Going going, back back, to Cali Cali

We had a spectacularly gorgeous drive from Crater Lake back to the Oregon Coast and down the 101 into one of our favorite states – California!

Here is a video of us crossing over the boarder. We apologize, we get a little wacky after several hours in the car…

Can you feel the excitement?

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We decided to stay the night in Crescent City at the edge of the Redwoods. It was starting to get dark and extremely foggy and we knew we weren’t going to see anything if we kept driving, so we called it a night. Crescent City doesn’t have too much to offer besides some delicious chicken picatta we had for dinner and a comfortable bed and great shower water pressure.

We were on the road again early Saturday (11/2) on route to Petaluma, CA. The beginning of the drive was through the Redwoods. It had rained the night before, it was raining a bit throughout our drive, the fog was coming in, the forest felt like a magical wonderland out of a story. Check out this video:

Our small little car weaving up and down the curvy roads with the enormous redwoods towering above us, every now and then the sunbeam shining down on us.

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We pulled into Lady Bird Johnson Park and spent some time walking around before heading over to the Avenue of the Giants. We could not, and still cannot, get over how enormous those trees are. Absolutely stunning and breathtaking.

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Down the 101 we drove through some great towns including Eureka which we drove around for a bit, and loved. Garberville was interesting, to say the least. We needed to get gas and use the potty, Garberville was the closest next stop. Driving in was like taking a step back to the 60s. Dreads everywhere, bell bottoms, smell of incense and lots and lots of backpackers. It’s as if all the backpackers on the west coast came here at the very same time and decided to sit on the corner together and just hang out. There must have been 30-40 of them. Very interesting to see.

Cate had been to Petaluma several times, this was Michelle’s first. That said, it has been a good 15 years since Cate has visited. We are staying tonight with Cate’s family friends Jane and Bill and their son Alex. Cate’s aunt Amy and Jane have been friends for over 30 years, they met while both living in San Fran as physical therapists. Jane and Amy were known as the “Gardenia Sisters.” It had been years and years since Cate had seen Jane and Bill (she saw Alex in Boston about 5 years ago) and was very excited to reconnect and catch up.

We felt right at home the minute we walked in. In fact, walking into the bathroom reminded Cate a lot of her aunt Amy’s house in San Francisco years and years ago with the black and white tiling and huge inviting bathtub. We spent our first night in Petaluma out to dinner with Alex, who is our age and back in Petaluma for a bit. A delicious Mexican meal was followed by sitting on the couch and not moving for hours and hours due to taco overload. We stayed up late into the night catching up with Jane and Bill and Alex, laughing until tears were coming down our face.

We decided to spend another night in Petaluma, using it as our base for a day trip to Sonoma and Napa (more on that later). Jane, Bill and Alex welcomed us so warmly, at several points we thought we were in our own homes with our parents. Jane reminds Cate so much of her aunt Amy and it is so apparent why they have been best friends for so many years. They are both so warm, comforting, caring, engaged and sweet.

Our second night in Petaluma was filled with more fun times with our extended California family over a delicious curry dinner. Jane and Bill’s daughter Lizzie who lives near by joined us for dinner. Such a fun night.


Jane and Bill, we really don’t know how to thank you for what you gave us during our stay. It wasn’t just the warm comfortable beds, the tea and coffee, Bill’s CDs and t-shirts (Bill’s a rock star, a real one!), the delicious meals (oh that bread!), the maps and directions, the cozy home you have built. You refilled our nearly empty tanks with your smiles, your story telling, your joke telling (Bill), your hugs and love. We felt so full leaving you, so rejuvenated and so so happy. Yet, at the same time, so sad. It was so hard to leave the fun times in Petaluma, but know we will be back (soon!).

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We love you Sell’s!

3 thoughts on “Going going, back back, to Cali Cali

  1. you are bringing tears to my eyes with such beauty you are showing us in these places you are visiting. and so glad you had a loving time with one of my two best friends and her family

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