And we said................I DO!

To begin this journey you have to have some history. After about 5 years, Jim finally proposed! He said he didn't want to rush me (I think we're safe there!). So, almost a year later (don't want to rush) we got married, on May 12th 2007. A very small wedding in our backyard; 11 people counting us and officiated by one of my closest friends (yes, ordained online). The next day we headed out on our honeymoon. A road trip down the coast line into California to Disneyland, then over to Las Vegas, up to Reno and back home in three wonderful weeks! And who thought that 8 months later we’d be moving to our very own horse property but, that’s exactly what happened!! Sometimes, childhood dreams do come true!! So, here begins our journey…..

May 13, 2007-And we're off!!

I promised everyone I would post our honeymoon on a blog. I'm sorry it's taken 3 years but those who know me know that I hate computers and the internet!!! But, better late than never!

Bandon OR
 Disneyland, here I come! We left home and cut over to Oregon US101, stopping in Bandon. My mom is always saying how cute Bandon is. Well, it was freakin' windy and cold that day so it wasn't very cute!! LOL. We also stopped briefly in Gold Beach and I photographed an old cargo boat (Mary D. Hume) that I had photographed with my mom back in 1998. It was still there but just barely. Then on to CA. Somewhere along the way we stopped at a Redwoods info center and somewhere in that area we noticed a herd of Elk. PICTURE TIME! What I didn't realize is that there was a huge bull Elk with the herd and as I was photographing him I realized there were three more bull Elk bedded down in the shrubs. Oooooooh, how lucky am I!!! Of course, I pushed the envelope on how close one should get but hey, they're prey animals, not much different than horses, right??? So, we camped the first night in a nice little, privately owned camp ground in Crescent City CA. The grass was so nice and green that we hated to drive on it!

The next day we were up and at 'em. After briefly getting lost we managed to find a place to hike through the Redwoods. The Redwoods never cease to amaze me! So, big and regal. You can feel the energy pour out of them!!! Of course, we had to hug a couple for my mom. :) We camped again that night, in Trinidad CA in a campground over looking the ocean. It was a nice campground. I have to say though, it was a bit creepy camping where they have Bear proof lockers to keep stuff in!! I had never seen those before!
The next morning we had a wonderful hot breakfast at a small diner in town and back on the road we went. We stopped in Ferndale CA. What a fun little town! Walked around town, photographed a couple old houses and buildings (I just can't make them look as good as Michael does!) and shopped in a wonderful antique mall. And here begins the shopping! No problem! Did I forget to mention that we drove the truck. Heh. Got a great deal on a milkglass punch bowl and mugs (just what I needed) and found a funky cookie cutter for mom.

We continued down 101. Next stop, Legget CA, the Drive-Thru Park, where MOST people can drive their cars straight through a tree. My parents did it years ago but they weren't driving the "large barge". Of course, there was NO WAY our truck would fit but we sure had fun taking funny photos and buying souvenirs! We stayed that night in Fort Bragg CA. Not the best motel but by then we were tired and starving and it was too dark to hunt for a campground.

Next day we ventured off US101 and began our journey on Old Hwy 1. Also, a route my parents took years and years ago but, I enjoyed the closeup view of the ocean much better than my poor mom who's terrified of heights. If you haven't been on Hwy 1, it's very narrow, very curvy and very close to the ocean, which seems innocent enough but, most of it is many feet up from the ocean with a tiny little guard rail. I LOVED IT! Spent most of the time looking out my window, taking pictures of the ocean or taking record shots through the windshield of the most twisty turns and curves! I'm surprised I didn't wear out the auto window! I'm sure Jim got real tired of me saying....."look at that, did you see that?". Of course not! He was navigating the large barge around hairpin turns!!! I swear there were corners that bent that truck in half!! Anyway, it was alot of fun for me! Hehe. Our next stop was probably one of my favorites, Mendocino CA.

Mendocino CA
 Not that we did anything real exciting but it's the cutest little town over looking the ocean. I really, really liked it. It was one of the places that I said, I'd come back just to go there. We ate lunch looking out over the ocean and did some souvenir shopping. The people were really nice and the town has alot of history (apparently, a lot of movies have been filmed there or at least parts of them).

