Captured by Bubbles

Don’t ignore the ordinary.

Happy Monday! 🙂

Susanne

California Road Trip – Onward to Big Sur!

Everyday brought a new highlight on our road trip to California!

After leaving Morro Bay on the central California Coast – here if you missed it – we headed north for one of the most scenic drives in the world – Big Sur!

Our first major stop was at Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery where the giant mammals congregate different times of the year. We arrived during molting season.

They cover themselves with sand to keep cool when resting on the beach

or take a dip in the water.

After our visit with the seals we said goodbye and continued north to Big Sur where the mountains meet the sea and civilization fades away!

For the next 90 miles we enjoyed incredible views of the ocean around every winding turn.

There was a stop by Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park for a short hike to see McWay Falls, which drops 80 ft. into the Pacific Ocean.

Can you say wow? I did.

Then we continued on our way, stopping at the overlooks and finally crossing the last bridge,

where another happy couple asked if we’d take their picture, then returned the favor to us.

Before I go, I thought it fitting to share Big Sur with this week’s Sunday Stills Challenge, #Aqua.

Next stop, Monterey Bay!

~ Susanne

Stand Up for Blogging!

Maybe not how you think.

In my case it’s a matter of ergonomics.

My entire working life I spent in an office, in a chair, with a desk and a computer. Well, actually, I’m old enough to say the computer came later. But I digress.

During the last few years that I worked for the City I had a nice spot on the 43rd floor of a high-rise with good views of Seattle’s waterfront where I could watch the ferries come and go.

Fun stuff.

During that same period I also had two desks in my office (well cubicle really) – a normal sit-down variety where I spent most of my time and another stand-up desk in front of the window.

Pampered? Not really. I hadn’t asked for another desk specifically – a coworker did. But when she got tired of it, I took the stand-up desk off her hands, and found it useful for giving my back a break.

Fast forward to now.

Can you guess where I’m headed with this?

Not to complain or anything but yeah, there’s some lower back pain, because as much walking and gardening and outside stuff as I do, I still have a hobby the puts me back at a desk with a computer.

So I did a bit of research online on what could be purchased. But not wanting to invest without knowing I’d really use it, and also knowing the wondrous skill of my dear hubby, I asked him to make me a stand-up desk, a platform of sorts to sit on top of my regular desk.

Bingo! The last few posts I’ve published on my blog, I did standing up, with views not of the Seattle waterfront, but of my own front yard. Just thought you’d want to know. 😉 And when I want to sit for a while I remove the platform. Nice, huh?

And because I can’t do a post without a couple of photos, here’s a sandpiper from the beaches of Central California, also standing.

More of the California coast including Big Sur to come.

~ Susanne

Three Stacks and a Rock at Morro Bay and Cayucos

We always had the scenic coastal route in mind on our trip to Southern California, especially Highway 1 and Big Sur, between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

So after enjoying our time in LA, Beverly Hills, and Disneyland,

we started the next phase of our journey – the scenic route to Morro Bay. I didn’t know much about Morro Bay, other than it was roughly halfway to our next day’s destination, allowing for a slow drive and as many stops as we desired.

We were there by early afternoon and were hooked on the place after our first view of the rock.

We headed across the bay for a closer look at Morro Rock, at 564 ft. tall, one of 13 giant rocks that line the coast, the remaining plugs from ancient volcanos that eroded away 23 million years ago.

After admiring the rock, we turned back for another look into the bay and were treated to the largest number of sea otters we’ve ever seen frolicking in the wild. (click on the pictures in the gallery to enlarge.)

Behind them on the shore we saw three stacks.

We would learn more about them after dinner that night, where the food was delicious and the views superb.

As we were leaving the restaurant my husband asked a local what the stacks were.

“Smokestacks,” the man said and laughed.

Then he told us the story of the decommissioned stacks from an old powerplant and the controversy over whether to remove them or not. It was then I learned of Morro Bay’s nickname,’ Three Stacks and a Rock.’ My vote would be to leave them as to me they add character to this blue-collar beach town but it’s more likely they’ll be coming down.

The rock will remain but the city’s nickname will have to change.

We left Morro Bay the next day, stopping by Cayucos where I took time to explore the beach while Bob shopped in the collectible stores.

I was looking for jade. My mom had told me of the gemstones that were lying on the beaches for the taking, at least when she visited in the middle of the last century.

I appreciated the tip as there were indeed many beautiful stones dotting the beach.

But did I find jade? Only the rock knows for sure!

I loved the small towns of the central California Coast and if I had it to do over, I would have booked more time there. But many other adventures awaited us so we continued on to Big Sur, which I will save for next time.

~ Susanne

Saturday Caturday, Where’s Benji?

“You looking for me, Sue?’

“Well I was but I don’t mean to disturb you. I’ll go use the other sink.”

“I’d appreciate it. And could you turn off the light on your way out?”

“Sure, Benji. Will do.”

~ Susanne and Benji

Remembering the Beautiful Allen’s Hummingbirds

Another cold and rainy day in the Pacific Northwest and the blue skies and sunshine from Southern California are only a memory. Still memories are meant to be enjoyed, are they not?

I love hummingbirds and one of my favorite memories from our recent trip was discovering a new variety – the Allen’s Hummingbird.

