brave enough to start

family of five who can, should and definitely will, see more of the world

Final Preparations

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As we enter the final few days before we leave I feel strangely under the weather, a combination of foggy brain and exhausted euphoria; an awareness that I am not firing on all cylinders at the moment.  I can liken it to doing my A-Levels – months of preparation until the brain is swimming in the final days before the exams and as much as you feel you ought to do a bit more cramming, the truth is, there is just no point – “what we haven’t done now…” and all that.  I’ve abandoned the lists and just hope that when we get to the airport we have the essentials – passports and kids, that will probably do.

Nick has passed that unmentionable milestone that has him married to a women in a different decade again for a short while. As with all things, he took it comfortably in his stride, eating a bit too much and enjoying the day with all of us.  The boys and I presented him with a cake that could feed 40 and he readily accepted the challenge.  His real gift will follow later in the year but since he reads this page I can’t share it here.  All I’m saying is that whilst I’m not sure life actually begins at 40, it certainly changes gear.

Talking of later in the year, we have a number of days on the US West Coast with no firm plans at the moment and I’m hoping that amongst the small handful of readers to this blog, there may be one or two who have some suggestions for places to stop between Seattle and San Francisco.  So, lovely readers, if you’ve been to the West Coast lately or know someone who has, please share your recommendations; we would really love to hear them.

East Coast suggestions are also very welcome, of course, although our schedule is a little tighter there and now that his Holiness, Pope Francis has announced he will be following our route, I imagine the main attractions will be crowded.

Talk about trend setting!

9 thoughts on “Final Preparations

  1. Whilst in Seattle is a jaunt across to Vancouver Island feasible? I know its adding Canada to your list but Victoria is supposed to be nice, the wildlife viewing opportunities very good! Bears after the running salmon at the moment I believe! So close now, all my fingers crossed for your uneventful departure 😉 K.x

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    • Hi Karen, yes I think Vancouver Island is a great idea. We are taking the train from Toronto to Vancouver and although we won’t have long in Vancouver, hopefully we will see some of the native wildlife. Hope you are all well xx

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  2. Yosemite National Park – beautifully breathtaking. xxx

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  3. Hi there, these are a few places we went to on our honeymoon, hope they’re useful:

    In order from North to South (I think!)…

    Francis Ford Coppola Winery (you can see lots of props from his various movies, as a large winery and place to stay & eat it’s pretty impressive): https://www.francisfordcoppolawinery.com/

    Frogs Leap Winery: http://www.frogsleap.com/ (a lovely small, organic winery, nice place for some nibbles and wine sampling – our favourite winery on our visit)

    Gotts Roadside Diner in St. Helena (near Napa): http://gotts.com/ – wonderful burgers, shakes etc in a retro American setting (great fries too) – highly recommend!

    Jellybaen Factory Tour, Fairfield (not too far from Napa, it’s free and lots of fun) http://www.jellybelly.com/california-factory-tours

    Muir Woods National Monument: http://www.nps.gov/muwo/index.htm (just North of SF, a very cool place to see Red Woods and the location for the Ewok Village in Return of the Jedi!)

    Sausalito, California: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sausalito,_California – some nice places to eat by the water, ‘Fish’ resturant (http://www.331fish.com/index.html) was good, lovely ceviche..!

    Some say this is the best place to view the Golden Gate bridge, it’s on the Muir Woods side, North of SF at Battery Spencer (we missed the turning as the road was very busy so look out for it!): http://www.theworldandthensome.com/best-places-to-view-the-golden-gate-bridge-san-francisco/

    ..have a wonderful time with your family!!!!

    Craig & Louise

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    • …I can second Yosemite too, absolutely breathtaking but the whole of Route 1 down from Carmel through the Big Sur to Santa Barbara is a truly amazing drive – have fun!!

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    • Wow, thanks Craig, sounds like it was an amazing honeymoon! I’ll look through the links and hope to get to as many of the destinations as we can.

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  4. We went to Ashland, OR for their Shakespeare Festival while we were living in SF. Not sure what they have going on year-round, but might be worth looking into. Lake Tahoe is a good place to go even when there is no snow. And Napa is also fun, though not sure how wine tasting works with 3 children…. I’ve never been there, but how about somewhere like Coloma, CA to find out about the gold rush? I don’t know where else you’re going in the States, but if you are going to Arizona, try to get to Antelope Canyon (near Page) — it was one of my favourite places (along with Yosemite). Have a fantastic time, whatever you do!

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    • Thanks Sue – really appreciate your great ideas. I’ve heard Antelope Canyon mentioned a couple of times recently so I think that might be something we try and fit in – a good chance for the boys to practise all those scouting skills!

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