Celebrating Vacation - Part Ii - Celebrating Life with Paula Blog at Allrecipes.com - 310898

Celebrating Life with Paula

Celebrating Vacation - Part II 
Sep. 16, 2013 3:28 pm 
Updated: Oct. 21, 2013 8:05 pm

A few weeks back, I posted a blog telling you about my SUMMER VACATION and meeting an allrecipeep in Oregon. I intended to continue my story about the rest of our vacation in California and meeting more AR peeps, but I got side tracked with life. So, better late than never, right?

When we left the Oregon coast, we headed south toward Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park to see our very first redwood. And we weren't disappointed! These old-growth, towering trees were a sight to behold! And ferns almost as tall as I am!

This same day as we drove further on, we saw elk, up close and personal, right beside the road. Another great photo op!

More redwoods, more elk, more beautiful ocean views as we drove toward San Francisco. Imagine my surprise as we actually drove across The Golden Gate Bridge into the city! (Yes, I know. I have no sense of geography.) I was so excited to get to see this bridge in person! Unfortunately, I never got to see it well because of the fog around it all day long. 

Since we had only one day in San Francisco, we decided to hit the high points by taking a Hop On Hop Off bus tour. I think that was a good decision. We saw lots of sights: Lombard Street, Haight-Ashbury, the Painted Ladies, China Town, just to name a few. 

When we finished with the tour, we walked down to the pier area where we shopped, saw Alcatraz in the distance, saw the seals lounging around, bought my grandson's Despicable Me hat for his upcoming birthday, and ate some Clam Chowder. It was a fun day!

The next day as we continued to drive down Hwy. 1, we saw more beautiful scenic ocean views. We had seen quite a few local fruit and vegetable stands and decided to stop at one. We bought strawberries, dried cantaloupe, and Ranch-flavored corn nuts. Even though we buy California strawberries in our grocery stores, these were MUCH sweeter. I was very surprised by their flavor and sweetness.

Our next-to-the-last drive of the day was through the 17 miles of Pebble Beach. And, yes, we had to get shots of that lone cyprus. 

We ended the day at Carmel by the Sea, a lovely little touristy town, with tons of stores to shop in. 

We decided the drive down the coastline the next day would have been stunning if we could have seen it! We stopped at lots of turnouts, but the fog was so heavy, we couldn't see very far at all. When we arrived at San Simeon, we saw a sign for a turn out to see Elephant Seals. And see them we did...again, another up close and personal view. Elephant seals, right there in the water and on the beach, just a very short distance away. And lots of them too! So worth the stop!

Just a few miles farther, we saw a sign for Hearst Castle. It was afternoon, and we had heard that we might not be able to get tickets for same day tours, but we decided to try anyway. We were so glad that 4 tickets were left for the very next tour, and we grabbed the chance to take two of those tickets! We were throughly educated and entertained by our very knowledgeable tour guide who showed us the house and the grounds of this beautiful home. 

And I took advantage of the beautiful gardens to get a fairly decent photo of myself made. I love all the color. 

More driving, more scenery, more picturesque towns, more fields and fields of strawberries and vegetables - all exactly what my husband and I wanted. Just driving, seeing beautiful sights, and quality time being together. 

Our last day was in Los Angeles. We hadn't realized how big and spread out this city was. So we really only scratched the surface of seeing the sights and decided we'll have to go back sometime for a real tour of the city, which will take more than just a day! We drove down Santa Monica Blvd. toward Hollywood thinking the Hollywood sign would loom over the city. (Remember, my husband didn't want to do any planning of this trip. So no advance research:) We finally had to google "Hollywood Sign" to get directions for getting a glimpse of it. Thank goodness for the Internet! 

After finally seeing this iconic sign, we drove down Sunset Blvd., Rodeo Drive, and Wilshire Blvd. And by this time, we needed to get on down the road toward Long Beach for what I really came to Los Angeles to see.

I had prearranged to meet up with two more Allrecipeeps, Marianne and bd.weld. We had talked on The Buzz and interacted some as Allstars, so I really wanted to get together with them. We met at a local restaurant for lunch. We knew each other from a distance and met with hugs all around. Conversation flowed so easily, just as it had with pelicangal in Oregon. Several others were invited but some had to work, and Baking Nana actually went to New York to meet Ina Garten instead of meeting me! Just messing with you, Baking Nana :)

Well, our vacation came to an end and we flew out of Los Angeles the next morning. We accomplished exactly what my husband had wanted this time. No preplanning. Just relaxing and driving down the Oregon and California coastline to see what beautiful scenery we could see. The emphasis was on God's creation more than movie stars, famous people, and the world of film and tv. And we certainly were not disappointed. 