This colorful species lives in a narrow strip along the Pacific Coast of California and southern Oregon. Some stay in southern California year-round though most spend the winter in Mexico.

I might do the same if only I could.

~ Susanne

May the Fourth Be with You! – A Visit to Star Wars at Disneyland

It seemed only fitting on the fourth of May to resume the telling of our California road trip which included at its southernmost point, a visit to Disneyland, the happiest place on earth!

How’s this for a welcome?

We’ve been to Disneyland many times before, both together, and as kids. It’s not for everyone perhaps, but we have always enjoyed it, so it seemed like a fun place to shoot for on our road trip to sunshine. In particular we wanted to see the new Star Wars land which mostly lived up to the hype.

At least the ‘land’ did, we only went on one of the rides there, due to the long wait times.

Speaking of rides – we started out at Splash Mountain since the line was short. We had great fun on what is essentially a roller coaster through water, with a big drop at the end. We got soaked and it was all good since it was 88 degrees – yes, we found the sunshine we were looking for!

But near the end of the ride, we got into a logjam as we stopped moving and cars (well, logs, I guess) lined up behind us. And there we sat. And sat. Slowed only? Or completely broken down we weren’t sure.

Until after 15 minutes some Disney helpers came and escorted us off and up the stairs to the right. Yes indeed. Our first ride of the day (not counting the train that circles the park) broke down. (Do you know how happy I was that this happened after the big drop??)

The upside was that we were rewarded for our troubles with a fast pass on any other ride which we used at Millenium Falcon in Star Wars Galaxy Edge. It was a fine ride, but we both liked the original Star Tours ride better which we went on later.

Surprisingly, there were other breakdowns that day, but we were not on them. Instead, we’d come along later after they’d just reopened, and lines were short. So we enjoyed many of our favorites – Thunder Mountain Railroad, Indiana Jones, Jungle Cruise as well as the aforementioned Splash Mountain and Star Tours. But not our very favorite ride, Pirates of the Caribbean which was being refurbished.

Overall it was a splendid day. And even though I looked around and saw we were sometimes the oldest people on a ride, I’d do it all again. Old is just an attitude.

Here’s a gallery from the park including some very dapper looking ladies, all dressed up for Dapper Day.

And that concludes this episode of our road trip to sunny Southern California. More to come.

~ Susanne

What’s Emerging in the May Garden?

I’m glad you asked! Let’s start with the herbs.

My herbs are mostly decorative, though I could use them for cooking if I only remembered.

First up are the chives. It won’t be long before the buds open and attract bees into their blossoms.

Next is the oregano and catmint.

Oregano for me.

Catmint for Tiger and Benji.

There’s a special kind of emerging from the lilac tree this year – flowers! My mother-in-law got us the bush many years ago and it has NEVER bloomed before; I guess it didn’t like being moved around but finally forgave us.

Or perhaps I provoked it to envy when I bought a new lilac bush last year and planted it nearby. Whatever the reason, we are happy to have lilac buds and I can’t wait for the fragrance when they open. 🙂

Finally, I give you the climber that steals the show in the May garden – the montana clematis. Just emerging from its long winter sleep, by the end of the month it will take over everything in its path, wrapping it in pink.

And that’s all right with me. 🙂

Sharing with this week’s Sunday Stills Challenge, Emerging.

~ Susanne

A Rainy Start on a Road Trip to Sunshine but the Tulips Didn’t Mind!

It was drizzly as we left our home in Washington almost two weeks ago, seeking sunshine in Southern California. The rain continued in Oregon, so much so that we debated whether to stop by the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival even though we had tickets in hand. But as we got closer the rain slowed down and so did we.

It was only a tease; the rain returned with a vengeance as we wandered the grounds. But that’s what umbrellas are for and we carried ours.

We enjoyed our stop, along with the delicious homemade donuts served up by one of the vendors.

Then we pressed on in the rain – blue skies and sunshine would have to wait another day.

~ Susanne

On Cats and Blogging and a Road Trip

First of all, my apologies to the cats.

“Sorry, Benji”

“We worried you weren’t coming back, Sue.”

“We’ll always come back, Benji. You can count on that.”

“Same to you, Tiger.”

“It was lonely without you, Sue.”

“Sorry boys. It couldn’t be helped. There’ll be special privileges for you both in the coming days. And extra treats, too.”

We’d sought to escape from one of the coldest Seattle Aprils on record and found refuge in sunny Southern California. We also found scenic views, theme parks, and a wild and rugged coast, all of which I’ll share with you in the coming days.

But for now, I’ll talk about the blogging I did on the road. On a teeny, tiny, phone. With limited cell service. I managed a few posts, including the last one. But I was unable to comment on the blogs I follow, due to ‘features’ of the mobile version of WordPress, commonly known as ‘bugs.’

I also returned to 197 Spam comments, and 288 in Trash. You know what they had in common? The phrase, ‘near me.’ Hmmm. I guess I said that a lot to google on our trip and the spammers used it. Don’t ask me how.

But that’s enough for now, as there’s shopping, gardening, and unpacking still to do. Why on earth am I blogging first? 🙂 🙂

~ Susanne

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