After a few stops, we finally made it to San Francisco CA. I can't believe the little towns along Hwy 1. I think the smallest was a population of 10! If I remember right, it was called Dogtown but I can't find it on the atlas (wonder why). I thought we'd never get to Frisco. You keep winding around twists and turns and you can see the city, and it looks like it's just around the corner.........but then it's NOT! Once we did get there, we got lost. Couldn't quite figure out how to get to the dang bridge! Then when finally made it across, WOW! What a culture shock! And downtown Frisco is not designed for big trucks! It was getting late, AGAIN. And, the story of our hotel is worth telling. We were traveling with a AAA book. I would call ahead and check out places to stay. So, I had done that. We found the place, pulled in and there we sat, nosed right up to the office with no way of turning around! We weren't even sure the truck would fit under their entrance cover. LOL. Then we find out it's all underground parking AND then he tells me to make sure we take all our belongings out of the truck because they had had some break-ins! On that note, we decided not to stay. to get out!! By now someone has pulled in behind us with no place to go. Well, he had to back out onto the street along with us backing out, onto the street, blindly, creating a big, red, road block! Hey, look, the hilly-billy's are in town! :) New plan-a hotel with an "open" parking lot! Found one! Nice room, aside from the adjoining door to where we're sure illegal activity was going on through the night (Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore).

Pier 39
 The next morning the manager let us park the truck there while we walked to Pier 39. Unfortunately, it was really windy and cold but we toughed it out. Did some shopping and site seeing and then took a tour on a trolley. That was really cool in spite of the "cool" temperature. The architecture was amazing and the hills we went up and down were awesome. Frisco is another place I'd like to visit again......with a smaller vehicle and warmer weather. :) Walking back to our truck was fun too. It was so windy and the hills were so steep that I swear I was at a 45 degree angle and not falling over. I was never so happy to get back in the truck and turn on the heater!
We made a quick stop in Half Moon Bay CA and then Santa Cruz. I was really hoping to see the famous boardwalk unfortunately, it was too early in the season and most things weren't open yet. But, we did sit on the beach in the sun......finally, some sun and I called my friend Kim who had told me that we HAD TO STOP IN SANTA CRUZ. I also brought home some sand (cheap souvenir). 

 So, we continued on to Monterey CA, our next big stop. Rolled in at dusk, found our motel, got a map, had a yummy dinner at a cute little fish house and got totally and completely lost going back to our motel! So, so lost. Finally found our way back and the next morning, in the daylight, it all looked so simple that I don't know how we ever got lost. LOL. We spent the morning at the Monterey Aquarium. Awesome! Loved it!!! Another town I'd definitely go back to. Did some shopping in a huge antique mall. Didn't even have time to go through the whole store so, I guess I HAVE to go back! Thank goodness for the kingcab because we were filling up the truck with "stuff".

Next stop was Morro Bay but right before town I noticed these objects on the beach. They were a whole heap of Sea Lions which turned out to be Elephant Seals !!! How cool is that!! Of course I had to grab the camera and burn some film. There were males and females and youngsters everywhere! It was soooooooo awesome!! But, it was pretty windy and getting late so I had to tear myself away. The people in town said they show up there every year to molt.
Stayed that night in Morro Bay. Another small motel close to the water. Nice evening. We walked to the bay and had a nice dinner while watching the sun set over the water. I can still picture it.

Next day, we were off and running. We hopped back on US101 and headed for Anaheim-the home of DISNEYLAND!! YAAAAAAAY! I want to say again, that the drive along Hwy 1 was fabulous! I'd so love to do it again! Had my first experience of good old California traffic jams. WHAT A MESS! One minute we were truckin' along at 70 and next thing I know we're at a dead stop! But, we made it, got checked into our hotel and went to the Medievil Times for dinner and a show. What a blast that was! Eating with your hands and watching horses dash around with their knights (fake knights but still fun)! I had an interesting surprise while waiting in line. My old boss and her family were there!! We hadn't talked in quite awhile but I got brave and said hello. We had a great visit. They were going to Disneyland the same day we were so, we made plans to meet up (what a small world).

Next day we drove to Oceanside to Camp Pendleton (Marine base) to see my dearest childhood friend, Angie and her family. We had such a great visit. We go several years without seeing each other and yet, it always feels like we just talked the day before. We of course, drove to the boarding stable to see the pony that her and her daughter, Hallie share. What a cutie! And we got see the base and the Cobra's that Jim flies. OMG, what an awesome sight!!! Went back to the house, visited for a while, looked at pictures of their house being built in Washington State and our wedding pictures. Angie is a consultant for Creative Memories and I was so excited when she offered to do a wedding album for us!! I mailed her all of our photos as soon as we got home and she created the nicest album and shipped it to us for Christmas that year! THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! So, after a wonderful visit and wishing I didn't have to say goodbye, we were on our way back to Anaheim.

I did have something awesome to look forward to though. The next morning we headed for DISNEYLAND!!! WOOHOO!!! The gates were real close to our hotel, just jumped on a shuttle and we were there in minutes! I gotta tell ya', IT IS THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH!!! Jim had been there before, years ago but, I had never, ever been. I was so excited, I didn't know where to turn first!! I really was like a little kid going in all directions and trying to take it all in at once! We hadn't been there very long when I turned around and there was my boss and her family! Too funny! We made plans to meet for lunch and went our separate ways. Jim and I had a blast! It was a quiet day so the lines weren't bad at all. We rode a couple rides more than once, did some shopping and then met up for lunch at the Golden Horse. Watched an awesome show-a singer/comedian. We had such a great time! And off we went to do more rides, see more sites and buy more "stuff" (the kingcab was getting full!). A friend of mine had insisted that we had to eat at the Blue Bayou, more importantly, we had to have the COOKIE BOAT! So, we made reservations for the next day. We started our day by doing some rides at California Adventure. Awesome, awesome rides!

The roller coaster was the best; a real close second to the Tower of Terror!

And then lunch! MMMMMM, the Blue Bayou. OMG, was it ever good (Monte Cristos like I've never seen them)! The most expensive lunch I have ever had! But good!! We were soooooo full but HAD TO HAVE the Cookie Boat! After all, that's what we went for. lol. The Cookie Boats were equally as good!!! TO DIE FOR! Or, to die from, in our case. We "rolled" out of there with the intentions of doing a couple last rides at CA Adventure but we were afraid to do them with such full bellies! So, there were a couple rides we did not do this trip. :( I think overall, my favorite ride was Indiana Jones. I can not wait to go to Disneyland again!!!

The next morning we shoved off and headed for Las Vegas NV!!! Another place I've never been (I do not get out much). What a drive! I-15...pavement, desert, pavement, desert. I finally arrived mid afternoon. Again, not a good place to drive a big truck. I do not know how the truck drivers manage with 53' trailers! We stayed at Circus Circus. Couldn't fit in most of the under ground parking. lol. Ended up parking with the tour buses! Funny story- I went in to get a luggage cart and as I was walking towards the truck I could see people gathering around Jim and the truck! They had gotten off a tour bus. It was a group from Europe. They apparently do not have pickups of THAT stature in their country and were soooooooo intrigued by how big our pickup was and all the "shiny stuff" it has on it. They were taking pictures of it and asking Jim questions. It was too, too funny. You would've thought they were looking at one of the worlds 7 wonders! lol. It was pretty dang warm so after we got settled in, we went to the casino for awhile. We wanted to wait until dusk so we could go see the street shows (Pirate show & water fountain shows). Now, I'm not much of a big city person at all but, I really enjoyed the night life in Vegas. The temperature was just right, the lights were awesome and everywhere you looked you entertained by something......or someone! I walked and walked and walked and finally had dinner around 10pm at the Harley Davidson Cafe where we could sit outside and watch the world go by. And yes, there was an Elvis on the street corner!! lol. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED IT ALL! Don't know when we got back to our hotel. Played Blackjack until I don't know when and went to bed.

Got up at the crack of noon and headed out on the strip. It was pretty dang warm! We ended up at the Mirage and Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden! LOVED IT! I could have stayed there alllllll day looking at the cats and other critters and especially watching the Dolphins. We watched a segments of the trainers playing with the Dolphins. I even talked to a trainer, comparing their techniques with natural horsemanship techniques. There were definitely some similarities. They have a program called Trainer For A Day that I would love to do!!! Maybe some day. :) Of course, Jim finally dragged me away and we finished our site seeing and shopping. Loaded up and off we went, headed up US95 for Reno.