Sep. 16, 2013 3:47 pm
Sounds like you had a great trip!!
Sep. 16, 2013 3:57 pm
The last vacation my husband and I took before he got I'll was that same route, but in reverse. We started in San Diego and drove north with no plan. I have to say that was the best vacation we ever took. All the previous ones were scheduled and must sees. This was just like yours, except no Recipeeps!
Sep. 16, 2013 4:02 pm
I love all your photos! We've made that trip down the coast before and know what you are looking at/talking about. It's such a beautiful state! It was so great to see you again and then to meet hubby was a treat! He's a lucky guy, but then so are you, too! It was such a pleasant afternoon with "old" friends. Lovely blog!
Sep. 16, 2013 4:04 pm
Paula your photos are lovely, you all look so happy. I'm very glad you and your husband had such a wonderful time. Thanks for taking us on your trip. It was most enjoyable.
Sep. 16, 2013 4:41 pm
Know the countryside well and have made the trip several times and never get tired of God's creations. I did get to meet a famous person and it was you.
Sep. 16, 2013 4:49 pm
What a wonderful description of your "no plans" vacation down the California Coastline. Your photos are wonderful and show just how wonderful God's creation really is! I love the photo of your Grandson with his Dispicable Me hat. He's a cutie! Aren't Marianne and Brian dear ones? I love them both. Maybe someday I'll have the pleasure of meeting you too Paula.
Sep. 16, 2013 5:33 pm
Oh Paula!! Great visual blog! Yeah, we have been through 17 mile drive and Whizzed past THE Tree in search of a bathroom for hubster! !I said 'But Honey, its like the Most famous tree EVER'!! HE didn't care:( Oh well, I'll just have to plan a new vaca! So SORRY I missed your trip to my end of the county:((( BUT, I knew you were in good hand with Marianne n Brian! Never had better chowder in my life then Frisco! Your photos are just Lovely and what a most excellent adventure!! LOVE IT, Nothing beats spontaneity ;)) Thanks for sharing!
Sep. 16, 2013 6:18 pm
Oh, Koriekiss, we DID have a great time. I highly recommend the Oregon and California coastline.
Sep. 16, 2013 6:23 pm
BigShotsMom - I must admit that this trip scared me to death. I am the planner and researcher in the family. It's part of the fun to me! I love to know what I'm going to see. I think about it for weeks before we actually go. But I decided to give in to my husband's wishes, so I didn't do the planning I usually do. I just didn't want to have to sleep in the car! One night, we almost did. We had to backtrack almost 60 miles before we finally found a hotel at 9:00 that night! I tried to be real nice, but that night my husband went to the lobby and made hotel reservations for the rest of the trip (his own idea,not mine). :)
Sep. 16, 2013 6:26 pm
Marianne and bd.weld - I loved seeing you...and meeting your wife, bd. Thanks so much for taking the time out to meet with me. It was such an enjoyable place to eat lunch and get to know you better.
Sep. 16, 2013 6:28 pm
Manella - I'm so glad you enjoyed my photos and blog. I love going on vacation vicariously with others too. I enjoyed all the Chef Luigi blogs when he was traveling to different AR peeps' homes. Fun to hear about different cities.
Sep. 16, 2013 6:31 pm
Candice - I would love to meet you someday too! And, yes, Marianne and Brian are wonderful! I knew my grandson was going to have a Despicable Me birthday party. His mom is a fabulous cake decorator, so I knew his party would be all things "despicable." When I saw that hat, I had to get it for him.
Sep. 16, 2013 6:33 pm
Patty Cakes - Sorry I missed you. Maybe next time. OR you could come to Memphis to see Graceland, Elvis's home. I'm not too far away...
Sep. 16, 2013 7:37 pm
BEAUTIFUL pictures paula. what a great trip! aren't ya glad ya met up with some screwballs from here? best people on the planet! the west coast is beautiuh...nothing here in the south to compare it to. the pacific northwest is certainly a place i wouldn't mind getting lost at...as long as i can have an electric blanket.
Sep. 16, 2013 8:22 pm
I love those types of vacations. So glad you had fun and were able to meet up with wonderful people from the Buzz. Great pictures and blog.
Sep. 16, 2013 10:50 pm
Paula, what beautiful pictures! You described it so well that I felt like I was there! Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip! :)
Sep. 17, 2013 6:38 am
Oh Paula, what a dream-come-true vacation of the west coast! Yes, beautiful pictures and forever memories! I knew that you were vacationing in SoCal this summer but didn't have the facts. I would have loved to join you, Marianne and Brian for an afternoon! I guess that's the consequence of not participating in all the social medias. As we say in our recipe reviews, "personal preferrence only". LOL! Take care, dear Paula and thank you for your fabulous blogs!
Sep. 17, 2013 12:44 pm
Hi Paula. What a great road trip. I enjoyed all the photos of the beautiful scenery. Ow fun to meet Marianne and Brian. Hope to see you on the Buzz!
Sep. 17, 2013 3:31 pm
Paula, you did a wonderful job describing your trip to us. Thanks for taking the time to write and to post your photos. I lived in California years ago, so this was a nice trip down memory lane. Some things don't change. (Well, I'm sure Haight-Ashbury is a little different now.)
Sep. 17, 2013 6:40 pm
gderr, you're right. The West Coast IS beautiful. While the South has great places to visit, California and Oregon are SO different.
Sep. 17, 2013 6:41 pm
Marie and Denise-thanks for your sweet comments. Glad you stopped by.
Sep. 17, 2013 6:42 pm
Cathy - I hate I missed you! Maybe another time.
Sep. 17, 2013 6:44 pm
Lela - it seems my Buzz time has been so limited lately. Life! And to think when I quit work, I wondered if I'd stay busy!
Sep. 17, 2013 6:49 pm
Indiana Peggy - Glad you could go down memory lane with me. And Haight Ashbury might not be too different. I did see a few people under the influence of something :)
Sep. 17, 2013 7:03 pm
What a gorgeous trip - with the bonus of meeting our friends. Very happy for you!
Sep. 18, 2013 8:11 am
Wow, definitely envying you just about now. Wonderful pictures.
Sep. 18, 2013 12:49 pm
Maggi and char - Glad you enjoyed the photos. As I said earlier, I love traveling vicariously through others. So the blog's purpose was to share some of the beauty of this wonderful country and to tell you about meeting up with some other great AR folks.
Sep. 21, 2013 5:02 am
Paula, Wonderful blog! You took our favorite road trip. Mike and I did the WA,OR and CA redwoods coastal trip as little ones with our families and have since done it 2 times as a couple. We must have just missed you at Hearst Castle. We were there in mid August and did all four tours in one day and boy were we a bit sore the next day. I KNOW we missed you in Long Beach. We drove out the day you guys had lunch with all the peeps. I was so disappointed that no one let me know. Next time.....
Click to Change your Profile Picture

