Northern California…3.2017

I LOVE LOVE LOVE California!  Most of my exploring has been in the Northern & Central regions & I love so much about this huge big crazy state!  The wild coast, the clear clean rivers, the breathtaking Redwood forests, the treeless rolling mountains, the giant granite mountains, so much super awesome great beer, but most of all…it’s the place Luke & Pete, our two sons call home.

Landing in San Francisco to a bit a sunshine was great!  It’s been the winter of rain in this state…in some places, like up where the boys live, more rain than in the past 150 years.  The roads are a mess…so many slides, the roads just coming apart in places, & many roads are closed.  We grabbed a quick bite at In N Out burger…a famous burger joint Danny’s never tried.  Then we hit the road & soon the skies grew cloudy, then rainy.  He napped on & off & I just relished the moments when I had a clear view of this wonderful place.  It seems like it takes forever to get ‘out of’ SF…the heavy slow traffic just keeps going & soon an hour as passed & it feels like you’ve driven about 20 miles.  We made a fast stop in Santa Rosa at Russian River brewery to pick up some beer to take with us.  Along the 101, it briefly quit raining, the sun popped through the clouds & a huge bright rainbow appeared covering  the green grassy mountain…welcome to this magnificent scenic state!

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We made it to Blue Lake around 6:30 & it was wonderful to see Pete & Luke!  We drove down to the local brewery, Mad River, for a sandwich & beer, catching up with talk & intermittent but frequent hugs!

Sunday morning was Pete, Leia & Luke's pickle ball game.  Ive definitely heard of this growing seems-to-be older gens sport, but had never actually seen the game.  Everyone was super nice & insisted Danny & I learn the game (I was in boots!) & so we did.  It was so much fun watching the kids play & interacting with all the seniors & a couple of other players of ages in between.  Near the end, Danny & grabbed racquets & played the boys.we had a fun time!

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After all that hard work, we went out to brunch in Arcata.  Then Luke, Pete & Danny & I drove into Eureka.  Pete’s birthday is coming up & for his present, we’re getting his Passport renewed.  Since both boys Passports expire in September (& this is the year of the ‘rush’) we also are getting Luke an early bday gift.  So, we needed photos.  After that task was done, Peter drove us to a little park in Eureka I’d never been to before…filled with Redwoods.  It’s cold, chilly & muddy, but these trees fill this amazing forest, so who cares about the weather?  The boys & Leia are also into Pokemon.  So, wherever we go, the Pokemon get captured!

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We finished our walk in the woods & drove by Pete’s new office in Old Town Eureka. An old but remodeled building that looks like a  great place to work with big windows & many places within walking distance to eat, coffee & happy hour.  I’m so glad he’s enjoying the new job!

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I got to pick the next place to visit…my fave beer bar in Arcata called Dead Reckoning.  They have at least 30 beers on tap & some super awesome ones at that.  We all enjoyed some really good beer, but doesn’t look like they enjoyed the photo op too much!

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Once we were back at the house, I took some pics of Luke, Pete & Leia with their dogs…I’d promised Claire I’d send her some doggie photos!

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PS:  I think it hailed about 10 different times today.  You can see the snow up on the mountains above the library near the boy’s house.

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Monday was another cloudy super rainy day & chilly temps.  We made a quick stop at the Post Office to mail all the Passport info.  Then, it was ‘tour’ time.  Pete & Leia were at work today, but I had two willing-but-not-so-thrilled guys going with me.  Leia had told me about a company in Arcata called “Fire & Light’ that takes recycled glass & makes them into dinner ware & other interesting pieces.  We toured the small factory & watched them make some big serving bowls & unique vases. It was really fascinating to watch the process.

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Our next stop was Holly Yashi…my fave jewelry designer/creator.  I’ve been here each time the last two years, but Danny never had & it was still raining.  I’d have gone regardless, if just to look; but I wanted to take the tour again to see if anything new was being hatched.  It’s an amazing place & pretty small for shipping their jewelry all over the world.  I loved their stuff before they even opened the shop for tours, but I have a whole new appreciation for the skill, artistry, design, tools & people that create these pieces.  I rarely buy any jewelry, but have each time I’ve been here.  This time was no exception & I love my new pieces!  

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There was a brief break in the rain so we drove out to the jetty to watch the waves under gloomy skies.

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The next stop was Redwood Curtain Brewery where I was meeting Terrya long time friend of my sister-in-laws but shes become my friend too since she moved out here a few years after the boys.  We enjoyed a beer & catching up.  Terry takes amazing photos (so much to photograph out here!), is recently retired & getting ready to leave on her longest adventure (6 weeks!) with a friend.  So we talked travel & drank some good beer.  A couple of friends of Luke’s showed up to visit also.  Brandon is another transplant from back home…he went out to visit Luke one time while Luke was still in college, & quickly moved out here.  It’s always good to see him!

Evening brought another round of Pickle Ball…this time Danny & I signing up & grabbing rackets from the beginning of the session.  Again it was super fun, everyone was so nice & gracious & the much needed coaching was welcomed!

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