Monday, August 29, 2011

Road tripping - Oregon

Last week we made the drive from Long Beach, CA, up through central Oregon, and back down the Oregon Coast.

Can I just say that Oregon is awesome? We liked so much about it. For instance, the gas attendants there fill up your tank FOR you AND clean your windows, AND don't stick around expecting you to tip them. What!? Yeah, this is unheard of. At first I was a bit suspicious about all of this kindness (sad, I know), but it turned out to be a legitimate that's-just-what-we-do-in-Oregon sort of thing.  As if this weren't enough to make Oregon steal your heart, there are wild blackberries pretty much everywhere just waiting to be picked and made into delicious blackberry shakes. Really.

I can easily say that this is one of our favorite vacations together to date.

More of what we liked: 
  • Ashland, OR--A quaint town nestled near the woods with a lovely uptown area of Victorian houses and charming shops. They hold annual Shakespearean festivals--awesome. The English nerd in me wanted pretty badly to partake.
  • Seeing plenty of deer and elk. For some reason, this is always so exciting for me. 
  • Camping on the Rogue and Umpqua rivers (Kiffy was in fly-fishing heaven and I had some of the best sleep feeling cozy in a tent).
  • Picking wild blackberries with Kiffy's aunt Bonnie
  • The best fish and chips in Newport, OR.
  • Climbing endless sand dunes.
  • Lighthouses galore
  • Misty beaches.
  • Ferndale, CA--Victorian town, hidden gem
  • Driving through the California Redwoods on the way home.

Crater Lake in all its glory

Friday, August 5, 2011

Mahalo, Hawaii

Hawaii is great for many reasons: the weather, pristine beaches and lush vegetation, its diverse landscape and its wonderful people (though there are always the few angry locals with anti-haole sentiments, but let's not get into that). 

What I especially appreciated this time around was its abundance of wild roosters (and chickens for that matter), the fact that 85% of the time I felt like I was in a scene from Jurassic Park and/or LOST, and most of all, I think, having time to just relax and read a lot without any distractions. Yup, I needed to be whisked away to an island paradise just to get some reading in.

Here is some of the beauty I saw: