that’s how long it took to drive to CA via Crater Lake and Napa and then back to Seattle this past weekend.
Mike and I decided to drive to CA for my uncle’s wedding and save the cost of hotel, rental car and maybe even some of the flight costs. The first night we camped out in the Winema National Forest just past the junction of 97 and 58 in Oregon. After a restful night, we breakfasted at a scenic stop along the Rim of Crater Lake, then continued on to Klamath Falls (what kind of city is named for Falls that don’t exist??) before heading to Napa and retiring to Point Arena for the night.
It was Mike’s first trip to Napa so I decided he should at least visit Niebaum-Coppola’s Chateau. We sampled some smaller wineries at a local shop in town and then toured the Chateau before sharing a glass of an overpriced 2001 Rubicon. We got the signature engraved glass as a free souvenier.
After touring Napa for a bit, we headed to Point Arena on the coast along Hwy 1. We had standing reservations at a quaint bed and breakfast called the Wharfmaster’s Inn. Along the drive we were able to see a spectacular sunset over the Pacific at a neat little beach stop called Stump Beach.
The Inn was really nice with rock beach access at it’s foot, nestled high on a hillside and backing a wood grove. The room had a window view of the Pacific and a jet tub equipped with a candle, foam bath and a log ready to burn in the fireplace. Definitely a romantic setting and worth the drive.
After hiking a bit along the coast the next morning, we headed back down Hwy 1 to the Zen Center south of Stinson Beach for the wedding. The wedding was held in a Buddhist Temple and MaryYoko wore a black Kimono. Having never been in a Buddhist Temple let alone to a strongly Buddhist bent wedding, I found myself breaking a few codes and having to, for example, initiate a small contraband effort because I ignorantly and openly brought wine onto the premises. My cousins helped fix that one. 🙂
The ceremony itself was different. I enjoyed the meditative and reflective parts most. It reminded me that I should take that kind of time more often.
The reception was held in the gardens where they served a Japanese feast with a folded, white chocolate icing covered fresh raspberry, chocolate rich cake. Mmmm. The weather was warm and the skies blue. There was even a path to a beach. It was a good day for a wedding.
I was glad to have made the trip. Not only did it give Mike and me time together, I got to share in David and MaryYoko’s special day, catch up with my cousins (as best one can when it’s a whirlwind visit for all of us ;), and meet up with a friend (also in attendance at the wedding).
Alina flew out last night for Australia where she will be studying abroad for the summer. Galen is headed to Greece to stay with a friend and enjoy his summer off before immersing himself with graduate school starting next fall at Berkeley. Jeannette started competing in triathalons and raced the morning of the wedding. She was pretty tired and didn’t stay long so I didn’t get the scoop on what was up…other than meeting her new boyfriend, Mike.
So, aside from the hairpulling traffic (got caught in the 205 rush hour in Portland on the way out, argh!, and what’s up with stop and go traffic from Tacoma to Bellevue on a Monday morning at 6:30am?), the drive went smooth. My little Audi handled the winding roads of Hwy 1 and opened up just fine to pass one of many trucks or vehicles along straight-aways and the open highway. And, finally, the total cost of the trip saved us in all the ways we had hoped. Now, I just need to stay awake a bit longer… 😉
btw, the hustle back this morning was so I could attend some meetings at work, which started at 10. Otherwise, we probably would have taken a bit more time and arrived a bit more well rested.