Home Town
Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Living In
Olive Branch, Mississippi, USA

Member Since
Aug. 2008

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Healthy, Dessert, Quick & Easy

Walking, Reading Books, Music

Subscribe Today!

In Season

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Have you made a batch lately? They're everybody's favorite.

Spring Salads
Spring Salads

Freshening up the salad menu for spring has never been so delicious.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

About Me
I'm a wife, mother of 2, and grandmother of 6. I love to cook. I especially like to cook new and different recipes. I don't like to have the same meals week after week. My husband has decided it really doesn't matter whether he likes a new recipe or not because he won't see it again for a very long time anyway!
My favorite things to cook
I like to cook entrees and desserts. I like preparing good, down-to-earth cooking. I also decorate cakes, mostly for the grandchildren now.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Holidays bring out the traditions: chocolate chip cheese ball; crockpot chicken and dressing; and broccoli salad, sweet potatoes and butterscotch pie handed down from past generations. Another thing that must be tradition in my family: we all make new recipes when we have company! My mother, sister, daughter, and I all do this. My daddy never understood why we would risk making something we had never made before. Actually, none of us has ever served company a new recipe that didn't taste good.
My cooking triumphs
Cake decorating: wedding cakes, bridal and baby shower cakes, birthday cakes: Little Pirate, Cinderella, Elmo, Strawberry Shortcake. My friends call me Betty Crocker. When my daughter got married, she had a bridal shower where the guests were asked to write something on an apron. My best friend told her if she needed a recipe or help in the kitchen to ask her mother. If she needed a good place to eat out, ask her.
My cooking tragedies
A 4 tier huge wedding cake that fell apart at 2:00am. Thankfully, I still had time to salvage the cake.
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States