I'm Baaaack!

Hey everyone!  I had a wonderful "bloggy break!"  Sometimes, an announced blog break means exactly that -- you just need some time away from your blog to regroup and renew; but other times, it means a bit of a vacation is on the calendar.  Well, this time for me has been some of both.   The Man and I had a wonderful road trip vacation which included seeing many good friends and a fantastic family reunion.  I do not intend to bore you with tons of photos, but I have to share a few......y'all who know me, know that it will be more than just a few, right?  Well, we decided it would be "fun" to take the old coast highway from Ventura, CA to Newport, OR.  We did enjoy the first leg of the journey very much.


We were so excited to return to Carmel, remembering the cute little village atmosphere that greeted us 25 years ago, but we were truly disappointed.  This burger place was the best thing about Carmel, and that's kind of sad when you think about it.  It was bumper-to-bumper traffic, rude drivers, and very pretentious people.  We stayed in the highest price hotel of the entire trip, and it was "the worst" of our entire trip.  Absolutely scratching Carmel off our "must return to" list!

If you've never traveled the coast highway, you should know that it takes you through a very small slice of San Francisco and over the Golden Gate Bridge.  We just happened to be traveling this ten mile stretch on Saturday morning.  YIKES......took us 2 hours to travel 10 miles!   

We were so happy to finally see this beauty straight ahead!
Those little specks are fishing boats......the ocean was very calm.

Land, sea and sky -- Mother Nature at her best!
We really had so much fun seeing lots of friends and family that we had not seen for awhile.  The highlight of our trip was a family reunion which was held at The River's Edge Hotel in Portland.
It was a very beautiful hotel and the restaurant where we had the reunion is tucked in beside it on the right side of this photo.
This was the view from our room.  That's a tour boat on the Willamette River.

It was such great fun getting to see everyone, but.......
these four were the ones I was most anxious to see.  They flew in from Washington D.C.,  

And I spent as much time as possible with these two!

I just love this photo!  These are all the little (and not so little) 2nd cousins.  They all got along so well and had so much fun together.  The only ones missing were our four oldest grandchildren.

Our trip took us north to Tacoma to visit with several friends and then a bit further to Bremerton, WA.
Bremerton was our first home after The Man and I married.  He went to work for the shipyard as a civilian Mechanical Engineer.

This was our very first house.  It was very tiny (maybe a 1000 sf) but had a full daylight basement.  It was sad to see how run-down and very over-grown it is now.

We did have an incredible view of the bay and the Olympics in the background.  Of course, we were too young and dumb to really appreciate it at the time!

This was our 2nd and final house in Bremerton.  This one was barely under construction when we bought it, so we got to choose all the colors, etc.  This really felt like a mansion after living in a thousand sf.

We decided to head home via Eastern Oregon, Idaho, and Utah.  There were acres and acres of these trees (could not tell what kind), because Oregon has such a shortage.....NOT!

For those who might not know, The Umatilla Army Depot was once the home to our most dangerous chemical weapons.  They incinerated the last of the chemical weapons in Oct. of 2011, or so they say.......hmmmm?

Wide open vistas and some angry clouds at times as we traveled into Idaho......why am I hungry for mashed potatoes?

The sky changed so quickly from looking like we were really in for a storm to just being
so beautifully puffy.

I thought this bridge was so beautiful as it led us over the Snake River and into 
Twin Falls for the night.

We didn't quite make it to this view point for the full sunset, but it was still pretty.
Utah was full of pasture land that could have used some rain, but nothing came out of these 
dark clouds.

This reminded me of Sedona with all the red rock......beautiful!

We stayed in this lodge-type hotel in Mt. Carmel, UT, and the room had some
very interesting furniture.

Not my style, but I can appreciate the workmanship and beauty of the wood.

This was the view from our tiny patio in the hotel.

And this was one of about five of our little dinner entertainers!

Looks like the AZ desert begins!

We were greeted by a fabulous sky as we drove into Flagstaff and

continued as we made our way home.

Vacations are always fun, but there is just nothing like being home again!  Okay, I fibbed a bit when I said I would not bore you with a bunch of pictures......sorry, I just couldn't help myself!

I hope you are all having a great week!  School started here this week, so Abby and I get to enjoy the parade of kiddies every morning and afternoon.  I've just about caught up with laundry and have slowly gotten back into a routine -- sort of!  I do have a packing tip to share with you in another
post -- something that I tried out on this trip and plan to use on our next European sojourn.  It's not an original idea, so I can say that it's quite clever!

Stay happy and enjoy the rest of your summer!


  1. Welcome back, Carol -- so glad you had a nice vacation! We were in CA for a short time, and although I love the beach, there's nothing like an AZ sky. :)

  2. So glad your back safely. I figured you may be "visiting" with some special people :)

  3. Oh so fun so see your pics. these are all my old stomping grounds.

  4. Looks like a great trip! So glad you go to see your family.

  5. Wow! Sounds like you had a fabulous trip, Carol...but yikes...that bridge!! ;) Enjoy school. Those little faces are always a great way to start the day!

  6. Hi Carol! Your trip sounds wonderful. I agree about Carmel, it's beautiful but I found it a little overrated, personally. It was fun to see your former homes! We did that a couple of years ago, going back to see our first house, which is now is serious disrepair. It was only eight years ago that we sold it, so that's sad. I'm so glad you were able to see your family. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I always enjoy seeing pictures from trips - you didn't bore me at all! What a wonderful vacation but I feel the same way as you...it's always nice to come home! Welcome back!

  8. So good to have you back! Sounds like you guys had some great fun. Beautiful pictures!

  9. Glad you are back and so nice to see your family in those pics! Some gorgeous photos! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Hi Carol ... Your trip sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing it with us. You have some wonderful pictures and I don't blame you for wanting to show them.
    Thanks for stopping by Timeless Treasures with a nice comment. I will follow you and be back for more inspiration.
    Audrey Z.

  11. Welcome back Carol!!!! Looks like you had a marvelous time esp. with those 2 little angels! I just got back too but still trying desperately to get back into the norm of things. :-)

  12. Well, As you know, my kiddo and I took the opposite trip as you during the same time period. We started on Hwy 1 at Bodega Bay and drove south to Santa Barbara, then took the 10 home. The coast is absolutely delightful and even though there are areas of extreme traffic, I loved every single minute. We didn't go into Carmel, did take the 17 mile drive to Pebble Beach and enjoyed that but chose not to go into Carmel (maybe I'm glad). Happy you are back, soon the weather will cool off and we will get together in person!! Have a super weekend! Blessings, Cindy

  13. Good to see you again, Carol!! Looks like y'all had a fabulous trip! So glad you got to see the grands. I know that made you happy. :) Love all your pics!

  14. Carol,

    I'm so happy for you!! What a wonderful time you had, my friend, visiting such spectacular landscapes and seasides, but most of all, the quality time you got to spend with your two pretty princesses!! They're adorable and, in my opinion, look a lot like their beautiful nana!! I can sense that you recharged those batteries, just in time to share all your news and pics with your bloggy friends!

    Have a lovely weekend!


  15. Awesome photos of your trip! I myself just got back from Lake Chelan, Washington -- fabulous trip! :)


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