California! I miss Pete, Leia & Luke…August, 2022

Day 1 8.17
I’m actually still in Colorado…for a few more hours anyway.  I woke up early, did a final double check to make sure everything was left perfect in Sherry’s apartment.  I drove way way way out to the off site parking (thought I might have made it part way to Kansas) & parked Camper.  Then had some stuff to do to her to leave her for a week (I hate leaving her!).  The shuttle came before I was even ready, so I hurried up, then rode to the airport…it didn’t seem as far as I thought it would be.  I think they have a secret back way.  Went through security then arrived at my gate.  I was a little paranoid flying this time…seems most everyone I know (except Luke) that’s been flying lately has come back with Covid.  I sat away from everyone & masked up on the plane.  After two short delays because of mechanical issues, we were off, heading west in a small jet, but it’s a direct flight from Denver which is just awesome.

In theory, reading a book while in flight (or sitting on a beach) always sounds like a great way to pass the time.  But, when you’re flying over so much amazing scenery (or watching the waves & the coastline), I love to just stare out the window & try to pick out places down below I’ve possibly been to or recognize.

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Pete picked me up from their tiny easy airport & took me back to the house.  We visited for a little bit, but he had to get back to work.  So, Leia & I visited, which is always always lovely.  Love that girl!

After work, Pete, Leia & I went into Arcata & had a drink at Richards Goat, then we met up with Luke & Jordan & had a nice dinner at the Bistro…one of their fave places to eat & is owned & cheffed by a very good friend that they went to school with back in Linwood.  It’s right on the bay in Eureka…such a nice way to start the trip being with everyone!

Pete & Leia have one of those giant hot tub/swimminng pools (where you swim against the current), so they heated it up & I enjoyed a wonderful soak.  Such a fantastic way to end the day!

Day 2 8.18
Pete & I visited this morning before he left for work…this is why I love staying with my kids when I travel to see them.  It’s those early morning/late night conversations that are so memorable.

Leia had a client coming this morning, so I took a walk on the levee above the Mad River.  Then I made my way to the casino gas station & ate a whole It’s It! Bar…yikes!  Let the weight gain begin (or continue…I always eat more when Danny camps with me too.)

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Luke was on his way to the casino, so we met there.  He had a dentist appointment soon in Arcata, so I hitched a ride with him & met Pete for lunch at Pie & Cider…..yum!  Then I just walked around town, in & out of the little shops.  When Luke’s appointment was over, he was hungry & Leia was done working, so the three of us went back to Pie & Cider so they could eat…just love hanging out with everyone!

Then the three of us walked over to one of my favorite beer bars….Dead Reckoning.  I had a stout & Leia had a super unusual beer that tasted more like a smoothie than a beer…super thick, but pretty tasty (but didn’t taste at all like a beer).  We all played pinball (I’m so bad at games like that!), me enjoying watching Luke & Leia more than playing.

We went back to the house, but when Pete got home & Jordan got off work, we went down the street to Mad River brewing, had a beer & some Low & Slow BBQ.  Jordan headed back to her place, but the four of us went back to Pete & Leia & just visited…yay!

Love these moments of their everyday lives that I miss so much…just the two of them talking about business ideas & discussing random things.

Day 3 8.19
Today everyone was working, so I was on my own.  Luke & Jordan left town for a long weekend…Luke doing some work along the way & then they were headed to a concert in Berkley.

Pete offered me his truck….I’ve never driven a 6 speed & it’s been awhile since I’ve even driven a stick, but I eventually got the hang of it.  I headed north to Trinidad…such a tiny cute town, but mostly it has big views, some hikes & lovely beaches.  And I wanted to coast-time!

But, before I hit the sandy shores, I had lunch.  One of my fave things to eat out here, is a mashed potato cone.  I’ve only had them at this place & they are yummy.  It starts with a waffle cone, then mashed potatoes, gravy, brisket (oh so good!), then top it off with cheese & bacon bits.  It’s a lot of mixed up food for sure, but when you tuck it into a waffle cone, the portion is just right.

