This week, Bill and I decided to plan out this year's vacation. We've taken a few weekend vacas over the last year, but without real planning, a real "take me away" kind of vacation just doesn't happen. So I spent the last few days going over options and plans till we both agreed on a 2012 getaway.
We're going to California!
We've both been several times, but not like this. My experiences with CA in the past have been dirty parts of San Diego, the cold fog of San Fran and a brief stint on Catalina island (which we plan on revisiting). While most people visit Cali for its beaches and Hollywood scene, we plan on seeing more. We will fly into San Francisco, take in Napa Valley's winery country, head into Yosemite's grand wilderness, travel past some giant sequoias and then take in Catalina island's Avalon and back country.
Let's take a peek at what we're working with...
We'll be jumping off a cross-country flight (which I hope we can catch some shut-eye on) and heading straight for Napa. Staying in either Napa or the smaller Yountville, we'll spend our first day traveling past and through some of the Valley's famous wineries. We haven't picked out which ones yet, but we're hoping to get there by bike- a romantic tandem bike preferably. :-)
And did I mention the food? Besides the adorable Angele restaurant (pictured above), Yountville sports the famous and original Bouchon Bakery as well as ad hoc. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
Day 2 + 3
The next two days we will spend traveling to and playing in Yosemite National Park. We still haven't planned exactly what we will be doing there, but likely it will involve a lot of gear - Bill's area of expertise.
We'll be staying in a cute little base camp called Curry Village. It looks like a Boy Scout camp. Its a series of canvas-covered framed "tents" that have a vintage, 50's camping look to them. I think I like the idea of staying in them more than staying in a 4-star hotel. Simply picture perfect.
The next day will be all driving. Its a long state, and to get from Yosemite to Long Beach takes the better part of a day. But it won't be the whole day, so we're hoping to visit those tall trees of legend, the giant sequoias, before stopping in at Bakersville for the night.
While shopping around for hotels in Bakersville, I stumbled across the posh Padre Hotel. It was originally built in the 20's and its recent redesign sticks to its roots. The whole place screams Hollywood glamour. I come to find out, that might not be the only scream coming from the Padre. Apparently, is haunted... VERY haunted. Spooky.
Day 5+ 6
The fifth morning we'll be rolling into Long Beach, that is if the ghosts let us catch any sleep. We'll be driving directly to the pier where we will catch the ferry to Catalina island. The island is very little, but we're hoping it keeps us entertained for two days. The rest of the first day will be spent galavanting in Avalon. The little harbor town is completely walkable by foot, but we also may spend some time playing in its waters.
The next day I hope to spend some time in Catalina's outback. Outside of Avalon and one other teeny tiny town, the island is in its original, wild state. I'm hoping we can take a tour of this outback, with its roaming buffalo, before making it to the other side of the island where there are quiet, sandy beaches. Ahhh....
The next day we'll catch a flight home and take in our crazy, California journey.
I can't wait!