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Back — with a Vengeance!

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Returned back from our vacation on Sunday.  Started this post on Monday, but didn’t have time to finish.  (Don’t really have time now, but I’ll make time!).  Checked in on FourSquare almost everywhere, so that I can easily recreate the itinerary…

Friday, 2 July:  Loaded the car & the puppies into the back of the car, and headed out on the open road.  Traffic was surprisingly good – considering it was the Friday before a holiday.  Made it up to San Luis Obispo, and checked into our Bed & Breakfast, the Heritage Inn.  The innkeeper, Suzanne, was such a love!  Her step-mother, Caroline, was visiting from Scotland, and sorely missed her dogs — lucky us, because Caroline just ate our pups up!  Went to dinner in town at a horrible college burger joint (Firestone Grill, not recommended), then wandered around a bit.

Saturday, 3 July:  Headed down to Avila Beach’s dog beach, for some fun in the water with the dogs.  Dixie loved it — Mason wasn’t quite so sure.  However, Dixie drank a bit too much of the salt water, and got a bit sickly…  Got in the car, headed up the 101 to the 1N, then took the 1 through San Simeon (saw some zebras – grabbed some pictures), through Big Sur, and into Carmel-by-the-Sea, where we ate delicious calamari at Jack London’s Grill & Taproom.  Finally made it up to San Francisco, checked into our awesome Kimpton hotel, the Prescott Hotel in Union Square, and collapsed!

Sunday, 4 July:  Breakfast in the hotel (free!), then headed down to Fisherman’s Wharf.  Walked the whole way, being dragged by 2 puppies (luckily, they pulled us up the hills!).  Sat in the grassy knoll outside of Ghiradelli Square, then walked to the Fillmore Street Jazz Festival.  Hung out there with a beer for a bit, then walked back to the hotel & partook in the wine hour.  Then headed up to the room to relax for a bit, and have another bottle of wine…  Headed out to the trolley stop, waited in line, and then got on.  The conductor (?) told us we needed to muzzle our dogs, so we got off.  I had read somewhere online that dogs were OK (there was even this great picture of a golden retriever laying down on the trolley).  Anyway, we started walking, but missed the fireworks. Stopped for take-out Vietnamese food (A.Maz.Ing), then headed back to the hotel.

Monday, 5 July:  Left a bit later than I would have liked, and headed off to Napa.  Missed an appointment at Mutt Lynch Winery (so sorry!) because I had completely forgotten about it, so headed to O’Brien Estate Winery in Napa.  Had a great tour & visit with the owner, who is getting ready to start a Biotech company and who wanted to pick my brain a bit — and ended up joining the winery’s club.  Not the best way to start a tasting day!  Spent 3 hours there, then headed to Ragusci Winery then to Laura Zahtila Vineyards.  Yum.  Each of these places were dog friendly, and had their winery dogs on site.  The Zalita’s just got a new black lab puppy, so we helped to socialize him!  Then headed to the Russian River Brewing Co. — amazing garlic breadstick pieces — must remember not to actually get dinner, and just eat those next time with a salad.  Mmmmmmm.  

Tuesday, 6 July:  We were meant to head out immediately to get to the coast, but decided to make a detour for Passalacqua Winery (we’re members) first thing in the morning.  Only they didn’t open until 11 AM.  So we stopped at Mauritson Family Winery, where they let us shut the door, and let the dogs off leash in the wine tasting room!  Then headed to Passalacqua (pups had to stay in the car).  Stopped at the nearby Dry Creek General Store for some gourmet, amazing sandwiches, chips, and a bar of Bacon chocolate…  On our way back to the 101, we passed Wilson Winery, and I had a coupon for a free tasting — which we couldn’t pass up!  They then gave us a tasting card for free tastings at deLormier Winery and Jaxon Keys Winery & Distillery.  Finally, around 5 or so, we made it on the road (don’t worry, had plenty of food & water, and not very big “tastes”.  Stayed for a LONG time at these places — so no drunken driving here).  Checked into our amazing cottage in Fort Bragg, and headed out, sans puppies to the North Coast Brewing Company, where I indulged in a “real” Coke, and a plate of fried shrimp & fries.  Yum!