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Theres a rickety set of steps built into the side of the hill that takes you down to the beach.  I hadn’t hiked them the last couple of times I’ve been here, so I made my way down the steep steps to the beach…then just walked, climbed on rocks, watched the sea life… these wild beaches!  

I’d rather be here, than on a pristine beach where sunbathers & cabana boys fill up every inch of beach.

On my way back down the beach, I found a sign that said “Trail” so I took it…much better than the rickety old steep steps.

There were so many pretty flowers along this trail that had the ocean on one side, & homes on the other.

Enjoying another long look at the coast from up above.

I drove down & walked the beach near the Trinidad Head trailhead too.  Usually, I see live starfish around here, but today there were none.

I stopped by the viewpoint along the 101 on my way back…it never fails that the ocean still fascinates & mesmerizes me!  Always awed by it’s beauty, power, colors, & sounds.

Pete texted me & he was home from work, so I drove back to the house & joined him on the deck.  He & Leia were meeting a friend later to teach him more about pickle ball, hit some balls & prepare for an upcoming tournament.  The two of them headed to the courts, just a few blocks away, & I went to the Logger Bar for a cocktail…I love this place.  They use fresh juices in all their drinks, & it’s decorated with so much from the years this town spent logging…giant chain saws, crushed helmets, signs, etc…it’s interesting but probably a brutal business to work in.  

Then I walked over to the courts & met Eric, Pete’s partner in this weekend’s pickle ball tourney.  Then the three of us went into Eureka to the Friday night Farmers Market then to eat dinner at Fatsy Clines….it’s was quaint, filled with history & pretty cool!

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I went to bed as soon as we got back…tired & nursing a headache that I just wanted to go away!

Day 4 8.20
We started the day going into the Farmers Market on the Plaza in Arcata.  It was huge & lively with different kinds of produce than we have in the midwest as well as lots of food booths.  Leia bought sunflower sprouts…they were really good.  Wonder why since I’m stuck living in the Sunflower State, I’ve never had these delicious sprouts?

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Indian Fry bread from the Farmers Market…we all shared!

We drove up to Trinidad & went to the winery & enjoyed a glass of wine & some of our goodies we bought from the Market….it was just a perfect afternoon!

A very happy Mom!

Pete & Leia have some friends that own a Dahlia farm & they wanted Pete to bring out his drone & shoot some footage.  It was so nice to meet them & see their lovely farm.  In the end, the drone didn’t work though…they live too close too the airport.  Pete had gotten FAA approval, but realized there are more hoops to jump through (or forms to fill out & submit) before it will work.  Pete always notes how much harder it is to get the proper documents to run a commercial drone than it is to buy a gun…we all know it’s too easy to get guns.  Oh…don’t get me started.

The farm business was super interesting…they grow them to sell the Tubers; not the flowers.  But this year, they are adding a farm stand to sell all these lovelies.  This wasn’t the time for most of the blooming, but I’d love to be here to see it!

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Peanut Butter, Jelly & Nutella…they are really cute!

Once back home, we all sat on their big deck, watched goats & visited.  It was such a fun day & I loved ending it with time back at the house just chilling out with Leia & Pete.

Day 5 8.21
This morning Blue Lake was having their first Pickleball tourney sponsored by the Recreation Department.  It’s a fundraiser to fund more pickle ball courts & wind screens.

Pete’s friend Eric, who had only played three times before & not for two years, was Petes partner.  I watched both teams as the morning turned into afternoon.  Heres what was so awesome about the dayPete is one of the best players in all of Humboldt County.  This was not a serious tournament, but fun, friendly & local…a great place for newbies & just to have fun.  Eric had a blast…after 13 games, he was totally tired, but with a giant smile on his face.  Everyone was super encouraging of his play…& he was good for just starting out.  But,  Pete was his biggest cheerleader…gracious, giving, teaching, supportive….I’m so proud of the man he is.  