People have told me that the area between Vegas and Reno is desolate and boring but until you experience it, you just don't know. OMG, I've never seen so much NOTHING in my life!!! Nothing and more nothing. I don't know how anyone survives out there! lol. Aside from a few stops, we drove until I didn't think Jim should be driving anymore. We landed at Walker Lake, a few miles north of Hawthorne NV. It was really weird to see such a large lake in the middle of desert (had to touch it to make sure it was We stayed in a "campground" if you can call it that. The sites are out in the open. You're just camping in the desert. The nice part was that it was warm, really warm for camping. Not much to do though, just take pictures of lizards. :)

Woke up to more sun! Was warm enough for shorts! Had our usual tailgate breakfast and headed out. Took Hwy 50 to Carson City and decided to stop off at Lake Tahoe. How beautiful! There just so happened to be a farmers market going on so........of course, I did a bit of shopping. :) After that we headed up the curvy road to Virginia City! What a fun town that is!! We took a little tour on foot, found a garage sale and went through a very rustic antique store. Bought a set of harness haimes (good thing we had the truck). Definitely another town I'd like to return to!

Lake Tahoe
 We continued on to good ol' Reno. Wait! Houston, we've got a problem! There's a tournament in town and it's MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!! We couldn't find a place to stay for nothing....well, actually we could but they were 3-times over "nothing" and worth "less than nothing". SCAAAAAAAAARY! So, no casino's for us! It was getting late but we hit the highway and headed back to California. Jim used to stay in Susanville whenever he was coming back from Reno so we headed there. It was almost 10pm when we hit town. Bad time to try finding a place but, we found the cutest little motel, ran by the nicest people; The Apple Inn. We checked in, they gave us coupons for Diamond Mt. Casino and off we went. No gambling, too tired. Just had dinner and headed back to bed.

Woke up to another nice day. Discussed cutting over to I-5 and going to Wildlife Safari but Jim had never been to Crater Lake so we headed for Hwy 139 and US97. Awh, back in Oregon! I already felt at home! Made our way to Crater Lake. What a culture shock. We had gone from warm "shorts" weather to "ski pants" weather in a flash! Of course, we had no ski pants so we looked pretty silly running around in shorts and sweatshirts! lol.

Crater Lake is always sooooo beautiful, with snow or no snow (my favorite is with snow). Took some pictures and did some gift shopping (of course). Only part of the rim was open so we couldn't drive the full loop. But, the side heading to Diamond Lake WAS open so, we had our next destination! Diamond Lake was BEAUTIFUL! No snow! The air was brisk but lots of sun. Got us a campsite and went on a bicyle tour (forgot to mention we had our mt. bikes! Didn't ride them much but they were handy). It was a lovely evening aside from the chilly air.

The next morning I woke up FREEZING and the canopy was all frosty and dewy. And then I heard why. As the camp host went by I heard them tell someone that it had gotten down to 26 degrees!!! BUURRRRRRRRRRR!! We really enjoyed the hot showers that morning!

Diamond Lake

It was May 28th and the last leg of our trip. Bitter sweet, really. Anxious to get home but wishing our trip didn't have to end. We hit the road and decided to stop in SunRiver. I love SunRiver!! We didn't stay long but did wonder around a bit. Next stop was Sisters!!! Which means, we stopped at my favorite diner, The Gallery for my favorite chocolate shake. I rarely make it through Sisters without a giant shake!!! Hehe. And of course, I have to go through my favorite stores, Kalamazoos and Leavits. Then we can head for home!

I have to say that as we drove through Lyons and home was getting ever so closer, I said to Jim, "ya know, we could just keep going and start the loop all over again". He said, "okay". But of course, we did go home and it was great to home but man, I would totally do that same road trip all over again!!! Ya know, it's interesting to plan a long trip when you have several pets! Basically, our pets had their own STAFF! So, I want to thank Laurel, Glen, Kimmy D., Shannon and Jason for making this trip possible! I LOVE YOU ALL!! :)

And, to finish the story, the very next weekend we went to see the Lippizan stallions with tickets we got as a wedding gift from Laurel and Glen. They are sooooooo amazing to watch! And this was our first time going so it was even more exciting. Thanks for the awesome tickets!!!

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