Monday, October 1, 2007

Going, Going, . . .



My husband and I are going away for a couple days, leaving Thursday for the coast--Ft. Bragg, California. We've had this vague idea about going to the coast in the fall for quite some time now, and about a month ago, we scheduled our days off work. For some mysterious reason, I haven't been very motivated to make specific plans, and in our family, I'm the travel planner. Do you have someone in yours who makes all the plans and arrangements?

For any normal vacation, I would have spent the last month or so pouring over travel guides and the internet, planning out where we'll go and what we'll see once we get there, and researching all the best places to eat. Oh, yes, and I would have first looked for somewhere to stay. But this time I didn't. And for some reason, most of the hotels and motels in the area are booked this coming weekend, although why that should be the case is a mystery to me.

Lodging along the coast north of San Francisco tends to be a little pricey. I've looked at what's available and read real-person reviews, and it seems no one can agree on anything. Some visitors will give a place a two star rating or less and say they'd never stay there again, while others claim the place was wonderful, and give it five stars. So, just to be on the safe side and not invest an arm and a leg for a two-night stay, I ended up booking at a Holiday Inn Express. If we enjoy our time in Ft. Bragg, we can always come back another time with a better idea of where we want to stay and what we want to do.

I've only been to Ft. Bragg one other time, and that was probably about 15 years ago. Our kids were little, money was tight, and we were on our way to a camping vacation on the northern part of the California coastline. On that occasion, I had in fact poured over travel guides and saw that Ft. Bragg had a place called Glass Beach--I thought it might be worth a stop. It was also about half way to our destination and would be a good place to grab lunch.

Back then, my husband had a small pick-up truck with a camper shell. He had bolted a salvaged bus seat into the bed of the pick up, and that was where the two kids rode. Because the back of the bed was jam packed full of camping gear, the only way for the kids to get in and out of the camper was to climb through the small window in the back of the cab. Not very conventional, I'll be the first to admit, but it worked for us.

That morning, we got on the road and headed west toward the coast. As we wound through the redwoods between Highway 101 and the coast, our son got car sick. Or maybe it was our daughter. In any event, as you can imagine, it was a mess. Whichever kid it was had to climb into the front seat and puke out the window. Did I mention there was some kind of bicycle race going on? We must have provided a sight!

By the time we arrived in Ft. Bragg, it was lunch time and we were all hungry, so we found a seafood restaurant on the harbor. The restaurant was up on wooden pilings and the windows around the perimeter of the restaurant provided a great view. Just as we were nearly finished with our lunch, an earthquake hit, the restaurant swayed back and forth on the pilings, and we all had to evacuate. I think that was the first time our kids felt an earthquake.

Having finished lunch, we headed toward Glass Beach. Driving through the rutted parking lot, looking for a parking spot, we hit a bump and knocked off the fuel pump. Or water pump. Or some kind of fairly expensive pump thingamabob. While the kids and I checked out Glass Beach, my husband went in search of the nearest phone booth and called a tow truck. We learned that all the garages in Ft. Bragg were closed for the weekend, so they had to tow our pick-up south to Ukiah for repairs. Because it was a weekend, it was hard to get the right part, and it took several hours. There wasn't much to do while we waited except sweat a lot, since it was August and the temperature was over 100 degrees.

I think we finally got out of Ukiah in the late afternoon and got back on the road for another four hours or so of driving to our campsite, where we unpacked and set up camp in the dark. Ah, those were the days!

I wonder if all this has anything to do with my lack of enthusiasm for making plans to return to Ft. Bragg? But I know there's a quilt shop or two in that area, so I guess I'll just focus on fabric. And hope Mother Nature isn't planning to shake anything up while we're there.

10 comments:

Eileen said...

Well, I hope that things have changed a wee bit in Ft. Bragg and at least you won't be driving in that old pick-up.
Better take a good book, just in case.

Su Bee said...

OK, now you're in MY backyard! First, most importantly, Sew&Sews is on the north end of town, up by Glass Beach. Turn East off of Main at Dennys to Franklin, and they're straight ahead in an old converted feed store. Lot's of flags flyin on the porch. LOL - now you're free to move about the county.....
My quilt retreat is in Ft. Bragg in 2 weeks, and I can't wait. FB is my #1 most favorite getaway - even to drive over just for dinner at the Wharf! Oh, don't miss Mendocino Chocolate Factory in the flatiron building next to the RR tracks - you'll be sorry.
Welcome to Mendocino, and have a blast!!

Kairle said...

And you want to go back there, why?! lol! We have an aversion to San Diego for many of the same reasons. I hope this trip to Ft. Bragg is much nicer than the first!!!

Thimbleanna said...

Have a great trip. And here's to hoping this time it's uneventful!!!

StarsHollowQuilters said...

The picture of the ocean is beautiful, I have never been to fort Bragg.

Yvonne said...

It looks wonderful...I hope you have a great time and don't have nightmares of the first time....lol
I'm sure some visits to the fabrics shops and lots of purchases will make for some wonderful new memories.

sharon said...

Kim, have a great time and take pictures at the quilt shops you stop at. You know we wanna see. While your there see if you can track down a mini cow for Vicky. Cause you know she's waiting.

Carole said...

Have a fun trip! Don't forget to report on the quilts shops you found! Keep well!

floribunda said...

one of my favorite places up there is the botanical garden just south of Ft Bragg on the coast side of the highway...

Vicky said...

Have a great time! You'll get in the spirit once you hit the road! I'm jealous!

Yeah, keep an eye out for a mini cow! You never know!

(Hugs)