And the only undefeated team…First Place Winners…Leia & her partner Patty!

After the tournament, we walked around to Blue Lakes first ever Sunday Market…kind of impressive for this tiny town.

Luke was back in town & we had reservations at another of their favorite places to eat...Fieldbrook Market.  They were having a guest chef tonight & it was delicious!  But, the company was so great.  The owner knows these three well, so it was fun to listen to their conversations & get introduced to another friend of theirs.  They have tons of friends…so nice & welcoming…always awesome to be introduced to them.

Somehow... we all have an orange glow in this photo!  But, I love our smiles!

Luke headed back to his place & the three of us finished off the evening in the hot tub….another super awesome day!

Day 6 8.22
Luke popped out of town again today & Pete has tons of deadlines looming over him at work.  I sat on the deck this morning reading a new book.  Leia had an errand to run & invited me along, then we met Pete for lunch at a crepe place….mine was really good.  

Then Leia & I walked in & out of some shops…it was really fun to shop with her & they have some cute little kitchen shops here.  She had to work this afternoon, so I took Pete’s truck again up to Trinidad & hiked the Head.  It was such a pretty day & I love the views from up here!

There are several of these tunnels & hidey holes along this trail…Claire & Emma would love this too!

I sat at the bench at the top for a long time… I could stare out into this water for hours!

They’ve all been treating me to so much food!  Tonight I offered to pick up pizza’s from Headies in Trinidad & also grabbed a bottle of wine, cider & a sour for Pete.  We just ate at the house, moved out to the deck to enjoy the nice evening & more talking.  Leia had friend stop by later, so I got to meet another person…she was pretty cool.  Soon, I tucked in bed & read.

Day 7 8.23
Luke had a free day, so I got him to drive me north up to a trail I’d never done called Trillium Falls.  I needed some Redwood Trees time before I left.  Just as with the oceans, these giant trees with shallow roots just blow my mind.  Even when the trees are downed & seem like they’re dying, all kinds of forest life lives off the log & new trees sprout right from the old horizontal ones….incredible.  It was also nice just being in the car all that time with Luke & listening to him talk about his life out here…big smiles from me!

New trees growing from a dead stump.

Tiny Trillium Falls…not big, but still pretty.

Mossy Oak tree amongst all the Redwoods.

You can tell by how many photos I’ve published here, how much I love these trees!  (There were way more photos I took that I didn’t publish.)

After our hike, we went by the store & picked up all the ingredients for Chocolate Lace Cheesecake…one of our family’s favorites.  Leia wanted to make one for tonight.  

Luke horsing around with the goats.

Luke cooked chicken tacos for dinner & they were great!  Then we all enjoyed Leia's first Chocolate Lace Cheesecake….it was sooo good!

Love these guys so much!

Luke took off after dinner & Pete & I had a long talk about Cryptocurrency.  My brain just has such a hard time trying understand things like this, but Pete gave it a ton of effort to make me understand a teeny tiny bit.  I love to learn about what they are interested in!

Day 8 8.24
Time has flown by, for me anyway & my flight leaves sooner than later today.  I hugged Pete good bye this morning before he left for work; then Leia, but not before we shared some of Leia’s ’special’ coffee.  Luke was taking me to the airport.  I’d packed up, cleaned up & then loaded up.  The airport is right up the road from Pete’s house, so in short time, I was hugging Luke & saying goodbye.  

Love these boys so much & so very proud of the men they are.  Leia holds a special place in my heart too…she’s so gracious & tends to get stuck with me more often than not, but she loves to have fun & knows I do too, so we always enjoy playing together.

My trip to California may be over for this time, but I’m flying back to Denver, not back home.  So, check back soon to see what happens back in Colorado.

I hope it’s never this long between times of seeing them all again…my life feels fleeting at this age & I don’t want to miss out on their lives either.

Thanks for a very special time you all!

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