Wednesday, 7 July:  Woke up, had some coffee, and headed to the little secluded cove across the road from our cottage.  Puppies were loving the water & played a bit with the innkeepers’ dog!  On the road again, on our way up to Oregon.  Stopped at a coastal winery, Pacific Star Winery, but weren’t too impressed (though the view is amazing!).  Got into Brookings, Oregon around 8 PM, tucked the pups into the Wild Rivers Motor Lodge, and headed over to Wild River Brewing & Pizza Company for some brew & pizza (I stuck with root beer — my liver was aching!).  

Thursday, 8 July:  Continued up the Oregon coast, and stopped to play in the sand at the Dunes National Park.  Amazing!  Puppies loved it!  Lunch/dinner at the Rogue Public House in Newport, Oregon, where I had to take a teleconference with my team from school.  Rough life!  On to Portland, and a beer at the Life of Riley in the Pearl.  Sleeping in the Kimpton Hotel Vintage Plaza was a treat — they even had Mason & Dixie written on the “Welcome puppies” board!

Friday, 9 July:  Woke up & drove into the Columbia River Gorge area, where we stopped to hike at a few waterfalls.  The Wahkeena Falls were amazing — we hiked to the top & Dixie took a dip in the pool.  Hiked over to the Multnomah Falls, where we just went as far as we needed to (to the bridge), then hiked back (it was HOT & MUGGY!).  Drove on about a half hour to Hood River, where we had lunch at the Double Mountain Brewery & Tap Room, then got a 22 oz bottle of beer from Full Sail Brewery, and headed down to the Hood River Event Site, where they were doing Kiteboarding for Cancer.  Amazing!  Back into Portland, we made an unplanned stop for pre-dinner drinks & appetizers at the BridgePort Brewery & Brew Pub.  Met some really great, nice people, and the food looked awesome.  But, we had plans to go to the Lucky Labrador Public House.  Headed through a kind of grotty part of town, dogs in tow, and got there.  No food (except re-heated pizza) and not stellar beers.  I still got a new cycling jersey though!  Went back to the BridgePort Brewery & Brew Pub, and to our surprise, it was happy hour on food prices again!  YAY!

Saturday, 10 July:  Left Portland somewhat late, and got to Eugene right around lunch time.  Tried Ninkasi Brewery first — good beers, somewhat hoppy, but no food.  Pups weren’t supposed to be on the patio, and the patio was supposedly closed.  They let us get a taster though (5 x 4oz pours).  Finished those off, and as we were leaving, Matt carried the beer glasses & I wrangled the pups.  Dixie went to smell a guy’s feet, who was sitting on the wall of the patio, and I tried to pull her away.  At the same time, we were walking down this little ramp thing, that didn’t have anything on the side (ie, no barrier).  I rolled my ankle off the side of the ramp, and crashed to the ground.  Bleeding, embarrassed, and hurt, I went inside to get a bandage.  The guy?  He had stepped over me, without asking if I was OK, in order to take his phone call to another, quieter location.  We had a good laugh over what a miserable person he must be, and moved on to the Eugene City Brewery, where we had lunch.  Drove down to Crater Lake National Park — and puppies played in the snow for the first time!  Drove about half way around the lake — which is amazing, then headed out to find a hotel.  Motel 6 in Weed, California!

Sunday, 11 July:  We had 1 day to get home.  Drove all day, stopped in Redding, CA for a visit to a dog park & breakfast in McDonald’s, then drove, drove, drove!  Arrived around 6:15 PM (way better than the 10 PM I had feared), and settled in.  Made a huge salad for dinner (I needed greens), and tucked into our own bed.  YAY!  

A GREAT vacation!


About TresLaLa

I'm really just a thin girl with a lot of extra padding...

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