We dolls recently got left behind while the humans went on vacation. We're used to this - they do it nearly every summer. This summer was different, though. Instead of just spending a week somewhere an hour or so away, they flew to the other side of the country!
We know there was no room for us in the luggage. Mom had trouble squeezing in the basics into her rather small suitcase as it was. Still, it kind of stunk that while they were all gone having the time of their lives, we were stuck here. We made the best of it, camping out in the backyard a couple of nights, watching movies on the big screen TV upstairs, and riding the horses both inside and in the backyard. After a couple of months having to always be on the lookout for Nala, it was great to have the place to ourselves. (Nala got a little vacation of her own - she was boarded in a kennel.)
July 3: Travel Day
Our aunt apparently took photos from the air, but Mom didn't. 3 flights and 4 airports later, they arrived in Arcata, California!
July 4: Ma-le'l Dunes Hike
|dune plant life|
|hello, Pacific Ocean|
|looking down at Trinidad Beach|
|the town of Trinidad|
|this seagull really wanted the otter's fish|
Some of the group went surfing here. Mom, who is (overly) cautious about big waves, just watched, admired the many loose dogs roaming around, and explored the beach.
Tons of smooth, round rocks wash up on Agate Beach. Mom spent most of her time here collecting cool rocks. She even found some agates!
|a flock of seagulls on Agate Beach|
- Stop 1: Hiking Big Tree Trail
|looking up at some giants|
|so much green!|
|a redwood growing on a fallen redwood|
- Stop 2: Fern Canyon
|it's aptly named|
|a closer look|
|scenes from Jurassic Park were filmed in Fern Canyon|
July 8: Tide Pools in Patrick's Point State Park
|at high tide, this is the ocean floor|
|sea anemones close when out of the water|
|some of the anemones in the pools were open|
|Blobby the starfish|
|tiny starfish (and our aunt's finger for comparison)|
|crabs love to hang out in the cracks of big rocks|
|seals lounging on rocks on the other side of the point|
|Spiky, somewhat spooky pine trees. |
Most of the hike was in forest.
|looking over the edge|
|surf crashing on the rocks|
|talk about dramatic views!|
- Stop 1: Humboldt Redwoods State Park
|No straying from the trail! Poison oak was thriving here.|
|Some family members ahead of Mom on the trail |
give you an idea of just how huge these trees are!
|When stressed, redwoods grow big burls on their trunks.|
|Coast Redwoods are the tallest trees on earth!|
|Anyone care for a dip?|
- Stop 2: Supper at the Samoa Cookhouse in Samoa, CA!
|Whoa! What are the odds?|
The cookhouse was part restaurant part lumber industry museum. Mom and family were treated to a huge fit-for-a-lumberjack family-style eating experience.
|on the way up|
|the view from the top|
|it's a long way down!|
|Farewell, west coast!|
|We know, we know. Losing cabin pressure is a serious matter. |
But this diagram... It had both Mom and Grandma cracking up
during the safety demo.
|Hey, it's the Golden Gate Bridge!|
By the final flight, it was well into morning! Though the seats were more comfortable on this plane, Mom still didn't rest - she lucked out with a window seat and couldn't tear her eyes away from the view.
- The shirt came from a local-product gift shop in - you guessed it - Trinidad. It's really soft. <3
- The starfish was already in dried out form in a gift shop. Don't worry - Mom took nothing but pictures while visiting the tide pools.
- The TSA people at the Arcata airport searched Mom's carryon on the way home because of the "crystalline object." XD It's glass with a fake but very pretty jellyfish suspended inside that glows in the dark.
- The little rocks are the agates Mom found on Agate Beach. They vary in shade but can be distinguished from the other rocks on the beach because they are really smooth and transparent. (The one at the top left has cloudy sections, but we think it's still an agate from its extreme smoothness.) Mom took home other cool non-agate rocks home too that aren't in the picture.
- The smiling otter with the fuchsia sea urchin is a cute magnet that Mom couldn't resist.
- Finally, the wooden object in the middle has a dual horse head design carved on it. We aren't sure if it is made of redwood or some other reddish wood - there was no information on it but a price sticker. The top slides off to reveal a little mirror, making it practical as well as pretty.
You made it to the end! Congratulations! =D