Hello, beautiful readers! Today is Day 20 of the #RRBC 30-Day Blogging Challenge! I've made it a full twenty days! Ten more to go! Thank you for being on this journey with me. I truly appreciate your visits and comments. It's kept me going.
I woke up later than usual. My Fitbit tells me I got 9.5 hours of sleep, and it felt great! That's the benefit of not waking up to an alarm; the body rests for as long as it needs to. I had breakfast and got in an hour at my part-time job. Then, I attended the Rave Waves show "Raters Not Haters," where the hosts, Pat Garcia and John Podlaski, share honest reviews of books they've read. Today, they gave raving reviews for Shirley Harris-Slaughter's newest short story, Joyce Winifred Harris-Burkes: How I Remember My Mama. I have the story on my kindle and look forward to reading it.
I caught up on my fellow author blogs and then went food shopping. After shopping, I did a 20-minute burst fit workout because I didn't have much time for anything else. Then, it was time for cooking and a show with my son.
So, let's get back to my travels! Our next trip was the very next year, 2017. By then, my finances were in better shape, so I started helping pay for the rooms and gas. We had already done the east coast and part of the southern states, so we decided to do the west coast for 23 days. We traveled to California, Oregon, Washington, Vancouver (Canada), Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada. This was my son's first time being on a plane, and the pilot was gracious enough to let him see the cockpit and sit in the pilot's seat.
We flew to San Francisco, California. There, we visited Fisherman's Wharf and saw the famous sea lions.
We went to Alcatraz Island and learned more about the escape that my son had read about in class.
Then, we went to Yosemite National Park. It was quite scary for my mom and me as we drove up the side of the mountain, but our hearts thankfully stayed in their cavities. It was so worth it!
The next day, we rented bikes and rode (and sometimes walked) them up to the Golden Gate Bridge and then rode a trolley, another first for my son.
My parents went for a wine tasting in Napa Valley the following day, and my son and I went for a hot air balloon ride, a first for both of us. It was an incredible experience to drift peacefully in the air and take in the beauty around us.
Crescent City Beach, CA, was our next stop. We visited a Battery Point Lighthouse and went to the top. My dad loves visiting lighthouses. This one was cool because you had to cross a part that gets flooded during high tide, so we had to pay attention to the time while we were there so that we didn't get stuck on the wrong side.
Then, we went to the Redwood Forest National Park, and I fell in love! I can never get enough of being around trees, and these trees were magical. Plus, they've carved some really cool images into the fallen trees. We also drove through the trunk of a tree!
In Oregon, we went to Crater Lake National Park, where my son saw snow for the first time (in June). He and I had a snowball fight and he slid down a snowy hill. He loved it!
My mom and I love waterfalls, so we went to Multnomah Falls and the other waterfalls in the area next. We also visited with a former student of mine who had moved to that area. I love staying connected with my former students and seeing them flourish in life.
Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon brought us even more snow. My son and father even made a snowman (sort of).
Mount St. Helen National Volcanic Monument was next, and my son learned about its eruption. We also visited the peaceful lake that was created because of the eruption.
We went to Mount Rainier National Park next and had another snowball fight. My son couldn't get enough of the snow.
In Washington state, we went to Poulsbo to visit my former middle school English teacher from Panama. She was my inspiration to be come a teacher. She is also the woman who sparked my interest in fantasy stories by reading The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien to us and by having us write poetry and fantasy stories in class. I owe a lot to her.
Back in Seattle, WA, we visited the Space Needle and the Pike Place Public Market Square. We saw the famous gum wall (interesting and gross). We also took a tour of the Theo Chocolate Factory! I love that they have organic chocolate and care about their workers and how their plants are grown.
Leaving Washington, my dad and I found these horse sculptures on top of a hill and just had to pull over and hike up to the top! It was quite a hike, but we loved it! (Do you see the horses at the top of the hill?)
We passed through Idaho and Montana before getting to Wyoming. We stayed in Cody, WY, and went to a rodeo, another first for my son. We also visited Yellowstone National Park, another park I fell in love with. You drive around and the animals roam freely around you. You are able to stop and get out of the car, but be careful of the buffalos and bears. They can be testy. We also got to see the Old Faithful Geyser blow!
In Salt Lake City, Utah, we went to the Utah Olympic Park, where my son and I ziplined, completed an obstacle course, and rode down a ski slope in a tube.
We spent the night in Reno, NV, before heading to South Lake Tahoe, where we took a cruise around the lake and visited the town. And then it was back to San Francisco for our flight home. Another successful trip in the books!
Have you ever been to any of these places? I'd love to hear about your experience. If you haven't, are there any places that you've added to your bucket list? I'd love to know!