiah.

vineyards everywhere!

Well thats about it with us.  Next stop Santa Rosa.


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The Riviera of Oregon

We left Coos Bay after spending over two weeks there.  It was nice to relax but it was time to move on.  The only regret about leaving so soon, is that we could have checked out Matthew Fox’s home in Bend OR, which was only minutes away from where we were.  For those of you who were fans of the show Lost, he was the doctor on the show.  He was on Ellen this afternoon, if only we would have known….anyways…it was another beautiful drive down the cost.

We stopped from time to time to check out the great views.

 

 

Just never get tired of the views. 

 

We pulled into a small RV park in Brookings.  It has a lot of seasonal/permanent residents here, but not as bad as we have seen as most sites are well maintained.  The dog walk is nothing like what we were used to at the Mill Casino in Coos Bay, it’s basically a grassy area on Hwy 101, so we have to walk out of the park to let the dogs take care of their business.  However, the staff is so friendly and accommodating.

Brookings is considered the Riviera of Oregon.  They have the best weather in the winter months.  Well, although we both really like it here, it’s not the Riviera Maya and we will keep heading south seeking the nice warm weather.  Although, today it was 76, which we haven’t seen in a really long time.  We headed over to Harris Beach and walked down to the beach, the walk back up the hill was not as nice.  We both are out of shape!!!!

Sami loves the beach.  The sand was really dark brown but soft. 

Ozzie..sticking out his tougne!  Silly dog!!!

We are only about 15 miles from California at this point.  Not sure where we will be tomorrow…but will keep you all posted!  Hopefully we will have some pictures of other points of interests, I am sure you are  all about done with the ocean views!  Ha! Ha!  But we haven’t tired of it at all.


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Still hanging out in Coos Bay

We originally thought we would only be here for a week, but as last Saturday rolled around, we decided to stay for one more week.  The weather has been nice, no rain and the nights are cool.  The fog rolls in on the bay here sometimes  in the afternoon, it’s almost kind of creepy how low and thick it is.  It can be sunny and beautiful one minute and the next, this is what we see rolling in.

We did take another trip up to Arago Bay Park.  We packed a picnic lunch and sat and watched the sea lions, who were still loud as ever and again we saw the whales off in the distance.  The sea was calm, but it was cloudy out so our pictures didn’t turn out very well. 

It’s really hard to tell but the big black blob in the picture is a whale.

The dogs love going in the car and checking out the sites with us.  They are getting better at being good passengers but still like to be goofy.

We also drove around and checked out the sand dunes.  We didn’t go into any of the actual parks, we are going to do that yet this week.  We’ll buy a day pass and then we can check out all the parks.  A lot of dune buggys around.  It looks like a blast!

Today we checked out the pool and outdoor hot tubs at the hotel.  It wasn’t the Grand in Mexico, but it was very nice and the hot tubs were nice and hot!  The only thing missing were the coco locos and margaritas!!! 

Steve wanted me to post a picture of our Friday favorite thing to make.  Been making this quite a bit, almost have it perfected.  It’s our tortilla pizza we make in our convection oven microwave.  It’s soooo good!

We are figuring out now where we are headed from here.  We may continue down the coast in Oregon, drive into California and check out the red woods, or head inland a bit to get to some warmer weather.  Hopefully gas prices in California will come down a bit before we do get there.  Over $5 a gallon!!

Well that’s about all that is happening with us, hope you are all doing well.

 

 


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Coos Bay, OR

We arrived in Coos Bay after a beautiful drive down Hwy 101 from Seal Cove.  The views were spectacular and the ride a little tense at times for me on the way here.  I could look out the my window and look down 100’s of feet where the ocean met the rocks below.  There was no shoulder on the road, just a guard rail, sometimes, separating us from a very long drop.  The roads were windy and when we didn’t see the views of the ocean, we saw the sun streaming down between the big tall trees.  We stopped near the Sea Lions Cave for lunch along the cove and took in the views.

View from Hwy 101 – cool house


View from where we stopped for lunch, near the Sea Loin Caves attraction.

Mills Casino RV Park is really nice, it is right on Coos Bay, which until today we mainly just saw fishing boats on.  Today, however there was a big ship that came in that was escorted by two small tug boats.  It turns out that they come in this far and the tug boats basically just turn it around so that they can dock at the lumber yard up the way to fill their load.  We saw a lot of ships in the UP, but this was really up close.  There are also a lot of Pelicans flying around the area.  Unfortunately, that isn’t the only thing that went flying, Ozzie in one of his terror runs managed to knock my iPad right off the kitchen table and cracked the glass, it still works but repairs are likely to be very pricy.  Working with our insurance company to see if it is covered under our policy, fingers crossed!!!

Otherwise, the weather here has been nice.  In the morning it is calm, and around noon the winds really pick up and cool it off, then around 6pm, they die down again.  The casino is nice, I dropped $10 and called it a day, we have access to the indoor pool and outdoor hot tubs, but we haven’t checked those out yet. 

Today we took a drive out on Hwy 540 all the way to Cape Arago Park.  It’s not that far and there were many places to stop on the way for sight-seeing.  We saw sea lions – boy are they loud!!!  We almost saw whales, we saw the spray from the blow holes as they almost surfaced and even saw their backs, but they never surfaced high enough for pictures.  They usually aren’t here this time of year so these guys must have decided to stay here rather than going north with the rest of the other whales.  Other than being very cold by the coast, 54 and windy, we could have stayed there forever and just watched the views. 

People here come and go, everyday we have had new neighbors but everyone is so nice.  Today we have Santa next door, literally, he looks like Santa and his license place reads SANTAS, and his wife looks like, well…Mrs. Claus!  Maybe I can ask Santa for a new iPad! Ha! Ha!

Pelican

Almost a great picture!

Ship that the tug boats turned around in our bay

Sami having fun in the dog run at the RV Park

Sea Lions below the rock

Lots of Sea Lions – boy are they loud!!!

Sea Lions

Steve, Ozzie and Sami at Cape Arago Lookout

We saw the whales off to the right of this picture

This is living!

We will be here through the weekend.  More to see and more to do….