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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2004
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    down by the bay
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    Northern California sites to see?

    Due to a poorly timed orchestra rehearsal, and a boyfriend who can't miss it because he's never played timpani before, I'm stuck within 4-6 hours driving distance of the SF bay area for a two night vacation this week.

    Have you done something cool in Northern California? We've done the play-tourist-in-SF thing already, which was nice, but we really only missed the Alcatraz tour and it's just too cold for that. And wine tasting we've done too, the boy isn't good at playing snobby.

    Hot springs or national parks sound exciting (our original plan was to do Yosemite until we realized we couldn't skip rehearsal) but I bet there's something cool out there. Otherwise we're going to end up at the casino with the ads the boy likes I bet, and I'm not that excited about pretending I can win money somewhere that has the odds stacked against me...

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  3. #2
    Junior Member
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    Feb 2005
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    Eureka, California, USA
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    Drive down to San Jose, then on 17 over the mountain to Santa Cruz. You'll find lots of interest on the drive and at the destination!

  4. #3
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2005
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    Ferndale is a cowtown!
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    Petaluma is so close, it probably won't seem like a vacation, but I really like to visit there. There is a cute downtown area with a good thrift store and a great cafe called The Deaf Dog Cafe. I was a little mortified the first time I went there because I thought the sign said Dead Dog. They have a very cool bathroom made out of that diamond plate stuff you usually see on trucks.

    Healdsburg is really nice. There's a very cute town square with good restaurants and shops and of course -- wine tasting! If you go a little north of town on 101 and take the Lytton Springs Road exit, go west of the highway for a minute or two, there is the biggest Salvation Army ever, it's in four or five buildings.

    I like to eat and shop and rest on my vacations, as you can see. Maybe you like something more active?

    Up and over to the coast, Gualala (did I spell that right?) to Fort Bragg (Highway 1) is a nice drive with a lot of beach walking opportunities. In Fort Bragg there's a beach that is made up of lovely multi-colored beach glass. A mosaic artist's dream come true. It used to be the town dump apparently. Turn west at the Denny's to find it. Also, Fort Bragg has a beautiful botanical garden. And a great brewery/restaurant, North Coast Brewing Company. They make Blue Star, Red Seal, and Pranqster. Mmmm.

    Or take that whole 4-6 hours and come up to Humboldt County. Wait. The weather is really yucky. Come see us in Spring or Fall.

  5. #4
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2005
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    Ferndale is a cowtown!
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    Also, it seems to me that there are several State Parks or Beaches along Highway I. There is also Richardson's Grove and Standish Hickey State parks up the 101 north of the Humboldt County line. But as I've said, Humboldt's weather is not so great at the moment.

  6. #5
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2004
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    Northern California
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    HA. someone likes Deaf Dog.

    kidding. it's actually fine. my sister works there, at the downtown location usually, and i (and everyone else in Petaluma) used to hang out there. there's a scummy porch out back where you can smoke cigarettes and glare at people.

    the casinos suck unless you're really into talking to depressed alcoholics and watching old people blow their retirement money.

    4-6 hours from SF puts you well out of the bay area, though. what direction are you in? north? south?

  7. #6
    Junior Member
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    Feb 2005
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    Eureka, California, USA
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    I Like Humboldt County weather, after growing up on the Gulf of Mexico and melting all year. But, I guess I don't mind that everyone doesn't love Pacific Northwest weather, more space for me. :)

  8. #7
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2004
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    I'm near San Jose, but don't mind closer trip ideas. Turns out the boy made plans for us to do Vegas (and yay, Blue Man Group!) so I'll have to keep these ideas in the hopper for weekends anyway :)

    Thanks so much, I heart getcrafty!

  9. #8
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2005
    Location
    Arizona
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    204
    How about a hot air balloon trip over Wine Country? That would be beautiful and romantic! I live near Vegas. let me know if I can help you with ideas.

    Terri

  10. #9
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2004
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    Sweden
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    That's good, because my suggestion is better for summer, anyhow:
    http://www.roadtripamerica.com/places/forest.htm
    This guy dug this maze-type thing underground, & had rooms, a fishing pond, trees, & everything down there. It's pretty neat, especially in the summer, since it's sooo much cooler than above ground. I'm not sure it's even open in the winter, because it seems like any rain would make parts of it muddy. I think it was like $10 a person, with student discounts, for a one hour or two hour tour. You should call first for tour times. It's not super thrilling, but it's pretty cool, & I wanted to make my own underground house after seeing it, too! Plus, Fresno actually has a fairly cute downtown, which I never suspected. We went to two art museums while we were there, too. It was a nice little day trip.

  11. #10
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2004
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    Sweden
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    & now I'm dying to go to Fort Bragg, cannibalsandwich! That beach seems awesome. I love sea glass, & tide pools! Here are some more pictures:
    http://www.fortbragg.com/glass_beach/
    Another thing my mum & I did was take mud bathes in Napa Valley. They have lots of spas there, & it was fun to relax in a big tub of gooey mud. Then we got messages... mmmm, heaven. It might have been a bit spendy, though, I'm not sure.


 
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